Scouts find happiness is a warm gun

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 September, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 September, 1998, 12:00am

In a world racked by war, Lai See has grown accustomed to images of impressionable young boys receiving military training.

But we were nonetheless taken aback by a photo depicting a Chinese youngster aiming a gun.

Behind him, a man clad in beret and combat gear was keeping a watchful eye.

Maybe it was the child's tender age that struck us.

Maybe it was the way he smiled as he squeezed the trigger.

Or maybe we just didn't expect to see such a photo in the Hong Kong Boy Scouts report.

The scouts, it seems, have had just about enough of knot-tying and camp-fire singing.

'Scout leaders attend some military training courses outside and give some courses to train scouts and other people,' explained the organisation's public relations officer yesterday.

The troops held their first 'Military Adventurous Fun Day' in November.

Its goal, according to the association's yearly report, was to 'promote mutual understanding and broaden and enrich the Scouting life of members in the Region'.

'The event was attended by more than 50 administrators and uniformed members, thus providing an opportunity for participants to enjoy the fun of military games.' Lai See is plagued by images of khaki-clad 11-year-olds running around the countryside, armed to the teeth.

We think the scouts may be going a bit far in their quest to 'be prepared'.

Lai See is a bit puzzled by the latest battle plan in store for Dresdner Kleinwort Benson.

The merchant bank has announced the launch of its 'Adopt baby-cockroach strategy' on equities.

Now Lai See is not stupid.

We know the money men aren't planning to take in stray insects and raise them as their own.

But no explanation of the term was offered anywhere in the research paper.

For six pages, the Adopt Baby Cockroach report debates the wisdom of investing in the British stock market.

No mention of insects, whatsoever.

Finally, on the seventh and last page, the cockroaches re-emerge.

'Some babies have been thrown out with the bathwater in the technological services area,' the Dresdner Kleinwort Benson boys tell us.

'In the current turmoil, our global sector stance will now adopt a dual baby/cockroach strategy.' Your guess is as good as ours.

Perhaps they plan to overrun the market until they're stamped out.

More outrage over the Chek Lap Kok debacle.

An army of highly paid silks and solicitors has been prowling the corridors of the Guardian Building in Wanchai.

A judicial review is in progress there, so wigs and paper are everywhere.

Well, not quite everywhere.

Legal eagles flitting to the toilet between sessions were horrified to discover that all the cubicles were out of paper.

Cardboard rolls mocked them from the dispensers.

Flushing with anger, one lawyer snapped: 'If they can't get it right at the commission, how are they supposed to do it at the airport?'.

Fu Shing and Sons tobacconist has erected a sign in the window of their shop in the Fleet Arcade: 'For sale: cigars made for Bill Clinton's visit to Hong Kong.' Make of it what you will.

Here's a sign of the times: A tai tai's two-year-old son fell into the pool at the Conrad Hotel in Admiralty.

Unable to swim, the panicky toddler gurgled and flailed on the surface for a moment, then slipped below.

Fortunately, his coiffed and polished mother leaped from her lounger and jumped in to save him.

But not before pausing to untie and remove her designer bath robe.

In better days not long ago, she would have made a point of keeping it on just to give herself an excuse to buy a new one.