Voyage of discovery as combatants go to water

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 27 November, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 27 November, 1999, 12:00am

There is a place in this world where the citizens plot 'shame' campaigns against neighbours with dripping air-conditioners, where the tackiness of security guard uniforms is a community concern.

A place where emotions surrounding the correct colour of tap water run so high that just talking about it sparks threats of violence.

Yes, it's Discovery Bay - where people go to get pregnant and ride around in golf carts.

Today, the synthetic Brigadoon trembles on the edge of a new era.

With tunnels boring through their hills and Walt Disney lurking beyond them, it's just a matter of time before the closeted community is shaken from its happy isolation.

Lai See logged on to DB-online to see how people felt about it.

But the chat forums held little talk of the future.

It seems locals have more pressing matters to attend to.

Like the inopportune placing of shoe racks, for example.

And, of course, the divisive golf cart issue.

One pro-carter goaded vocal anti-carters with: 'We'd be interested to know if you have golf carts, or if it's a case of sour grapes.' His opponents launched a philosophical counter-attack: 'Do you think people have golf cart envy? Is a golf cart something to aspire to?' There was also a heated debate over the colour of the tap water.

It seems it's acquired a tea-like hue.

So complaints were aired. But one hard-line DB loyalist couldn't stomach these attacks on his fabricated world.

'Add some milk and stop moaning then, no joke,' snapped 'HKR Defender'.

'You should be glad that you are allowed to live in DB.' Then this ensued: DB'er: 'If you have something constructive to say, please do. If not please bugger off. You've been nothing but a bloody nuisance all along.' HKR Defender: 'I drink brown muck all the time and I don't raise a stink about it like you bunch of moaners. If you like clean water so much then bugger off . . . If you want to take this matter further, I am happy to talk to you in person, but knowing you, you probably don't have the balls to confront me, all you can do is hide behind the Internet.' Then he provides his phone number and concludes 'I dare you to call'.

At this point, someone called 'Ignorehim' joined the water fight.

'Oh great,' Ignorehim said.

'Macho man has made his way to this message board . . . Clearly the water has got to him.

'Suggest we all ignore this idiot and not lower ourselves to his level.

'He is always looking for people with balls to confront him . . . mmm . . . does this mean he doesn't have any of his own?' HKR Defender: 'Hey Ignorehim, you got a loud mouth, if you have balls then call my number then, chicken!' DB'er: 'Yes, Mr Psycho seems to be intent only about questioning others' balls and challenging everybody to a fight . . . Sure sign of a sick and depraved mind. Now that he's given the number it's better that we pass it to the police with reports of obnoxious behaviour.' Members of the DB debating society, no doubt.

All this excitement makes Lai See nostalgic for the weird old days when she too ferried in and out of the reality bubble.

Yes, we once lived in Discovery Bay. Not for long though. We fled shortly after seeing The Stepford Wives for the first time. We're pretty sure we recognised a few of those characters from the DB Plaza.

Anyway, back to all those sources of community controversy.

There were discontented rumblings over the number of flyers property agents have been stuffing into mailboxes. Junk mail malcontents have already plotted their revenge.

They intend to waste their own time looking at loads of flats they're not really interested in because it wastes the realtor's time too.

Clearly these people get a lot more days off than Lai See.

Another menace to the community lurks on the 16th floor of someone's building. That is the lair of Badly Maintained Air-Conditioner Man.

We're told the thing's been dripping for months and city management has yet to take action. There were calls to shoot the offending appliance with an air rifle, and suggestions the police be brought in.

But we liked this idea best: 'What we should do is make this PUBLIC.

'Let's put this person's name on our community forum so that all of his/her friends would know about it and see if we can't 'shame' this person to fixing it'.

Perhaps everyone in the community could point at the guilty party whenever he/she walked past. It worked for those pod people in Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

Also on the Discovery Bay agenda is the problem of the new Guardforce security guards. It seems they're 'distastefully dressed'.

'Their uniform is quite ugly,' sighs one citizen.

Chimes another: 'I do not like their uniform either. But no worry, it will be changed later. This is one of the contract terms.' Ah, First World Problems.

Glutted with community dilemmas, Lai See couldn't bring herself to enter the chat stream titled: 'Problems with Shoe Racks!!!!'.

But in the interest of balance, we thought it only right to round out our DB overview with comments targeting the most ignorant and ungrateful wretch of all. This is a person unworthy of having tasted the exquisite pleasures of DB life.

'Yet again, Lai See takes more cheap shots about the alleged 'cookie cutter' buildings [and residents?] of DB,' said one resident under the heading 'SCMP Vendetta'. 'Does the author think that Hong Kong living requires a constant diet of taxi diesel fumes to be authentic?' Then another citizen: 'Yes it's true . . .

'Grow up Lai See.'