The Answer To Life’s Problems Isn’t Vindaloo

It wasn’t a plane and, no, it wasn’t a man with funny underwear over his tights.

But it was a funny-looking bird that looked orange and sick as it lay by the highway in Buckinghamshire in England early last week.

According to CNN, it baffled staff at a UK animal rescue centre until they realised it was just a seagull covered in curry.

“It’s a seagull covered in curry,” declared the chief vet after a judicious sniff at said gull. “How perfectly foul.”

The prudish staff at the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital were shocked: they knew that fowl was a four-letter bird.

Actually, the bird – named Vinny after vindaloo – was an insecure gull which longed to be an eagle. As gulls went, it was big and was easily big enough to be a D-Gull but not quite big enough to be an eagle.

That depressed the less-than-big bird as it contemplated the bleak and existential question that has tormented glum gulls for millennia: how could it soar like an eagle when it was surrounded by turkeys?

As it flew disconsolately over the cerulean-blue waters of the Buckinghamshire Bay, its answer came in a flash.

The answer was vindaloo.

The near-magical powers of vindaloo have been voluminously documented and chiefly revolves around its prodigious propensity to cure constipation.

History buffs will be interested to know that it was invented around the 13th Century by one Aravinda Pillai who was born in the village of Trissur in Kerala, India.

Even as a child, Aravinda was fascinated by flavours and all things spicy. At a precocious nine, he managed, one morning, to cook pancakes for breakfast. Aravinda was thrilled but his siblings were deeply upset.

Pancakes had been their favourite rabbit.

As he grew older, however, his fame as a cook rose until he was appointed as chef in the palace in Kerala’s royal capital of Trivandrum. And, one fateful day, the King himself confessed to being bored with the pedestrian fare being served up and beseeched Aravinda to come up with something original.

He was still thinking about it when his eye fell casually on some apple cider vinegar – used for washing hair – in his bathroom.

It takes true genius to recognise serendipity when it looks you in the eye but Aravinda was equal to the task.

He instinctively knew that if he simmered lamb stock and vinegar, sugar, salt and seasonal spices with choice cuts of lamb for just long enough, he would end up with a succulent, falling-off-the-bone lamb dish fit for a King.

The monarch agreed and named the dish after his Chef in a Bathroom. In short, His Majesty decreed that it should forever be called Vindaloo.

Vinny, the sad seagull, knew all about the restorative powers of the delectable dish created by Aravinda all those years ago. It also knew that when cooked perfectly, vindaloo is golden.

Which is why it seagull-dived into an industrial-sized vat of vindaloo outside the biggest curry-house in Buckinghamshire.

The bird was lucky in that the dish had been cooling for some time so it escaped being cooked.

Animal lovers will be delighted to know that Vinny has made a complete recovery.

But his vets have advised that trying to be a golden eagle may be prejudicial to its health.

Did You Know There Are Awards That Recognise Stupidity?

No kidding. They’re called Darwin Awards in honour of Charles Darwin who contributed the theory of natural selection – survival of the fittest so to speak – towards the knowledge pool of humanity. 

But the awards are for people who get killed through their own stupidity. In the process, they do humanity a favour by removing themselves from the gene pool so to speak. 

Perhaps the Arizona woman who tried to pose for a selfie with a jaguar might qualify for a Darwinian honourable mention. 

What do you think happened?

Of course, the woman who stepped over a barrier to take a selfie at a zoo in Arizona in the United States was attacked by the jaguar.

That’s what happens when you fish in the sea of life without bait. Or try and run up a down escalator. 

When she crossed the barrier and approached the enclosure to photograph herself with the jaguar, it swiped out through the fencing, leaving deep gashes on her arms.

Wildlife World Zoo director Mickey Ollson said there was “no way to fix people crossing barriers”.

“They’re there for a good reason,” he said carefully avoiding the impulse to add: “Duh!”

Although the protagonist was a woman, 70 per cent of all Darwin winners are male and, again not surprisingly, most winners have come from the United States. Think Trump and no one should be surprised. 

Here’s another rocket scientist from Arizona again. According to police reports, a man accidentally shot his own, well, sausage while shopping in the meat aisle at Wal-Mart. 

Arizona law does not require a permit (nor a holster for that matter) to carry a firearm, so our hero felt free to carry his piece “commando-style” (unholstered) beneath his waistband. 

When the unholstered gun drifted down into his jeans, he reached in and accidentally pulled the trigger while repositioning his weapon. This loose cannon’s low hanging fruit didn’t have a chance. Neither did said loose cannon. 

Firearm supporters can add this event to the arsenal of ammunition against gun control. 

Not every winner is from the US, however. India has its fair share of people a few poppadoms short of a curry too.

Driving home from a wedding, Prabhu Bhatara idled the car on the roadside to relieve himself in the woods. From a squatting position he spied an injured bear— no less. And what does he do or think? 

The rocket scientist thinks selfie. 

Meanwhile, instead of intervening, the passengers in his car pulled out their mobiles and filmed the carnage.

As he neared the bear, the passengers advised him against his plan. Rocket scientist that he was however, the former wedding guest was determined to fulfil his full selfie potential. 

Once he was within reaching distance, the bear turned out to be not as injured as it seemed  – maybe it was just a bad hair day – and lunged forward, pinning Mr. Bhatara to the ground, “killing him on the spot,” according to Forest ranger Dhanurjaya Mohapatra.

Then, perhaps disgusted at this epic display of homo sapien apathy, a stray dog joined the fray in an attempt to save the man, and tried to fight off the bear! The bear, however, seemed to believe that the world had one too many selfie-seeking humans and finished off poor Mr. Bhatara.

According to media reports, once the body was retrieved, forest officials treated the bear for its injuries. The dog, although probably still disgusted, was unharmed.

Despair not my fellow Malaysians. Although we may appear to have an over-achiever’s share of rocket scientists, morons and dim-witted people, there is always one bright shining thought that we should keep in mind.

It could be far, far worse.

Forget The Womb; Just Stop At Tomb

Things are going crazy out there. 

The latest: a 27-year-old Indian man plans to sue his parents for giving birth to him “without his consent”.

What’s next? A woman taking a baseball bat to a fast food outlet for lack of beef? 

I tell you, the world may be really going to hell in a hand basket. 

– Back to the legal eagle. No one has seriously challenged Jho Low a.k.a Felonious Fatso for resident poster-child for birth control but Mumbai businessman Raphael Samuel is putting up a stiff fight. 

He told the British Broadcasting Corporation that it was wrong to bring children into the world because they then have to put up with lifelong suffering.

The bitter businessman thought he could prove it too. He first pointed out that the leading cause of death was birth. Having laid down that shyster-slick legal foundation, he invoked echoes of Thomas Hobbes – “life is nasty, brutish and short” – to claim that everyone was born “naked, wet and hungry.” 

“Then it simply gets worse,” the morose merchant concluded mournfully. “Don’t you see?”

It is well known that ignorance of the law excuses no one. In India, it also excuses no one from practicing it.

Mr Samuel, of course, understands that our consent cannot be sought before we are born, but insists that “it was not our decision to be born”.

So, as we didn’t ask to be born, we should be paid for the rest of our lives to live, he argues.

Apparently, Mr Samuel’s mission has its roots in a philosophy called anti-natalism – a school of thought that argues that life is so full of misery that people should stop procreating at once.

In fact, Mr Samuel was ceaselessly haunted by the awful and hellish knowledge that somehow, somewhere, a baby was being born every twenty seconds or so on Planet Earth.  

It was something he brooded over constantly, sometimes in the dead of night, and he thought the incessant production should cease immediately or – and here, he choked back a bitter sob – “it would all end up in tears.” 

Woody Allen knew it would all end up in tears but he thought about these things more in a sort of rueful abstract. “Life is full of misery, suffering and loneliness,” the wannabe saxophonist once said. “And it’s over much too soon.” 

Raphael did not know Woody and secretly suspected he would not like the fellow one bit either. “What kind of name is Woody anyway?” demanded the embittered entrepreneur indignantly. “I mean, that’s the whole problem right there…too many Woodies!” 

Maybe there was always something slightly off-kilter about the mournful Mumbaikar. Here was a man trapped in a woman’s body – for nine months and only then was Raphael born. It seemed he had never got over that initial introduction to the world. 

That was then. The once-irate industrialist is now a freshly minted debonair-dandy-about-town. Meet Raphael Samuel, whose face peers out of advertising hoardings and whose address women write to daily proposing marriage.

What is the moral of this tale, you may ask? 

It is simply this: Some men are born famous, other men achieve fame but Raphael talked to the BBC and got fame thrust on him. 

Then he hired a really good publicist.