Washington Nationals Major League Baseball team mascots George Washington, Teddy Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson take part in the Cupids Undie Run, which raises money for the Childrens Tumor Foundation in Washington, on Saturday. Organisers say they raised more than $1 million (R8.8m) between 18 US cities. Picture: Reuters

STONE the flamin’ crows, mate! What’s goin’ on Down Under? Er, it seems the crows might be stoned already. The Australian Crime Commission has produced a report suggesting that drug-taking has become a part of the country’s sport – in all kinds of areas and at all levels – in cahoots with organised crime.

We can presume they’re talking about something more serious than Foster’s Lager and Victoria Bitter, the traditional stimulants of Australian rugby and cricket. It’s shocked the nation and the government has sworn to hunt down all involved. Sportsmen who have taken performance-enhancers are urged to come forward “before there’s a knock at your door”.

This is worrying stuff. The problem will not be easily unravelled. For instance, Australian Rules Football – or “footie” as they call it – is a game that appears actually to be based on hallucinatory drugs, if we are to judge from what we sometimes see on our TV screens. Yet it’s taken over from cricket as Australia’s major sport.

Is cricket clean? We hope so. But this report raises doubts.

Take Shane Warne, a bowler whose guile most of us can watch for hours on end. Is it possible that his repertoire of leg-breaks, googlies, flippers and so forth is induced by a spliff or two? We hope not, but again the doubts.

It’s all deeply worrying. When you see the way kangaroos behave in the wild – scurrying about frantically, leaping in the air for no apparent reason – you suspect you know where Aussie Rules football comes from, and you wonder what fragrant bush it is on which those kangaroos browse.

The Ashes? Next the Australian Crime Commission will have the contents of that urn analysed for traces of marijuana. What is happening to sport?

Eighty-six flights

MEANWHILE, Aussies have taken top honours in the annual race of 86 flights of stairs to the top of the Empire State Building in Manhattan, New York.

Mark Bourne won the men’s section and Suzy Walsham, the women’s. We hope the achievement will not be tainted by the findings of the Australian Crime Commission. Will the public ever again trust those who race upstairs in the Empire State Building?

Essex girl

NEWS from my correspondent in deepest Essex, England.

The Essex Express and Star reports that a woman has sued her local hospital, saying that since her husband was treated there recently he has lost all interest in sex.

The hospital’s response: “The husband was admitted to the Ophthalmology Unit. All we did was correct his eyesight.”

Tooth fairy

DOTING granddad Esmond Naidoo relays a message from his daughter, Dawn. “We asked Kyle what does he want with the money the tooth fairy gave him? He said: ‘Mommy, I want to buy more teeth’.”

How clever is he? And when asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he says: “I want to be six.”

Yep, take it a year at a time.

Ooh la la!

WOMEN in Paris are now allowed to wear trousers. Actually they’ve been doing it for some time but now it’s official. A 213-year-old law requiring them to seek permission from the gendarmes if they want to “dress like a man” has been revoked.

It’s been a gradual process. In 1892 the law was altered, then again in 1909, so that women could wear trousers if they were “holding a bicycle handlebar or the reins of a horse”. But it officially remained on the books.

However, now the madamoiselles may wear slacks, jeans, shorts or whatever they like.

I really don’t know what need there ever was for the law or for its repeal. I’ve never seen a Frenchwoman who looks anything like a man.

Vive la difference!


THIS guy in the supermarket is flummoxed when an attractive woman waves at him.

He’s even more flummoxed when she says: “Hello, I’m sure you’re the father of one of my kids.”

His mind whirls back to his one and only indiscretion: “Are you the stripper from the bachelor party that I made love to on the pool table, with all my buddies watching, while your partner whipped my butt with wet celery?”

She looks him coolly in the eye: “No, I’m your son’s teacher.”

Last word

People who have what they want are fond of telling people who haven’t what they want that they really don’t want it. – Ogden Nash