Solution to congestion hell

SINGAPORE - I couldn't believe it.

Gordon Ramsay, the screaming, hot-headed celebrity chef from Hell's Kitchen who's very high up in Hell's Food Chain, came to Singapore.

He went to our famous hawker centre at Newton Circus and this is truly amazing, he didn't yell: "Bloody hell! You charged me $50 for this lousy plate of cockles?"

I mean, call me stupid but don't they do that to angmohs there to fleece them since the first Mr Newton went there for grilled stingray, whoever the heck he was?

What's even more spectacular was that while Rambunctious Ramsay was reportedly being sued by some of his former employees in America for alleged mistreatment - I think that was about overtime pay, not that he cursed vivid Hokkien swear words about somebody's mother - the chap was mobbed like a rock star here.

Which only goes to prove conclusively once again that Westerners truly are much loved here.

Seriously, I really mean everything Western.

You know, the way The Lone Ranger, the maligned blockbuster western now on our screens, is expected to make back its money in Asia after becoming The Broke Ranger in America.

Ramsay, the Scotsman who can cook a pig's heart to as tastefully patriotic a level as Braveheart, was taking part in a "Hawker Heroes" cook-off here - meaning a cooking contest without the plus-plus charges and a measly wet towel - against some of Singapore's finest culinary-gongfu exponents.

Challenging him, 30 Chambers Of Shaolin-style, were a chilli crab sifu, a Katong laksa master and a Hainanese chicken rice expert. I don't know about you, but that line-up of dishes actually looks like my breakfast in the morning.

The cook-off was like Wong Fei Hung versus the local triads, except that Wong was a Scot with a wok.

Oh, don't worry, nobody died because it's all good-natured fun as Ramsay, armed with nine Michelin stars, whipped up friendly cuisine fire with our chefs, equipped with their unofficial three- price-increases-on-the-way stars.

Unfortunately, I wasn't there at the big event because I was eating very unmemorable mee pok tah downstairs at the kopitiam. But I heard that the 5,000-spectators frenzy overtook even the Hello Kitty crazy level at McDonalds, except that no angry person shouted indignantly: "That uncivilised man is jumping the queue. Is he from Singapore?"

By the way, I wiki-ed Gordon, the high-earning Highlander. His Wikipedia page says he has a net worth of £32 million (S$61 million).

Man, let me just say this to the Newton hawkers - hey guys, looking back in hindsight after all the paper plates have been dumped into the dustbin, you really should've ketuk-ed (Malay for "fleeced") this fella. He's loaded.

Anyway, Newton Food Centre apparently became a jolly smoke-filled place.

As opposed to Nee Soon South in Yishun which will impose very severe no-smoking rules soon to become the first "100 per cent smoke-free" constituency in Singapore. I'm curious. I hate cigarettes with a vengeance too because I always believe that if you wish to smoke, it's better if you become a chimney.

But I do have one silly question - how does one create a "100 per cent smoke-free" zone when there's a foggy haze hovering right over our heads?

Hey, don't mind me. I'm no Stephen Hawking when it comes to scientific scare-in-the-air matters.

But what made me go actually brainy was how we can be inspired by this very brilliant and fun Highland-vs-Heartland cook-off idea to bring in more celebs to front more of our pet causes.

Oh, you know the mileage which famous people bring.

If Vin Diesel was to sell cars here, number plates and bald pates will be taking off faster than Fast And Furious.

Now, I think an opportunity was lost by limiting Ramsay only to a cooking contest. Imagine how fast our train congestion would clear if he were to be the guy at the station yelling at us to move faster.

"I've got people waiting for the next train, for sod's sake! You're making me redder than a radish! Move your bloody a** now!'

I challenge you not to be terrified by this fearsome order when you're stuck in the hell's kitchen of a jam-packed train station. You'd push your own mother to get the hell out of the way, I tell you.

Okay, so we missed an opportunity with Ramsay.

But there are plenty of other celebs who can urge us on in our time of need.

For our wild hog infestation problem, those alligator hunters with guns from Swamp People would turn the culling into a kicking reality TV series. For our N95 mask hunt, who would doubt Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race, when he says so assuringly: "The last searcher to arrive may be eliminated"?

And for that same MRT situation, look no further than getting Mr Donald Trump to come to our shores to tell us what to do. He's actually better than Mr Ramsay because he's heftier, weightier, billionaire-rich and in his show, The Apprentice, he utters with authoritative aplomb the scariest words every Singaporean with loans to pay dreads to hear.

No, not "sorry, you can't take out your CPF" but "you're fired!".

Man, when you hear those words from The Donald, I bet you'd move your butt so fast you'd smash that queue at McDonalds.

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