BY NOW MOST of us should be in full recovery mode after the New Year festivities. Ogden Nash wrote a poem about the phenomenon, titled They Won't Believe, on New Year's Eve, That New Year's Day Will Come What May:
How do I feel today? I feel as unfit as an unfiddle,
And it is the result of a certain turbulence in the mind and an uncertain burbulence in the middle.
What was it, anyway, that angry thing that flew at me?
I am unused to banshees crying Boo at me.
Your wife can't be a banshee
Or can she?
Of course, some wives become less fond
When you're bottled in bond.
My Uncle George, in lavender-scented Aunt Edna's Day,
If he had a glass of beer on Saturday night, he didn't dare come home till the following Wednesday.
I see now that he had hit upon the ideal idea:
The passage of time, and plenty of it, is the only marital panacea
Yes, a hazard of the season. Is there anything more vivid than Dorothy Parker's piece, You Were Perfectly Fine?
"The pale young man eased himself carefully into the low chair, and rolled his head to the side, so that the cool chintz comforted his cheek and temple. 'Oh, dear,' he said. 'Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear. Oh.' The clear-eyed girl, sitting light and erect on the couch, smiled brightly at him. 'Not feeling so well today?' she said. 'Oh, I'm great,' he said. 'Corking, I am. Know what time I got up? Four o'clock this afternoon, sharp. I kept trying to make it, and every time I took my head off the pillow, it would roll under the bed. This isn't my head I've got on now. I think this is something that used to belong to Walt Whitman. Oh, dear, oh, dear, oh, dear.'
"'You were fine,' she said. 'Don't be foolish about it. Everybody was crazy about you. The maitre d'hotel was a little worried because you wouldn't stop singing, but he really didn't mind. All he said was, he was afraid they'd close the place again, if there was so much noise. But he didn't care a bit himself. I think he loved seeing you have such a good time. Oh, you were just singing away, there, for about an hour. It wasn't so terribly loud, at all.'"
Amazing! This is a faithful rendition of New Year's Eve events at the La Bella street shelter for the over-40s last Saturday night. Yet Dorothy Parker wrote it in 1929.
LAST week's piece on the frustrations caused on all sides by Durban's new street names draws a response from Caryl Cusens and Hannah Lurie, both of Morningside.
Caryl notes that the traffic report on East Coast Radio tried using the new names but soon reverted to the old.
"I have the same trouble as you when I try to direct visitors to my home in Morningside. I have to give them landmarks rather than unpronounceable or non-existent street names as I can't remember which names have changed and what they've changed to.
"Why they had to do 100 all in one go, I'll never understand. I bet not even Michael Sutcliffe can remember all of them."
Hannah says she and her neighbour now live in two places at once.
"My street number and my neighbour's are replicated. North Ridge (where I live) and what was Ridge Road are now both Peter Mokaba Road so we are in two places at once. I hope they haven't received all our Christmas cards in Central Ridge, not to mention South Ridge."
Yes, the fiasco continues to unravel.
MEANWHILE, reader Graham Rudolph says he's solved the question of home security.
"I've cancelled my armed response, torn out my alarm system and de-registered from the Neighbourhood Watch. I've got the Vierkleur raised in my garden, a Blue Bulls flag draped in the window and a "God loves the AWB" sticker on my car. My sound system is playing 'De la Rey' at full volume.
"The local police, the Department of Home Affairs, and the Hawks are all watching my house 24/7. I've never felt safer."
I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with "Guess" on it. I said: "Implants?" She hit me.
It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.