If there is anything that will get a normally shy, reserved Singaporean man to talk non-stop, it is encapsulated in two alphabets.
(Today's Sesame Street has been brought to you by the letters N and S).
Love it or hate it, rose tinted glasses or red, there is no denying that the National Service is a vital part of a young Singaporean (from boy to) man's life.
This was the topic we had over dinner tonight, and a friend of ours was animatedly recounting his experience in NS. He talked about the long trekking trips through the jungles of Borneo, handling weapons with live rounds and the risk of friendly fire, and flying helicopters. He talked about overturned tanks, and overbearing superiors and the great friends he had made.
Somehow the topic drifted into the subject of how Singapore would soon be looking at drafting women into NS, and he remembers the handful of women during his time in Basic Military Training and how they were as tough as nuts.
Apparently they give them dolls to keep up their feminine side, he blurts out.
We jointly laugh around the tables - Malaysians, Singaporeans, Australians alike.
We weren't sure how true it was, but the idea was an incredulous and hilarious one.
Here's your rifle.
And, here's your Barbie.
You know what to do.
*a shot rings out in the air as Ken watches, horrified*
One of the girls in the group took the idea and ran with it - if there is such great concern about women maintaining their femininity in the army, why don't they just supply them with this:
I twot I killed a puddy tat.
Say Hello to my little Kitty... Rat-tat-at-tat-at-at!
Whatever men can do, women can too, and sometimes better. But people should really be allowed to opt in to these things, you know?