CAROLE Allen of the Godown decided to get the trademark of her popular Admiralty restaurant registered. Her lawyer, Robin Bridge, filed an application with the Hongkong Government's Intellectual Property Department. The department wrote back stating that there was a problem. There is a rule which says you are not allowed to have a name which indicates that you are providing food and drink. The department said the word ''Godown'' transgressed that rule. It did? Mr Bridge was at a loss to know what sort of food or drink a Godown was. The department decreed that Godown consisted of the words ''go'' and ''down''. ''In combination means '(Of food) to be swallowed'.'' Now readers will know that godown is the local word for ''warehouse''. It comes from the Malay word gadong. It has nothing to do with Go and Down (nor does it mean God owns it). Most people think of it as a Hongkong word, and it is included in many company names in the territory. Mr Bridge wrote to Carole with the bad news, saying he had written to the registrar with his objection and would report back ''once I have something more sensible.'' We cannot help but wonder whether ''Intellectual Property Department'' is the most suitable name? Hacked off PUBLIC relations man Simon Clennell of Rowland Co has been scouting in the area around his office in Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, for places to take his clients. The Tin Yin Vegetarian Restaurant in Lyndhurst Terrace has a notice on the window saying: ''Please do not bring any meat or alcoholic into these premises.'' Simon found this rather disconcerting. ''Could make it difficult when I'm trying to do my job of entertaining media hacks.'' Life-spam A NAVY blue T-shirt arrived on our desk with the word SPAM emblazoned across the front in yellow letters. With it came a note from Theodore Eliot, managing director of Connell Bros (HK), of Stanhope House, Quarry Bay. ''As the distributor of Hormel products (including Spam) for Hongkong, I have noted with interest your ongoing promotional messages regarding Spam. ''I might mention that Spam is an all-pork luncheon meat and is the top quality product in its category. If you wish to investigate low-quality alternatives, you can find plenty of . . . other brands in the market,'' he writes. By the way, have you noticed that Spam cans have no expiration date stamped on them? Hormel lists the shelf-life as ''indefinite''. Captain's Log. Star Date 2693-1-25: Last night we discovered a prehistoric can of meatal substance from the previous millennium. Mr Spock analysed it with his tricorder and said: ''Captain. Remarkable. Even after six centuries, this foodstuff remains in exactly its original state of inedibility.'' LA lore THE irrepressible Nissen Davis of McDonnell-Douglas tells us that the state of California, in an effort to raise extra money for threatened social programmes, is expanding its ''vanity plate'' licence tag programme. Instead of just simple letters and numbers (like 10SNEI, translation: Tennis, anyone), you can now have a variety of graphic symbols, including hearts, stars, plus and minus signs, and hands. The Los Angeles Times headline over the story read: NUPL8S 4MORBUX. Inside info BOB Hartland of Bethany Ministries, a retreat for Christians in Cheung Chau, came across this instruction leaflet for a Philips toaster (excerpt below). *(original cutout, please refer to the newspaper) It definitely seems to qualify for our ''instructions for incredibly stupid consumers'' category. Presumably Philips imagined their customers thought it was all done by magic. By the book READER David Ginsberg was playing in a football match at Dills Corner, Sheung Shui, for the Hongkong Football Club 'B' team. ''Faster! Faster! Faster!'' screamed Bald Paul, a midfield player, at a teammate who had been run offside. The referee stormed up angrily to Paul and showed him a yellow card. ''You call me 'Bastard! Bastard! Bastard!' and I will book you,'' he said. Fortunately, a member of Asia's finest, who spoke English and Cantonese, managed to smooth ruffled feathers and get the yellow card withdrawn. In multicultural situations, patience is not just a virtue, but a necessity. Pun gent JOHN Crosbie, chairman of the bored of the Toronto-based International Save the Pun Foundation, recently announced the best-stressed puns of 1992. He chose the winners from submissions to his monthly newsletter, The Pundit. A new baseball player failed to adapt to life in the major leagues, and complained constantly. The owner asked the manager what was wrong. With a shrug, the manager replied: ''That's the way the rookie grumbles.'' Two strong-willed women on rigid diets were discussing the perfect wedding gift. ''Gift certificates from the grocery store,'' said one. Her friend replied: ''Catering service for a year would be even better.'' ''Yes,'' the first woman conceded with a sigh, ''but wouldn't that be postponing the inedible?'' At the annual zoo picnic, all the animals were quick to find the punch bowl. The first to pass out drunk were a young horse and his best friend, a monkey, proving once again that a foal and his monkey are soon potted. A priest sneaked off from church to play golf. Suddenly he was hit on the head by a golf ball. The golfer responsible rushed up to him and exclaimed: ''I've been playing this game for 40 years and I can finally tell my friends I've hit my first holy one.''