The Idler: Pundits in the dark

NM India Daily Life AP An Indian fruit vendor sleeps on a pile of watermelons in Jammu yesterday. Picture: AP

In France a new president is sworn in. The same day, the number-crunchers produce the economic figures. Growth rate: zero.

Across in Greece, they can’t even put together a government. Will the Greeks stay in the euro zone? Will they revert to the drachma? Will Greece become the equivalent of a cosmic black hole, into which the economy of all Europe disappears?

Among the economists and political pundits there’s total unanimity. They haven’t a clue what’s going on or what’s likely to happen.

We live in interesting times.

Why not £sd

IF GREECE reverts to the drachma, is it not time we considered reverting to pounds, shillings and pence? It makes economic sense.

At the time we went decimal, you could buy a pint of beer for 1s 6d (the equivalent of 15 cents). You could get a mixed grill on the beachfront for 4s 6d (45 cents). You could take a girl out to dinner for £1 (R2).

I rest my case.

Boskat rugby

THEY’RE holding a Rugby Day with a difference in Maritzburg on Saturday. On the programme are what promise to be some epic encounters: Cedara Ladies (traditionally known as the Boskatte) v Varsity Ladies; Varsity Alumni Over 40s v Varsity Rowers and Cricketers; Varsity “Thirsty Thirds” v Cedara College; UKZN Howard College v Waratahs RFC (the old Westmore Park); St Charles Under 7 v Pelham Under 7; a Moor Cup fixture – UKZN v Old Boys; then the Sharks v the Cheetahs on the big screen.

That’s what you call a pretty comprehensive mix. I myself have never watched women’s rugby – would I have the fortitude to watch the Boskatte in action? The programme starts at 10.30am at Piet Booysen Park, in Golf Road. A beer garden and jumping castle for the kids (and maybe the Boskatte as well) will be laid on.

The programme has been arranged by Varsity Rugby as a fundraiser for the Jes Foord Foundation, which seeks to help the traumatised victims of rape. Jes herself, a survivor of a particularly brutal gang-rape at Shongweni, will be there to hand out prizes.

Last week Jes visited the UKZN Rugby Club in Maritzburg and gave a moving and informative lecture on her ordeal and how she overcame it. The Rugby Club now plans to organise sessions involving psychology students and honours students in counselling rape victims.

Jokes of yesteryear

A READER sends in some cuttings from an Idler’s column of about 30 years ago, when “ant” jokes were in vogue.

l Fire extinguisher ant – hydrant.

l Hibernating ant – dormant.

l Beatnik ant – coolant.

l Journalistic ant – pennant.

l Mountaineering ant – piquant.

l Religious ant – predikant.

l Flying ant – flippant.

l Ant that uses perfume – fragrant.

l The first ant – Adamant.

l Destitute ant – vagrant.

l Russian fighter pilot ant – MIGrant.

l Sensitive ant – vibrant.

l Large ant – elephant.

Hey, them were the days. Around that time there were also the “ou” jokes:

l Trio – an ou who lives in a tree.

l Pillow – an ou who works in a chemist.

l Bellow – an ou who sells ice cream.

Et cetera et cetera, ad infinitum.

The bling set

THE YOBBOS are everywhere. Inhabitants of a Chinese provincial capital, Nanjing, are furious that somebody did wheelies in a Ferrari on a 600-year-old wall built during the Ming dynasty.

The authorities gave permission for a Ferrari 458 Italia to be displayed static on the Zhonghua Gate Tower. But it ended with the car doing “doughnuts” and wheelies on the historic ramparts, leaving rubber burns all over the place.

Ferrari say the culprit was a dealership employee, not one of their own. They are trying to repair the damage.

But the incident has highlighted the growing rift in China between the wealthy bling set and ordinary folk.

But not just in China. In places such as Florida Road, the wheelie set are not just obnoxious, they’re an outright and unmitigated menace.

Man going

IAN GIBSON, poet laureate of Hillcrest, pens a few lines on the ANC’s looming elective conference at Mangaung.

At Polokwane we saw a man go,

Sent off by Malema, you know;

And later this year,

There’s a rumour we hear,

About yet another Man gaung.

Tailpiece

I GOT a job at a bakery because I kneaded dough.

Last word

The only time people dislike gossip is when you gossip about them. – Will Rogers


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