A modest proposal

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nm idler flying day REUTERS Team Kings of Fruit land their aircraft, which is shaped like a durian, in the water during the inaugural Flugtag (Flying Day) competition at Sentosa in Singapore on Sunday. Thirty-eight teams competed for the furthest distance flown in their homemade aircraft. Picture: REUTERS

THE council is fretting about ways to financially turn around the Moses Mabhida Stadium, the International Convention Centre and uShaka Marine World; how to stop them being a perpetual drain on the finances of the city.

I’m glad to report that these landmarks have been receiving the attention of Herr Dokter Klaus von Schlenterschtoppen, the noted forensic auditor, economist and specialist in multi-scale financial regeneration.

He has been focusing up until now on Moses Mabhida, and I’ve had access to his preliminary report. His breadth of vision and perspicacity are astounding. He does not hesitate to delve back centuries in search of appropriate models for the present.

In the case of Moses Mabhida, he uses the model of the Colosseum in Rome. The Colosseum today stands in ruins. Once it was a hive of activity, the venue for gladiatorial contests and popular spectacles such as throwing Christians to the lions.

Why does it today stand in ruins? Because of non-use. The throwing of Christians to the lions fell out of vogue when the emperor himself became a Christian.

More or less simultaneously, gladiatorial spectacles came to be frowned upon, on moral grounds. There were all kinds of new-fangled ideas – “Thou shalt not kill…”

Fast-forward to the 21st century. Moses Mabhida faces a similar fate of non-use. Built to cater for a few weeks of the Fifa World Cup in 2010, it now stands redundant, a financial black hole. It’s not suitable for rugby. It’s even less suitable for cricket. Soccer in Durban is just not big enough. Moses Mabhida desperately needs some spectacular and continuing activity that will attract people in their thousands upon thousands, year-in, year-out.

Von Schlenterschtoppen’s solution is breathtakingly audacious and at the same time breathtakingly simple. It is best conveyed in his own words (not yet edited).

“Ve take der model uff der Ancient Rome. Der Colosseum vass ze economic super-success mit der throwink uff der Christians to der lions. But no more. No more throwink uff Christians to lions. Ze Colosseum decayink into ruin. Same fate for Moses Mabhida if ve not careful.

“So vot ve find to get ze plebs to Moses Mabhida? Not ze rugby. Not ze cricket. Not ze Top Gear unt Jeremy Clarkson – zat iss Mickey Mouse.

“Durban need somesing at Moses Mabhida zat is colossal, spektakular, exciting, unique. Somesing like der feeding uff der Christians to der lions.

“Do ve feed der Christians to der lions at Moses Mabhida? Nein! Der welt hass changed since Roman times. So vot can ve feed to der lions at Moses Mabhida? Vot hass no moral constraint? Vich category iss hated by all unt vill not be missed?

“Ze solution iss clear. Ve feed der politicians to der lions at Moses Mabhida. Novere else in der welt iss dere such a spektakle. Der tourists vill pour in from all ofer der welt – from Russia, from Deutschland, from Amerika – to see der sight uff politicians beink thrown to der hungry lions.

“Zere iss no shortage uff politicians. Moses Mabhida vill be a sell-out effery veekend. Maybe matinee performances Vednesdays also. Ziss is how to turn ze place arount …”

I just knew there had to be an answer.

Superman quits

UP, UP AND away! Clark Kent, alter ego of Superman, is resigning from his post as star reporter at the Daily Planet, the newspaper where he has worked since the first Superman comics were published in the 1940s.

DC Comics, which publishes the Superman stories, says Kent will walk out in protest after the Daily Planet’s takeover by a conglomerate that wants soft entertainment stories instead of real news. There is even speculation that the Man of Steel might become a blogger to reach a wider audience.

This is according to a leaked panel from the comic that has appeared on the internet.

But nobody’s answered the question that absolutely everyone is asking. Has Clark Kent scored yet with Lois Lane? In a telephone booth maybe?

Tailpiece

ROMANTIC dialogue in a disco:

She: “Give me your number, sexy.”

He: “Have you got a pen?”

She: “Yes.”

He: “Well get back to it before the farmer notices you’re missing.”

Last word

A woman uses her intelligence to find reasons to support her intuition. – GK Chesterton


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