DEJA VU, AGAIN
TWO words say it all this week, Groundhog Day. What a movie! What a concept! What a lifeline for a columnist! I'm sure I wasn't the only one wading through the foyer shag pile out of the Palace Theatre the other night thinking, what if it happened to me? I mean, instead of it being weatherman Bill Murray sent to Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, to cover an annual weather forecasting ceremony involving an over-sized guinea pig, and then being fated to live the same day over and over, what if I got to live the same day again and again here in Hong Kong? And, more importantly, to use my new-found immortality (Murray discovers he can get away with anything) to discover whether I would be good, or very, very bad.
And then you'll never guess what happened . . .
Day One, 6 am: Alarm radio goes off with FM Select playing Chicago's If You Leave Me Now. Burrow beneath the covers. 'Joooo-saaaaan, Heuuuuung Goooong,' breathes an impossibly sincere deejay, while his female co-host simply squeaks when she is supposed to do the token English bit. Yep. I'm awake.
Morning: Today is Filthy Rich Money-Grabbing Mammon Hog Day here in Hong Kong, so even at this early hour the streets are teeming with unsmiling people running around making a buck in inventive, obnoxious ways. The tennis courts at Victoria Park are full, and have been since 3.30 am, with executives still hoping to make it into the now-defunct Working Week.
A shiny-suited clerk on the MTR's sardine line helps me adjust my underwear with his rolled up newspaper, the lifts at work are all on the way up when I arrive in the lobby, and, once inside, the lap sap lady belches heartily.
Spend the morning fielding phone calls from PR people wondering if I could possibly find some space in the paper for their client's upcoming exhibition of ancient Mongolian toilet roll holders.
Lunch: Brave the Quarry Bay masses to order a tuna on pita bread at the exorbitantly expensive new sandwich restaurant. Mistake. Should have gone for the BLT.
Afternoon: More Mongolian toilet roll holders.
Evening: Expensive cab to Lan Kwai Fong and a cocktail party at Club 97 described by Keeping Posted the next morning as a 'sizzling social soiree featuring le tout Hong Kong'. Find myself bored senseless by a braying Aussie with a pudding bowl haircut, accidentally step on a diminutive-but-noisy French wine importer and get a black eye for calling a scatty Korean socialite by her married name. Nip upstairs for poetry reading at Post 97.
Go home to leer at Gloria Wu through two industrial-strength vodkas. Pass out.
Day two: If you leave me now, you take away . . . 'Squeak, squeak'. This is terrifying! But, hang on a minute. It could be fun.
Morning: Put obscene phone call through to Metro. Chuckle at head-down, mobile phone-using Mammon Hoggers as they disappear silently down manholes I uncovered earlier. Similarly amused by sight of paunchy tennis bores superglued to the court.
Re-direct shiny-suited MTR clerk's newspaper into Valley Women's Rugby Team captain's cleavage, then duck. Controlled explosion at office block brings my floor to me without need for lift. Pop a McBreakfast into lap sap lady's mouth before she can expel, and watch her suffer.
Leave ansaphone message on office phone: 'This is the explosives division of the People's Popular Front for a Dunny-Free Mongolia. We're out right now, but . . .' Spend rest of morning watching shares bought earlier go through the roof.
Lunch: Spend minute percentage of profits on a BLT.
Afternoon: Doncha just love the Hang Seng? Evening: Limo to Club 97. Bore braying Aussie senseless, deliberately step on a diminutive-but-noisy French wine importer and get a black eye for calling a scatty Korean socialite by her maiden name. Spoil poetry evening for roll-neck-collared Post 97 masses by revealing the punchlines each time.
Ignore Gloria Wu because I've seen the video before. Test out the old immortality by trying 600 industrial-strength vodkas. Pass out.
Day Three: If you leave me now, you take away the biggest . . . drop thermo-nuclear device on radio alarm, conveniently ending this item.
HEARING AIDS Seriously, though, le tout Hong Kong (and that means real people, too) might be interested in nipping along to next Friday's Care to Listen evening arranged by AIDS Concern.
The candlelit affair at St John's Cathedral will comprise sophisticated European food and wine, poetry readings (yes, I know they don't have punchlines) by Liam Fitzpatrick and Jeremy Hardingham, and music ranging from choral to jazz. Mike Sinclair will also be speaking.
Tickets ($200 each) are available from Mary Whitticase at the Cathedral on 523-4157, or Eric Tang on 859-7084.
PRIVATE'S PARTS Although male strippers reveal all elsewhere in this week's magazine, our congratulations must go to one Private William Peebles, of the Black Watch, for emulating the Steeves and Herves of this world.
You will remember young Private Peebles from this paper's startling investigation into the great 'Is Scotland's Chinese Food Better than Hong Kong's?' debate.
Well, the 18-year-old private may have struggled with chopsticks at the Hong Kong Hilton as our guinea pig, but we hear he was far more successful on a recent visit to the world's action sports capital, Queenstown, in New Zealand. Our spies report the Scotsman not only entered a male striptease contest but won his round and eventually finished second in the grand final. Money, please, Stanley Fort, or we'll print the picture.
GUNS 'N' POSEURS Life in Hong Kong getting you down? Feel you need a more viable form of catharsis than Letters to the Editor? Then nip along to Jardine's Lookout's Chun Fai Centre where the territory's first private gun club (in the urban area anyway) has opened.
Alas, though, with an ordinary membership of the Hong Kong Gunners Club coming at $150,000, plus an annual fee of $15,000, those who can't afford it will have to make do with video game arcades.
DEJA VU, TOO Two words say it all this week, Groundhog Day. What a movie! What a concept! What a lifeline for a columnist! Oh, noooooooooooo!