Be proud to be blunt

Be proud to be blunt

SINGAPORE - I'm no stranger to bluntness.

My family took no prisoners when it came to straight-talking and straight-insulting.

When my wife met my mother for the first time, my mother looked her up and down and said: "Well, you're prettier than his old girlfriend. She looked like a horse."

My earlier girlfriend did not resemble a horse. But that rarely stopped my mother from saying: "Hey, you look sad today. Why the long face?"

No one was more delighted than my mother when we inevitably broke up. She even offered a subtle suggestion that future partners had to get their footwear from a shoe shop rather than a blacksmith.

So bluntness and an insistence on telling it how it is remains an integral part of the family household.

But even I was taken aback by an incident last Sunday at Sengkang's Compass Point mall.

After queueing, my daughter eagerly took her shoes off to jump around on the bouncy castle temporarily installed inside the atrium.

But first, the young lad in charge of the bouncy castle gathered the kids round and said: "If you jump and must vomit, get off."

I laughed so loudly I scared the children.

There was no small talk, no chit-chat, just a single sentence and he was straight into the vomit.

My daughter looked up at me, clearly concerned.

"Daddy," she muttered, her lip already wobbling.

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