Hurricane Harry/Harriet

Copy of nm Hang Glider AP A hang glider flies over a lake and into the sunset near the village of Chervlyonnaya, 35km north of Grozny, the Chechen provincial capital, in Russia.

There’s some controversy over the naming of the hurricane that caused such devastation on the Atlantic seaboard of the US. There’s sensitivity over the giving of female names to especially destructive storms because it serves the stereotype of the mindless rampaging of an angry woman. Hell hath no fury… and so on.

The US weather authorities carefully alternate between male and female names for hurricanes. If a hurricane shows itself to have been particularly bad its name gets struck from the list so it won’t be used again.

Has the world gone completely barmy? With sea levels rising and an apparent cycle of hurricanes, cyclones and storm damage all over the globe, some people are giving their attention to the name and sex of hurricanes? Katrina was a bad gal who devastated New Orleans. Now they’ve just had Sandy, who swamped New York and all kinds of other places. Not fair on women! But who says Sandy is short for Sandra? It’s also short for Alexander. I think of the Sandys I’ve known – male and female. Oops! They’ve all been hellraisers.

Hidden insult

LISTENING to some earnest talk on the car radio emanating from the Department of Women, Children and People With Disabilities (Yes, there is such a government department), the thought occurs that the fairer sex are being remarkably acquiescent in this implicit insult.

How different in essence is such a title from the old maxim of Roman-Dutch law (since overruled by statute) which held that a married woman could not operate a bank account because “minors, married women and lunatics” lacked contractual capacity?

Department of Women, Children and People With Disabilities – “minors, married women and lunatics”. Is this not sexism of the worst sort? It is something that should surely be taken before the Gender Commission (so named, I think, because the Sex Commission would have sounded too much like fun).

Ze clowns

A READER who calls himself “Durbanite” expresses gratitude for last week’s suggestion by Herr Dokter Klaus von Schlenterschtoppen that Moses Mabhida Stadium should be made economically viable by attracting tourists to the spectacle of politicians being fed to the lions.

He says the stadium’s financial crisis was caused by the ignorance of the city officials in charge at |the time.

“One of my elder friends warned zem but zey didn’t listen.”

Voter frenzy?

US BORDER control officers found an SUV teetering on top of the border fence between Mexico, Arizona and California. It had been driven up long, wooden ladder-like ramps and got stuck at the top before it could be driven down similar ramps on the other side.

Suspected drug smugglers, |who had been trying to free the Jeep, ran off into Mexico as the officers approached.

The SUV was empty but the officers believe it had earlier been packed with marijuana.

Very likely. On the other hand they could also have been drug hippies living in Mexico, eager to vote in the election.

Breakfast in bed

OVERHEARD in the Street Shelter for the Over-40s: “Girls are so ungrateful. I made her breakfast |in bed.

“I expected a ‘thank you’ at the very least. But all she did was yell about how I got into her house.”

Tailpiece

A DRUNK staggers into a bar. “Barman, a drink for everyone here and you, too!” The barman serves the round and they all call “Cheers!” and down the drinks.

“That’ll be R237.50.”

“I got news for you, sucker. I got no money!”

The barman takes him by the scruff of the neck and the seat of the pants and flings him out into |the street.

Next night the same drunk is back. “Barman, a drink for everyone here and you, too!”

“You gotta be crazy!”

“No, I got money this time. For last night, too.”

The barman serves the round – plus one for himself.

“Cheers!” they all chorus.

“That’ll be R458.50, including last night.”

“Sucker, I got no money!” He blows a raspberry. The barman leaps over the counter, delivers a few stinging slaps and throws the drunk into the street.

Next night the drunk is |back again.

Barman: “You again! And I suppose you want drinks for everyone plus one for myself?”

Drunk: “Not for you. You |get violent.”

Last word

I don’t mind what language an opera is sung in so long as it is a language I don’t understand. – Sir Edward Appleton


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