Modern dirty digger dishes up fool's gold

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 September, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 September, 1995, 12:00am

EVER since gold became a valuable commodity, there have been carpetbaggers trying to lure innocent suckers into so-called 'no lose' gold buying situations.

First it was dubious plots of land supposedly rich with the metal, but these days most of the dodgy stories are about little-known mines that are about to strike it rich.

Consider this newsletter written by Jim Blanchard, who is trying to convince the more gullible of his readers that he can generate profits of 'as high as 1,280 per cent'.

Things get little better with the announcement from Jim that he is about to tell unlucky readers about 'the greatest money-making opportunity of the past 20 years'.

The real indication that Jim is a modern age dirty digger comes in this paragraph: 'We've been able to do it by focusing on mining exploration-development companies on the verge of making big discoveries. Our contacts are unsurpassed in the industry, and as a result, we have been able to steer our readers to some extraordinary gains.' Zero out of 10 for originality, Jim. This is oldest trick in the book.

Here are the facts. Gold used to trade at US$800 an ounce not so long ago. Now it struggles to break through the $400 mark.

Duff system A COLLEAGUE of Lai See's returned yesterday from a holiday in Scotland, where he met an old friend who works as a primary school teacher in one of the run-down estates near Glasgow.

She told him a story that might make those who believe Hong Kong's shift towards the welfare state has not yet gone far enough think twice.

Apparently it is a pretty common practice there for girls to get pregnant with the sole intention of getting government-provided accommodation.

In order to make ends meet, it is also common for pregnant young women to sell urine samples to other girls, who take it to their doctors in order to hoodwink them into thinking they are also pregnant. In this way they get the accommodation without the hassle of actually being pregnant.

Here, of course, the cost of the consultation might prove an effective method of birth control.

One girl was caught and quizzed by the social security office.

The social worker started pressing the girl to reveal who the father of her child was.

'I don't know,' she said, 'he was wearing a helmet at the time.' Clock up HONG KONG is about to be subjected to the public relations machine that surrounds the launch of the film Apollo 13 .

Watchmaker Omega has been ramming it down our unsuspecting throats that it manufactured the official timepieces for the Apollo moon programme.

The company has devised a television advertisement that shows footage of the launch - and which gives the launch date of April 13, 1970.

One of Lai See's more erudite readers, David Webb, pointed out that Omega watches can't be all they're cracked up to be.

After all, they sell their name on accuracy, precision and durability, which is why it is strange that the Apollo launch in question occurred on April 11, 1970, not April 13, 1970, as claimed in the advertisement.

Cocolossal THE people that count - the real market movers - watch Asia Business News (ABN), so it is claimed.

This station, readers may remember, had the distinction of misspelling the word 'Asia' on its own advertisements.

But things are looking up. The station has won an award for a promotion called ABN for Basalamah Family: Your insider partner in Asia .

A press release pointing out this achievement reads: 'The 30-second promo focused on the Basalamahs, coconut plantation owners living on the remote Tahuna Island, Indonesia, who rely on ABN to provide them with the latest price fluctuations in the market.' This should increase advertisers' heart rates. They can reach a bunch of coconut workers in the busy metropolis of Tahuna by advertising on ABN.

Cringe croon SOME more entries have reached us for the Best Country & Western Song Title competition.

Gerry Irving liked the song called Get Your Biscuits in the Oven and Your Buns in the Bed , while Dennis Goggin and D Smith reminisced over I've Never Been to Bed With an Ugly Woman But I've Certainly Woken Up With a Few .

Paul Kerr's favourite was I Got Tears in my Ears From Lyin' on my Back and Cryin' When I Think of You .

However, today's winner is this. If You Say You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet?