IT IS VERY difficult to cancel a cable TV contact in Hong Kong. It is not much of an exaggeration to say that you should be prepared for phone conversations like this.

YOU: I wish to cancel my contract.

CABLE FIRM: You need to fax us form 1065B(i).

YOU: But no one has a fax machine any more.

CABLE FIRM: Heh heh heh.

YOU: Can I come to the office and sign the form?

CABLE FIRM: Yes. Bring your ID card and a live mountain lion. To cancel your contract, you have to wrestle the lion to the ground in less than 30 seconds.

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Photo: Creative Commons.
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A KILLER IN EUROPE nearly got away with murder by using an only-in-Hong-Kong deadly weapon.

A man named Helge Ove Irgens, 61, was found dead in his bed in Norway, but there were no wounds, poisons or signs of a gas leak.

Investigators were stumped, I hear from a reader who follows the European press. There was nothing strange about the house. The victim’s daughter pointed out the curious fact that there was a used disposable foil barbecue tray in the garage, yet no sign of any food having been cooked. Detectives told her it was “irrelevant”.

It was only after investigators found that the man’s Filipina wife Robirusa had made internet searches for “ways to kill someone” that she eventually admitted killing him by lighting a charcoal fire and placing it by his bed as he slept, so that he would breathe in the fumes.

Disposable barbecues are a common deadly weapon in Hong Kong but are unknown in the West. So Hong Kong has finally made a contribution to world culture. How proud we can be! Er. Or maybe not.

coal burning to kill
Photo: Naminras1 Creative Commons license 2.0
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YOU CAN SCRAWL on the walls in Hong Kong with no fear of persecution if you follow the English version of this sign, spotted on the outer wall of the Yuen Long Public Swimming Pool by reader Scott Smyth. “Banksy is welcome at Yuen Long Swimming Pool,” quipped Scott. “Or perhaps the Leisure and Cultural Services Department is adding graffiti to their definition of cultural and leisure activities.”

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HONG KONG is going to get a machine that serves you hot food in 60 seconds, according to the Global Times. The machines will be tested in Shanghai in October before their Hong Kong launch at the end of the year. Well, maybe “food” is a bit of a stretch, since you get a steaming bowl of instant noodles, in a selection of “popular local flavors”. I imagine this means you can choose from “beef”, “msg”, and “lead poisoning”.

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FARMERS AND FISHERMAN now take up 60 seats in the 1,200-strong committee that inflicts “leaders” on Hong Kong’s blameless populace, according to stats in an Associated Press report released on Friday last week.

This is a bit strange. You don’t meet a lot of farmers in Hong Kong, and their rarity is reflected in the government’s own employment figures. I had a friend in Tin Shui Wai who grew a tomato in a window box once. Maybe HE’S the farming sector.

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IN A DRAMATIC move to calm the stock market, the Chinese government today replaced ALL NUMBERS with names from IKEA furniture items. More news at snurgwolk.

Nury Vittachi failed to win the Man Booker Prize this year. He also failed to win the Pulitzer Prize. He hopes to make it a clean sweep by failing to win the Nobel Prize for literature. He does not live on The Peak with 20 cats and a parakeet called Trixy. He is not strange.