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If germs don't kill you, our new health plan surely will (The Funny Side)

By Nury Vittachi : Bosses all over Asia are drastically revising their company health plans, their aim being to cut costs and kill off weaker members of staff.


Trim medical benefits enough and half the staff will resign or die of bad diagnoses. "Runny nose? Take two bottles of paracetamol and a pufferfish. Next."

Some bosses opt for "fire and theft" coverage, policies which only pay out if a sick staff member gets robbed while on fire. (At some newspapers for which I've worked, this combo of events probably happened to staff quite a lot.)

One boss asked your humble narrator to edit his staff announcement about the new medical scheme. After studying the situation, I offered to write it for him.

NOTICE TO ALL EMPLOYEES. Some of you have noted that we have switched to a new company health plan. Rumours are circulating that this is a trick designed to cause staff to resign so that we can get rid of you without paying severance fees. This is a complete lie with no truth in it whatsoghfghfghfghf. Sorry. Had to cross my fingers while typing that sentence.

1) The cupboard storing stationery supplies such as Stanley knives, staplers and Sellotape will now be found in the staff medical clinic marked Surgical Appliances.

2) Yes, the clinic's tongue depressors now have orange stains and taste of ice popsicles. This should not be seen as a problem. Everyone loves popsicles.

3) Blocked vein operations and proctology explorations have been outsourced to a 24-hour operation called the E-Z Drain Clearing Co.

4) Staff who need internal examinations will note that a pair of X-Ray Specs from Toys R Us can be found in the top drawer of the clinic desk.

5) If you need pills of any sort, we have free tablets from a company called Placebo Manufacturing Co Ltd. Each comes with a label you can fill in yourself, and a Hallmark card saying: "Believe".

6) Ladies, your annual breast examination will now be free. Once a year we simply phone your husband and ask him if "stuff in the relevant region feels okay in his opinion".

7) Pregnancy coverage is now written into the scheme. However, it applies only to male staff members.

8) Dental operations will now be carried out by the engineering department, since these guys' tools and power drills lie idle most of the year.

9) Some staff members have pointed out that the doctors at the in-house clinic look similar to staff at the research and development division we closed last year. Hey, a guy in a white coat is a guy in a white coat, right?

10) As in the best schemes, staff may choose outside doctors. You can select from a list of two excellent "physicians", conveniently located in nearby slums, both with realistic-looking practice certificates.

Use the in-house clinic at your own risk. We accept no liability even for things which are entirely our fault. Batteries not included. One death per customer. Enjoy.

*-*

A woman gave birth while roaring through town on a motorbike. And bikes being noisy, bumpy things, she didn't notice, media reports said. The baby promptly flew off the bike and landed in the road. New mama zoomed off over the horizon in a cloud of dust.

The baby's luck turned. A female passenger in the bus behind spotted it and stopped the vehicle. Ancharee Mookta picked up the baby and gave it to another motorcyclist, who rushed it to hospital, the Pattaya Daily News said.

Later, police managed to trace the mother. I would have loved to have overheard the conversation when cops finally found her in Bangkok, Thailand. "Excuse me, madam. I think you dropped this."

Anyway, this kid is going to have the greatest first line ever for his biography. "I left home at an early age, when I was 0.3 of a second old."

*-*

Student scientists have created a cow dung air-freshener. The secret of concentrating the smell is to collect the cow poop fresh and then ferment it for several days, Rintya Miki Aprianti and Dwi Nailul Izzah told judges at the Indonesian Science Project Olympiad last week. They want to patent their invention, pointing out that no one else has ever made a cow dung air-freshener. Well, that's a surprise.

No doubt the students picture the average Indonesian housewife looking over her faultless dining room as her guests approach, thinking: "What would be a perfect final touch? If only cow dung was available in a handy spray-top container!" Now it is.

Next: Feet-flavoured shoe deodorizer.

*-*

Laptop users were horrified to find their government-sponsored computers were pre-set to open with images of ugly politicians. Any attempt to alter this caused the computers to shut down, the Times of India reported. Politicians Akhilesh Yadav and his father Mulayam thought this would help make them popular, but it made users annoyed. Don't these guys know ANYTHING about nerds? To make them happy you need a screensaver of the luscious Kasumi from Dead or Alive.

*-*

News reports say cinemas in China sold not one ticket for the bio-pic of Lei Feng, the idolized perfect communist. Baffling. Who wouldn't want to go see a bio-pic of a guy invented by the world's least imaginative individuals and filmed by the world's worst filmmakers? Go figure.

*-*

When Kim Jong Un waved to soldiers from the deck of a boat recently, disaster almost followed: the men ran into the water after their adored leader, a news video shows. This could form the basis of a daring, weapons-free attack. You just stick a Kim lookalike on a boat and have him sail up and down the coast till everybody's dead.

*-*

The top word searched for by internet pornography consumers in Japan is "Japanese" while the top word searched for in China is ALSO "Japanese", a survey revealed last week. At last we have a way to create peace between the two nations. Make sexy "AV star" Maria Ozawa the next Japanese Prime Minister.

*-*

Finally North Korea has a fan club! When a group of Taiwanese football fans travelled to South Korea recently for a match, they tried to think of something really nasty to do to upset the South Korean fans. So they spent the match waving picture-placards proclaiming the greatness of Kim Jong Un. Why are football people so horrible? I think it's all the headers: compresses the brain.

*-*

A romantic couple found a quiet open-air spot for a cuddle but a lurking man ran off with both pairs of trousers, I read in my copy of Tuoi Tre, a Vietnamese newspaper. The victims not only lost their pants but the Vietnamese dong in them, the report says. (Note my impressive refusal to make dong-in-trousers jokes.) The woman lost 50,000 dong, which is only USUSD 2.40. It may not be the crime of the century, but the story is vitally important because it validates the work of bad screenplay writers everywhere.

(Send ideas and comments via www.mrjam.org)

--IANS (Posted on 29-03-2013)

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