What’s the story Rory?


  • Petrol panic — The recent hike in petrol prices was a slap in the face for everyone – apart from you clean, green cycling folk, who have been seen pedaling off to the office, whistling a sprightly little tune along the way (you think you’re so clever don’t you?) – and just as people were beginning to grin and bear the new price a rumour spread around Ho Chi Minh City last week that the government was going to further raise petrol prices from VND19,000 to VND25,000 per litre. CUE.ABSOLUTE.PANDEMONIUM. Apparently everyone and everyone’s mother — slight exaggeration — grabbed every single empty plastic container in their house — also an exaggeration — and ran to the nearest petrol station to buy as much as they could carry back. But it was all a load of cobblers and the authorities were none too pleased about it. There have been calls from the top to launch an investigation to find out what organisation or which individual started this wildfire. Apparently it all began in Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Tan district at 4pm (wonderfully specific on the time) and panic quickly spread across the city causing chaos on the streets for three hours. Anyone found guilty of starting such rumours in future could face criminal charges — that’s how annoyed the comb-overs are. Imagine being jailed for jokingly saying the price of petrol is going up…
  • Vietnamese for toddlers — Don’t let babies fool you with their impenetrable brand of goo-goo- gah-gah-gobbledygook –- they are razor sharp little creatures who could learn Vietnamese a lot faster than the likes of us sieve-headed adults. An American infant-development expert is here to prove this point. He claims that kids can be taught to read when they are as young as six months. He has also chosen Vietnamese as the first foreign language translation of his method of teaching babies to read. His DVD Baby Can Read aims to “awaken a baby’s potential intelligence”. Good news for parents indeed. The quicker these kids can read, speak and write the quicker it is they will get out of the house and into that big bad world and start climbing corporate ladders and earning squillions and squillions of dong so you and your loved one can retire by the beach and get a bit of reading done.
  • Exorcists on the run — When a 32-year old woman from Long An province in Southern Vietnam complained of insomnia and was behaving erratically going about her daily business, her mother decided to call the only man you can trust for such matters: the local quack. He duly arrived along with seven other trainee quacks and began examining the young woman. His diagnosis was that evil spirits had possessed her and he would have to perform an exorcism. This, it transpired, consisted of tying up the woman and beating her along with his seven mates. A number of the woman’s family members were also bashed around by the quacks who claimed that they were all possessed. By the way this is not a funny story. Eventually the woman collapsed and died. The so-called exorcists fled the scene and I guess they won’t be hurrying back. I don’t have a link to this story so it could be all a load of horse shit made up by the Alliance of Anti-Quacks but someone told us so we can’t be accused of starting rumours here at The Comical Hat. We do like to spread them though.


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