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There’s the old one about the ship’s parrot and its magician clinging to a spar after the vessel went down. After drifting in the water for three days, the parrot finally says: “Okay, where did you put the ship?”
That’s more or less how magician Robin Boltman was introduced to an audience up the North Coast the other day by musician and showbiz personality Danny Fisher – “the magician who managed to hide two ships”.
Of course, it was Robin who was the magician on the Oceanos, the cruise liner that sank off the Transkei some years ago.
He took command and supervised the taking off of passengers, long after the captain and crew had disgracefully departed in the lifeboats. He and a diver from a naval vessel that had come to assist were the last two on board before she sank. An extraordinary story.
Then, by coincidence just as extraordinary, he was on the Achille Lauro when she caught fire, then eventually sank, on a cruise off East Africa.
But on this occasion – a lunchtime gig by Danny’s band in the Pumpkin Theatre in La Montagne, in Ballito – there were no ships on hand so Robin just changed a raffle entry form into a R100 note.
It was quite a gig – four guitars, keyboard, drums and Danny’s daughter, Danielle, joining in the vocalising.
The group put on a rousing medley of stuff entitled American Trilogy – lots of old and popular numbers like Hotel California.
Great fun. Hey, we groovers!
The Little Tramp
AN UNUSUAL feature of the Pumpkin Theatre is the silent Charlie Chaplin films they show on a massive screen while people are having lunch before the show begins.
Most of the grown-ups were busy nattering, but the kids there were absolutely entranced by the antics of The Little Tramp. He’s a lot better than Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean.
That bit where he finds himself out on the pavement in his long-johns and … Ha, ha! Hee, hee, hee! Hoo, hoo!
Oh dear, I’d better rejoin the grown-ups.
SOUTH of the Mason-Dixon Line, American cops are known for a certain rough-and-readiness in their discourse. Examples:
l You know, stop lights don’t come any redder than the one you just went through.”
l “Relax, the handcuffs are tight because they’re new. They’ll stretch after you wear them a while.”
l “If you take your hands off the car, I’ll make your birth certificate a worthless document.”
l “You don’t know how fast you were going? I guess that means I can write anything I want to on the ticket, huh?”
l “Yes, sir, you can talk to the shift supervisor, but I don’t think it will help. Oh, did I mention that I’m the shift supervisor?”
l “Fair? You want me to be fair? Listen, fair is a place where you go to ride on rides, eat cotton candy and corn dogs, and step in monkey poop.”
l “Yeah, we have a quota. Two more tickets and my wife gets a toaster oven.”
l “I’m glad to hear that the chief of police is a personal friend of yours. So you know someone who can post your bail.”
l “You didn’t think we give pretty women tickets? You’re right, we don’t. Sign here.”
ALL the sports pubs these days seem to have these new wide screens that give a great view of the play but do somewhat distort in the centre of the screen, making players appear much bulkier than they really are.
Was this King Kong? Or was it The Incredible Hulk? No, it was just Kobus Wiese, former Bok forward and now part of the TV commentating team. Quite terrifying!
OVERHEARD in the street shelter for the over-40s: “I tried one of those phone sex lines. The voice said: ‘Not tonight, I’ve got an earache’.”
A WOMAN phones the police, hysterical that her home has been burgled.
They send round a car from the dog squad. As the cop comes up the garden path with his German shepherd, she wails: “Just my luck! I get robbed and they send me a blind policeman.”
I know not, sir, whether Bacon wrote the works of Shakespeare, but if he did not it seems to me that he missed the opportunity of his life. – James M Barrie