Mon dieu, Maurice's sad Chaine of events

CAN anyone tell us why Cassam Gooljarry and Maurice Gardette have barely been on nodding terms for the past four years? Apparently if the two encounter each other at a bunfight they do little but acknowledge the other's presence before moving swiftly on.

We called Gardette at his Cafe de Paris restaurant in Central to ask what the reason for this frosty state of affairs between himself and the vice-president of Caves de France, the wine and bubbly importers.

Although initially reluctant to spill the haricots, the ebullient Gardette said it might stem from a dinner meeting of the high-powered foodie group Chaine des Rotisseurs some four years ago, of which Gooljarry is president for the Pacific region.

Gardette, recently arrived from Korea, where he was a vice-chancellor of the local branch of the Chaine, was invited to come along, which he did.

Mysteriously, he has never been invited since.

''I really do not know why,'' he explained.

''Maybe it was something to do with the fact that I did not buy any wine from him that night, but I was never asked again.

''I do not know what he has against me.'' So did that mean there was no social intercourse between the pair? Gardette, who was speaking over a crackly telephone line answered: ''I don't have intercourse with men!'' before explaining how the two men greeted each other with minimum cordiality.

Gardette retains hopes that he will one day be welcomed back to the society. ''Of course I would still like to return to the Chaine - I am still a member.'' Gooljarry was out of Hongkong when we called, but we look forward to hearing his version of events.