CONGRATULATIONS to Ernst and Young tax specialist Marshall Byres, who took delivery of a pleasant surprise last week - a fourth child. You may be one of Hongkong's top tax planners, but you're not so hot on family planning, are you Marshall? Talking of tax, we hear there is growing support among some planners (not Marshall) for a new type of levy, called Man Tax. This is a fee payable by men merely for being male. It was suggested - quite seriously - by US research psychologist June Stephenson in a book called Men Are Not Cost Effective. The overwhelming majority of crimes in all places - including Hongkong - are committed by men. Men also smoke more, crash more cars, damage more bars, smell worse, etc, etc. If Ms Stephenson's proposed levy (equivalent to HK$780 a year per male) were applied in Hongkong, it would bring in $2.28 billion a year. The Hongkong Government has long been looking for a way to spread the tax net wider, and this would resolve that problem. The Hongkong women to whom we've mentioned this all like the idea, because they see it as a punitive tax men deserve to pay for being members of such a scummy, disreputable, stupid group of individuals. We feel sure there must be a good argument to counter this, but we just cannot think of it. Guns and roses A READER who just returned to Hongkong from Seattle tells us he saw a sign in the window of a shop selling handguns and rifles: ''Mother's Day Reductions: 10 per cent off selected items.'' On the cadres THERE was a frisson of excitement among readers of the China Daily yesterday. ''You are never sure whether things are mistakes or hidden messages,'' said a subscriber on the phone from Beijing. The front page lead article yesterday mentioned a Mr ''Den Xiaoping''. ''Did they mean Deng, or is there a Dennis Xiaoping up here somewhere?'' he asked. What goes up COUPLE of friends were having a spot of afternoon tea at Stanley's French Restaurant on Sunday when it began to rain. After half an hour, it was still pouring. One of them dashed over to the market to buy an umbrella for $30. By the time she had got back to the restaurant, the rain had got heavier. So they decided they needed an umbrella each. The same girl dashed back to the same umbrella-seller she had spoken to 120 seconds earlier - only to find that the price was now $35. At this rate of inflation, the umbrellas will be about $470,000 by the end of the week. Incidentally, Kai Tak Airport was a miserable place on Sunday night. A massive storm had made flights up to five hours late. Hongkong businessman Rob Henderson was waiting for a friend when suddenly a voice made an announcement: ''Due to the shortage of airport buses and taxis all passengers are requested to make alternative arrangements for travelling through Kowloon City.'' Since there are no trains and you can't walk from the airport, it is difficult to work out what ''other arrangements'' they were thinking of. Hijacking a plane, perhaps? Head cold MAN Cheuk-kwan of Second Street, Western, admitted yesterday to being a reader of Cryonics - the journal about freezing people into suspended animation. ''Cryonics is a very interesting magazine, although not to be read on an empty stomach,'' he said. ''In the back is a form for you to sign up for cryonic suspension. Freezing your head costs only one-third of your whole body.'' Mr Man suggested putting HK$1 into a compound interest account and by the time the technology exists to unfreeze you, you should be extremely rich. ''There was a bit of unpleasantness in the cryonics industry recently,'' he added. ''You think it's a tragedy when the fridge at Park'N Shop breaks down and the meat gets spoiled? Well one of the cryonics fridges went wrong and someone was defrosted. Not a pleasant scene.'' Off Mike MORE twisted titles, this time from Mike Wray of Caldecott Road: A Fist Full of Collars: Life in a Hongkong laundry. Live and Let Fry: A tribute to cooked food hawkers. To Be the Pest: The Chris Patten story, as made by China. Occidental Hero: The Chris Patten story, as made by Britain.