Audience gives speaker a ringing endorsement

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 January, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 January, 2000, 12:00am

Perhaps it was reverse psychology. The speaker at a press conference yesterday started off by specifically requesting that all mobile phones be left on.

'You can let them ring,' he said. 'We like to hear the sound of ringing phones.' The occasion was the launch of eCoupon portal, and the speaker was Eamon Egan, general manager of shareholder

Mr Egan said he didn't want phones turned off in deference to joint venture partner Distacom Communications, which owns 60 per cent of mobile-phone operator Sunday.

After that, the audience seemed to warm to the speaker.

Apparently they liked his opening lines.

The solution to a disputed Primary Six test question proved educational.

The answer was published yesterday in the Post.

To recap, this is the poser that stumped education chief Joseph Wong Wing-ping: 'Why doesn't schoolboy Siu Ming wake up when his alarm clock goes off?' 1) The buzzing is too soft.

2) The alarm clock is broken.

3) It is his holiday.

4) Siu Ming ignores the buzz.

5) Siu Ming is sound asleep.

6) Siu Ming drank seven tequila slammers and passed out in a Wan Chai gutter miles from his buzzing alarm clock.

Admittedly Lai See added that last one.

But those other selections are real, and Mr Wong couldn't decide between them. Enter Director for Education Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun.

She tells us it couldn't be that the alarm clock is broken because it did go off. And he wouldn't have set the alarm if it was his holiday.

It must be number four, says she.

Wrong, says Lai See.

'Ignore', according to our dictionary, means 'Refuse to take notice or accept.' Sleeping people are incapable of 'refusing' to take notice of anything.

That would imply an active decision-making process, and you can only make active decisions when you're awake.

Of course, there are always exceptions.

Like the people who decided on the questions for the Primary Six test.

Louisiana-Pacific doubled its fourth-quarter earnings compared with the previous year.

So naturally chairman Mark Suwyn shaved his head.

It seems he lost a bet with his workers at the Portland-based building and lumber products company.

They bet Mr Suwyn the company could double its internal projections, an Associated Press report tells us.

If he lost, their leader agreed to get his hair cut off.

Not very original, really.

GDE creditors do that all the time.

Some while ago, Lai See passed along advice on different techniques for bringing a little chaos into an ordered world.

Reader Mark Davies has just faxed over a specialist version. These ones are ways of bringing a little chaos into the pizza order world.

Tell the order-taker a rival pizza place is on the line and you are going to the lowest bidder.

Give them your address, exclaim 'Oh, just surprise me!' and hang up.

Use these bonus words in the conversation: Robust, free-spirited, cost-efficient, Ukrainian and puce.

Ask what the order-taker is wearing.

Say hello, act stunned for five seconds, then behave as though they called you.

Change your accent every three seconds.

Terminate with 'Remember, we never had this conversation'.

Imitate your order-taker's voice.

Amuse the order-taker with little known facts about country music.

Start the conversation with 'My Call to Pizza Place, Take One, and . . . action!' Start the conversation by reciting today's date and saying 'This may be my last entry'.

Learn to play a blues riff on the harmonica. Stop talking at regular intervals to play it.

When the order is repeated, change it slightly. When it is repeated again, change it again. On the third time, say 'You just don't get it, do you?' Haggle.

Ask how many dolphins were killed to make that pizza.

Dance all around the word 'pizza'. Avoid saying it at all costs. If the order-taker says it, say 'Please don't mention that word!'