MANY Hongkong electronic goods retailers are brushing up on their languages, so they can con, er, sell things to a wider range of foreigners. After observing this, Pete Gallo of Chung Pak Group has reconstructed a typical conversation in Nathan Road Franglais: Touriste: Bon Jour. Avez vous de cheap duty-libre bargains? Salesman (Eiffel Lee): Mais certainment. Nous avons des choses so cheap que nous makes un grand loss sur tous les choses que nous sells. In fact, actually nous somme le factory outlet, et nous also avons le Closing Down Sale, so c'est grand bargains. Absolutement. Touriste: Alors. Combine de 'chien' est que c'est que le petit Sony Camcorder la? S: Le camcorder c'est un vrai bargain. Seulement US$1,000. Best price. T: Mais le shop next door avons le meme model, plus cheap. S: Nonsense. Ils donnet le price in US dollars. Much plus cher. T: Mais vous avez dit le worse price, aussi in US dollar, c'est just as bad. S: Non. Nous avons le much better exchange rate. Next door ils sont thieving swine, avec le terrible exchange rate. T: Okay. Combien de Hongkong dollars? S: C'est HK$10,000 seulement. Best price. T: Sacre bleu, c'est even dearer! S: Pourquoi vous ne gettes out de mons shop et allez next door then? Quel impertinence. Bloody touristes! One of a kind ANDY Ram of Fortune Plaza, Tai Po, tells us there is a gentleman in the product marketing department of Array Electronics in Kwai Chung called Lonely Man. Can you imagine the conversation if someone tried to make friends with him in a bar? A: What's your name? B: Lonely Man. A: I'm sorry to hear that. But what's your name? B: Lonely Man. A: I can see that. But WHAT'S YOUR NAME? B: LONELY MAN. A: I'm not surprised. (Storms off.) Virgin airline MET a London-based aviation reporter who had received a press release from CAAC, about hiring air stewardesses. A condition of the job is that they ''must be virgins'' said the announcement. He wondered if they meant ''must be single'' and phoned the CAAC office to ask. They reiterated that they meant ''virgins''. ''How do they check?'' he wondered. The big question is: any jobs going as interviewers? Paper tigers THERE was a fascinating conference on Trade Measures and the Environment at the Convention Centre in Wan Chai yesterday. Popped in and asked whether there was a press release to go with it. There was. More than one, in fact. The biggest single pile of press bumpf we have ever seen was handed over. Amazingly, we managed to get it back to the office without any heavy lifting equipment. It was 21/2 times the height of our Yellow Pages Hongkong Buying Guide. None of it was on recycled paper, and major chunks of it were printed on one side only. Bet there weren't any trees on the organising committee. Easier to forget DOMINIC Parkinson of Repulse Bay Road picked up the Saigon Times in Vietnam and found a fascinating story about the Phonelink communications network. It says: ''Phonelink's communications network has been made easy to the users with this easy-to-memorise message: Phonelink pager helps shorten the distance. Wherever you are, the message sender or receiver can get access to information around the clock in forms of letters or numbers. The services network is available in Ho Chi Minh City and neighbouring locations such as Vung Tau and Cu Chi. Pager holders can be reached by dialling the automatic number of 280, or the number 281 via telephone switchboard,or 282 via servicelink. No limit on the number of calls . . .'' That's ''easy-to-memorise''? Clever, those Vietnamese. Heaven sent A USEFUL phobia to know about in Hongkong is ''caeloscatophobia'', we hear from Bob Bunker of BNP. This is the fear of having a certain substance, let us call it fertiliser, fall upon you from a great height. He recalls the term actually being used in a memo at a Hongkong financial institution. Apparently caeloscatophobia happens a lot in merchant banks. We would love to bandy such terms about, but we suffer from scatos-splattus-fan-phobia. Choc-a-block SUFFERING from phenylethylamine overload after gorging chocolates received on Valentine's Day? You know the nicotine patch for smokers trying to quit? For chocolate addicts, there's the chocolate patch, made by Callaghan Promotions, an entrepreneurial firm in Michigan.