The Idler: Disgraceful, deplorable…

nm festival AP Revellers carrying lanterns parade through the streets of Basel, Switzerland, yesterday. The traditional Morgestraich starting at 4am is one of the highlights of the Swiss carnival. Picture: AP

It’s disgraceful and deplorable that people should have disrupted the address by President JZ in the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town, brawling and throwing chairs about. It’s totally unacceptable. Yet it’s happened before.

I saw Prime Minister Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid, being pelted with tear gas and firecrackers in the Pietermaritzburg City Hall. Earlier in the day, he’d had to come into the city on a side road because people had put barricades on the main road from Durban.

His lunch at the city hall had been disturbed by students slow-marching in with a Union Jack-draped coffin bearing a placard: “Freedom”; at which a massive free-for-all broke out.

Then the continued heckling and brawling that evening, punctuated by firecrackers and the lobbing of tear gas manufactured in the university laboratories.

Absolutely disgraceful behaviour! Then two powerful jets of water into the crowd from windows high above the balconies. Somebody had deployed the city hall’s firehoses.

Then Verwoerd’s car being rocked by the crowd as he was eventually driven off. This was absolutely reprehensible behaviour. This was, after all, the prime minister of the country. Unacceptable! Unforgivable! Disgraceful! Deplorable!

Actually, I knew the people who set off the fire hoses. One was a schoolmate from Zululand. The other a master at school. They shared a police cell that night and … ha, ha, ha, ha! Hee, hee! Hoo, hoo, hoo! Oh dear!

Too much Spanish

SOME complaints by package tourists to Thomas Cook Holidays:

l The local store does not sell proper biscuits like custard creams or ginger nuts.

l It’s lazy of the local shopkeepers to close in the afternoons. I often needed to buy things during siesta time. It should be banned.

l On my holiday to Goa, in India, I was disgusted to find that almost every restaurant served curry. I don’t like spicy food at all.

l No-one told us there would be fish in the sea. The children were startled.

l We went on holiday to Spain and had a problem with the taxi drivers as they all speak Spanish.

l There are too many Spanish people. The receptionist speaks Spanish. The food is Spanish. Too many foreigners now live abroad.

l My fiance and I booked a twin-bedded room, but we were placed in a double-bedded room. We now hold you responsible for the fact that I find myself pregnant.

Survey flops

THE UNITED Nations conducted a world-wide survey. The question asked was:

“Could you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?” But the survey was a failure:

l In eastern Europe they didn't know what “honest” meant.

l In western Europe they didn't know what “shortage” meant.

l In Somalia and Sudan they didn’t know what “food” meant.

l In China they didn’t know what “opinion” meant.

l In the Middle East they didn’t know what “solution” meant.

l In South America they didn’t know what “please” meant.

l In the US they didn’t know what “the rest of the world” meant.

l In Canada they hung up when they realised they were speaking to a call centre in India.

Science notes

A TOP PHYSICIST has offered to eat his boxer shorts on live television if it turns out that experiments at the Cern laboratory, in Switzerland, have correctly measured neutrino particles travelling faster than the speed of light – which contradicts Albert Einstein and would stand current physics theory on its head.

However, it seems increasingly unlikely that Dr Jim Al Khalili, of Sussex University, will entertain viewers in this way. It seems there might have been a faulty connection between a GPS unit and a computer at Cern, affecting accurate measurement of the neutrinos’ speed.

It’s good for physics and Einstein’s reputation but not great for TV viewership. It’s not often we get to see a noted physicist eating his boxer shorts.

Tailpiece

Little Nancy is digging in the garden when a neighbour looks over the fence and says: “What are you doing?”

Little Nancy: “I’m burying my goldfish.”

The neighbour laughs: “That’s a big hole for a goldfish, isn’t it?”

“That’s because it’s inside your cat!”

Last word

Everything in the world may be endured except continued prosperity. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


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