Indian civil defence women personnel take part in the full dress rehearsal for the Republic Day parade in Kolkata yesterday. India will celebrate its Republic Day tomorrow. Picture: REUTERS

HOW refreshing it was the other night to sit in the heat of late summer Durban and watch

Tottenham Hotspurs play Manchester United in a blizzard.

The pitch at White Hart Lane obviously must have underground heating, because the snow did not settle on the playing surface, but the players were staggering about in the blizzard like 22 abominable snowmen.

And the fans got into the spirit of things, making snowballs and throwing them on the pitch.

Whee – such fun!

More snowballs

We were on the bridge at midnight,

Throwing snowballs at the moon…

IT WOULD be unseemly to continue with this well-known rugby song, but it does capture the deep atavistic impulse that makes us throw snowballs whenever the opportunity presents itself. A snowball is a wonderful projectile. You squash it to the right weight and shape. You give it finger grips. And you can throw it a remarkable distance with remarkable accuracy.

My first snowball was in the town square in Matatiele, down in East Griqualand, where we were knee-deep in the stuff and the scene was like a Christmas card except the snow-covered trees were palms, not firs.

Some kids had built a traditional snowman with eyes made from lumps of coal. Splat!

My first snowball sailed across the road and hit the snowman in the eye. I was hooked.

Whee – such fun!

Drunken horse

SNOW is, of course, a serious matter in a farming community. The local farmers were out seeing to their livestock, many on tractors. And they congregated in the town to discuss this serious issue. So serious was it that the pubs stayed open all night.

It was that very evening when a certain local farmer made legal and insurance industry history.

Driving home after much discussion, he took his bakkie into the railings of the bridge over the town stream.

When the police arrived to sort things out, he insisted they take down a statement: “A drunk horse fell out of a willow tree on to me.”

Whee – such fun!

On target

AMERICAN comedian Bill Cosby gets to the heart of the Lance Armstrong soapie: “I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting caught.”

More horseburgers

THE row in Britain over the discovery of horsemeat in supermarket burgers is prompting as much hilarity as dismay.

“What do you want on your burger?”

“A fiver each way.”

Now chickenburgers

MEANWHILE, reader Brian Kennedy tells of the fellow in rural Ireland who was making and selling chickenburgers.

He mixed horsemeat with the chicken, but eventually his conscience got the better and he went to confession.

Priest: “How much horsemeat were you mixing with the chicken?”

Burger man: “Oh 50-50, Father. One chicken, one horse.”


PEOPLE woke up in the English county of Kent the other morning, gagging and coughing to a smell of garlic, rotten eggs and sweat. The source has been traced to a factory across the English Channel in France. It had wafted across.

That’s a relief. At least it didn’t come from the Street Shelter for the Over-40s. Our pong wafts across to the Bluff.


CRISIS? Send in the clowns! Clowns Without Borders (a comic equivalent of Medicins San Frontieres) is holding a Comic Jamboree at the Corner Café in Glenwood at 5.30 this evening.

This follows auditioning and training in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg. CWB believes it has now put together a really funny show.

CWB specialises in sending volunteer entertainers into communities that have been stressed by HIV/Aids, poverty or violence, to give them boosts in morale. Sponsored by the National Arts Council and the private sector, it has so far reached an estimated 250 000 children at about 500 performances.

The Corner Café is at the intersection of Brand and Cromwell Roads. Minimum entrance is R50.


A BLONDE, a brunette and a redhead were in a breaststroke race across the English Channel. The brunette came in first, followed by the redhead. The blonde came in a very distant third.

“I don’t want to sound unsporting,” she said. “But those other two girls were using their arms.”

Last word

A sense of humour is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done. – Dwight D Eisenhower