BETH Coalter of the Rugby Union Club in Wan Chai is rushed off her feet at the moment, I hear. Her normal peak working period is in spring, when the territory hosts the Rugby Sevens tournament. But in recent weeks, there has been an influx of women splashing out the $1,500 joining fee and $1,000 annual fee to join the club. In each case, the name they want on the membership card is not their own, but that of a man. 'It's evident that men are going to receive membership cards as Christmas gifts from their wives or girlfriends - and sometimes both,' a chuckling senior club member told me yesterday. In the case of gentlemen who become members twice over, the barmen will treat each female companion as if she is the only one. This is in contrast to an unpleasant experience I had in my bachelor days. I took two girls out on consecutive days, and was mortified to hear the barman greet us on the second occasion with: 'Ah, a different one today, is it?' Anyway, I am sure that the rush of members to the club can be credited to the attractive new premises and the rarefied, intellectual ambiance of the bar. It has absolutely nothing at all to do with the fact that getting tickets for the Rugby Sevens is a nightmare, but paid-up members of the Rugby Union Club are guaranteed two seats apiece. SONG listed in the carol concert programme at the Hong Kong Club on Monday, spotted by Charlotte Woolley of South Island School, I Saw Murray Kissing Santa Claus. STAFF are not pleased by a certain well-known Hong Kong engineering firm at the new airport, I hear. They enjoyed what they thought was an office-sanctioned Christmas luncheon - and then were told they were going to be docked half a day's pay. Merry Christmas. ART gallery maestro John Jarman was shopping at the Wellcome supermarket in Razor Hill, Sai Kung, when he was handed scratch'n'win contest cards which said that the coming Lunar New Year was the Year of the Mouse. But surely it is supposed to be the Year of the Rat? 'Mouse? It's probably something to do with Bill Gates,' said John. It reminds me of 1993, the Year of the Cock, which almost every Hong Kong firm bowdlerised to Year of the Rooster, because male poultry is apparently obscene. Ready Mixed Concrete of Hunghom was the exception, writing to its customers: 'May we take this opportunity to wish you a Happy New Year of Cock.' WHILE newspapers all over Hong Kong had pictures of Giordano founder Jimmy Lai with a bandaged head on Monday, MTR commuters were treated to the company's newly-launched Christmas poster, a festively trimmed light panel featuring two words: 'Peace please.' SOME of you may be wondering why you haven't received Christmas cards from me this year. Well, I've worked out a cheaper way of doing it. I'm just faxing out five letters saying: 'Merry Christmas from Nury Vittachi, and would each recipient please send 20 copies of this letter, including this message, to 20 people on behalf of Craig Shergold, aged 7, who is dying of cancer in Atlanta.' I HEAR that one of the reasons the police are using a softly-softly approach to the drink-driving issue is that they don't have a huge number of breathalysers in stock. So they are going to focus on obvious trouble areas, such as outside journalists' offices. Cue joke: how do you tell when it's a gweilo journalist's payday? Smell his breath. FROM David Letterman in the United States: 'Here's some good news. Earlier today, doctors upgraded Michael Jackson's condition from 'stable' to 'weird'.'