Has footie-pundit Faber finally met his match?

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 22 December, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 22 December, 1999, 12:00am

Dr Doom has just made his most fearless and controversial prediction yet. The famous financial forecaster has looked into the future and glimpsed something that, if true, will rob millions of people of their will to live.

Yes, Manchester United is going to be defeated by a football team from Shanghai.

Marc Faber tells us so in the middle of his latest Gloom, Boom & Doom Report: 'I think that Shanghai will become, along with New York and London, one of the world's three great cities, culturally and economically, and that its soccer team will beat Manchester United,' he informs investors.

He goes on to predict the rapid economic growth of the mainland.

It seems it's a veritable investment Utopia across the border. Nothing can stand in the way of business progress.

Well, aside from a couple of minor glitches, like 'fraud, theft, smuggling, corruption, regulations that change continually and arbitrarily, a lack of clearly defined and enforceable laws, overcapacity in most manufacturing industries, low purchasing power, rapidly changing tastes of the consumer, and a very complex domestic distribution system'.

But back to the footie.

Marc doesn't explain what prompted this sudden foray into the world of sports predictions. It's very unlike him.

His forecasts aren't usually on the ball.

Ah, the Convention Centre. Proud symbol of a bold new era. Centrepiece of the Hong Kong skyline.

Trade bazaar for car thieves.

It seems dodgy types have been bringing their stolen vehicles there to see whether the centre's car park boasts anything superior to the stuff they've just nicked.

A reader found out about it this week after his car vanished from outside his flat one night.

It resurfaced the next day in the Convention Centre parking lot - alongside eight others reported stolen that same night.

Apparently the original booty just wasn't up to car-thief standards.

They drove it to the centre, using their ill-gotten transport to get a ticket for the lot.

Once inside, the crooks wandered about the lot browsing the models on offer in search of something that really caught their fancy.

The rejects were then abandoned in favour of the flashier models, and the car connoisseurs exited the lot using the tickets from the originals.

Lai See thinks those thieves should show more respect for our handover symbol. It's our vehicle for change, not our place to change vehicles.

Christmas looms ever larger on the horizon, and Lai See continues her quest for new ways of adding that extra dash of mirth to the festive season.

For those of you who still believe in Father Christmas (and will be let out of the asylum on a holiday pass), try out some of these 'Ways to Confuse Santa' from 'Thomas Grant's Ultimate Christmas Site'.

While Santa's in the house, go find his sleigh and write him a speeding ticket.

Leave him a note explaining that you've gone away for the holidays. Ask if he would mind watering your plants.

Build an army of mean-looking snowmen on the roof holding signs that say 'We hate Christmas' and 'Go away Santa'.

Throw a surprise party for Santa when he comes down the chimney. Refuse to let him leave until the strippers arrive.

Paint hoof prints all over your face and clothes. While he's in the house, go out on the roof. When he comes back up, act like you've been trampled. Threaten to sue.

Instead of milk and biscuits leave him a salad and a note explaining that you think he could stand to lose a few pounds.

While he's in the house, find the sleigh and sit in it. As soon as he comes back and sees you, tell him that he shouldn't have missed that last payment and take off.

Take everything out of your house as if it's just been robbed. When Santa arrives, show up dressed like a policeman and say 'Well, well. They always return to the scene of the crime.' Leave out a copy of your Christmas list with last-minute changes and corrections.

Leave a note by the telephone telling Santa that Mrs Claus called and wanted to remind him to pick up some milk and a loaf of bread on his way home.

Leave lots of hunting trophies and guns out where Santa's sure to see them. Go outside, yell 'Ooh! Look! A deer! And he's got a red nose!' and fire a gun.

Dress up like the Easter Bunny. Wait for Santa to arrive on his sleigh and then say: 'This neighbourhood ain't big enough for the both of us.'