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Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

Classical Music Agony Aunt ALICE McVEIGH's
adventures in China ...

Dear kind and exalted sir of www.musicandvision,
I am writing to beg that you forward my kind message to Mrs Alice McVeigh, who until recently was staying at the hotel. To our inexhaustible sorrow, she checked out yesterday and the chef has been weeping into the hot and sour soup ever since. The room service boys are listless (as every other esteemed guest in Beijing knows not to tip) and go about their duty without eclat, and Lucy (who like much to look at gracious Mrs McVeigh's estimable and lovely young daughter's eye) will not leave her room.

Worst of all in affliction is the manager of the gift shop, who sold lots of pearl before the beloved and deeply regretted aforementioned visitor learned how -- as we quaintly do here in Beijing term it -- to bargain. Veh Ree Put Owt was last seen propping up the bar at the Very Pretty Bar in Wangfujing Street, having consumed at least two beer, which is a hell of a lot for a Chinese person, and his wife phones me each night in tear.

Please convey our respectful wish to the exalted English woman alluded to above and say that she will be most welcome to come and live at the hotel (very good price, real bargain) forever.

Yours in sincere exhortation,
Pee Oh in Bejing

Ask Alice

Dear Mr Bramich,
I am anxious to get in touch with our client Alice McVeigh, who we believe to be currently in Beijing, with regard to a serious overdraft effected upon her account over the past ten days. She was apparently staying at the W grand hotel, but when I attempted to contact the manager, he burst into tears and put the phone down. She is clearly not in the UK, so our greatest fear is that she may have plans to take OUR CARD with her to Hong Kong, Shanghai, or (worst-case scenario) Singapore, in order to attempt to smash last year's world-record spending spree currently held by Myron G Sprinkleschnitzel, of Lausanne, which has gone down in the history of Mastercard in legend and song. We have attempted to alert Singaporean authorities, yet she has yet to be sighted, at least not in C K Tang's, her favorite haunt in Singapore.

Please advise us, if you can, about the whereabouts of your columnist, whom we are seeking quite urgently. If you do, we have a very special offer for you, Keith Bramich, of a gold-and-brocade Mastercard, entitling you to preferential treatment on British Airways, Boots the chemist and Woolworths, among others. If you don't, permit me to observe that we know where you live.

Yours, etc
G Parsons,
Mastercard International

Ask Alice

Dear Al iss,
OK, OK, no problem.
100 Yuan OK, very good price, real bargain.
Ri Pof,
Silk Street,
PS Final offer.
PPS Until five minutes away

Copyright © 21 September 2007 Alice McVeigh, Kent, UK

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