Antics to beware of

Mark Hughes

WE'RE grateful to AWARE, the magazine of the American Women's Association of Hong Kong, for this anecdote.

A woman called Alba N Foreman, a former Hong Kong resident who now lives in England, writes that while visiting a ceramics store in Hollywood Road, she noticed that various goods had tags on them indicating they were reserved for certain named people. To her surprise, her husband found a pair of candlesticks marked 'Alba N Foreman, UK, for sea shipment'.

When quizzed about this, the sales assistant could not find an entry for an Alba N Foreman on the shipping ledger. Mrs Foreman then remembered that she had visited the shop before and given a member of staff a business card. It appears the shop in question puts bogus tags on goods to indicate its popularity among antique hunters. You have been warned.

TOUGH luck if you missed it, but the deadline has just expired to find the person with the oldest pair of Levi 501s button-fly jeans in Hong Kong. The winner will be flown to San Francisco, birthplace of the original denim jeans, put up in a luxurious hotel, given a tour of Levi's oldest factory and awarded US$1,000 (about HK$7,700) spending money. The world's oldest pair of Levi 501s were made in 1890 but we suspect that in this consumption hungry city, they'd be lucky to find a pair dating back to 1990. The competition was held to coincide with the retrospective 'Levi's Presents: Originals' show at Pacific Place from April 13 to 15.

AN interesting fax has been winging its way around the various civil service departments. We are not sure whether it's a call for a return to traditional values or a dig at the ways of the past, but it has clearly excited a lot of interest.

The fax is an excerpt from a 1950s vintage home economics textbook and reads as follows: 'Have dinner ready, plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal - on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.

'Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift . . . have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice.' Actually, we think it's good advice.