At last, Park'N Shop looks after No 1

ON Tuesday morning, Mike Levin, Hong Kong-based correspondent for Billboard magazine, decided to try out the delivery service from the new Park 'N Shop on Macdonnell Road.

He bought $900 worth of groceries and checked that they would deliver to his flat in Prince's Terrace, near Caine Road. Fine, said staff.

Starting on Wednesday morning, he heard (in order during nine calls to Park 'N Shop over the following three days), the following reasons for its non-appearance: ''We can't find your place.'' ''We came, but you weren't home.'' (''I was,'' insists Mike.) ''It's too difficult to deliver to your house.'' (You can't drive right up to Mike's building.) ''The men are too tired to deliver to your house.'' ''We don't deliver to your area; you'll have to come and pick it up.'' ''We sent them to the wrong place.'' ''You gave us the wrong address.'' ''They delivered the groceries to number 12.'' (Mike's is number one.) ''They can't retrieve them because no one is at home at number 12.'' To give them their due, the company did apologise gracefully when Mike, close to starvation, ran out of patience and threatened to invoke the name of Lai See.

The groceries were delivered yesterday afternoon - along with a young lady carrying a box of chocolates and a bottle of champagne.

Sounds like a treat worth losing a little weight for.

Rough wisdom VETERAN Australian golfer Greg Norman said this week that when you lose a tournament ''you've really got to swallow the bullet''.

Interesting. Is this before or after you bite your pride? Bum advice THE curse of Friday 13 struck in South Korea yesterday. The Seoul share market suffered its biggest one-day fall ever.

The strange thing was that during the tumble two stocks moved steadily upwards: knicker-maker Shinyoung and film company Century.

This was hard to explain. Mona Siddique, Hong Kong-based emerging markets specialist, said: ''It seems that skinflicks must be a good bet.'' Brokers in Korea, including Choi Bum at Seoul Securities, put a brave face on it. ''In the long run, this is very good news for the market,'' insisted Mr Bum.

Night heat FORGIVE tenants of the Causeway Centre, a residential block near the Sun Hung Kai Centre in Wan Chai, for being sweaty and bleary-eyed this morning.

They got a note from their property managers this week. The electricity would be off on Friday 13 from ''11 midnight to 6.30 am'', it said.

This meant no air-conditioning, no light, no running water and no lifts - no joke when you are living in a 42-storey tower. ''Bring your own illumination for walking up and down the staircases,'' it added.

''I would have thought they could have chosen a more appropriate time of year,'' said resident Robin Lynam, who was last night not looking forward to a 19-flight climb after spending his evening in the Foreign Correspondents' Club bar.

Presumably the managers at Colliers Jardine scheduled it for the night hours because they assumed everyone would be asleep.

This was a mistake. In summer, these hours are precisely when everyone is at home depending on their electricity. ''There won't be much sleeping going on when it is 32 degrees Celsius without air-conditioners or fans,'' said Robin.

Whatever happened to those colonial punkah-wallahs? Degrees of proof HELPFUL letter received yesterday from Christopher New of the University of Hong Kong's Department of Philosophy: ''Lai See, the conundrum posed by 'This page is intentionally left blank' appearing on an otherwise blank page is easily solved. Such sentences are known to philosophers as self-falsifying statements - ie, sentences the asserting of which guarantees the falsity of what is asserted.

There are also, conversely, self-verifying sentences, such as 'This is an English sentence', the asserting of which guarantees the truth of what is asserted. Once we see how such sentences must, as it were, make themselves false or true, our perplexity should be dissipated.

''Speaking of which, a more apposite example for your column might be 'I am too drunk to speak'. While some Lai See readers may occasionally be in that condition (Editor's note - surely not ), they will doubtless be relieved to know that they can't be init if they say they are.'' Blightied future DENIZENS of Hongkong Bank were curious to read about the soldiers at Stanley Fort being so happy about being posted back to the UK.

This is because there is a big restructuring going on at the bank. It means large numbers of expatriate bank staff are being sent back to old Blighty and some are going kicking and screaming. They will lose their expat flats and privileges, and have to pay 40 per cent tax on their remaining income.

One scathing observer from the banking industry sent us this song for them to sing: Those were the days my friend, We hoped they'd never end.

We'd live rent-free for ever and a day.

We'd live the life we choose: Golf, girls, junks, sun and booze.

No tax at all, oh yes those were the days.