• Wed
  • Apr 16, 2014
  • Updated: 2:33pm

Dumb Tips Warning is hoisted

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 08 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 08 July, 2000, 12:00am

THE VERY FUNNY WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED BY THE WRITER OF THIS COLUMN. READERS ARE WARNED THAT THE RISK OF SPLITTING THEIR SIDES OR LOSING THEIR HEADS IS HIGH. WHEN IMMERSED IN MIRTH-FILLED COLUMNS, READERS ARE ADVISED TO TIGHTEN THEIR BELTS AND SECURE THEIR HEADS.


Ok, ok, the only real danger here is that Lai See might lose his tenuous grasp on humour writing if the following fails to entertain, but that's not the point.


The point is, did you need that warning? Was it really necessary? Are you still paying attention? How many readers get to a point in the column and shout 'Oh my god, why wasn't I warned. Heeellllpp, throw me one of those inflatable desert islands with the palm tree, I'm drowning in mirth'? Not many I can guess.


So why, oh why, do we have to be told the weather is hot? Why does the Government Information Service (GIS) deem it necessary to tell me to wear loose-fitting clothing? Call me a bluff-old traditionalist but I still prefer to rely on a two-way transparent aperture with twin dual-directional ultra-violet deflectors - or curtained window - when I want to know what the weather is doing.


I know it's a public safety announcement but recently the Government has been getting a bit out of hand.


This week GIS released the usual common-sense rules for people engaged in vigorous outdoor activities such as drinking Pimms by the pool or spinning the Stop/Go signs at road-work sites.


'Do drink plenty of water and avoid over exertion,' GIS sensibly warned.


It went on to say that if not feeling well, individuals should take a rest in the shade or cooler place (like a fridge?) as soon as possible.


So far so good.


Outdoor types are then advised to wear loose clothing, UV-absorbing sunglasses and suitable hats.


Suitable hats? What's an unsuitable hat? Lai See called the Hong Kong Observatory to find out what a suitable hat was.


'One that covers your head,' we were told.


And an unsuitable hat? 'One that doesn't.' Mmmm.


So if I wore a small dog on my head would that be a suitable hat? Click. Bzzzz.


And that's not all.


The Government is now telling you what sunscreen to wear.


'Use a sunscreen lotion of SPF 15 or above and apply it frequently.' Lai See's wondering what warnings we'll be getting later in the year when the weather starts to cool.


Perhaps we'll soon be advised that a pleasant-weather warning has been hoisted.


Hong Kongers will be requested to wear smart-casual clothes, sit on a bench in the park and lick an ice-cream.


But it's not just the Government that's in danger of turning Hong Kong into a nanny-state.


What's all this escalator safety business about in the MTR? It's a well-known fact that escalators only bite if not fed regularly.


However, Lai See must seriously call to question the amount of stickers, leaflets, announcements and film footage being used to get the message across.


I mean, what do they expect people to be doing on an escalator? 'Well there I was, walking on my hands, when my tie got caught in the last step,' recalled one mentally scarred investment banker.


What they really need to hand out is information regarding escalator etiquette.


Like, don't wait until you have just stepped off the thing before furrowing your brow and spending half-an-hour wondering which exit to use.


Some big posters showing what 'standing on the right' really means would be a good idea.


And have them available in Chinese, English and whatever language it is that the people who still don't get it speak.


That said, there was a story in yesterday's paper about a 17-year-old who caught his head between the escalator and the wall in Sha Tin New Town Plaza.


He obviously hadn't seen the MTRC's 'Avoid Cleaning a Moving Stairwell' public service announcement which Lai See must admit is one of his favourites.


Well that's enough ranting for one week.


Did you need the warning?

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