Ban my books... please?
Bookshops are closing. The printed page is struggling to keep up with online distractions. Everyone is obsessed with apps.
There is a woman who used to read all my books and columns but now spends every waking moment playing Farm Heroes.
And she's my wife.
I asked her to read my new manuscript last week. She made me wait until she had reached the next level by moving some strawberries around.
I've hit rock bottom. I've come second place to an online strawberry.
There's only one shot left at salvaging a literary career. In desperation, I'm sending this open letter to anyone out there.
Please ban my books.
I don't mind how many books, the more the merrier. But ideally, I'd like one of those "Not Allowed for All Ratings" classifications, please.
I noticed last week that the Media Development Authority gave that classification to Tan Pin Pin's documentary about political exiles - To Singapore, With Love - and public awareness for her project has gone through the roof.
So I'd be very grateful if you could find the time to do the same for me.
I'm not seeking to make light of a sensitive issue here. I'm sensitive to the issue of my light wallet.
Shortsighted landlords keep raising rents and squeezing out bookstore tenants. It won't be long before I'm reduced to selling books on a street corner.
I tried it once in Orchard Road and strangers kept shouting their support for the "Hammer", so I just assumed they were West Ham supporters.
(I also discovered that if you try and sell a book with "Sexy Island" in the title, ah peks get the wrong idea and soon turn aggressive when the only photo inside is of 1.94m lanky ang moh.)
So I'm at my wits' end. I need a couple of book bans to sustain my livelihood.
It's worked wonders for Tan Pin Pin.
One minute the filmmaker is lining up a presentation at the National University of Singapore Museum and the next she is fielding interview requests from all over the world and being asked to screen the documentary beyond Singapore, JB and some say Batam.
It's true. There were reports of screenings being staged in Johor and promoted to Singaporeans, which was an ironic turn of events.
It's been a while since Singaporeans went to JB for banned movies.
Illegal downloading has made pirated DVD sellers about as popular as the Causeway toll increases.
Singaporeans used to pop over all the time to pick up the latest Hollywood blockbusters, Chinese drama serials and, of course, porn.
As we know, there is no porn in Singapore - it's important to stress that point.
But with the demise of pirated DVDs, Singaporeans had fewer reasons to head over to JB. Now they're crossing the Causeway to watch a few elderly men discuss their political careers.
It's hardly Basic Instinct.
Heaven knows what the few remaining DVD sellers in JB think of a popular, banned movie with the title "To Singapore, With Love".
Those ah peks are going to be so disappointed when they stick that one in the DVD player.
So by all means, begin the banning of my back catalogue as soon as possible.
There are at least four Singapore books in there, if that helps, and one has "sexy" in the title.
Oh, wait, I almost forget. One of the books was about penguins.
Would that work?
Unfortunately, I think they were heterosexual penguins.
If anyone requires further written testimony, feel free to contact my Farm Heroes-addicted wife.
She's already banned my books in our apartment.