We have ways of making you MTR-proof
BUMPED into a German with a big moustache selling weapons at the Gifts and Houseware show at the Convention Centre yesterday.
Every one of the hundreds of other stalls at the show was selling brightly coloured little gadgets, usually with some electronic sound chip inside.
Except, that is, the stall run by Dieter Schulze, who describes himself on his card as a waffenschmiede, a truly wonderful German word that means weapons maker.
He makes life-sized, accurate reproductions of swords, crossbows, axes and similar stuff, and he also does armour.
''Who buys it?'' we asked.
''In Germany, people have this in their house as decoration,'' he said.
He showed us some photos of himself and some friends fully dressed in armour having sword fights.
Unlike almost every other stall in the Convention Centre, he wasn't offering to ''badge engineer'' his products, a process by which radios from a nameless factory in Dongguan suddenly get the Bank of East Asia logo printed on them because they're being given away as part of a sales promotion.
This is a pity. ''Take our Visa gold card and get a suit of armour,'' would be a very attractive offer to anyone who has to take the MTR at peak times.
The semi-liberals who have become China advisers may also find them useful.
Phallible A SIGNIFICANT part of Hong Kong's manufacturing industry lives off bribery, and the ICAC doesn't care.
The bribery is this business mentioned above of putting a promotional message or logo on a product to attract customers.
Wandering around the Convention Centre, it becomes clear that Hong Kong is a world leader.
Here are some things we will turn into corporate gifts: fish lures, hats four feet in diameter, dart boards, hip flasks, talking doormats, garden tools, suntan monitors, disposable knickers and talking golf balls.
One local company was also offering to put corporate logos on seven-inch water pistols shaped like a man's . . . err, let's just say we're not going to put our logo on them and then sell them through the pages of Young Post.
Tampering DESPITE rumours of a massive lobbying effort, Tam Wing-pong, the Government's number two financial service supremo, was determined yesterday that John Lees' report into the World Trade Centre Group would be published.
''It has always been our policy,'' he said.
Except that there's always the chance of a last-minute court case, like the Allied Group's attempt to force a judicial review.
As with the report into Allied, slabs may be cut out for legal reasons.
If this is the case, then the bits that are cut out may well be quite substantial, because unlike the Allied Report - which left some readers wondering ''so what?'' - those who have seen this one reckon it's much spicier.
For starters, the celebrity count is higher. A person with knowledge of the report reckons one well-known executive has been caught doing some fairly blatant naughty business with an overseas property in association with a relative.
It may turn out very appropriate that the inspector, John Lees, works for accountants Ferrier Hodgson and Marfan.
Mar fan sounds like the Cantonese for ''troublesome''.
Lights Aaron LISTENING to China Light and Power (CLP) promoting energy efficiency is weird.
It's like hearing a dentist tell children not to eat sweets - the heart says ''don't do it'', but the mortgage in Vancouver says ''get chewing, kiddies. And don't brush afterwards''.
Still, the launch yesterday of CLP's campaign, starring Aaron Kwok Fu-shing and Faye Wong Ching-man, was good fun.
Aaron claimed he'd been told off as a youngster for using too much electricity.
No one mentioned a strange project CLP is working on - ice-powered air-conditioners that reduce peak demand.
Tanks full of water are frozen into ice at night and then cool the building by melting during the day.
Another grand contribution to energy conservation - at CLP's own offices - is that they switch their corridor lights off when they go home.
Suite life HANGING loose in the vast presidential suite of the Grand Hyatt at the moment is Dick Devos, president of Amway Corp.
Amway is the legendary ''friends selling to friends'' outfit that sells everything from dish detergent to vitamin tablets, and which recruited legendary socialist heavyweight Jing Shuping to the board of its newly floated Asia-Pacific operation.
It must be doing well - you've got to sell a lot of Dish Drops detergent to pay for a night in this suite, which costs $22,000.
Dick was in fine form, although he seemed very preoccupied with The Orlando Magic, his personal basketball team which fields sponsorship vehicle and occasional player Shaq O'Neal.
Originally, Dick wanted to buy a baseball team, but somebody beat him to it, so he bought a basketball team instead.