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THEY’RE alarming these predictions that rhino could be headed for extinction if poaching in this country continues at its present rate. After the astonishing success of the rescue from extinction of the white rhino – to which people like Ian Player devoted a lifetime – it’s nothing short of heartbreaking.
And the truly astounding thing is that it’s all caused by a gigantic myth. Chinese men believe ground-up rhino horn is the key ingredient of a potion that promotes male sexual potency. They’re prepared to pay anything for it.
China’s economic boom has produced a huge market of men with spare cash, willing to pay for increased sexual potency. Hence the international syndicates, the big money and high technology that go into poaching. It’s a vicious circle.
But there’s hope. The conservationists are fighting back. They plan to overcome this ancient myth with digital technology and modern myth. Already a message is flitting about cyberspace.
It reads: “The testicles of a rhino poacher can cure HIV/Aids. Please spread the word.”
The extinction of rhino poachers as a species could be very sudden.
AN INDIAN minister in the state government has pledged to wear only slip-on shoes in future after an extraordinary row when a young man was shown on television tying his laces at a public event.
Gauri Shankar Bisen, a minister in Madhya Pradesh state, says he’s been told by doctors to avoid bending after a hernia operation. The son of a friend tied his laces for him and it was captured on television. His political opponents have now tried to turn it into a caste issue.
“I swear that from now onwards, I will not wear any shoes with laces.”
I sympathise. From now on I myself go kaalvoet – ever since the waitresses seized my flipflops at the La Bella street shelter for over-40s the other night and paddywhacked me for allegedly risqué comments (All I was doing was quoting Chaucer).
Fatness factor (1)
IS FATNESS a guarantee against flight risk? Not in New Zealand, it seems.
Lawyers for a 6 feet 6 inch (1.98m) and 20-stone (127kg) figure accused of financial piracy argued that their client, Kim Dotcom, could not flee the country because he would be immediately spotted for his vast bulk.
The police counter-argued that he had multiple identities and unlimited access to funds.
The court refused bail. Dotcom – real name Kim Schmitz – is accused of involvement in a piracy scam of $175 million (R1.4 billion).
I suppose no pressure group can take up his case on grounds of discrimination. He’s being held in custody in spite of his fatness, not because of his fatness.
Fatness factor (2)
THE above recalls the sad case in the 1960s when an enormously fat showbiz impressario known to everyone simply as Fischke was unable to leave Durban because of his size.
Fischke – whose wife was an exotic dancer billed as Nadjia of the Nile – was due to fly to Canada.
But when they came to embarkation, there was no way they could get Fischke’s bulk through the door of the aircraft. Pull and push as the aircrew tried, they couldn’t shoehorn him in. Nor could they stow him in the freight section because it wasn’t pressurised. So Fischke had to stay put in Durban.
Aircraft have bigger doors these days, so that’s probably why Kim Dotcom’s lawyers didn’t raise the Fischke argument.
Is it a bird...
DANIE du Toit, who styles himself the Amanzimtoti Poet Understudy, is stirred by the Muse to produce these lines on JZ’s international flight arrangements.
What’s that in the sky – should we panic?
It’s a jet with shadows of air force metallic!
But relax; look closer for a second
It’s only Jacob-the-Fecund
Flying in a fashion so befittingly phallic.
A WEALTHY Arab patient needs a blood transfusion. He has a very rare blood group and the hospital has to scour world-wide for a match. One is found in Scotland.
After the transfusion, the Arab sends the donor a BMW, a bag of diamonds and a million dollars.
A second transfusion is needed, and after this he sends a calendar. A furious phone call ensues.
Scot: “Wha’s this, ya mean bastard?”
Arab: “Aweel, laddie. I’m fu wi’ Scots blood the noo!”
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realise that it bears a very close resemblance to the first. – Ronald Reagan