Contributing editor Low Ka Wei offers suggestions for making it through life’s most pressing problems.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Contributing editor Low Ka Wei offers suggestions for making it through life’s most pressing problems.

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Just when you thought you had mastered the LOLs and TL;DRs of Internet lingo, today’s upstarts have conjured up yet another confounding vocabulary: millennial-speak. When encountering such alien vernacular, it may be tempting to return the favour by replying in your native Hockchew. But don’t do it; Gen Yers are not going away, and you need them on your side. You just need to decipher the neologisms (the Internet is a great resource here). You don’t have to use them. In fact, if you are past 40, you absolutely should not – it just makes you look like you are trying too hard. 


There are times when you are trapped with someone so boring you wish you were in a budget meeting instead. Like that taxi driver with the tinfoil hat, or the granny in seat 2F who insists on showing you videos of her grandchildren on her iPhone. All 51GB of them. If alcohol is within close reach, like in the latter scenario, order yourself a Scotch. Make it a double. Actually, being the gentleman that you are, you should offer to fetch one from the galley for nana; makes it easier to accidentally slip in the Xanax. 


Even the best cars need downtime. And because you have heeded the Government’s call to go “car-lite”, you have pared down your collection to just the Bentley. So, when your wheels go in for servicing, how do you get around? Cabs are out (see above). Take the MRT and you risk being late or not getting there at all. I’m going to quite literally go out on a limb here and suggest that you walk. After all, you bought the Nassim Road bungalow because it is near town. Plus, a little cardio is good for your health. 

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First things first, don’t beat yourself up over it. Our brains are wired to remember faces, not arbitrary names. Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada always brings a minion along to whisper names into her ear, but short of that, a good PA will always call ahead and run you through the guest list before you head out. Else, there are oodles of apps that help train your memory to avoid being snookered at the next party. And you heard it here first: marrying wearables and face recognition technology is a huge business opportunity. 


The CEO’s worst nightmare: an overseas client calls for a face- to-face meeting tomorrow, but business class is sold out. If an angry-then-pleading phone call to the reservations desk yields no results, you just have to suck it up, turn right at the door and slum it with the hoi polloi. To lessen the pain, take advantage of your elite status. At the check- in desk, ask for an extra legroom seat and for the one next to you to be blocked. Camp out in the lounge for as long as you can, and then when you finally board, plug in those noise cancellation headphones. Don’t forget to pack some takeaway food too. 


No thanks to natural disasters like global warming, Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un, the Doomsday Clock reads two minutes to midnight, the closest it has been to indicating the implosion of Mother Earth in three decades. Before the hour hand hit 12, protect yourself in a bunker. Shared facilities such as those in a decommissioned South Dakota army base can be had for as low as US$25,000 (S$33,800), but to be in tip-top shape to repopulate the world after the nuclear winter ends, pick the 14,000 sq ft, 13m underground luxury home in Georgia, complete with metre- thick walls, an armoury and decontamination showers. Yours for just US$17 million. 

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