又中又英——butt of jokes

  When will the run on toilet paper end? It is making Hong Kong the butt of jokes. I am running low on toilet paper. But all the supermarkets I've gone to have run out of toilet paper. Selfish people have been bulk-buying toilet paper and rice. My overseas friends have made this bulk-buying the butt of jokes. Have you noticed I have used the word "run" three times but with different meanings? It is a very versatile (adaptable) word. If there is a run on something, it means a lot of people are suddenly buying the same thing. If you are running low on something, it means you don't have much left. If something has run out, it means there is none left.

  The word "bulk" describes something very large. To bulk-buy something means to buy a lot of it. When you are the butt of jokes, it means everyone is making fun or joking about you. Many of my overseas friends are making fun of Hong Kong people for bulk-buying rice and toilet paper. They said Hong Kong has become the butt of jokes. It is very clever to use the expression "butt of jokes" for Hong Kong people bulk-buying toilet paper because the word "butt" is a slang word for buttocks or anus. My friends joked about Hong Kong people bulk-buying rice and toilet paper by pointing out that eating too much white rice causes constipation. People who have constipation won't need too much toilet paper.

  It is true that eating too much white rice causes constipation. White rice has very little fibre compared to brown rice. White is not the natural colour of rice. It becomes white after the husk and bran are removed. The rice is then polished to become white. Husk and bran are the outer coverings of rice and seeds. They have healthy fibre and nutrients. Brown rice, which contains husk and bran, does not cause constipation. I hope Hong Kong's selfish people will only bulk-buy white rice so I can buy brown rice. And I hope they get constipation.

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  到底瘋買(the run on)廁紙的熱潮,幾時才會完?這已經令香港淪為笑柄(butt of jokes)了。我的廁紙快用完(running low)了,但我去的所有超級市場的廁紙都賣光(run out)了。自私的人都在大量購買(bulk-buying)廁紙和米。我的海外朋友已經將這種「爆買」(bulk-buying)的情況當成笑話(butt of jokes)。你可有留意到,我用了三次“run”這個字,但三次都是不同的意思?這是一個非常萬用的(versatile)字。若有 a run on something,意即突然有許多人在買同一樣物件;若你是 running low on something,意即那物所餘無幾、快用完了;若某事已 run out,意即一件都沒有了。

  Bulk是形容某物體積很大,又或很大量。To bulk-buy something就是大量購買某物。若你成為了the butt of jokes,即人人都在取笑你。我的許多海外朋友都在嘲笑香港人大量購買(bulk-buying)米和廁紙。他們說,香港已淪為笑柄(butt of jokes)。香港人大量購買(bulk-buying)廁紙,用上習語“butt of jokes”實在非常高明,因為butt也是屁股又或肛門的俚語。我的朋友們調侃香港人大量購買(bulk-buying)米和廁紙,可其實吃太多白飯會導致便秘;有便秘的人又何需用那麼多廁紙呢。確實,吃白飯太多會導致便秘。相比起糙米,白米含非常少的纖維。白色也不是米本身的天然色,只是在脫去稻殼(husk)和米糠(bran),再經過打磨後它才變白。Husk和bran就是稻米和種子的外殼、外皮,它們含有豐富的纖維和營養。糙米有稻殼(husk)和米糠(bran),就不會導致便秘。我希望香港那些自私的人只會大量購買(bulk-buy)白米,好讓我能夠買到糙米。我也希望他們會便秘呢。

中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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