Keep hazy, stay sexy

This story was first published in The Straits Times on July 1, 2013

The last time I darn near suffocated was just before Didier Drogba took the last penalty kick for Chelsea in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich last year.

When he scored and won the trophy for my favourite team, it felt as though a haze had lifted for me.

So, I understand what living under a haze is like because, like a dude with an inflatable doll for a girlfriend, in my mind I've been through the real thing before.

I know we really don't want to live under 50 Shades Of Smoke.

One, it's killing us in the long term, like living in a small flat with a chainsmoker.

Two, it's so unflattering because it makes that elongated trough on top of the towers of Marina Bay Sands look like a giant cigar ashtray made in Cuba.

But, believe it or not, there actually are some places where officials really welcome the haze.

At the height of the mass protests in Turkey recently, I'm sure the harried authorities there prayed for haze, rain, hailstones, an invasion by 300 Spartans - anything - just to make those protesters go away.

And right now in Brazil, something is happening which is so amazing I thought somebody had given me a bunch of Black Hello Kitty plush toys: Brazilians, it seems, would prefer the haze than football in their country.

Brazilians don't want football?

That's like Canadians not wanting ice hockey or Iranian leaders not wanting nuclear bombs - absolutely unthinkable.

To be exact, it's a bunch of protesters who don't want the World Cup in Brazil next year because only stadiums are going to get the money and not the people.

I agree.

I believe that stadiums should be built as cheaply as possible with just seats and many, many toilets, and they should all be demolished easily and cheerfully to provide jobs for angry folks who like to tear things down.

Problem solved.

Back to our problem here - the haze.

What are we going to do if and when it comes back?

Because like the Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse - Famine, War, and I think, Moe and Curly - every doomsday prophet says World War H will return.

Funny thing is, that 401 night last week when the PSI reading shot up like a rocket to what must have been "simulated poison gas" level, I was actually watching World War Z, the zombie apocalypse movie, in a theatre.

Having survived that, I've compiled the Ultimate Haze Survival Guide, which, as a show of my love for humanity, I'm giving away totally free of charge to all Straits Times readers, in lieu of N95 masks.

(Of course, I am more than happy to accept a bunch of Black Hello Kittys if you, deeply grateful to me for saving your life, wish to give them to me. The toy which costs $4.60 can be resold for more than $1,000 online, which makes it more valuable than an Apple stock since it gives huge returns faster.)

Here are my haze survival tips:

Lie low

I mean this literally. Stay as low as you can. Keep your head down. Ideally, stay indoors away from the heat and dust and do a Snowden.

"Doing a Snowden" means to disappear into a place where no haze, no fog, not even the CIA can find you.

I name the action after American spy contractor-secrets leaker-manhunt dude, Edward Snowden, whose main priority now is to get to zero-extradition Ecuador to become Eduardo Snowden.

As I write this, he's apparently still hiding in the transit lounge of an airport in Moscow in a funny international stand-off that's a cross between Tom Hanks' 2004 movie The Terminal with Will Smith's Enemy Of The State (1998).

Why is "doing a Snowden" important to haze survival?

When America wants to nail you alive to find out how much you've blabbed to its enemies, well, that's always a good health management plan.

Brush up on your maths

N95. PM2.5. PSI 401. PSLE 25/100.

There are just too many numbers to deal with these days. But deal we must for this is the Numbers Era we're living in.

One thing I learnt about the numbers game - it breeds even more numbers. While running around searching futilely for those near-mythical N95 masks and air purifiers which filter out sub-micron particulates to an efficiency of 99.97 per cent, I took buses 96, 97 and 98.

Take instant 'Misty Love' photos

You don't have to Photoshop your vacation-in-misty-Cameron Highlands pictures anymore. Seize this hazy opportunity to fake those holiday pictures for Instagram and your photo album.

I've always wanted to brag that I took the Jack The Ripper London Tour. I went to a back alley in Geylang in the haze, paid the hookers to move away, and now I'm so proud to show off those phony "foggy" photos.

Make babies

In times of crisis, people turn to one another for comfort. When the haze is on, the hubba-hubba is on too.

And since we're supposed to stay indoors anyway, why not kill two birds with one hailstone?

Keep hazy, stay sexy and solve our population problem.

You can thank me at the baby shower later. But frankly, I'd much prefer a free Black Hello Kitty toy.

This story was first published in The Straits Times on July 1, 2013

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