Blue man just too naked without shorts

Central Station | Nury Vittachi 9 Nov 2018

Why is the Fire Services Department's blue man so popular? Because of his shorts, some Internet users reckon.

Back-story: the department wanted to liven up its public information campaigns so it dressed a guy from head to toe in a faceless blue costume to demonstrate safety tips.

Any professional marketing agency would have strongly advised against this, pointing out that this was totally random and the costume looks like kinky bondage wear anyway.

But staffers added a stroke of idiocy/genius. They decided he looked "too naked" and made him wear shorts -even though he has no genitals.

This triggered the "it's so bad it's good" principle - and now the blue man, named Anyone, is being energetically parodied by individuals, government departments and businesses.

"Many cartoon characters use the fact that they have no genitalia to be naked in public," said reader Luk Chi-keung. "I hope they will all follow this example and put on some trousers."

* * *

Reader Simon Clennell has been finding accidentally amusing items in newspaper listings of companies going bust. "Like watch companies being 'wound up' and juice-making companies being 'liquidized,'" he said.

Last week, he saw an announcement that a Hong Kong umbrella company is about to fold.

Is the universe sending a political message?

* * *

Readers loved the stories of people creating first names to match surnames, and sent in lots of examples. "Hong Kong used to have two brothers, Westward Ho and Ivan Ho," said Mei Fong. Sam Jackman added: "I worked with a girl called Ida Ho."

There is a category of funny names that play with Cantonese pronunciation, Nigel Lo said, and only those who know English and Cantonese can appreciate.

Reader Joyce Swaine met a woman in a shop where all staff had their personal names pinned to their busts. "Her name was Milk," she said.

* * *

Westerners also create names with messages, readers said. Brian Almond had a teacher called Albert Hall who went to school with a boy called Sydney Harbour. Mary Stickley used to know a family called Case who named their son Justin. Get it?

* * *

I hate it when Singapore newspapers print articles saying that media freedoms are being eroded in Hong Kong. What do Singaporeans know about media freedoms?

* * *

Reader Sunita Chau asked if Kitack Lim, boss of the International Maritime Organization, was named after our former airport. I don't think so: Lim is South Korean.

The old airport was named Kai Tak after the personal names of two individuals who owned that land. We should have kept that tradition going. Instead of "Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok" it should have been named after whoever lived there, so it would have been "Gilbert and Ming-ming airport" or whatever.

Stop press: a colleague has just pointed out the most populous inhabitants of north Lantau when they built the airport were cattle, so it would have been "Daisy the Cow Airport."

* * *

So, Jardine Matheson bosses have announced that they will knock down the much beloved Excelsior Hotel and replace it with an office block. What a wonderful idea! Hong Kong doesn't have many office blocks!

* * *

Thought for the day: people who talk to themselves are significantly more intelligent, according to a statement I said out loud just now.

Talk to me: send ideas and comments to the Facebook pages of this author or The Standard.

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