Who makes the financial decisions in your household? 'As the man of the family, I do,' claimed 57 per cent of the married men in Hong Kong. 'We make the financial decisions jointly,' said 70 per cent of the married women in Hong Kong. One conclusion of this real-life survey is that the different sexes are unclear about who, in fact, does make the financial decisions. Honesty and plain dealing have been much on my mind lately, what with the news events. There is the dispute between United States President Bill Clinton and women he may or may not have fondled. There is the Xinhua news agency's astonishing claim it had no files on Emily Lau Wai-hing, and the Secretary for Justice's controversial decision not to prosecute Xinhua or a businesswoman friend of the Chief Executive's. A firm called the Ming Teh Flag Co exported flags to the US with instructions to cut off the country of origin labels and add fake 'Made in the USA' labels. People just are not behaving in a simple, straightforward way anymore. Mulling over these incidents, I was reminded of one of the several times in my life when I have been unemployed, and how I once filled in a Hong Kong job application form with absolute, unimpeachable honesty. Telling the truth really is not that difficult. Name: Not really, but I hope to be one, one day. Preferred prefix: Lord and Master. Place of birth: My mother. Age: She was 35 at the time. Sex: You better ask my father. Race: He was human, although my mother had her suspicions. Your present status: Low. Street name: On the street, they call me 'that idiot'. State: Depressed most of the time, with occasional manic highs. Desired position: E-Z-Boy Recliner set to maximum tilt. Salary sought: Bill Gates'. Where did you receive your major education? Around the back of the bike sheds when I was 15. What would you say was your greatest achievement during your years of education? Marybeth Delacey from the local convent school, around the back of the aforementioned bike sheds. Last position held: A 35-degree tilt on a crowded 12M bus in Mid-Levels for 17 minutes this morning. What is your present position? A sort of languid slouch in a chair at City Hall Library. Reason for leaving your previous job: I suspected my employer harboured a degree of hostility towards me after a conversation which consisted of him repeating the greeting 'Get out' six times at the top of his voice. Do you mind if we contact your previous employer? I don't, but he might. Preferred working hours: 10am to 11am, a couple of times a week. Do you mind working shifts? Not at all, if they fall within the limits of my preferred working hours. Would you be willing to work full-time? No, but I would be willing to collect a full-time salary. What time are you used to starting work? Three or four hours after I get to the office. Do you have any special abilities that might make you a unique candidate? I can touch the end of my nose with my tongue. Do you have any physical limitations that may interfere with your ability to do physical work? Only extreme laziness, sleepwalking and suspected narcolepsy. Favourite extra curricular activities: Marybeth Delacey. Do you smoke? Only when set on fire. Do you have any infectious conditions? Yes, a braying laugh. Give examples of times you have shown initiative: Have occasionally taken baths before being told to. What would you like to be doing in five years' time? Ditching Claudia Schiffer for someone younger and prettier. What would you say are your major faults? The San Andreas, the Great Hanshin and the Northridge. Sign here: Libra. Date: Thanks for offering, but we hardly know each other. I would love to end this essay by saying the employer to whom I sent this was thrilled by my unusual forthrightness and gave me a job on the spot. But since I am being honest, I better own up that he thought I was being a glib prat. That is probably true. The truth often hurts, doesn't it, Bill? The big response to last week's competition has led us to increase the number of prizes from one to 10. Many people were tripped up by 'surfaces' for 'services'. First prize of a rare, unsigned Vittachi book goes to Bea Chan of Old Peak Road. Nine runners-up will receive signed copies.