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?