On a downer with Titanic

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 March, 1998, 12:00am


How sick we all are of Titanic, whether it is the clip of the lovers 'flying' at the bow of the ship shown constantly on television or the nauseating Oscars.

James Cameron's attempt to remind the world that thousands died on the ill-fated voyage fell flat when his moment of silence at the Oscars was followed by: 'Let's party.' However, one Hong Kong resident felt the true repercussions of the disaster flick while travelling on a Turbocat to Macau recently.

Yes, his realisation that it had hit rock bottom occurred when the traveller sat down and tried to relax to the music piping through the vessel: the first song he heard was the theme to Titanic.

Corking ripoff Take one bottle of wine, a corkscrew and a pair of hands, and you could earn yourself $150.

This is the going corkage rate for the 97 Group's latest restaurant, El Pomposo. The price is per bottle.

So for a party of 20 - with 20 bottles of plonk to be drunk - multiply the number by $150 and you soon understand why some customers start staggering even before the alcohol reaches the brain.

Sneakily enough, the tapas bar has an offer up its sleeve: walk to nearby Petticoat Lane, buy a bottle of wine there, and no corkage is charged.

Imagine. It is only run by the same group.

Wine, whine One restaurant which graciously waived a corkage fee when it was unlicensed lost brownie points on the 'at your service' front.

Forget the customer always being right: the Bayou in SoHo will have you know that not only are you wrong, but you are also a liar.

A group of diners were about to tuck into their main course just after 11pm when they realised they had no wine.

The waiter was called over, but abruptly told the posse they were too late - the bar had closed.

The manager was alerted to this by the diners, but after consulting the waiting staff, he stated firmly that nothing could be done. The waiter - apparently - had warned them the bar would close soon.

Strange that all nine people sitting at the table did not recall this occurring.

Maybe they did not get the wine, but the waiter obliged with a whine.

Spelled out You may think the poor graduates of discredited Kensington University have been fleeced enough in recent months, but it appears there are people intent on making them bigger mugs.

The US-based distance-learning institution, which used to have a Sheung Wan office, closed it amid allegations of impropriety.

The university, which was also closed down in California for poor standards, used to make the most incredulous boasts yet spelling was never its forte.

Backbites' favourite was the one from the ex-student who in the amateurish prospectus claimed her Kensington degree helped her get a place at Thunderland University in Britain.

Now an advertisement has appeared in newspapers recently, placed by the Centre for Degree Studies (no address mentioned), calling on Kensington graduates who would like to 'maintain their esteem and professional status in the Society'.

The ad says: 'Recently, we successfully help KU graduates in transfer their credits to earn another international recognised and accredited university degree.

'If you are a KU graduate and think it is necessarily to earn another university degree in substitute of your KU degree, please do not hesitate to contact us by fax.' Strangely, they did not reply to our fax asking who they were.

New news Cogs have been spinning in the ideas machine that is the Hong Kong Tourist Association.

Now that wonders have ceased and the City of Life has been born, the holiday spinmeisters have added a cunning touch to give their press releases the best possible chance of being printed.

The communiques now arrive with the word 'NEW' firmly stamped at the top.

We are certain this will stop them from being confused with the . . . er . . . old releases .