Reinventing the Wheel

In an astonishing, unexpected and entirely imaginary turnaround this week, the founding father of a made-up Southeast Asian nation appeared on primetime television dressed as Lance Armstrong. In candid terms he spoke to Oprah Winfrey about his checkered past.

Let’s get straight to it. Did you ever take banned substances to enhance your… performance?

Yes. I chewed gum for years. I’m ashamed to say I had a hook-up with a Wrigleys supplier. Everything else I took was legal, if distasteful to the rest of the world.

How were you able to do it? Walk me through it… how did it work?

My cocktail was sharks’ fin, but not a lot, Tiger Balm and Brand’s chicken essence. Which, in a weird way, I almost justified because of our history, obviously, with chicken rice.

Well, you look great! So slim! I should have talked to you when I was trying to lose weight.

Thank you. I also endorse 100 Plus as the ideal meal replacement.

Is it humanly possible to build a nation without such substances?

Not in my opinion. A god could have a fair try at it, though.

If someone was not doing something to your satisfaction could you get them fired?

There was never a direct order. We were all grown men. Although we did like to dress in school uniforms!

Were you a bully?

I was a bully in the sense that I tried to control the narrative and if I didn’t like what someone said I—wait, who do you think you are asking me a question like this?

Is that your nature–when someone says something you don’t like, you go on the attack?

My entire life. I took that ruthless win-at-all-costs attitude into nation-building, which was bad. But it also means I still totally dominate my family at mahjong!

I’m sure my Book Club fans will be interested to hear you have a new book out?

I do. It’s called “It’s Not about the Strike” [laughs]. It’s a history of transport workers and my struggles to overcome them.

It’s an epic story. What’s the moral to the story?

I don’t have a great answer there. Can I jump on the couch instead? I liked it when that Tom Cruise fella did that.

Thank you for being with us tonight. Now we have a surprise for our studio audience! It’s a fantastic car giveaway! And all you lucky, lucky people have to pay for is the COE!