Demanding mistress

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nm lion watch

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Reader Zoltan de Rosner, of Pennington, sends in this photograph without explanation. Presumably its taken in his backyard. The South Coast specialises these days in unusual tourism experiences.

THE lawn grass grows knee-high. Those of us who follow the oval ball rather than the round temporarily transferred allegiance as Bafana Bafana pulled it off in fine style against Morocco and, for a while, seemed set to do the same against Mali.

We were as disappointed as the round-ball regulars when things fizzled so badly in the penalty shoot-out. But last weekend we did have recompense.

The opening round of the Six Nations rugby competition could hardly have been more thrilling: Wales’s second-half heroics against Ireland; the sheer pace and class of the England-Scotland match. Then, next day, the drama throughout and cliffhanging final seconds of Italy beating France. (The transfer of allegiance was very much temporary).

Oh, and of course, the cricket Test against Pakistan. That’s a lot of time in front of the TV.

Another weekend approaches. No more Bafana, but it’s the Six Nations second round. The lawn grass grows waist-high. All kinds of chores go undone. Sport is a most demanding mistress.

Healthy canaries

I’M DELIGHTED to hear from reader Dennis Allen that dolphins are still regular visitors to Durban Bay. I’d asked when last one was seen there, in the context of a dolphin having been killed by pollution when it got into a New York canal by mistake.

“Steady on, old chap,” says Dennis. “When was the last time you were on the bay? Those of us who spend our leisure time bobbing around in boats, and telling of our deeds of piscatorial derring-do over the odd cold one afterwards, can assure you that everyone’s favourite cetaceans are regular and welcome visitors to the commercial hub of South Africa.”

I don’t bob about much these days and from my spot in Charlie’s Bar it’s difficult to spot dolphins, but it’s encouraging to know they do still visit. There was a time, many years ago now, that they did not, so bad was the pollution. When they did return, after a concerted anti-pollution drive by the harbour authorities, many at first wouldn’t believe it.

It’s good to know pollution is still being held off in our increasingly busy harbour. Dolphins are indeed the canaries in the cage.

Travelled bottle

IN 1936 Herbert Hillbrick of Leederville, Western Australia, put a message in a bottle and dropped it overboard from a P&O cruise ship. Seventy-six years later, Geoff Flood, of North Island, New Zealand, found it while walking on the beach.

From the address in the bottle, Flood has managed to contact Peter Hillbrick, grandson of Herbert.

What nobody knows though is where the bottle drifted in the meantime. It could have gone round and round the world any number of times. Australia and New Zealand are not far apart. If it took 76 years for the bottle to drift between them, this beats even the postal services.

One way or another, some kind of record has been set up.

Monkeynaut

IRAN has successfully flown a monkey into space and back. It was sent up 115km in a Pishtam rocket and returned safely.

This is, of course, no answer at all to Durban’s problem with vervet monkeys. What is needed is a proper space exploration and colonisation programme – the discovery of a distant planet with a habitat like Burman Bush, to which our monkeys can be sent on an organised basis.

But I fear we don’t even feature on Nasa’s priority list.

Tailpiece

She: “Do you drink?”

He: “Yes.”

She: “How much a day?”

He: “Three six-packs?”

She: “How much per six-pack?”

He: “About R30.”

She: “And how long have you been drinking?”

He: “Fifteen years.”

She: “So one six-pack costs you R30 and you have three six-packs a day, which puts your spending each month at R2 700. In one year it would be R32 400. Correct?”

He: “Correct.”

She: “If in one year you spent R32 400, not allowing for inflation the past 15 years puts your spending at R486 000. Correct?”

He: “Correct.”

She: “Do you know, if you hadn’t drunk that money could have been put in a step-up interest savings account and, after compound interest for the past 15 years, you could have now bought a Ferrari.”

He: “Do you drink?”

She: “No.”

He: “So where’s your Ferrari then?”

Last word

If there’s anything unsettling to the stomach, it’s watching actors on television talk about their personal lives. – Marlon Brando


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