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The six species of buffet wildlife

1. The Rudolph The Rudolph is always taking food ‘for everyone else’. It likes to keep an eye on the rarer food items, retrieve entire trays of elusive grilled chicken wings, and then lug the feast back to its table. The Rudolph is also pretty adept when it comes to hiding unfinished food. 2. The Father Christmas Every buffet restaurant lives in fear of the Father Christmas which can (and will) eat them straight out of 12 days of Christmas. Owing to its mega metabolism and seemingly unlimited stomach space, it can be identified by its signature nest of empty plates and giant pile of prawn shells. It produces satisfied burps as well. 3. The Ghost of Christmas Past The Ghost of Christmas Past has repented of its gluttonous ways. Scientists are intrigued; the way it lets others have the last chicken wing, strolls calmly among food displays without grabbing everything impulsively, and its general temperament of notable self-control. Bravo. 4. The Scrooge The Scrooge has spent the last week fasting so that it may have extra stomach space at the buffet. A true professional, it’s only found at the most expensive sections of the buffet line (oyster bar, sashimi and steak sections) so as to make the most of the buffet price. If all else fails, the Scrooge eschews carbs and lifts salmon slices off the sushi. 5. The Kevin McCallister Much like its namesake, the Kevin McCallister is always experimenting with weird combinations (wasabi and Christmas puddings, hot chocolate oyster

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The six species of mamak critters

1. The Clubber Pre-Clubbers throng here for greasy sustenance before hitting the clubs. Post-Clubbers crawl here for greasy sustenance before hitting the bed. Either way, this breed is the easiest to spot as it’s usually overdressed for the mamak. Stumbling in high heels to the washroom? Check. Jabbering drunkenly? Check. Sitting there clutching head in hands? Score. 2. The Cub This extremely helpless young member of the pack has no say in this matter. When the moon is full and high in the sky, hungry adults will tow the helpless Cub along with them to hunt for some cheese naan and Maggi goreng. While some younglings are able to doze off during loud football matches, most can be appeased with ‘Angry Birds’. 3. The Dragon Follow (or rather, avoid) their scent. We already have sufficient mosquito fogging services from the local authorities. We don’t need strawberry-peach-mint scented fog from the Dragons enshrouding our roti tisu tower. These dragons breathe no fire, but depend on smoking hoses, pipes and vaporisers to create smoke. Also, they’ve yet to learn how to read wind directions. 4. The Boss The highly competent Boss is one of the most exciting scientific discoveries of late. This remarkable species is able to memorise all 35 convoluted (‘Milo ais, tak mau ais, tambah Milo, kurang susu, boss!’) orders without an iPad, and better yet, delivers them like a pro. Standing ovations all around. 5. The Sports Fan Usually clad in bright glossy coats of red, wh

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The seven species of plane wildlife

1. The Nomad The Nomad is a species normally spotted on budget flights. This species sports a shaggy coat of dreadlocks, a musky scent (as a result of limited shower opportunities on the road), giant backpacks, a surfboard or two, touristy singlets from Bali, and as the finishing touch, a pair of beat up old flip-flops. 2. The Recliner The Recliner needs its sleep, and needs it now. Specialising in the element of surprise, the Recliner catches you unawares by reclining its seat at full speed without any prior warning. We hope your kneecaps are insured. 3. The Inspector Gadget The Inspector Gadget is a man of the future. Once the plane is safely airborne and the seatbelt lights are off, this particular species squawks into action. It eschews all in-flight entertainment and instead meticulously sets up a personal work zone with a collection of shiny tablets, complicated spreadsheets and gleaming bits of technology. And you’re not allowed to go to the washroom because its laptop is all set up. A subspecies is the rather weak-of-hearing VIP, a species that insists on posting one last status update for its adoring fans or replying another urgent email, while the poor air stewardess politely reminds it to turn off all electronic devices for the tenth time. The entire plane sighs in unison. 4. The Child The Child will always be there, on its very first plane ride, completely terrified by roaring engines and bad plane food, and yowling till touchdown (worse still, playing game

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The eight species of clubbers in KL

Illustration: Sio Yean 1. The Dancing Queen It’s Friday night, the lights are low, and the Dancing Queen is out in full force. Sequined bandage dress, Louboutin-inspired heels, deodorant – check, check and check. Three shots down, the Dancing Queen is here for one thing – to dance. Stay out of the way as she (or her posse) speedily slinks towards the dance podium. If there’s no podium, then she’ll be gyrating by the wall. 2. The Datuk The Datuk lives the high life. They may or may not be a datuk, but from what common behaviourists could observe, the Datuk is not here to party, it’s here to spend. Usually found lounging with their #squad at the most exclusive table in the place (also known as the land of champagne and honey), they can be viewed at Providence. 3. The Kayu Painfully awkward, the Kayu is usually seen blinking in a panicked manner and using suction-like pads on its fingers to stick to walls. This notable ability also allows it to hold on to phones so as to avoid any form of interaction. Like a fish out of water, this introverted species basically does not belong in a club. Pass them orange juice and guide them out to fresh air and safety. 4. The Kaki Botol The Kaki Botol is another species that’s common across all clubs. Usually in denial of their alcohol tolerance levels, the Kaki Botol is a species that’s most often spotted on the sidewalk. Sometimes you can also find them face down in a dark corner of the club. We only pity the friend that is assigned

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The six species of office wildlife in KL

1. The Sloth Perpetually stuck to its ergonomic chair, the Sloth is there when you leave the office and when you arrive again the next morning, in the exact same position when you tried waving goodbye to it yesterday. Either they have huge projects to work on, or they are just taking advantage of the internet connection. 2. The Dung Beetle In every ecosystem, scientists have discovered that there must be one character that disturbs the peace on the savannah. The Dung Beetle specialises in stirring droppings and spreading drama, causing death and destruction in its wake. You know why you didn’t get your raise last month? Now you know. 3. The Suck-up The Suck-up is one genus who has adapted perfectly to the harsh corporate landscape. What the Suck-up lacks in defence mechanisms and back bone, it makes up for with slimy skin (to extract itself from sticky situations) and a super smooth tongue (to ingratiate itself with the alpha of the pack). 4. The Peacock The Peacock makes you wonder why they are still in the corporate sludge (possibly because we provide good contrast). With an impeccable wardrobe and perfect hair (or shave), this unbelievably attractive species has curiously never repeated any of its outfits, providing some calming relief to our parched eyeballs. 5. The Sheriff The Sheriff is always painfully on time, follows office rules to a T and only has fun when the boss demands it. Even if you’re only thinking of sneaking a Mars bar at your desk, you can be sure the

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The seven species of neighbours in KL

Illustration: Sio Yean 1. The Maggot The Maggot is an aggressively mutant stink bug which deposits household waste wherever it pleases, stinking up corridors and attracting mini versions of itself. This inconsiderate nightmare is also likely to try out its sound system at two in the morning and renovate its home to the point of destructing yours. 2. The Exhibitionist Most commonly found in the southern areas of Bangsar, the Exhibitionist is supremely confident in its skin. They usually congregate in pairs and their behaviour in public is usually not suitable for minors. A milder variety of the Exhibitionist is usually of the wrinkly middle-aged (male) variety that walks around without a shirt. 3. The Anti-social One of the more common species is the Anti-social, usually lurking away in condominiums and cars with tinted windows. Although you have been neighbours for (gasp!) ten years, you can’t exactly remember his name, or even what he does for a living. We suggest you at least get his name so you know who to yell for in an emergency. 4. The Kepoh The Kepoh has acute night vision and flexible necks, all the better to crane over the pagar and spy your every move. With their incredible memory and excellent sensory awareness, nothing in the community gets past them. Researchers have recommended them for community-based crime prevention programmes. 5. The Kakak The Kakak is literally your neighbour’s maid, whom you see and interact with more than you do your neighbour

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The eight species of retail assistants in KL

1. The Suck-up So achingly polite it’s fake, the Suck-up is motivated by commission and will say and do anything to get a sale, including saying you look good in that dress even though it makes you look like a bulging potato sack. 2. The Clueless Ambling along store aisles, the Clueless doesn’t know anything about the product. Oftentimes, they lie and make up facts in the hope that you don’t know anything either. They will also nod along to your questioning statements, and you may never find out whether that cardigan is 100 percent cashmere or not. 3. The Too Good to be True The Too Good to be True is knowledgeable, helpful and blessed with common sense. It knows when you need help and when you want to be left alone. Before you know it, you’ll be handing over your credit card willingly. To elevate the pleasant experience, it even throws in free samples! This species is going places, mark our words. 4. The Once-overThe Once-over seems out to sabotage its parent company. Identically well-dressed, these snooty types give you the chillingly uniform up and down stare the moment your filthy flipflops cross the threshold of their luxurious cave. What, wear shorts cannot buy LV ah? 5. The GreeterThe Greeter is a chirpy little thing. Hopping around in flocks, your mere appearance in the store brings about a chorus of ‘Welcome to ______!’ Once is fine, but when Greeters repeat the greeting every time you bump into one, it can get slightly unnerving. We still prefer the Greeter over

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The six species of patriots during Merdeka and Malaysia Day

1. Sang Parade The ingenious and impressively dedicated Sang Parade is usually found at Merdeka street parades and wherever free fireworks are guaranteed. This super gung-ho person has his itinerary all planned out. First, he camps overnight at the parade site to secure the best spot. The next day, his entire clan migrates to join him for some vantage street parade watching. A more aggressive variety sports eye-catching headgear and face paint for the television cameras. 2. Datuk Bendera Contrary to laws of the jungle, the flamboyant Datuk Bendera doesn’t believe in camouflage. Common behavioural signs for this species include carefully grooming their bright coat of little Malaysia flags (useful for territorial displays) on their cars and humming the national anthem. 3. Mak Critic If you need a good dose of feel-good ads to remind you of your love for the country, go for the Mak Critic. This critter looks forward to August and September so it can obsessively analyse the Merdeka ads on TV, pointing you towards (or tell you about) the most tear-inducing ad of the lot. To capture them, remember that the Mak Critic has a soft spot for roti men, grandmothers, a multi-racial cast and teh tarik. 4. Kampung Boy Named after the iconic Malaysian comic character created by cartoonist Lat, the Kampung Boy is a species that deserts the city for greener paddy fields back in his (or her) hometown whenever Merdeka rolls around. All the touching ads we see are probably inspired by them

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