Paralympics guide hacks off journos

PUBLISHED : Monday, 30 October, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 30 October, 2000, 12:00am


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The Paralympic Games wrapped up yesterday, so the journos were out in force.

Now Lai See appreciates that political correctness is a stern taskmaster.

But we still think the media guide on Understanding Athlete Classifications and Disabilities takes things a bit far.

Reporters were insulted to find that organisers felt obliged to warn them against using terms like 'cripple', 'stumps', and 'mongol', The Australian newspaper tells us.

But it was the 'vegetable' section that hacked them off.

'Vegetable', the guide opined, becomes an 'offensive and degrading word' when used in reference to an athlete.

'It is also highly inaccurate when referring to humans,' it added.

Journalists were asked to instead favour the words 'coma' and 'comatose state'.

This had Lai See puzzled. Perhaps we're being closed-minded, but we tend to think of people in comas as being kind of . . . non-athletic.

Exactly what kind of events are they competing in?

Fortunately the media guide was able to clear that one up.

'These people are ineligible to pass the qualifying standards for a Paralympic Games,' it said.

Number crunching: Lai See was impressed by NEC's financial results announcement.

According to a missive from their public relations division manager in Singapore, the outfit 'achieved 2.47 trillion yen of consolidated net sales' and 'net income became more than 20 billion yen, changing from the deficits of the last time'.

But what we admired wasn't the numbers, but the timing of them.

These were the financial results 'for half of fiscal 2001'.

NEC is certainly ahead of its time.

Lucky draw: 'If you're 55 or more, start packing your bags.'

That order was issued by the captain of SuperStar Leo.

Well. By their advertising people at any rate.

They've got some special deal on for oldies. Also a 'super FUN grand lucky draw' that doesn't sound so super to us.

The top prize is a 'Chase HK$100,000 [bet you're thinking it's going to be something really good] . . . credit card limit'.

Congratulations, you just won the chance to rack up crushing debt fully equipped with extortionate interest.

Big Mac wraps it up: 'Ivory merchants open shop in elephant sanctuary.'

'Chocolate emporium opens shop in weight-watchers headquarters.'

'McDonald's opens restaurant in Amazon rain forest.'

Admittedly we made those first two headlines up. But that last one is real.

It seems the creepy-looking clown and his merry band of deformed creatures are moving forward with their plans for global domination.

The shameless producers of something-vaguely-resembling-food will let nothing stand in their way.

Even really unsubtle irony.

McDonald's is hoping that the new restaurant in Manaus, capital of Amazonas state, will serve at least a million customers in its first year in operation.

The American fast food giant plans to open another 'restaurant' and two ice-cream stands in Manaus this year.

Which makes a certain species of sense.

With all that burger wrapper material growing right nearby, they can have their packaging plant conveniently next door.

Graphic: whee30gbz