Just say you won't call me again - that'll do nicely

WAN Chai security specialist Tony Giles got a message on his answer-phone in autumn last year.

It was dynamic staff from American Express tracking down naughty members.

''We are trying to contact Mr Morgan,'' she said, and left a number to call.

Tony phoned the company and explained that had no idea who Mr Morgan was.

''What is the account number?'' he was asked.

''How should I know?'' replied Tony.

There were repeated calls for Mr Morgan over the next few months.

It was rather frustrating. ''Every time I phoned up about it, they asked me what the account number was,'' said Tony, who is not an American Express member.

It happened again early this week. Tony explained his predicament, and the charge card staff were polite and contrite and promised not to phone him to trace Mr Morgan again.

They kept their promise.

The other night, Tony got back to his tiny flat (250 sq ft) to see his answer-phone light blinking, and switched it on.

''This is American Express. We are trying to contact Ms Poon . . .'' said the voice.

''Now I know what's going on,'' said Tony. ''A whole gang of charge card fraudsters are all handing out my telephone number.'' An American Express spokeswoman told us: ''It's pure coincidence that both people had his number on their files.'' She was happy to add that there was no gang hiding in his cupboard.

Chas chastened CHARLES Hearfield was in a crowded office in Hutchison House yesterday morning when the telephone rang on the other side of the room.

''It's for you,'' the secretary called out across the room. ''It's Catherine from Sweet Bangkok.'' Everybody looked up. Charles turned crimson. People tittered.

Charles thought: ''God, how embarrassing. I don't even remember ever being in a bar called that.'' He slunk guiltily over to pick up the phone. It turned out to be ''Catherine from Swiss Bancorp.'' Age-old story CAN'T say we are totally sympathetic with the views of Mr Wong Siu-foon of the Hongkong Theatres Association, reported yesterday in this newspaper.

He reckons that his members DO try to sort out which cinema-goers are old enough to go to adults-only films.

But they find it tough to tell whether a person is over 18.

Well, here's a instant lesson to the staff of UA Queensway.

You recently showed two hours of violence, perversion, evil and sex (a woman being raped by a werewolf, actually) in the shape of the movie Dracula, to a friend of ours, and a person sitting in the same row.

This person was about 34 inches tall, wet her pants, had a limited vocabulary (heavily featuring words such as ''bahba'' and ''mahma''), and wanted to be carried everywhere.

Whenever you see an individual like this, he or she is either (a) a toddler aged three, or (b) an under-sized member of the Foreign Correspondents' Club.

Either should be summarily ejected.

Spouse kebab KENNETH Clarke of Hongkong International Terminals had some inside information about the Tregunter fire alarm.

''One lady who walked down from about the 30th floor announced that her husband said he would rather take the risk of being barbecued in his bed than get up at 5 am.

''However, if she found it was a real fire, she was to go back up and let him know.

''Now there's a man to be admired,'' he said.

Don't know about that, Kenneth. We visualise bands of feminists heading to Tregunter with matches and tanks of paraffin after reading this.

Hair-raiser SMOKING causes hair to grow on your face.

But only in women, we heard from Dr Judith Mackay.

The anti-smoking campaigner said last week that a Chinese firm which tried to associate smoking with male virility was pushing the opposite of the truth.

But the habit is equally bad for women's love lives, she said.

The British Medical Journal carried a report which said that smokers get a ''leathery, worn, rugged appearance . . . and a plethoric, slightly orange, purple and red complexion''.

Dr Mackay said: ''I am tempted to offer a prize for the most truthful advertisement for cigarettes. Perhaps if the winner is a smoker, the prize should be a face lift.'' Waste paper DEFINITION of Hongkong inflation: when a counterfeiter buys paper, ink and a high-resolution colour photocopier, prints $100,000 of hot money - and comes out the loser.

More inflation THE latest example of two-tier pricing comes from over the fence, from the White Swan Garden, a new apartment complex in Conghua, near Guangzhou.

The announcement sent to newspapers yesterday in Chinese said: ''Guangzhou's White Swan Hotel entered into a HK$500 million estate venture with Termbray''.

The announcement sent to newspapers yesterday in English said: ''Guangzhou's White Swan Hotel entered into a HK$5 billion estate venture with Termbray''.

Makes the mark-ups for foreigners on Nathan Road seem a bargain.