Polarity of diversion on agenda
Those poor Poles
They just don't seem to be getting their fair share of international diplomacy.
First, there was Jimmy Carter's rude remark about wanting to make love to every person in their country. Admittedly that wasn't quite what he meant to say.
Then, last weekend, our very own finance chief flouted convention.
Donald Tsang has been seeing a bit of Eastern Europe while attending International Monetary Fund annual meetings in Prague.
We're told Saturday evening found him in Poland, where his hosts had arranged for him to attend some sort of musical competition.
We believe the show was a little on the dull side, and that Donald had church and sightseeing to attend to the next morning. So he got up and left - before the show was over.
Raised eyebrows followed in his wake.
Still, it's always possible that Donald had misunderstood the schedule and was anticipating entertainment with more of a Wan Chai flavour.
The protracted performance might not have been what he had in mind when he set out to watch some 'Pole Dancing'.
Now read on
Want to know the secret of coming up with snappy names for new products?
DON'T let lawyers have anything to do with the creative process.
Sadly, this tip comes too late for Airline Automation.
That's the firm behind a new product. It reviews bookings coming into an airline's reservation system, then assigns ticketing time limits to those reservations that have not been confirmed.
Bosses at Airline Automation took the unusual step of letting their patent attorneys christen the device.
What fun for them! At last a chance to cast off the shackles of the legalese and let their whimsical natures come out to play!
Presumably there were numerous brain storming sessions, during which lawyers threw out ideas like 'Seat Kicker' and 'Take Flight'. How they must have chortled as they bandied about slogans like'People who think they can fly without money are operating on another plane'.
But when the creative juices were done flowing, there could be but one winner. And so the world came to know of the new 'Automated Method and System for Recognising Unfulfilled Obligations and Initiating Steps to Convert said Obligations to a Fulfilled Status or to a Null Status for Resale'.
Lai See's 'Mental-Image-Provoking Quote of the Week' award goes to Tourism commissioner Mike Rowse.
The prize-winning comment was served up to Hong Kong reporters yesterday at a 2001 Fortune Global Forum press briefing:
'We have a total free flow of information.
'That's why you guys are free to write the positive very small and the negative very big.
'We don't come round and smack your bottom.'
Lai See simply had no idea this sort of thing was going on in societies which were less press-friendly.
Perhaps it's Singapore's new, milder alternative to caning.
Payback time again
The German defence attache was injured recently when a Pentagon security barrier unexpectedly popped up under his car, lifting it off the ground.
Apparently there was a similar incident two years ago, involving another defence minister from . . . Japan.
Washington Post writer Al Kamen thinks not.
Said he: 'It might behoove the Italians to take the subway to the Pentagon'.