Raining writs as well as water

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 15 February, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 15 February, 1998, 12:00am

It was a cafe owner's worst nightmare . . . not only did ceiling waterpipe problems send gallons of water cascading on to patrons, but every last one of them was a lawyer.

'It was like a plane crash,' said barrister Robert Forrest, who was caught in the flood. 'It just rushed out of the ceiling like a waterfall . . . lawyers were running for cover.' Mr Forrest added he was particularly irked when staff at the ill-fated High Court building cafe followed him to collect for coffee. Proprietors should expect a flurry of writs seeking damages for sodden wigs.

Touchy subject Chocolate flu? It seems bird flu and mad cow disease have struck fear into the hearts of food vendors of all stripes. Bakery and chocolate shop Le Notre has gone a little overboard in its efforts to warn patrons of potential chocolate-eating hazards.

Their appetising selection of truffles and liqueurs are served in bags bearing the Le Notre logo and carrying these 'French' words of warning: 'Danger by reason of low temperature. Not edible. Avoid touching with hands.' Buyer beware Hong Kong's most tiresome Americans are at it again. Those gushy buy-or-die fitness floggers at the California gym are out to prove they will say anything to sell a membership.

When a customer at the California Fitness Centre said a permanent locker was her main requirement to join the gym, she was assured that hundreds of such lockers would be installed within a month.

'No problem!' the Yank enthused. 'They'll be here!' She signed on, paid two months' deposit on the lockers of tomorrow . . . only to learn five weeks later that the Government had not even inspected, let alone approved, the additional lockers. A word of caution: If California Fitness Centre starts offering free Florida swampland with membership, don't take it.

Free love? Did anyone sigh wistfully over the romantic souls who confessed their undying love on the big Sogo TV screen last night? Well, for those of us who spent Valentine's Day eating chocolate and guzzling copious amounts of alcohol, at least one of the romantic souls was just a lucky cheapskate.

Free airtime on the big screen in Causeway Bay was a prize given by Weddings Net, an Internet company that tells you everything you want to know on the booming love industry. Virtual undying love, perhaps? Cracker of hotel Exploding fireworks, deafening firecrackers and flying colourful missiles leave Macau resembling a war zone at this time of the year.

The Hyatt Regency Hotel is obviously getting nervous.

Posted in rooms is a sign saying: 'Please note that letting fireworks off in hotel guestrooms is strictly prohibited.' Select students The Home Affairs Bureau is continuing its pathetic campaign against discrimination with a 'Let's eliminate race discrimination' drawing competition for schools.

Presumably to save on advertising costs, they have linked up with a major newspaper group to promote the campaign.

Unfortunately, the major newspaper group happens to be one that is also promoting journalism scholarships - very valuable trips to the University of Toronto - which are available only to journalists who are Chinese.

Beg to question The Social Welfare Department (SWD) recently held the launch of its 40th anniversary celebrations.

It was a reasonably swank affair by government standards and was held at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Each reporter attending the kick-off was given a free Jacky Cheung CD of the department's latest jingle, a key ring, and large amounts of tea and cakes after viewing the SWD's corporate video.

The celebrations and seminars will cost about $6 million, with another $6 million for promotion.

Ironic, then, that on the way into the function one reporter counted five beggars - one blind, one bent double, one paralysed and one very elderly woman - hoping for a bit of spare change from the Wan Chai lunchtime crowd.



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Raining writs as well as water

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