A GROUP OF friends were at a bar in Lan Kwai Fong, the bar district of Hong Kong, where Martina, 27, prattled on at length about her speed-dating evening.
If she were ever arrested, police would have to change the wording of the Miranda warning: "You have the right to remain silent - even though you do not have the ability."
Anyway, she says: "You spend five minutes with one guy, and then you move on to the next one."
I tell her that sounds like Madonna's love life, only slower.
She explained that there had been two guys she liked. "One was an accountant, and the other a vice president. Which is better?"
Huh? What sort of person judges others by their titles? I once met a 30-something guy, a civil servant, who worked with old folk: his job title was "Elderly Officer."
Then there was the garment factory foreman whose title was: "Manager of Bottoms."
The two of us who were still awake/sober voted for the accountant. Martina was puzzled. "But isn't a vice president higher up? Isn't he just under the president?"
We explained that there's always one chairman and one treasurer, but any number of vice presidents.
One of the comatose drinkers came back to life. "My company has more than a thousand VPs," he slurred. "We have four layers of them: executive vice presidents, senior vice presidents, vice presidents and junior vice presidents, the last group previously known as potted plants."
I told Martina that at current rates of growth, ALL sentient lifeforms will carry the title vice president by 2015. (Dogs' business cards will read "vice president-canine.")
We gave Martina a quick rundown on corporate titles.
Chairman of the board: Walks on water. Flies like Superman. Takes orders from God.
President: Walks on air. Jump over buildings like the Hulk. Takes orders from the chairman.
Chief executive officer: Walks on John Lobb shoes. Leaps from tower to tower like Spider-Man. Takes orders from the president.
Chief financial officer: Walks on Upminster carpets. Looks good in leather like Catwoman. Takes orders from the CEO.
Managing director: Walks on eggs, hoping not to upset anyone. Can fight gorillas, like Super Mario. Takes orders from all of the above.
Vice president: Walks on tiptoes, hoping no one notices him. Can jump over cracks in the pavement. Takes orders from everyone except the toilet cleaner.
Junior vice president: Crawls on hands and knees. Cleans toilets.
Secretary: Walks on Manolo Blahnik shoes. Performs miracles. She IS God.
Martina looked puzzled at the list. "It's very useful, thank you, but where's the accountant on this list?"
I explained the holders of the top four titles were likely accountants.
She nodded slowly.
I think she had made up her mind.
"I think I'll just buy a dog," she said. "Or should that be `vice president-canine?"'