Angel of the North
SCULPTOR Andries Botha must be heartily sick of the politicos interfering with his work. If they're not kicking up a fuss over his properly commissioned elephants in the CBD, it's over his depiction of Shaka at the new King Shaka international airport.
Just what equips the critics to adjudge this sculpting is not clear. I presume Botha gets the dosh, in terms of the commissioning contracts, but it must be highly irritating all the same.
Maybe he should try Scotland. There they've commissioned a huge statue of a grouse, to stand on a roundabout on the approach to the city of Perth, which is celebrating its 800th anniversary. It will be known as "The Angel of the North."
A grouse? Here's a clue. The statue is being paid for by the Edrington whisky company. Yes, you've guessed. It's the Famous Grouse.
No controversy. No fuss, Jimmy! Slainte!
Get a real pet
ULSTERMAN Allan Lockhart was badly beaten with a sledgehammer and a crowbar when he disturbed burglars in his home at Aughnacloy, County Tyrone, according to this news item.
The burglars made off with money, jewellery and the family's pet chihuahua.
One sympathises. But if you want to discourage burglars you keep an Irish wolfhound, not a chihuahua.
STILL with Northern Ireland, five live crabs were discovered in a woman's suitcase when she flew into Belfast from China. They had been individually wrapped and concealed amongst personal items.
She might have made it if she'd stowed them in her knickers or somewhere. The border control agency are shy about that kind of thing.
On the other hand, it could have made for a most uncomfortable flight.
THERE'S a fuss in England over the shooting of a giant red stag named Exmoor Emperor, who weighed more than 135kg (300lb) and stood nearly 2.75m (9ft) tall. He was shot (perfectly legally) during the rutting season, which has enraged conservationists who say he should have been given further opportunity to pass on his genes.
It's all rather sickening, but here we have the central paradox of conservation. Were it not for hunting, and the revenues it brings in, the areas of pristine wilderness that have survived would not be left pristine at all. That's as true of KwaZulu-Natal as anywhere.
I'M A SUCKER. I'm prepared to believe just about anything. When they tell me Honda have designed a car that weighs just 800lb and runs on compressed air, I say: "Hey, great!"
When they tell me the Mercedes-Benz Biome will be made out of material created from organic matter in a laboratory, that will absorb solar energy like a plant, I say: "Fantastic!"
But when they tell me Nissan are about to produce a car that will be grown from seed a fast-growing ivy then I say: "Hold on! Who are you kidding?"
Yet that's what they say about the Los Angeles Auto Show, where the top car manufacturers will compete for a "green" award later this month.
Pull the other one, it's got bells on it!
You know that children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers.