Update from Hemlock

Hordes of voyeuristic perverts pour out of the closet and onto the streets of Hong Kong, unable to resist the prospect of a whole weekend’s leering at semi-naked, hairy, muscular, latent homosexual men jamming their faces between one another’s buttocks while writhing in mud. Adding to the annual Rugby Sevens strain on flights and hotels are the expatriate refugees fleeing Japan and its marauding mobs of radioactive mutant radishes coming after their kids.

But wait – there’s more!

The Big Lychee is, at this very moment, on the receiving end of a third inundation: the Invasion of the Giant Public-Relations Junket Leeches, trading expenses-paid tours of five-star accommodation and restaurants for column inches of praise more glowing than the Fukushima Prefecture spinach crop. It’s the Exciting Grand Soft Pre-Opening of the World’s Tallest Hotel, the Ritz-Carlton at the top of the 118-storey ICC Mega-Phallus nestling unobtrusively among the real estate/infrastructure/white elephant quagmire of West Kowloon. Never before in the field of human endeavour have so many tiny plastic bottles of shampoo been assembled with such loving attention to detail at so great a height above ground level. Nowhere else in the history of the hospitality industry has the breakfast buffet offered cold meats of such sublime and superlative quality that mysteriously somehow look identical to cold meats in every other hotel on the planet.

And no, I’m not jealous of people with job titles like Hotels Reporter, Luxury Travel. We are all prostitutes, but most of us draw the line somewhere.

In my case, the line just about encompasses advising Human Resources Manager Ms Doris Pang on fine-tuning her brutal personnel policies. Standing before my desk in the gwailo’s lair on the top floor of S-Meg Tower in the throbbing heart of Asia’s leading international financial centre, she fingers her knuckle duster while explaining her quandary in her clipped, slightly Nazi, accent. With extreme reluctance she has authorized the hiring of a group of more-uppity-than-average Hong Kong staff for a technical project. Unwilling to submit to her fascist kindergarten style of discipline, the free-thinking youngsters are breaking numerous petty rules – though of course doing the work perfectly. Specifically, how can she keep the fiends on the premises and stop them from drifting away too early in the evening?

“Ah!” I reply. “The old ‘How can you keep them from the elevators?’ problem.” After thinking for a few seconds, I recall an elegant solution: a short, purpose-made motivational film guaranteed to persuade office workers to stay at their desks all night if necessary…


Before declaring the weekend open, a quick quiz for cerebral types who are above rowdy and drunken ritualistic spectator sport gatherings. What does the following graph show?

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15 Responses to Update from Hemlock

  1. Sir Crispin says:

    The graph shows the combined weight of evangelical Christians in the US Bible Belt. Of course today, the scale would need to be changed to metric tons.


  2. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    Opium sales per employee of the East India Company? Or perhaps cumulative amount of soap used in the entirety of the British Isles.

  3. Longtimenosee says:

    Any elevator taking that long to climb 15 floors here in HK would lead to extreme violence.
    Which presumably explains the dent in the old mans head.

  4. Stephen says:

    I’m sure someone far cleverer than I will fathom out the graph. However I declare my weekend is open and yep I’m heading for the sevens. Mind you not to “leer at men jamming their faces between one anothers buttocks” but for a beer or several, yes some rugby, a streaker or two (female please not young expatriate male merchant banker) and whatever else the weekend brings. Enjoy.

  5. Morgan (Capital M, small organ) says:

    The average annual crop output per farmer, somewhere, as a result of the agrarian revolution.

  6. Maugrim says:

    For the 7’s, I love a beer, I love sport, but gee, there is a certain kind of expat who’s not happy unless he gets to run with a pack of ‘real’ people in the annual festival of gweiloness that is the piss-sinking, costume wearing 7’s.

    As to the graph, the weight of the UK’s accumuulated gold reserves during the Industrial revolution, or, a measurement of heavy metal/pollutants released into the atmosphere each year during that period?

    It could also be the collective weight of a Northern English village over time, showing the effect of the invention of crisps and turkey twigglers in 1779.

  7. Maugrim says:

    Also, the amount of Opium shipped to China during the same period.

  8. Probably The Injunear says:

    Is it the amount of fish landed on HK Island before malevolent barbarians annexed part of the glorious motherland or is it a prediction of the the weight of dog s**t dumped per day on Bowen Road in 179 years time?

    See you all at the Sevens!

  9. Shanghai Bling says:

    Spring has sprung.

    In Blighty, the first cuckoo tells them that winter is no more. Here we get Hemmers having a 3-day hissy fit at a load of fat gweilos letting their hair down.

    Chill out mate. We all only live for ~29,000 days.

  10. Tiu Fu Fong says:

    It’s that the fat gweilos can’t let their hair down without many of them being obnoxious that’s the problem. There’s something in the Anglo mind that says “I’m in a place where I don’t care that much about the judgment of these foreign looking people, so I’ll get pissed, run around naked and have no respect for the locals”. Actually, a lot of English chavs do most of that at home anyway.

  11. Brocco Li says:

    Nobody really likes the British. But then, nobody really likes the French either.

  12. Sir Crispin says:

    Drunken brits invading and fondling our women. I wonder, is this how the French felt in 1944?

  13. mumphLT says:

    Opium sakes to China?
    Size of Christmas turkey?

  14. Smedley Tangbottom III says:

    Avoiding the 7s (or crap TV or shite newspapers) is not at all difficult . I’ll be spending the weekend on one of the outlying islands, and my only connection to the jamboree will be a via the Post’s pull-out specials, which on S, S, M will invariably feature 6-8 pages of jovial types gurning their pretty little heads off plus a few pages of commentary from Alvin “chubbycheeks” Sallay and Tim “I look like a serial killer” Noonan.

    I think that most 7s haters love the event because it gives them something to bitch about.

  15. Mike Hunt says:

    So is Mr Hemlock going to tell us what the table means ?

    As an aside: I read a ‘piece’ somewhere recently that said that Mr Hemlock’s alter ego -“Harry the eternal bachelor from Britain’- worked for 3 major ‘tycoons’ in HK over the years as ‘the token company gwailo’.

    I think we have a right to know………….

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