Firm's haggis ambition Burns bright

Lai See just received news of Jardine Matheson's plot to dominate the Hong Kong market.

All challengers have been ruthlessly swept aside.

'We are mobilising the forces of the company to achieve our goal of complete domination of the market,' said company insider Sean Robson.

How chilling.

Yes, things get pretty cut-throat in the world of haggis.

Lai See just discovered that the sheep's stomachs full of ground up other-bits-of-sheep are a hot commodity here in the SAR.

Doug Brown, marketing director of Oliver's the Delicatessen, is pretty fired up about it.

Said he: 'As a Jardine Matheson organisation, we have strong Scottish roots and next to other J-M accomplishments like leadership in Central property holdings, luxury cars and five-star hotels, the domination of the Hong Kong haggis market should be considered equally worthy!'

And thanks to his firm's 'unrelenting efforts', Oliver's can now lay claim to the haggis king crown, with a 95 per cent market share.

'Oliver's places great strategic importance on this culinary legend and we are unswerving in our mission to satisfy the hordes of famished haggis connoisseurs,' Mr Brown said.

All this means that Thursday is a big day for Mr Brown and company.

Oliver's claims to have 'exclusively' flown in the leading brand of Scottish haggis for Burns Night.

Robert Burns wrote a love poem to a haggis, in which he called it 'Great Chieftain o' the Puddin-race'.

Lai See is guessing Robert was between girlfriends when he came out with that one.

Wrong ring: George W. Bush has been US president for just three days. But already America Online (AOL) appears to have fallen under his influence.

Reader Lutz Endl discovered that when he called up one of the firm's customer service officers. This ensued:

LE: I want to know whether you can also help me with information on Compuserve. This is an Internet company like AOL and they went together with AOL about two years ago.

AOL: How do you spell 'compsafe'?


AOL: Please wait a moment. I need to check with someone (annoying hold music).

AOL: Excuse me, can you please tell me - is Compuserve a country or a city?

Good grief. Lai See can't believe how ridiculous that question is.

Everyone knows a computer firm can't just transform itself into a self-contained, dictator-led country.

We thought the Microsoft ruling had made that perfectly clear.

Gift of gab: Security has always been a macho profession.

But the latest edition of the profession's Hong Kong trade magazine appears to have taken things that one step further.

The newsletter is called Security Update , and security training manager Michael J. Hurford stars on the front page.

There he describes his chosen career as: 'Lots of hard work, but with rewarding outcomes'. He goes on to brag that he and his colleagues are 'well-equipped'.

Normally we wouldn't read much into those words. But then, normally there wouldn't be a condom stuck underneath them.

The ribbed prophylactic is a 'free gift' affixed to the front page of the newsletter.

'Security has many facets!' says the slogan above it.

There's even a story that goes with it, informing us that Security Systems is interested in 'social issues'.

They certainly sound pretty social.

Graphic: whee23gbz