In The Know

Brace yourselves, my adoring public, for I have returned! And, once again, I’m getting the recognition that I so rightfully deserve. Be it my irresistible charm or the fact that I am simply knowledgeable in ways that few other mortal minds could even begin to comprehend, the people at I-S have finally realized that what the world really needs now is more of moi … Mr. Know-It-All!
But, to quote American satirist Stephen Colbert, “enough about me … if there can be enough about me.” It’s time to focus on you. I’ve received the emails and the letters (and on that one particularly disturbing day, the box with the dead squirrel) and I am here today to quench your queries.
So, without further delay, let’s hear those magic words that are like music to my ears …
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
I’ve just finished the great Singapore novel! Or, at least, I hope it will be. But before I head out there and try my hand at becoming our tiny island’s answer to Ernest Hemingway, I’d just like to assure that my works stay my works. In an age that’s so paranoid about copyright infringements, is there anyone I can talk to about defending my intellectual property? – Word Smith

Dear Word Smith,
The great Singapore novel, huh? Well, buddy, I hate to break this to you, but a lot of people still regard local ghost story collections as the greatest literary works to come from our shores, so the definition of the great Singapore novel’s a bit shaky. Anyway, you should pay a visit to Samuel Seow Law Corporation (#12-04 Liat Towers, 541 Orchard Road, 6887-3393). These fellows deal with copyright and other such legalities, so your masterpiece is safe in their hands.
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
On top of my busy schedule at work, my kids at home, my husband constantly asking for more “quality time,” the groceries and other errands that I need to run on a daily basis, I feel like I’m being split into several different parts every day! Isn’t there someone who can take care of my day-to-day nonsense? And no, that doesn’t include my husband’s “special” needs. – Never Seem to Find the Time

Dear Never Seem to Find the Time,
I’ve got the perfect solution for you–if your husband still has the energy to ask for some “quality time,” he’s obviously not as swamped as you, so tell him to take care of the groceries and the kids! But if you can’t even trust him to handle something as simple as buying the day-to-day stuff, then I’d suggest you hire yourself a personal concierge. One of the best in town is Sonia Services. Contact [email protected] or 9003-9214. For your simple errands—such as dry-cleaning, gift-shopping, waiting for delivery guys, pet and house sitting (including the specific bits like emptying your mailbox and watering your plants) and even arranging your holidays—you’ll only need to pay $20 for the first hour, and $15 for every subsequent hour.
, In The KnowDear Mr. Know-It-All,
I’ve got this incredibly hot date next week with this totally unattainable woman. The only way I managed to snag a date with her is when I told her that I was filthy rich. I’ve got her to say “yes” and I’ve managed to get reservations at a seriously chi-chi restaurant, but now I need a way to pick her up in style. A taxi isn’t going to cut it and there’s no way she’s going to ever lay eyes on my wheels, so please give me some clue as to what to do! – Faux Bling

Dear Faux Bling,
Hey, genius—it’s great that you have the restaurant and everything, but have you thought about what happens if she wants to go to your place for “some coffee,” what then? But I’ll let you deal with this one ruse at a time. If you want to really show her you’re the man, nothing’s going to say that more than showing up in a limo with your own driver to top it off. I suggest you give a ring to Limo-Star (#02-46 Meridien Shopping Centre, 100 Orchard Rd., 6733-2808) for all your pimped-out transportation needs—like a limousine for you and your date, as well as a chauffeur at your complete disposal. I hope you’re prepared to fork out some cold cash though, especially if you’re planning to impress. One of the best models that Limo-Star is offering is the Mercedes S Class, which will cost you a cool $70 per hour.
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
Salutations, sir. I’ve had my gorgeous house for a couple of years now and the marble flooring in one of the rooms just doesn’t seem as vibrant as when I first moved in. I don’t suppose you can help with something like this, can you? – Marvelous Marbles

Dear Marvelous Marbles,
Chances are that your marble either hasn’t had the proper care and attention or the last time it was treated, it wasn’t properly done. Give Tubmaster Refinishing (#03-39, 20 Woodlands Link, 6756-5788) a call and they’ll help you out. Pricing’s going to vary depending on the condition of your marble and how much work will need to be done, so a handy tip would be to have a specific and clear idea of what you’ll want them to do.
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
My husband’s a little shy about a certain problem he has concerning his performance in bed. He doesn’t know I’m writing to you about this, and hopefully he never finds out, but he’s not exactly the most virile person when it comes to sex. Is there anyone I can talk to about his condition? – Sexless in Singapore

Dear Sexless in Singapore,
I’d like to get things perfectly clear here, ladies. Even if you are being anonymous about it, men are very uncomfortable about you talking about their faulty “bits and pieces” in public! That’s pretty much the non-physical equivalent of kicking us in the nuts! But one of my major weaknesses is that I can’t resist helping out a sexually frustrated woman, so do talk to the sex therapists at Adam Road Hospital (19 Adam Rd., 6466-7777) over at their Family, Marriage and Sex Therapy Clinic. They’ll do what they can to help you get down to the root of the problem and advise on possible solutions. And if that doesn’t help … well, you’ve got my contact.
, In The KnowDear Mr. Know-It-All,
The house is an awful mess and, embarrassing as this is to admit, me and the missus aren’t very keen on tidying up. Our little one is learning how to walk and, along with his new-found mobility, makes a huge mess wherever he goes. Is there anyone out there who can do for us what Housekeeping does for hotel rooms? – Lazy & Messy

Dear Lazy & Messy,
For the slothful set out there, there are housekeeping services that you can turn to. Homemaker (#01-05/06 E-Centre@Redhill, 3791 Jalan Bukit Merah, 6241-0028) is one such company. A team of housekeepers will come over and spruce up your pad from top to bottom. These guys are thorough; they’ll vacuum, sweep, mob, wash your bathroom and toilet, dust your furniture, change the bedding and even iron your clothes, just to name a few. There are two basic packages that you can go for—the Rest & Relax package, where they come in once a week, will set you back $288 a month; or opt for the Home Sweet Home deal, where they come in twice a week for $576 a month.
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
I’ve been having the absolute worst luck in the last three months … and it all started when I moved into my new house! I’d rather not go into detail, but after a whole string of crappy incidents, I’m convinced it’s more than just an unlucky streak. I need a way to ward off all this bad juju and fast, before it finally gets to me and I end up six feet under! – Broken Mirrors Under a Ladder

Dear Broken Mirrors Under a Ladder,
A possible reason for your “bad juju,” as you so eloquently put it, might be bad feng shui. You should speak to the guys at Fulu Geomancy Centre (349 Geylang Rd., 6841-7555) to get your yin sorted from your yang. It’s best to visit these guys directly at their office. To speed the process up, be sure to bring along your floor plan, as they’ll need to know as much about your house as possible before they can determine what needs to be done, how long it’ll take and how much it’ll cost. Prices can vary greatly, depending on what your house needs. They’ve consulted for as little as a couple of hundred dollars to as much to a couple of thousand.
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
Well, this is rather embarrassing. My toilet’s pipes tend to get stuck on really … “extended” visits to the john. Seeing as how this has happened a couple of times during rather inconvenient hours, could you recommend a plumber that’ll be up during the ungodly hours? – Stuck Down

Dear Stuck Down,
For your late night plumbing problems, you need to pick up the phone and call Crown Enviro Care Services (#13-261 Blk. 849, Jurong West St. 81, 6792-5452). These guys are a 24-hour plumbing service, so you can bother them with your nasty little problems in the middle of the night. And no, there’s no extra charges for Sunday and public holidays. The average bill for a common choke in your pipes would set you back around $60, but if it turns out to be something more complicated, the prices to go up to around $200.
, In The KnowDear Mr. Know-It-All,
I’ll be moving to Liverpool next year and I want to take my darling poodle Muffy with me. But Muffy’s a very delicate little girl and I want to make sure that when she’s taken abroad, she receives only the finest in terms of safety. Is there any service you can recommend that definitely knows what they’re doing when it comes to exporting delicate little things like my adorable baby girl? Thank you. – Muffy’s Mommy

Dear Muffy’s Mommy,
Why do I get the feeling you’re one of those people that dresses their pets up in cutesy Prada outfits? If you are, first off, let me just say: Stop it! Now on to Muffy’s traveling woes—you should give Pet Movers (No.4 Pasir Ris Farmway II, 6581-3688) a call. They’re specialists at importing and exporting people’s precious poochies and other such pets, so you can rest easy about Muffy’s trip. Be sure to fill in the control export form on the website,, and fax it to 6581-3735, so that they can get back to you ASAP. The guys at Petmovers will handle the essentials of exporting your pet, such as pre-export examinations and permits in Singapore, airline freight reservations and making sure that whatever documents are necessary for Muffy’s new home are in order. A couple of things you’ll need ready to assure a smooth transition would be Muffy’s health certificate, dog license, vaccination card and export permit.
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
My parents are celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary in July and I was hoping you could help me with their gift. They’ve got a couple of old wedding photos that have faded with time and I was hoping to restore them to their former glory. Do you know anywhere I could get this done? – Pictures of You

Dear Pictures of You,
The place you’re looking for is Portrait Workshop (#02-20 China Square Food Centre, 51 Telok Ayer St., 6536-6368). They’ll touch up those old photos and make them look as good as new, although I don’t think there’s anything they can do for the ’70s haircuts your folks were probably sporting. Prices vary, as they’re based on a project basis.
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
My humble little business is finally going to get a chance to expand to Japan! Unfortunately, I don’t speak a word of Japanese … and the clients don’t speak a word of English! I’ll need a interpreter and fast! Could you help me out? – Turning Japanese

Dear Turning Japanese,
My understanding of Japanese is limited to ordering sushi and the chorus of Styx’s Mr. Roboto, so you have my sympathies when it comes to language barriers. If you want to speak to your clients about more than wasabi, you should talk to the guys at ACTC Translation Centre (#06-08, 57 Meyer Road, 6479-0098).
, In The KnowDear Mr. Know-It-All,
My wife is having an affair with my brother. I know what you’re thinking­—that I’m being paranoid. But they are just way too chummy for in-laws! What more, we’re not even intimate anymore. I just need some solid proof that I can confront them with. – Three’s A Crowd

Dear Three’s A Crowd,
Well, if nothing else, you’re definitely right about one thing—I do think you’re seriously paranoid. Time to lay off all of that Days of Our Lives, amigo. But if you still think that there might be something fishy going on, you could employ the services of Worldwide Investigation & Protection (#13-02, Peninsula Plaza, 111 North Bridge Rd., 6346-4646). They’ll help you get to the bottom of things!
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
My wife will be delivering our second bundle of joy in three months. Unfortunately, she will still be doing some work from home after the baby comes, which is why we’re looking for someone who can handle the needs of a newborn, and not just any old maid. Any advice? – Daddy-To-Be

Dear Daddy-To-Be,
First off: Congratulations! You guys should hire a confinement nanny, a professional who’s been trained specifically to look after your wife and newborn during the confinement period. One of the best places to turn to would be PEM Confinement Nanny Agency (#02-16 Keypoint, 371 Beach Rd., 6293-9249). Their nannies will provide 24-hour care for your kid, cook special confinement meals, prepare confinement baths for your wife, sweep and mop the floor and even do the shopping. And if you’re worried about paying lots for a confinement nanny, keep in mind that PEM doesn’t charge agency fees. In fact, the price is based solely on a recommendation fee from the nanny herself. A hint would be to book as early as possible, so that you can score a more experienced nanny.
Dear Mr. Know-It-All,
Please don’t laugh, but I got a tattoo of my girlfriend’s face done on my arm … and she dumped me last week for another woman! Aagh! Can you tell me where to go to get it removed? I’d rather have a scar than that switching witch’s face on my body. – All Man

Dear All Man,
I’d just like to state proudly that, despite your prefaced plea, I’ve just spent the last 10 minutes laughing my ass off. You got your girlfriend’s face tattooed on your arm? How old are you? Anyway, I’ll direct you to the National Skin Centre (1 Mandalay Rd., 6253-4455) to save you from the embarrassment of explaining the situation to your next girlfriend. They’ll scrub you up nice and smooth as a baby’s butt. Let that be a lesson to you.
, In The KnowDear Mr. Know-It-All,
I am a seriously hardcore smoker. I’m talking like three packs a day. I want to quit and even have the best motivation to—it saps up my finances like nothing else. But try as I might, I just can’t kick the cigs. Tell me there’s a solution to this! – Chim Chimney

Dear Chim Chimney,
Lack of funds: The real dangerous side-effect of smoking! I understand your frustration, my friend. Quitting can be a real pain in the ass, especially the first two weeks. So, I suggest your take the easy way out and resort to hypnotherapy. Head on down to the Osteopathic Treatment Centre (#06-15/17 Tanglin Shopping Centre, 19 Tanglin Rd., 6734-6440) and speak to Anita Kashyap. Don’t worry if you have no idea what the process is about; the actual session won’t begin till all your questions about the procedure have been answered. And you’ll only need to stop by for between two to six sessions before you’re smoke-free.