Tired of golfing at the weekend? Kids fed up with their toys? Want to spend more time with the family? Then you need to get into the wild and wacky world of statistics. Apparently the economic boffins down at the Government's Census and Statistics Department know something we don't. That stats are fun for all the family. The government leaflet Statistics and You takes us through a typical day with the mind-numbingly boring Chan family, in what appears to be a desperate attempt to justify the department's existence to taxpayers. We find our heroes discussing young John Chan's search for a job. Mr Chan senior takes up what we are led to believe is a typical discussion over morning congee. 'Don't worry too much,' says Mr Chan in his reassuring paternal tones. 'As Hong Kong is still in the midst of an economic adjustment and consolidation period brought about largely by external economic factors, high unemployment will inevitably remain with us for some time.' At this point John probably wishes he'd missed breakfast, and tries to bury his head in his comic. Spotting her young son's lack of interest, Mrs Chan tries to liven up the discussion. 'The composite CPI released by the Census and Statistics Department was 117.9 in 1998, showing an increase of 2.8 per cent over 114.7 in 1997.' At this point young Mary, still sleepy-eyed and with her teddy dangling by her side, enters the kitchen and tells how excited she was to see all the toys and gifts in Causeway Bay the previous day. John slumps still further into his chair. Mrs Chan tells her daughter there were not so many toys available when she was a girl, but that changed with the growing economy. 'The gross domestic product grew at an annual average rate of 3.7 per cent between 1988 and 1998 . . .', ad infinitum. Lai See can't wait for the sequels. We hear the Chan family will be discussing civil service salaries and conditions of Service at a barbecue site in Sai Kung, student financial services at the cinema, and technical education and industrial training on a minibus to Mongkok. Move out the way, Lai See is coming through. God help anyone who gets in the way and stops him getting a ticket to the social event of the decade, no, the millennium! Those sneaky people at the Jardine Sports Association have managed to bag an exclusive 'Weekend Tour to First Bus Depots' and it's on a first-come-first-serve basis for just 30 tickets. Lucky ticket holders can 'visit the assembly line, spraying and inspection of the bus, filling diesels and collection of coin boxes'. No, please, stop. The excitement is too much. Next you'll be telling us we get to see the mechanical car-wash station. We do? Ahhhhhh, STOP. Members are warned that if they book tickets and fail to turn up, they will be subject to a $10 bus fee 'no matter what the reason'. So if Lai See gets hit on the head by a train and suddenly realises he is going to spend a whole weekend listening to very boring men talking about very boring machinery, he has to pay 10 bucks? That's not fair. Looks like another weekend up at the Tseung Kwan O refuse site then. The award for the shortest and least transparent press conference goes to . . . Dickson Poon, chairman of swanky retailer Dickson Concepts (International). Mr Poon, who first made his retail mark selling expensive timepieces, threw a press briefing to announce the company's interim results. Majority shareholder Mr Poon read out a short review of operations before inviting questions from the press. He fielded the first salvo well but was visibly miffed by the second question about his privately held investment fund buying hi-tech shares. After just a couple more questions, Mr Poon said: 'Okay, no more questions. Thank you for coming,' and flounced out of the room. Lai See is sorry to note that the man who gave the public expensive watches and clocks is more concerned with protecting his stocks. This headline appeared in leisure magazine Macau Travel Talk recently. 'Crack runners gun for Macau marathon gold.' Lai See knew the enclave had gambling problems but not a drug epidemic.