WHAT a shy lot you Hong Kong men are. There have been virtually no applicants for the job of topless male waiters for ladies' nights on Wednesdays at Carnegies, the pub in Wan Chai. Manager Karl Buller thought he had solved the problem when he heard about the rent-a-marine service offered by the British troops in the territory - but even they backed out at the last moment. Want a war fought? No problem. Reveal our nipples in public? Oo-er, no way. Don't any Hong Kong men have pecs or abs or whatever you call those lumpy bits? On the subject of toplessness in Hong Kong, or the lack of, why has ATV suspended staff members after a brief item about topless sports was broadcast in the channel's news bulletin? Surely they should be feted and awarded bonuses for giving the station the best potential ratings boost it has had for years? ATV should use the incident to re-launch the news department. They could rename the show News and Views and boast about their 'two-pronged news strategy'. And before the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority gives its usual knee-jerk condemnation of the incident, would officials please consider one thing? Only 35 people complained out of a population of 6.2 million. Give me 10 minutes and I could find you far more than 35 people who would argue there is absolutely nothing wrong with an intelligent illustrated news report about human foibles. WHAT'S the matter with the Cheung family, illegal immigrants in Britain who are fighting deportation to Hong Kong? Don't they like the idea of living in a place with high employment, low tax and almost no Tories? SANDRA Byatt of Sha Tin tells me she had relatives staying at the Metropole Hotel on Waterloo Road, where the menu featured 'broiled salmon leg'. Doesn't sound very substantial, does it? I mean, I can't remember even noticing the leg on the last salmon I ate. TORKEL Ruud of Macau tells me he found the following written on a piece of card dangling from the doorknob of a hotel in Jakarta: 'Please place this door knob hanger outside your room before 11pm if you wish to have a newspaper delivered tomorrow morning. If you are staying longer than one night, your newspaper door knob will be placed outside by the evening room attendant from the second night onwards. If you wish not to be disturbed, please place this doorknob outside prior to the evening turndown service. Leave this door knob in the holder if you do not want a newspaper delivered.' Well, I hope that's perfectly clear. SENT off my subscription money to Time magazine's Hong Kong office and noted that my account number is 004076642003 HKD0000566800 C0095. This 30-character code is considerably longer than you would need to give a unique number to every person on this planet. I like a company that thinks big. ADVERT seen in the January issue of Dollarsaver : 'Single expatriate child seeks single flexible friend as playmate between age 6-7 years, boy or girl.' David Buckley of Castle Peak Road, who sent me the cutting, commented: 'It has apparently been placed by an unmarried seven-year-old looking for an unbreakable playmate.' A SMALLISH bit of democracy has been introduced into Legco. But there have been no riots, cross-border contacts are progressing well, no tanks have rolled across the border, the water supply is still coming, the property market is going up, and the Hong Kong share market is hovering at a healthy 10,000 points. I wonder what former governor Lord Wilson is thinking, as he sips tea with the present governor? There is nothing more infuriating than watching someone do something that you said was impossible.