ONCE strapped into the seat of a modern airliner, there is not much freedom of action for passengers. One freedom which might appear to remain is the freedom to turn away the plastic tray with the foil on top, and goodness knows what underneath. We faithfully read the menu and discover we can look forward to 'medallions of tender chicken, noisette potatoes and broccoli stir-fried in ginger, followed by a Viennese cream puff topped with finest quality Swiss chocolate'. This is a blatant breach of any country's product descriptions act. Just as you start to salivate, the meal arrives and it transpires you are actually being served something that looks as if it came out of a Gerber baby food tin. Given the fact it could be the last meal you ever eat, flyers should have the right of refusal. But we hear an American businessman was stopped by Osaka airport police after the crew on his flight reported that he had refused to eat his meal. During the 31/2-hour flight he declined the dinner offered by the crew and ordered a soft drink. He had eaten a late lunch and wasn't feeling all that hungry. Police said the fact he declined the meal indicated he had feasted on a diet of drugs wrapped in condoms before taking off. The gentleman in question is the general manager of a company called American Minerals, which hardly makes him classic drug courier fodder. He narrowly escaped a full cavity search, rubber gloves, mirrors and all. 'Next time, I'll stuff the meal into the seat pocket in front of me,' he said. Lai See stands up for the rights of flyers who do not want to eat their dinner. It remains a fundamental freedom. The airline obviously believes its meals are so sumptuous that anyone who doesn't eat them must be a drug smuggler. May we suggest the loss of appetite could be more closely related to the quality of the grub. For the birds THE Swiss - as well as having a country cleaner than a hospital ward and being famous for having taken 20th century science to new heights with the invention of the cuckoo clock - also have a reputation for being pretty clued up on financial matters. But they are not infallible. We noticed a recent quotation from Hanspeter Brunner, head of the Swiss Business Association, in which he fretted about rising costs in Hong Kong. He said: 'Salaries rise 10 per cent a year, which means they double in five years.' Anyone who starts work in the territory with a guaranteed 10 per cent per annum increment and imagines they will have twice as much to spend five years from now, is going to find themselves earning 39 cents in the dollar less than they expected. Better off sticking to cuckoo clocks. Togetherness LAI See had been under the impression that having twin toilets was reasonably uncommon. Nothing could have been further from the truth. Reader K. Triptree remembers a friend's house in Bermuda in which two toilets were situated side-by-side behind a very large window overlooking one of the most incredible views in Bermuda. The owners of the house were understandably proud of this innovation and called their house 'Two Loos'. Lai See's problem is this: If you can see out, then other people can see in, and we do not want to share our most private moments with just anyone, just that one special person. Internut LAI See fosters an irrational hatred for the Internet. It is the domain of spods and revenge should be meted out with absolute severity. But be careful what you wish for because you might get it. We are informed that an E-mail conversation between a man and some teenagers went sadly wrong - or right, depending upon how you look at it. The man was so incensed at the message he received he raced over to the teenagers' home, punched one of them out and went after the other with a baseball bat. Not content with that, he then jumped back in his car and rammed one of the offending youngsters at considerable speed. A witness to the attack said his friend stepped in front of the stopped car and said: ' 'We don't need this, we can just talk about it,' and the man just floored it and hit him.' Totally understandable behaviour, in our opinion. Slim volume THE world has finally gone totally absurd. We hear former UK chancellor Nigel 'Fatty' Lawson has written a dieting book, having lost 25 kilograms in less than a year. If he can do to his body what he did to the economy, then it should be a definite best seller.