Nepali Times
Under My Hat
Too good to be true


If you have been tuning into the airwaves lately, it will have dawned on you that with peace in the air, this country is going through something of a consumerist boom. Fast-moving consumer goods like motorcycles have taken a quantum leap because of promos like this one: "Buy a Flying Horse Four-stroke Motorcycle and get another one free." (Fine print: Conditions apply, offer valid until stocks last, first come first sold, employees of Flying Horse and readers of this column not eligible.)

Kwality Heavy Industries is manufacturing coconut crunchies and golden cracker biscuits with 100 percent indigenous content that have attained ODC standards in terms of kwantity and kwality. As a matter of fact, statistics show that this country has become a global leader in the production and consumption of junk food.

All this, of course, is good news for Nepali consumers who have benefited from some of the lowest-priced cheese balls and prawn crackers among countries in the SAARC region. In fact Nepali junk food is the only one that has been awarded ISO 9002 certification by the International Maritime Association, which means strict quality control in the manufacturing process guarantees it to be totally devoid of any nutritional value whatsoever. Competition is now so fierce that some manufacturers intent on establishing brand loyalty are offering all kinds of incentives to make you buy their stuff:

Freshly-baked bricks and tiles from your Neighbourhood Brick Kiln Pvt Ltd are selling like hot cakes. Buy one, break open brick and be the lucky winner of a DVD player, refrigerator or microwave tower.

Scratch 'n' sniff 'n' win. Scrape the card in every six-pack of chicken-flavoured seasoning for Cock-a-doodle-do Instant Noodles, tell us what you smell and get a job in His Majesty's Government civil and military service.

Get your mum to buy a year's supply of Mustard Gas brand cooking oil and we will personally ensure that you will come Board First in the forthcoming SLC exams, or your money back.

Buy a 500 kg bundle of Darasingh Steel iron rods, mail us this coupon with an essay entitled "Why I Believe Darasingh is the Iron Rod For Me", and win a 24-karat gold medallion.

Special World Cup Cricket 2003 Offer. For every super-flat TV you buy, get a free Pajero. If you think this offer is too good to be true, you're right. It is too good to be true. We just said it to get your attention, you moron.

Valentine's Day Bonanza. Show her how much you love her by buying her 12 sacks of ISO 9002 certified Grade 55 Mt Everest Brand Portland Cement and get a lodging-fooding free two-night stay for two at the honeymoon suite of the Machhapuchare Viewpoint Hotel in Pokhara.

Take the world-famous Niangjingfutangqibao combine harvester on a one-week free trial and win a Lucky Jackpot Bumper Harvest. For safety and comfort on Kathmandu streets while commuting from work to home and back, there is nothing to beat the safety features of our combine harvester with its automatic 3-link rear suspension and a front fender that uproots all obstacles.

Subscribe to Nepal's top newspaper and become an overnight billionaire. No kidding.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)