Lai See congratulates Goldman Sachs. The Mass Transit Railway Corp has hired the United States investment bank to help advise on its partial privatisation. All this means that a lot of staff there will be burning the midnight oil. They're a hard-working bunch. Which was probably why their London office was a little incensed by a European Commission directive limiting the working week to 48 hours. Which was probably why their London office invited employees to waive their rights to said limit. Hmmm. Dickensian or dedicated? Lai See decided to speak to the Goldman boys before making up her mind. Company spokesman Peter Rose told us the opt-out decisions were 'done on an employee by employee basis and human resources keeps track'. 'Here in Hong Kong we have no such protection,' he said. 'We work phenomenal hours. There's only one thing that keeps us going, day in and day out. 'And that's the chance to get up every morning and read the Lai See column.' There you have it. They're dedicated. What do toilet paper and driving a car have in common? Don't ask us. We were hoping you knew. The people at Shell seem to think the two items are connected. A brochure touting their new 'Vaporaon' fuel claims the new blue product is the most advanced on the market. 'The cutting-edge formula of V Power lets you experience power and smoothness like never before!' we are told. There follows a photo of a toilet roll hanging from it's holder. Shadows play against the tiled background, lending an arty feel. 'Silky smooth ride!' gushes the caption. Bit odd. Still more mysterious is another picture with the slogan 'Driving pleasure and excitement!'. The lower half of a man's face is revealed, smiling with pleasure. This joy is apparently derived from spot picking. The camera has captured him attacking a blemish with a pair of tweezers. Eew. We can only speculate as to what it all means. Perhaps Shell's out to corner the huge market on small-bladdered, spotty drivers. Ah, spring, when blood runs hot and young men's thoughts turn to shioking. You know. Shioking. As in The Spy Who Shioked Me. That's what the latest Austin Powers flick is called in Singapore. The real title, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, didn't make it past the city-state's censors, the Straits Times tells us. The comic spoof, starring Mike Myers, will open there on June 24. The Board of Film Censors found the reference to sexual activity 'crude and offensive'. So they decided to substitute a nice word. Literally. 'Shioked' is Singapore slang for 'good' or 'nice'. We think this is outrageous, and encourage the people of Singapore to protest by marching through the downtown streets armed with banners emblazoned with the banned word. Lai See enjoys stirring up a little discontent. But then, she's not a particularly shioked person. Sharp-eyed Lai See readers may have wondered why the phrase 'And Czechoslavakian T-shirts' appeared cryptically at the end of yesterday's tale of a Florida woman's Beijing tourist drama. It was supposed to have appeared in the first item in the column as a barb aimed at CIA geography. But a computer glitch sent it wandering mysteriously into the next story. However, we'd still like to thank the many callers who left messages alerting us to Czechoslavakia's non-existence. We were hoping to visit that country some day, but readers' news of its demise has forced us to rethink our plans. Still, there's always the Soviet Union.