December 14th, 2005

krazy koati

Who's that coming from somewhere up in the sky?

The various malls of Singapore seem to have nearly all made deals with some cartoon characters for their Christmas festivities. Choa Chu Kang had The Powerpuff Girls; Jurong Point has Peanuts; IMM the Baby Looney Tunes; Plaza Singapura at Dhoby Ghaut (in color -- a Quinn-Martin production) has Wallace and Grommet (the were-rabbit movie hasn't opened yet) and Suntec City the Care Bears. I'm not taking them in in any particular order, but do run across some.

Suntec City first, since I happened to be there. They're going all out with tie-ins, particularly with HSBC bank's offer, ``Receive a Care Bears Lunch Kit [ or shopping vouchers ] When You Invest or Insure With Us Today!'' I haven't seen an investment plan like that since DBS offered a free Big Mac meal with their S$8 a day plan.

Besides offering the ``chance to meet the Care Bears'' at the shows, there's a giveaway contest. I noted some of the prizes. Number one is something called a ``Kia Cerato'', which is apparently a car as it's billed as a 1.6 Liter Sedan; I'd thought Kia Cerato the last empress of the Byzantine Empire. Number two is a bit of a step down, a ``VGO viz cyber relay massage chair,'' which takes a perfectly good torture chair and makes it sound scary. Number three is a Goldheart jewelry set, which must be more than you'd think since the number 12 prize is a three day, two night trip to Phuket. Number 14 is a similar trip to Bangkok, and inexplicably I didn't write down number 13. Numbers 25 through 30 are ``VGO G5 Dual Power Rhythmic Massagers'', which are flexible instruments of torture and also Mac OS X-compatible.

As to the Care Bear show, I couldn't see much since there was a big crowd of kids -- very into it -- and teenagers -- somewhat into it -- crowding around even at the second and third level railings. I got my best view looking at the LCD screen of a guy videotaping the whole thing. It seemed like the simplest sort of meet-the-characters you can do, four people in bright clothes dancing around and saying stuff like, ``if you'll applaud enough I'm sure we could get Love-A-Lot Bear to come out.'' They applaud, are told to do it again, louder!, and they comply, and out comes Love-A-Lot. With similar badgering they can coax Share Bear out of backstage.

I was a bit surprised that was it, though. I mean, I know costumes like that are incredibly hot even in air-conditioned Singapore and getting people who'll put up with three shows a day is challenging, but two is the fewest number you can get away with and still use the plural. I'm not necessarily demanding a plush minyan, you understand. I just noticed five distinct Care Bears in all the posters, and figured the show would try for all five. Or at least three. Anyway, after a lot of dancing -- which many girls in the audience also danced to, while all the boys stayed seated -- they opened up the stage for kids to meet the Care Bears, by which they mean, quickly hug. And that one guy videotaped it all.

Trivia: Pan Am Airways surveyors of the 1920s would mark spots for future landing strips by dropping bags of flour from airplanes above promising spots. At least one bag was taken by locals for baking. Source: Naked Airport, Alastair Gordon.

Currently Reading: History of the Hour, Gerhard Dohrn-van Rossum.