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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I had to Diffuse the Situation by writing...

Aunt D recently bought some 20 packets of traditional chinese cough medicine for Uncle S. I was supposed to pass them to SY who would be bringing them back to the US for Uncle S.

Then I saw the neat individually packed bags of white powdery substance and it reminded me of drugs. You see the picture I took below and you'll know what I mean:

I placed the packets next to the mahjong set to give it a 'vice' look, and to give it some magnitude. See? It looks like news stories for a drug raid right?

How to tell Uncle S that it would be difficult to pass through customs even though it was sincerely meant to be a cough suppressant? SY could explain the medical efficacies but how to justify for the sheer volume of 20 packets?

I was compelled to make use of a technique called 'mitigation by writing nonsense', and here was my email to Uncle S (in the form of a news report, nevertheless):

Couple Nabbed At Mandarin Gardens Guardhouse For Suspected Banned Substances

Singapore. A couple were caught on Sunday evening by condominium security guards for suspected possession of illegal substances. Security personnel from the Mandarin Gardens were alerted by a 'huge bulging plastic bag' when the couple came out of one of the condominium's lift lobbies. "I saw this big plastic bag and inside seemed to have a few smaller bags of similar shape and size. So I suspected the bags contained drugs.", one of the security guards involved said. Reporters who were having a barbeque party in the area rushed to the scene with digital cameras and small notepads to take down the guards' statements.

"Then I opened the bag and to my surprise I confirmed my suspicions. There were some twenty smaller packets with white powder in it" recounted the security guard, who didn't want to be named for fear of retaliation by traditional chinese medical practitioners. The couple were handed over to police from the Mandarin Gardens Police Outpost, who arrived at the scene about two hours after the first call was made. The male accomplice insisted that the packets of white powdery substances were TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) goods meant for suppressing coughs. Police later found out from the couples' statements that the packets were to be airflown to the United States for private consumption. Police have classified this as Private Export of Narcotics and Illegal Substances (PENIS).

A grandmother who only wants to be known as Madam Lo scurried to the scene and offered to be an expert witness for the handcuffed couple. She told reporters "This is really for cough. My son takes it to get better. You have to boil the substance in hot water and you will feel good. I'm telling the truth because I vote for PAP every year, you know?"

A police spokesman who earned top honours at the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association course replied, "Drugs will also make a person feel good. At this stage, we cannot be convinced if the white substance is heroin-based or ground chalk. Lab tests have to be done before we can allow this to be exported. I'm sorry, but this will not even pass the gantry into Sentosa."

Before the couple were led into the patrol car, a picture of the white packets were taken by reporters.

I hope Uncle S understands. I think it's best to repack the medicine into something more presentable and to send to him by mail.

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