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back page46 WORDThe mysterious allure of mountain men, fury of the French and unusual exhibitor advice top this month's weird and wacky listHundreds of teens camped out for a chance encounter with a pornstar in Hong kong for the annual comic and games Fair. Maria Ozawa was offering hugs to the first 40 fans to enter the Hong kong convention and exhibition centre. Her attendance helped contribute to record crowds at the five-day event. We imagine that while they may have broken sprint records on the way in, it would have been a slow, blushing walk back over the stands afterwards.Comin' round the mountainThe Santa Fe Mountain Man Trade Fair took place in New Mexico in August and although it wasn't an especially large show, it's well worth pointing out for its eccentricity. Speakers included Lynn Canterbury on lighting a fire from scratch (literally) and Smitty (that's actually his full name) who discussed knives and knife-making. The introduction to the website said: "Way back when, folks defined an economic crisis not by debt ceilings, hedge funds and fiscal neutrality, but by a lack of beaver pelts." Fair enough.The event was co-founded by Tom Chávez and Jeff Hengesbaugh, who Franco-german relations in the Rhineland have hit their lowest ebb in years thanks to an almighty row over the banning of foie gras at a food fair in cologne. The controversial French delicacy was banned from the anuga trade show in October due to a german ban on producing foie gras, which requires the force-feeding of ducks or geese to fatten their livers for sale as a delicacy.French government officials said the decision ignores the delicacy's legal production in France. "It's as if we prohibited wiener sausages in France!" the seething French senator alain Fauconnier told the Rheinische Post newspaper.The infuriated French Minister of Food and agriculture, bruno Le Maire, threatened to skip a planned appearance at the event and demanded the ban be overturned, a call resulting in much honking and hissing from the show's organisers.GOOD FOR The GOOSefirst rode into Santa Fe from Arizona on horseback clad in buckskin back in 1986."The mountain man is a fascinating figure," Hengesbaugh told the Santa Fe New Mexican. "The cowboy chases cows. The soldier fights battles. But the mountain man - he's a metaphor for adventure." Well, that and banjos.Economy of scalesWhile looking up "trade fair" on Google, EN came across a grade nine student asking for help setting up an exhibition stand. "Each person has to create a booth on a chosen career and mine is veterinary," the puzzled youngster asks. The response had EN in stitches:"Go to your local pet store and ask for an anole (Google it, their [sic] small green lizards about the size of a mans [sic] thumb in length that cost US$11), tropical bedding, a small portable cage and a container of meal worms (that's what they eat). You then put the lizard on display (do not take it out of the cage, they are very fast and hard to catch). "You can make the point that vets have to know about all sorts of animals including this lizard and you can state some facts about it. After it's over you have a cool pet. Or you could just raffle the lizard off, free of charge, to the people at the fair by asking for their name and email." Brilliant. Does the AEO suggest raffling lizards in its exhibitor training sessions? If not it should.The first edition of the new Urban parent expo in brooklyn was held in august. That's right, the show promotes itself as pretty much helping busy city-dwelling parents. EN can't help thinking that in light of recent events here, an Urban parent expo should probably feature seminars on boarding windows and cooking pigeons, with exhibitors selling pepper spray and water-purification tablets.WeLcOme TO chAOpOLiShK'S NeW veRTicALS