THAT great list-maker, John Maxwell of Ap Lei Chau, has been compiling a register of 'things you will never hear people say in Hong Kong'. In lift lobby: 'After you.' On a bus: 'Do have my seat.' At the Aberdeen Channel: 'Fancy a swim?' At the office: 'Wasn't last night's television viewing really good?' Anywhere in Hong Kong: 'My, isn't it quiet?' He definitely has a good ear for the quirks of life in this territory. May I offer some additions? At Kai Tak nullah: 'Mmm, I love that fresh sea air.' To your stockbroker: 'You were right, the price did go up.' While reading the television page: 'Oh no, what shall I do? There are really good programmes on all four channels at once tonight.' At the supermarket checkout: 'What good value.' At home: 'I want to watch this Interwood Marketing ad because they'll probably never repeat it.' At Legco: 'I've decided not to deliver my speech because it is long and tedious and adds absolutely nothing to the debate.' In Marks & Spencer: 'Look, it's cheaper here than in England.' ALIX of Exchange Square yesterday asked me to pass on this message. 'Dear Mid-Levels Police Bureau, thank you for visiting me four times during the course of my 30th birthday party at my flat in Realty Gardens to grant me your warm wishes. 'You appear to have inadvertently switched off power to my apartment for two hours. I had beluga caviar in the fridge and a baby in an incubator. If you agree not to send me a summons for noise nuisance, I agree not to sue you for damages.' As a parent myself, Alix, I hope no lasting harm was done. I know how fragile caviar can be. I GET more tales from Realty Gardens in Conduit Road than from any other single complex. Wonder why? On Sunday, a resident went to get the fire hose, so he could wash his car. He found it securely padlocked, with no key in sight. All the other fire hoses too were padlocked. So he went to the management office to ask what was going on. The hoses were padlocked, he was told, 'because people use them to wash their cars'. I suppose it doesn't matter that people who use them for another purpose, to wit, putting out fires, might find this rather awkward. MEDIA outlets in Hong Kong received a press notice from the Government Information Service about an event this week entitled: 'WC seminar for parents.' WC turned out to stand for Wan Chai. Phew. I thought for a moment that one goes to the toilet differently after giving birth. MYREE, a reader in Mid-Levels, pointed out an excellent article in a Hong Kong English language newspaper yesterday about negotiating with people attempting suicide. It said: 'Standing just 10 kilometres from the hijacked vehicle, a patient Wong first calmed the emotional hostage-taker down and then handed him a cigarette.' READERS sniggered over a software review in Tuesday's Technology Post which praised a program as 'ingenuous and inciteful'. This means 'naive and stirring up trouble', which was clearly not what the reviewer meant. Since most other people at this newspaper are bigger than I am, I reckon the Spice Trader's pledge to judge this newspaper as harshly as I judge other publications can truthfully be described as 'ingenuous and inciteful'. ON RTHK on Tuesday night, Chris Hilton was asking an antiques expert for advice on how to tell junk from treasure in Hollywood Road: 'Do you just throw yourself on the mercy of the dealers, or are there clues to look for?' Is it me, or is dear Chris a teeny bit naive, too?