Fat Men's Trousers
There used to be a wonderful shop in Kowloon City called "Fat Men's Trousers".
No beating about the bush, the name said it all: no need to shuffle in sheepishly wondering whether there would be anything in your size. Everything was in your size or -- words you never heard in Marks & Spencer – too big.
The staff never looked down on you either, they just got the extra long tape measure round your middle, noted the result and pointed to the right pile.
Of course once you found a pair to fit your nether regions, the legs would be too long – in my case by up to 12 inches. But no problem! The service included trimming the length and sewing the ends off neatly, all within the quoted price.
The shop is gone now, of course, though it is unclear whether it was killed off by high rents or the political correctness police objecting to the name. Who knows, perhaps it still exists but calls itself "Fuller Figure Fashion" so no-one knows what it sells or cares where it is.
Talk of political correctness brings me to the subject of our Secretary for Security Lai Tung Kwok.
In presenting the crime statistics for the first quarter, Mr Lai noted that there had been an increase in the number of reported rapes and that one factor in many of the crimes was high alcohol consumption by the victim. In some cases their faculties were so diminished they were unable to describe their attackers or identify them in a police line-up.
Mr Lai proffered the perfectly sensible comment – one which every father of a teenage daughter will be familiar with – to the effect that moderation in consumption would be a good idea.
The thought police were outraged and immediately went on to the attack. Lai was blaming the victims for bringing the crime upon themselves, this was a second violation of their persons, and so on.
Of course poor Lai was doing no such thing. Rape is a crime of violence perpetrated (usually) by men on (usually) women. There is no excuse for it, and those found guilty deserve severe punishment which they invariably receive in our courts so far unpolluted by the "everyone's a victim" philosophy that seems to permeate courts in some other jurisdictions.
But it is a sad symptom of our times that one cannot say that a particular style of dress – an ultra short skirt, perhaps, or a see-through blouse – is a little provocative without suffering a tidal wave of abuse.
"Women have the right to go wherever they want, dress however they want, drink until they're legless.." etc "no excuse for rape…"
Yes, they do have those rights, and no nothing excuses rape.
But Mr Lai, as the father of a teenage daughter, could I please assure you your perfectly sensible advice was very welcome in at least one household in Hong Kong.
Keep up the good work.
Meanwhile, I have found a new "Fat Men's Trousers" shop, in Sheung Shui. Anyone who would like to know the address is welcome to contact me.