There's a sucker born every minute. Do you know what this means? I remembered this old saying after seeing even toilet paper fly off the shelves in supermarkets. The slang word "sucker" means a gullible person who believes everything he is told. The adjective "gullible" describes people who are easily tricked because they trust other people too much. The expression "there's a sucker born every minute" therefore means there are many gullible people who will believe everything and anything people tell them. The expression "there's a fool born every minute" has the same meaning. If things fly off the shelves, it means people are buying them very quickly.
Facemasks, rice, toilet paper, tissues, bleach, and many other things have been flying off the shelves after the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus. What will fly off the shelves next? I am sure it could be salt, vinegar, and whiskey if rumours spread on social media that a hot mixture of these three things can cure people who have the Wuhan virus if they drink it four times a day. Someone sent me a video of how to make two facemasks with a woman's bra by using each cup of the bra and the bra straps as loops for the ears. I only shared it with close friends as a joke. I am sure if I put it on social media, bras will be flying off the shelves. But will gullible people know what cup size to buy?
The expression "there is a sucker born every minute" doesn't describe Hong Kong people accurately. It should be "there's a Hong Kong sucker born every second". I can no longer buy toilet paper, rice, bleach, tissues, and paper towels. They have all flown off the shelves. Suckers have bought far more than they can use because they are gullible people who believe rice and other things will soon be unavailable. I am ashamed of their selfishness and stupidity. Hong Kong has become a society of uncivilized people. The government is mostly to blame. People have lost trust in the government.
There's a sucker born every minute. 你可知道這句話是甚麼意思？我在超市看見連廁紙都被搶購一空（fly off the shelves），就想起這句老話來。俚語sucker是指一個gullible的人，別人說甚麼他就信甚麼；形容詞 gullible即是太易相信他人，以致很易受騙的人。因此，習語 "there's a sucker born every minute"的意思是，世上有太多易受騙的（gullible）「水魚」，別人說甚麼，他們就會信甚麼。習語"there's a fool born every minute"也是同一個意思。若某物 fly off the shelves，意即被人搶購一空。自武漢新型冠狀病毒爆發以來，口罩、米、廁紙、紙巾、漂白水以及許多其他的貨物，都已被搶購一空（flying off the shelves）。下一樣搶手貨（fly off the shelves）又會是甚麼？若果社交媒體上流傳一個謠言，說將鹽、醋和威士忌混合一起煮熱，一天飲用四次，便可以治瘉感染武漢病毒的患者，我敢肯定，這三樣都會被搶清光。有人傳一條短片給我，示範怎樣用女士的胸圍製作兩個口罩，就是用上胸圍的兩個墊，以及用肩帶作為掛耳的圈。我只是當作笑話跟摯友分享。我肯定，若我放上社交網站，胸圍也會被搶購一空（flying off the shelves）。然而，易受騙的（gullible）人又會知道該買甚麼尺碼的罩杯嗎？
習語"there is a sucker born every minute"並不太能準確地描述香港人，這句說話應該改成"there's a Hong Kong sucker born every second"。我現在再也買不到廁紙、米、漂白水、紙巾以及抹手紙了，它們全都被搶購一空（flown off the shelves）。水魚們（suckers）買了遠遠多於他們所能用到的，因為他們都是易受騙的（gullible），相信米以及其他各樣貨品很快就會缺貨。對於他們的自私以及愚蠢，我實在感到很羞恥。香港變成了充滿不文明人的社會。政府最為難辭其咎，人們已經對政府完全失去信任了。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧