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Choking on Humor – Singapore Sees Funny Side of Haze

From posting images of famous landmarks wearing gas masks to outrageous tweets about how to handle Singapore's worst air quality problem in history, residents in the Southeast Asian nation, while mostly outraged by the unprecedented haze problem, are trying to see the funny side to a serious situation.

Comical memes are all the rage on popular social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, as residents, confined indoors to escape from a haze that's hit record levels on Friday, took their creativity – and humor – to the next level.

Among the most shared images is one of the famous Singapore mascot, the Merlion, covered by a gas mask, which was posted by Amy Kong on Facebook.

Other residents have dedicated entire websites to poking fun at the worsening air quality.

SGAG.sg, a popular website that features memes on what's funny in Singapore, has a series of doctored images (see below) including one of a massive fan sitting in place of the iconic Singapore Flyer blowing polluted air away from the city, along with a "Star Wars" approach of using Singapore's colloquial language of "Singlish" to poke fun at residents wearing face masks.

Twitter hashtags like #sghaze and #ReplaceMovieNamesWithHaze have also been gaining traction with users posting everything from wacky comparisons about the bad air quality to making bizarre suggestions on how to deal with the smog. Some tweets are going viral, like the one below from @LeticiaBongnino that has been retweeted more than 2,000 times since Thursday evening.

Terence Chua, covered by a mask in his Twitter profile photo, advises below why smokers are in an ideal situation.

Even famous brands are getting creative with marketing solutions to attract consumers during Singapore's haze situation. Sporting wear brand Adidas started offering free one-day gym passes at True Fitness on Wednesday with the advertisement below on its Singapore Facebook page.

Chocolate maker Cadbury, meanwhile, didn't hold back from trying to lure chocolate lovers with the slogan on its Facebook page saying: "Haze driving you nuts? Have a Haze-lnut," which was "liked" by more than 1,200 people since Wednesday.

Some major retailers, however, received major flack for trying to benefit from Singapore's worst air quality ever, with fast-food chain McDonald's issuing an apology over an advertisement published in the Straits Times newspaper on Thursday, where PSI (Pollutant Standards Index), was described "Peak Sauce Index."

Overall, the sentiment among residents struggling to cope with the country's worst air-pollution crisis on record can perhaps be best described by the following meme.

- By CNBC.com's Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani; Follow her on Twitter @RajeshniNaidu

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