Here's a cup, my trusty Conman, and a hand to Piano

HAPPY New Year. For those few miserable wretches who DARED to miss any Lai See columns during the past 12 months, we hereby present a selection of trivia gems from 1992.

Air Con IN 1992, Lai See fulfilled a long-held ambition.

A company advertising mini air-conditioners emblazoned its products all over the MTR. Its name: Conman.

It has long been a goal of ours to describe a Hongkong company with this word without fear of libel lawsuits.

Thank you, Conman.

Not you, them THERE were many worries about a listing plan for Hongkong leather goods firm Gofuku.

Brokers feared major marketing problems with such an awkward name.

Maiden aunt: What shall I invest in? Broker: Gofuku.

Maiden Aunt: ! Spicy post RECEIVED a Christmas card in January last year signed - well, typed - with the name Leung Wah-chai, chairman of Yanion International Holdings in Hongkong.

''Wishing you a happy holiday seasoning,'' was the message.

It was surely the first corporate Christmas card targeted at turkeys.

Mandarin man HELEN Baily of Pickfords wanted to know when the Bamboo Man, a giant sculpture, would set sail across the harbour.

So she phoned the Harlequin Bar, on top of the Mandarin Oriental hotel.

Helen: Could you please look out of the window and tell me if the Bamboo Man is moving yet? Barman: I'm sorry, madam. Please say again.

Helen: Could you please look out of the window and tell me if the Bamboo Man is moving yet? Barman: Just a minute, madam. I will page him for you.

Cracking trip SAI Kung photographer Chris Davis picked up 1992 Explorer Magazine, published by Travel Advice.

''Visit Historic Sarajevo.

''We bus into the picturesque town of Sarajevo, a medley of Muslim, Croats, Catholics and Orthodox Serbs. The old Turkish quarter captures our imagination: partly girded by a thick wall, its charm is its rambling disorganisation . . .

''Few places in Europe provide such diversity of landscapes and peoples in so small an area.'' Must have been one of those ''adventure'' holidays.

Handsome is STAYING at the Hyatt Regency in Kowloon was the concierge-driver of the Grand Hyatt, Taipei.

His name: Handsome Tung.

He's not just a pretty face.

Cups of money BEST financial analysis of a Hongkong company came from Matthew Mo of South China Brokerage, who studied Topform International, the recently listed bra-maker.

''Topform has adopted a two-pronged approach to growth,'' he deduced.

Hello, hello CAME across a laundry in Old Bailey Street, Central, called ''Wei Wei''.

Imagine if it ever expanded enough to get a professional receptionist.

Wei Wei: Wei Wei. Wei? Caller (confused): Wei? Wei Wei (repeats): Wei Wei. Wei? Caller (confused): Wei? Etc.

Joy choi IN the China Science Week '92 trade fair were vegetables for married people.

The catalogue says: ''Dragon Vegetable is a secret recipe of imperial court of Oing Dynasty for kink. It has evidently strong masculinity result.'' How strong do they mean? That Oing Dynasty didn't last long, did it? One hardly hears about it.

For wives, there is the Phoenix Vegetable. ''It may get the woman's eye bright, get face bright red . . . and get winkles disappear.'' Isn't a winkle a type of coastal mollusc? Not many women in Hongkong are plagued by winkles, thank goodness.

Music to the ear A SELECTION of real names adopted by Hongkong's creative young people: Eagle Cheung; Money Lin; Spacey Liang; Anchor Hung; Bilin Yu (she would make a good accountant); Mountain Wang; Twinkie To; Anorak Chen; Willy Pong; Piano Chow; Alien Lee; Biggie Yang; Civic de Tsai; Saint Peng; Sicky Tam; Chocolate Lin; Green Show; IvanHo; Midas Wu and Vein Shen.

The most baffling on the list is a gentleman called Benweird Ma.

Heil Wong YOU won't insult the sales engineer at Nippon-Hon Liftruck of Shamshuipo by calling him ''a little Hitler''.

Mariko Tai of Bryanko Textiles showed us his name card, which shows that he revels in the name Hitler Wong.

Expert speler IN a meet-the-staff leaflet from KPS Video Express we were introduced to the beautiful Joanne, latest in a series of ''KPS Video Express experts''.

Her favourite videos, it says, are Faulty Towers (sic) and Monthly Python (sic).

Early riser THIS is from Voice of ATV, the staff newsletter of the Hongkong television station: TOSS-IT-OFF ALARM CLOCK.

The Staff Welfare Committee now offers a nice companion to the heavy sleepers - the Toss-It-Off alarm clock.

When the alarm clock rings, just toss it and it will stop ringing.

This miraculous device is available to ATV staff for only HK$38.

Don't complain to us. We don't make this stuff up. We just report it.