Cathay's love patrol says it with flowers
THE United Democrat brat-pack ambled towards the Legco building yesterday after lunch. One by one, they looked up. Their eyes widened.
The building had been overrun by glamorous young female starlets. Flocks of them were clogging up all available entrances.
''They're Cathay Pacific girls,'' someone called out from the crowd.
The men looked nervous. Then their leader, Martin Lee, strode fearlessly into the dense wafting cloud of Dune and Samsara. The boys scampered behind.
The young women squealed in unison: ''MARTIN!'' Some particularly beautiful ones squeezed in next to him, while their colleagues took photographs. Mr Lee received several kisses.
Each member of Legco was treated to a similar show of affection in turn, and all seemed stunned by the experience. This was significantly different from the usual greeting they got from the Deputy President, John Swaine.
Meanwhile, Michael Sze, Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, tried to get inside the building from the back door. But there was no escape from the love patrol. The women had planted an eight-strong surveillance team there. The girls pounced, took photographs, and let him inside, laden with flowers.
Once indoors, Lee Wing-tat could not resist turning round and peering at the dreamgirls through the window. A nearby reporter, pretending to be disapproving, pointed to his ring finger, making the point that most legislators were married men.
But Mr Lee, who is single, relatively young, AND has a trendy haircut, joyfully held up his wedding-ring-free hand to the female audience at the window.
''He's not married,'' a stewardess giggled to her colleagues, as they eyed up the diminutive, globular politician.
Elsewhere in the bowels of the building, Mr Sze was having an attack of guilt. The dreamgirls had thought he was a Legco member, but he was a Government official. He dashed to the Legco offices and unloaded the flowers and his guilt to a surprised secretary.
When the sitting started, it was like a florists' convention. There were at least five bunches of flowers on members' pews. Jimmy McGregor and Zackery Wong walked in late, awkwardly clutching blooms - like minor baritones from an operetta about unemployed insurance salesmen.
Mr Swaine studied his agenda. High on the bill was Mr K. K. Fung, a charming but notoriously unpredictable gentleman. But what could go wrong? All Mr Fung had to do was stand up and read out a question, the text of which had been approved.
When his moment came, Mr Fung stood up - and decided to ad lib. ''Some members asked me whether I would be adding to the Governor's heart disorder by asking a question about his salary. On behalf of myself, and if possible, this council, we wish the Governor will have good health very soon and be able to lead the Hongkong Government, and Hongkong itself . . .'' Mr Swaine interrupted: ''That was out of order. Please proceed with your question.'' He rolled his eyes up to heaven and sighed. One could not help but feel that had Mr Fung's nether regions been closer to Mr Swaine's foot, the legislator would have acquired an instant bottom disorder.
The rest of the meeting was even more dull than usual - a point which was made harder to bear, considering the excitement outside.
When it came to time for the first and second reading of the bills, a couple of members nipped downstairs.
But all the girls had gone home, leaving only the blooms to remember them by. The men dragged themselves back upstairs, looking rather like wilted flowers themselves.