Wednesday, 20 September 2006

Battle of the Mooncakes

Yeah, it’s nearly Mid-Autumn Festival again. This means (1) I’m looking forward to a day off and (2) the advertising began in earnest about four weeks ago. Yes, it’s Mooncake Wars all over again.

Every year, on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, we get Mid-Autumn Festival (cos it’s in the middle of autumn, see?). This year it falls on October 6th, a little late, but nevertheless, a war of monstrous proportions will be fought over mooncake sales.

What are mooncakes? Basically, small, round lumps of greasy, sweet filling with a cooked egg yolk – yes, an egg yolk, minus the albumen – int middle. That’s all wrapped in a pasty-effect coating and stamped wi the brand name on top. Lovely.

Actually, personally I think the brown mooncakes taste like lard dipped in flaky pastry. I don’t eat them. What I do like is a few o' the variations you can get these days. You see, living in HK, the centre of slimming and weight control companies, they can’t very well survive very long if they’re selling lard and calling it festival goods. So these days each company has about twenty different types, whereby 90% of the lard and grease has been left out, and much more palatable insides are used.

This year I have to say I’m going wi the Saint Honore mooncakes. Not cos of the taste, although they are pretty fab – especially the ice-cream ones, for which I would crawl 500 miles on broken glass just to sweat in their shadow. No, it’s cos of the advertising. And let’s face it, in HK, advertising and image is everything.

So who are the main contenders and carriers of big mooncake-shaped weapons? Well, let’s see: in one corner we have Tai Pan, whose mooncakes have been the territory’s number one best-seller fer about twenty years. They’re good. They’re downright fab. They do the world-famous Snowy mooncakes. I’m dribbling just thinking about em…

In another corner we have Maxim’s. Their advertising campaign uses Ms Joey Yung to dress up in about twenty different outfits, to show all different varieties. Bearing in mind that I have a huge aversion to Ms Yung and her record company especially, those are out of the question.

Next we have the Kee Wah Bakery, famous for having Eric Tsang Ji-Wai as its spokesman. I do have a soft spot fer ‘im, seeing as he’s a right funny bugger and game fer a laff on most occasions. But that can’t compete wi the spokesman for our last serious contender, the Saint Honore bakery, and Mr Aaron Kwok. Choice is simple.

The place is empty now, seeing as me fabbest-of-the-fab mates went home yesterday. I were hoping it were all a dream and I’d come home from work find that they were actually staying an extra week. Ah well. Actual end of Drinking Festival evidence is here.

And that’s it. I’m all mooncaked-out, so I’m going to re-watch some choice season three Remington Steele ~ Oh! Oh! Oh! I can’t believe it, get this:

The Line ~ THEE LINE ~ has been cut from "Steele Trying", the episode where Remington makes up a case, fake clients an all, just to get Laura alone in San Francisco for a week. I’m gutted, absolutely fucking gutted. What am I talking about? Right....

Originally, bloody millions n undreds o' years ago, me and me mam watched "Steele Trying". Then, only about six of seven years ago, it were repeated on Bravo TV (when it were cool) ont Sky satellite/ Anyway, there's this bit where Laura and Remington tail the (innocent) Seymour blokey over to ‘t park, only Remington knows its all completely innocent cos his sister (who he hired to pretend Seymour was in trouble in San Francisco int first place) has told him he’s a quiet bloke wi nowt on. Only, as they’re running after him, they hear gunshots and get down the bank and find another man, dead... Laura's going "he's dead" etc., and saying how the whole case is now more than just suspected adultery and suchlike. Remington's face is a picture: "er... WTF?", cos he’s been planning an innocent case of running around San Francisco, seeing all the romantic sights and getting quality time wi the one bird he’s gagging fer ~ and yet here’s this bloke, who he doesn’t even know, dead as the Queen Mum’s hair-do, throwing spanner int works.

So Tony Bennet cuts int soundtrack with "I guess I'll have to change my plans... I should have realised there'd be another man..." and bugger me, it were a perfect way to reflect the entire scene, and the look o’ pure confusion / “typical!” / hard done by on Remington's face. It were a comedy moment done brilliantly.

So I eagerly anticipated watching it again, this time on DVD. Only what do I find?


Most of the soundtrack has changed! The song's gone! It's summat else entirely! How does that replacement song fit Remington’s face and mood? How can it replace the “I guess I'll to change my plans...”?

Monumentally unimpressed, mate. Totally gutted. In fact, I sat wi' a mirror-image of Remington’s look on me face fer about five minutes, before I collected meself and skipped it backwards to check what I were hearing. I mean, it’s like removing “I am your father!” from Star Wars 6. Or “Here’s Johnny” from the Shining. It’s just not cricket.

I’m reliably informed it’s due to long-term copyrights fer songs etc., and as that episode were filmed in about 1985, I can see how things might be different these days…

I think that’s everything. No, wait ~ there’s shooting, swearing and shagging to be looked forward to this Sunday, as we’re watching the Sharpe’s Challenge DVD (and hoping fer gratuitous amounts of Sean Porn).

That’s it, I’m off. No wait, I always smell like this, arf arf… So peach and lube then. Lots and lots of lube.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


granny w said...

I apologise in advance for the crash of the hong kong alcohol industry now that I've gone home - console yourself with the thought that small vinyards all over new zealand are rejoicing that they're not gonna go bankrupt after all! Bloody forgot to buy mooncakes too! buy extra Aaron for me! Shame about Richard Hammond too innit? xxx

* (asterisk) said...

Don't get me started on musc replacement on TV shows, SD. Quantum fucking Leap, pet. A series for which the music totally helps set the scene. They're changing loads of the music. We Region 2 users were fortunate for the first three seasons and nothing changed, unlike in the R1 ones, but from season 4 onwards they're screwing with us too. I don't think it's overstating the fact to call them cunts. QL an' Remmy DVD makers alike.

Soupdragon said...

O my froggin' dog!!! They changed the music on Quantum Leap too? That's just RUDE!!!
They must have owned that themselves anyway, seeing as it were written fert series, right? Or maybe the copyrighted stuff they used of real "period" songs...


I'm with you, mate. They're all cunts. I can't believe it. I guess you can't go home again. But you can imagine it how it was WITH THE ORIGINAL MUSIC!



weenie said...

Mooncakes...I used to love them when I was younger until I found out how good they were at thickening arteries. Lard? You're not far off!

Anonymous said...

I must agree with the QL thing! I had the first three series on DVD and then rented the forth because I ran out of money buying 21 Jump Street! So I'm sat there watching it, remembering far more of the latter series than the first couple and what do I find but the music is a little bit odd. When the parts of music come up, you have them going in your head and when others aren't around you even start to sing them to yourself but wait a minute...hold the phone...this isn't right! A woman scorned an all that, so sod it - I'm glad I didn't buy the forth series!

SD's sis

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