Friday, July 15

Freshly honoured

Unexpected Recipients of the French Legion of Honour on this year's Bastille Day

KIMORA LEE-SIMMONS for outstanding contribution to the national luxury goods sector

DAN BROWN for accomplishment in the field of tourism through his excellent travel guide of Paris

HERMES for extraordinary bravery and devotion to duty while upholding official store opening hours in the face of Forbes most powerful celebrity

PARIS HILTON for bestowing untold prestige and classiness upon the City of Light by virtue of name association

LANCE ARMSTRONG in return for cycling a little bit slower in the Tour de France

OLIVIER MARTINEZ for inspirational achievement in sexiness and the promotion of mass swooning

JOHNNY DEPP for exemplary service to the beret

Thursday, July 14

Credit card ratings

There are credit cards aplenty in Hong Kong but the only ones worth mentioning are found at MEVAS Bank. As all credit cards are not created equal, my special team of Standard & Poor's ratings analysts have evaluated the ones most commonly seen at the customary post-meal billfights.


Much like pandas, penguins are awkward moving black and white creatures starting with the letter "p" that God clearly destined for no other purpose other than to inspire cute merchandise. Therefore I had high hopes for this credit card. However I found the designs underwhelming, even bewildering, especially the one which suggests that Pingu is about to head off on a spelunking expedition.

Furthemore, despite all the talk of Robby the seal, baby sister Pinga and Pingu's parents, none of them even get a look-in. Way to shut out your friends and family, Pingu. Spending HK$2800 on the credit card entitles you to a free bag which frankly looks bigger than most apartments here and is therefore highly impractical. The only saving grace is the three year annual fee waiver. Ultimately this is a merchandising opportunity had so much potential but came up short, quite like the American Psycho toy chainsaw set.
Credit Rating: C-


Now we're talking. Afro Ken's always been a bit of crowdpleaser and once again he doesn't disappoint. The cards are colourful and evoke the vibrancy of a day out at the mall. What is more impressive is the array of gifts on offer - a 17-inch stuffed toy, changeable hairdo for the toy (it has been established that AK has more weave than Destiny's Child combined), an extra set of three-inch toys, not to mention a downloadable screen saver. What an embarrassment of riches!

Just when I thought it couldn't get better, AK really ups the ante with design cheques. Although the fine print indicates that the gifts aren't actually free you won't mind paying extra because you'll be feeling particularly extravagant and possibly even flamboyant with this card around.
Credit Rating: AA+

A perennial favourite over here, the Snoopy cards don't try to reinvent the wheel. They are solid, dependable cards for when you want to fit in and identify with the everyman office worker. However you can't help thinking that they seem to have forsaken their traditional client base. The welcome plush toy is only 8 inches compared to Afro Ken's whopping 17 inches. There is only a two year fee waiver instead of the usual three years.

Snoopy seems determined to make you work hard to earn gifts like signing up imaginary dependants for supplementary cards or applying for the platinum card. Platinum card eligibility is based on salary rather than how many characters in the Peanuts gang you know off the top of your head. Let's face it, the beagle has become so damn exclusive that we might as well call the card SNOBBY.
Credit Rating: BBB


With Miffy you can choose from 4 designs which depict Miffy doing pretty much all the things that a child rabbit with a stitched up mouth is capable of doing. The Miffy ceramic fruit tea set gets points for being different and is useful for when March Hare, Hatter and that narcoleptic rodent come over for an afternoon tete-a-tete.

There are also Miffy cheques in a debt-friendly shade of peach salmon. All in all, a card that I would be happy to hand over to be swiped anywhere, anytime. The only thing that's keeping it from getting a higher rating is the lack of a plush toy gift. It's a harsh approach, but fair nonetheless.
Credit Rating: A

Wednesday, July 13

Opportunities abound

First Agent Provocateur landed in Hong Kong, now Victoria's Secret is launching its frilly lacy fluffly unmentionables into China. This sexy onslaught upon our shores will be welcomed by the millions of Chinese who are addicted to playing Pink Panty Poker.

It's all just part of a recent upsurge in sexiness around the country. The good citizens of China have realised that they are serious about being a developed country they're going to have to start dressing like one. Pretty soon, we could be having our own troupe of Pussycat Dolls who perform burlesque routines to state-approved tunes!

In fact, opportunities abound for Chinese women who are willing to show a bit of skin. They can find now gainful employment providing shade at race meets or partially blinding prospective investors at real estate fairs.

The months of July and August are especially promising because they bring long, hot days and half price entry at amusement parks. Bear in mind that the article was written in a disapproving tone of a prude who needs to spend more time with Robert Altman in order to appreciate legs that have barely turned nineteen. I mean, it's not as if anybody can see up your skirt when you're speeding way up high up on a rollercoaster.

If you don't mind travelling further afield then the Byeonsan Bikini beach is offering 10% less for wearing 90% less. The Byeonsan Bikini beach, where men are outnumbered 5 to 1 by women in identical bikinis and identical fake Louis Vuitton beach towels.

Unfortunately, there still exists a lack of benefits for men who are similarly inclined. So much for equal opportunity. Unless you're in Mongolia where skimpy male attire gets you into all the right places.

Tuesday, July 12

Snap On Smile

Modern dentistry isn't about oral hygiene anymore. It's about looking like somebody worth making eye contact with in a crowded bar...looking like a celebrity! All your basest fantasies revolving around celebrity emulation are now easily achievable through the Snap On Smile.

I advise you to inspect the brochure and soak in the benefits of celebrity-inspired teeth. But before you decide which style you want, check back with me. The fast and fickle world of fame is such that you could easily end up wearing last season's smile. Forget about the Halle, the Julia, the George et al - this summer everyone who's anyone is snapping on:

The Gary [Busey]

The Vanessa [Paradis]

The Steve [Buscemi]

The Madonna [Louise Ciccone]

The Ethan [Hawke]

The Dakota [Fanning]

Monday, July 11

Think of the poultry

It used to be that when chickens got the flu, there was nothing to worry about. All they needed was a couple of days of bedrest, plenty of fluids and some of their own soup and a full recovery was guaranteed.

However we live in more complicated times now, where avian flu is a recurring problem in Asia. We might be well on the way to developing a vaccine but what about the chickens? Will someone please think of the poultry! Each time a new outbreak is reported, hundreds and thousands of our feathered friends end up being culled - that's a whole lot of potential kung pao chicken gone to waste.

The answer lies with keeping the chickens healthy and disease-free in the first place. After all, prevention is better than cure. Thanks to an innovative Austro-Japanese collaboration involving chicken suits, we have found a way to do this. After spraying the suits with anti-viral disinfectant we can let our chickens don them like armour against the ravages of deadly virus.

Of course there is also the aesthetic value from the stylish designs and the credibility gained from being featured on The Manolo's Shoe Blog (where I first came across them). There are five designs in the current collection which correspond roughly to the five main personality types found in chickens (the words in italics are from the website. really.):

for the mozart freak, the vienna choir boys and chocolate freak

for the japanophiles among the chicken

for the super fashion conscious chicken. useful for expeditions to the south pole

shy chicken? always want to hide? this is your model!

your chicken is into skiing? well – this suit will keep it warm and comfy.

It might take a while to make it onto the G8 agenda so in the meantime we're going to have to rely on your generosity. Please send a chickensuit our way today and make the coop a safer place for our children!

Sunday, July 10

You Like, You Buy Vol 30

In Hong Kong, where the average cup size is equivalent to the size of a common Duracell alkaline battery, there is a thriving industry dedicated to bust enhancement.

Now I've been looking around for something to help get me through bikini season, but it's been a difficult process. We really are spoilt for choice! Do I go for the "Big B" or "Bust Out of Here"? Do I go for pills or creams? The sales assistants are no help because they just baulk when I ask them to rip open their top and show me how good the goods are.

Just when I thought things couldn't get more complicated, the Amique Group had to go and revolutionise things by bringing in B2 Alpha Body Make Gum, the chewing gum for breasts enlargement. The company has also dabbled in other beauty products like the unattractive-sounding Pomhyanggi range but they really hit the mother lode with this miracle gum.

B2 Alpha Body Make Gum is the creation of one Mr Tanaka who is a naturopathic physician as well as a dentist. He seems passionate about Pueraria mirifica and he also goes on at length about the virtues of chewing gum adding that:
it is luscious and convenient.

The product website contains a wealth of information including a treatise on the secrets of bust-enhancement. It begins promisingly with the words "there is bust and there is bust" but promptly spirals into technical jargon which serves to keep me in awe of the advanced scientific methods that are at work here.

But what ultimately sold me were the convincing testimonials. Made by people just like me, who are flat-chested and have trouble expressing themselves when overcome with happiness. Through them I have discovered that the chewing gum boasts a number of extra benefits:

Potential membership of the Fantastic Four
I'm totally surprised now that my breasts have become elastic, only 3 days after taking this. My breasts were not small originally, but my sagging breasts becoming elastic!!!

Defeating the biological time clock
Thank you so much. I'm going to become E-cup before 30-year of age!

Increased bravado
Though I am yet below normal, I have come to have like confidence of trying to challenge everything else.

Eagerness to partake in fashion trends
No my goal is close at hand. I want to enjoy underwear fashion as early as possible!

I've already been ruminating solidly for the past few hours and already I can feel stirrings, or perhaps palpitations, in my chest. By next month, I expect that due to my markedly changed appearance, I will no longer be able to see the keyboard when I blog.