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The BRICS Summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) to be held in Durban in March next year will without doubt be of the utmost significance. It will be the first great gathering of international leaders since the Commonwealth Conference and the Non-Aligned Nations Conference, both of them quite a few years ago now.
It’s as well then that the planners should get practice with the annual World Toilet Conference and Exhibition, which will be staged this December at the ICC. It will be an opportunity to limber up.
Reader Michel Pearce, of Morningside, brings this World Toilet Conference to our attention, citing his local knock-and-drop paper which quotes a certain Jack Sim, of the World Health Organisation, saying: “A toilet should be a status symbol.”
Michel seems astonished that such an event should be planned for Durban, but I can assure him it’s for real. It’s not an occasion for ignorant sniggers, it puts Durban on the world map as never before.
In fact, I have inside information on the planning. The opening ceremony at the ICC will eclipse the opening of the London Olympics for colour, sound, music and vibrancy.
Strobe lights picking up the mayoral chain will set the theme of the conference. Following up on the Olympics, there will be toilet sprints and a toilet marathon.
A local pop group has been formed for the opening ceremony. Bucket Brigade will sing items such as Dan, Dan The Sanitary Man (adapted from the well-known rugby pub song), Honeycart Blues and that soulful number, Kleinhuis on the Prairie.
Details of the seating arrangements for delegates are still under wraps, but I can reveal that they are revolutionary and so arresting that not a newspaper or TV channel in the world will be able to ignore them. We’re guaranteed maximum coverage. Durban will have arrived.
Snigger not. Onward and upward with the World Toilet Conference!
Teddy bears’ picnic
If you go down to the woods today… It’s also like an inversion of the Goldilocks story.
A family of bears broke into a holiday cabin in Norway and drank more than 100 cans of beer, sinking their teeth in to open them.
They also polished off a store of marshmallows, chocolate and honey.
Then they wrecked the joint, ripping to pieces the beds and bedding, smashing kitchen equipment, cupboards and shelves.
Yes, bears can behave worse than football fans when they get a skinful.
The culprits were a mother bear and her three cubs, who broke into the wooden lodge in the north of the country by ripping off a wall.
Borthen Nilsen, owner of the cabin, happens to be an expert on natural resource management and bears. He says: “They had a hell of a party in there!”
The fear now is that, having acquired a taste for alcohol, the bears might return for another party. Yes, it’s almost human.
A hundred beers? It recalls the occasion a few years ago when the Nairobi Nondescripts, a Kenyan rugby team, ordered 100 pints of draught beer in the old Shunters’ Arms pub, in Durban.
They ended up in the Point Road clink after scrumming against a palm tree outside, trying to push it over.
When the cops arrived |there was a language problem because all they could speak was Swahili.
Eventually they were released, and next evening they were in top form again at the Hillcrest Rugby Club. Two evenings later, they were standing starkers on the Durban Collegians bar counter, singing the Kenyan national anthem (It was pleasing to note this unity between white and black rugby players). They also did a lap, starkers, round the King’s Park athletics track.
Yes, just like those Norwegian bears, it seems they’d acquired a taste for alcohol.
The old-timer suspects that his wife is losing her hearing. One night, he stands behind her while she’s sitting in her lounge chair and says, softly: “Honey, can you hear me?”
He gets a little closer and says again: “Honey, can you hear me?”
Still no response.
He moves right behind her and says: “Honey, can you hear me?”
She replies: “For the third time – yes!”
Mustard’s no good without roast beef. – Chico Marx