Friday, August 17, 2012

The Idler, Friday, August 17, 2012


WATCHING the field events at the London Olympics, the hammer throw was a little unnerving. The fellow builds up such momentum as he whirls the weight about. What happens if he forgets to let go in time? Does he go sailing off into the air with it? It's touch and go.

Much the same applies when ringing church bells. Hold on too long or, worse, get tangled in the rope and there you go - Splat! – against the ceiling. You could easily lose an arm or a leg if it were tangled in the rope as it passes through the small hole up above, pulled by the weight of the bell.

The biggest bell in St Paul's Church, Durban, weighs 14 hundredweight, which is 1 568 lb, or 712.72 kg. When that turns over, the bellrope moves up smartly and there's no stopping it. So there's quite a bit of sweat and grunt and looking sharp involved in producing those delightful peals.

Such were my thoughts in the belltower of St Paul's the other evening. What was I doing there? Ringing bells, of course. I'd been invited along by the Durban Campanologists (bell-ringers) to see what they get up to, and try my hand at it in a small way.

The group ring the bells every Sunday morning at St Mary's, Greyville, then they move across to do the same at St Paul's, in the city centre. They also ring on request at weddings.

What draws people into bell-ringing? They come from a wide spread of backgrounds. In the belltower at St Paul's the other evening were Ringing Master Simon Milliken, who is also lead double bass in the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra. He's been ringing church bells since he was a boy in England.

With him were: a lady who makes arts and crafts novelties such as fancy Christmas crackers; a draughtswoman; a university lecturer; a retired naval officer; a signals manager from the railways; and two schoolkids who were learning the ropes (as it were). Absent that evening were a maths teacher and a lawyer. That's quite a spread of backgrounds. All are enthused with bell-ringing.

The trick is in keeping time as they pull at the bellropes and varying the order of the bells, so that the peal changes as it goes along. It's pretty complex, a mathematical formula. And that St Paul's belltower, which is built of brick, literally shifts and heaves as the bells roll.

Simon coached me solo for a bit. You have to get into an easy rhythm, not pull too hard, he says. In England – where bell-ringing is an art form with something like 40 000 practitioners – you can expect to be at it four-and-a-half hours at a stretch.

Sure enough, you do get into a rhythm, the bell does most of the work. It's a bit like milking a cow – except it's more like pulling a bellrope.

The ringers (some of whom also row on the bay to make sure they stay in shape) are a very companionable crew. They invariably adjourn to wet their whistle after ringing practice, on this occasion to the Street Shelter for the Over-40s. Great fun.



Giant snake

A BURMESE python has been caught in the Florida Everglades, 17 feet in length and weighing 76 kg. It's the largest ever caught in Florida.

It points to just what a problem these escaped pets have become in the Everglades. They're putting pressure on the indigenous wildlife, eating even alligators. Scientists doubt whether they will ever be eradicated.

Perhaps the answer lies back in Burma itself, which the ruling military junta call Mnyanmar. The junta seem to have run out of ideas. Aung San Suu Kyi and her Democrats are making great headway.

Why not put together an exit strategy for the Burmese junta, relocate them to the Everglades and let them set about eating the pythons which – by all accounts – would be their natural instinct. As they are elderly gents, they are unlikely to breed to the extent that the alligators are threatened.

The balance of nature is restored in the Everglades and Aung San Suu Kyi takes over in Burma. An elegant solution.


Referee: "Penalty! Not binding!"

Front-ranker: "This bastard's blind!"

Referee: "What did you say?"

Front-ranker: "Bastard's deaf too!"

Last word


It is better to have loved and lost than never to have lost at all.

Samuel Butler


The Idler, Thursday, August 16, 2012

The greatest show on earth

THE BRICS Summit (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) to be held in Durban in March next year will without doubt be of the utmost significance. It will be the first great gathering of international leaders since the Commonwealth Conference and the Non-Aligned Nations Conference, both of them quite a few years ago now.

It's as well then that the planners should get practice with the annual World Toilet Conference and Exhibition, which will be staged this December at the ICC. It will be an opportunity to limber up.

Reader Michel Pearce, of Morningside, brings this World Toilet Conference to our attention, citing his local knock-and-drop paper which quotes a certain Jack Sim, of the World Health Organisation, saying: "A toilet should be a status symbol."

Michel seems astonished that such an event should be planned for Durban, but I can assure him it's for real. It's not an occasion for ignorant sniggers, it puts Durban on the world map as never before.

In fact I have inside information on the planning. The opening ceremony at the ICC will eclipse the opening of the London Olympics for colour, sound, music and vibrancy.

Strobe lights picking up the mayoral chain will set the theme of the conference. Following up on the Olympics, there will be toilet sprints and a toilet marathon.

A local pop group have been formed for the opening ceremony. Bucket Brigade will sing items such as Dan, Dan The Sanitary Man (adapted from the well-known rugby pub song), Honeycart Blues and that soulful number, Kleinhuis on the Prairie.

Details of the seating arrangements for delegates are still under wraps, but I can reveal that they are revolutionary and so arresting that not a newspaper or TV channel in the world will be able to ignore them. We're guaranteed maximum coverage. Durban will have arrived.

Snigger not. Onward and upward with the World Toilet Conference!




Teddy bears' picnic

IF YOU GO down to the woods today … It's also like an inversion of the Goldilocks story. A family of bears broke into a holiday cabin in Norway and drank more than 100 cans of beer, sinking their teeth in to open them. They also polished off a store of marshmallows, chocolate and honey.

Then they wrecked the joint, ripping to pieces the beds and bedding, smashing kitchen equipment, cupboards and shelves.

Yes, bears can behave worse than football fans when they get a skinful.

The culprits were a mother bear and her three cubs, who broke into the wooden lodge in the north of the country by ripping off a wall.

Borthen Nilsen, owner of the cabin, happens to be an expert on natural resource management and bears. He says: "They had a hell of a party in there!"

The fear now is that, having acquired a taste for alcohol, the bears might return for another party. Yes, it's almost human.

Kenyan picnic

A HUNDRED beers? It recalls the occasion a few years ago when the Nairobi Nondescripts, a Kenyan rugby team, ordered a hundred pints of draught beer in the old Shunters' Arms pub, in Durban.

They ended up in the Point Road clink after scrumming against a palm tree outside, trying to push it over. When the cops arrived there was a language problem because all they could speak was Swahili.

Eventually they were released and next evening they were in top form again at the Hillcrest Rugby Club. Two evenings later they were standing starkers on the Durban Collegians bar counter, singing the Kenyan national anthem. (It was pleasing to note this unity between white and black rugby players). They also did a lap, starkers, round the King's Park athletics track.

Yes, just like those Norwegian bears, it seems they'd acquired a taste for alcohol.


THIS old-timer suspects that his wife is losing her hearing One night he stands behind her while she's sitting in her lounge chair and says softly: "Honey, can you hear me?"
No response.
He gets a little closer and says again: "Honey, can you hear me?"
Still no response.
He moves right behind her and says: "Honey, can you hear me?"
She replies: "For the third time – yes!"

Last word

Mustard's no good without roast beef. – Chico Marx

Chico Marx


The Idler, Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Damn the torpedoes!


THE INGWAVUMA controversy re-emerges, like the Creature from the Black Lagoon. It was back in the 80s that the bad old Nats startled everyone by trying to cede that north-eastern bit of present-day KwaZulu-Natal to Swaziland, giving the Swazis an outlet to the Indian Ocean. Just why was never satisfactorily explained.


There was one heck of a ruckus. The then KwaZulu Government successfully took the national government to court. The thing subsided.


But now, it seems, the Swazis are raising the issue again at the United Nations. They claim that whenever they set up a joint committee to discuss the matter, our folk don't pitch.

Surprise, surprise! But it just shows what a fraught environment it is that we live in. It proves how necessary is that flotilla of submarines we bought from Germany for R5 billion. We have to secure our borders.

But Swaziland is landlocked, I hear you say. And the submarine flotilla is high and dry in the dockyard at Simonstown.

Quite so. But have you never heard of flatbed trucks? Very soon we will have a submarine covering every entry point from Swaziland to Ingwavuma.

As Johnny Appleseed said: "Damn the torpedoes!"

Elucidation needed

VICE-PRESIDENT Kgalema Motlanthe tells his party cadres they must not be caught with their fingers in the till.


Give the guy the benefit of the doubt. He presumably means they should not have their fingers in the till at all, not just that they should not be caught at it.


But in the present climate he would do well to elucidate.




READER Jan de Groot reminds us that 67 years ago to the day, Japan surrendered and World War II was over.

"Those in Japanese prison camps all over the Far East could at least look forward to being released soon. For many it was too late."


Yep, and it took atom bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to achieve it. Terrible times. Terrible legacy.



British braais

THE BRITS are cock-a-hoop over their medals haul in the Olympics. The weather is being kind. They are celebrating over the braai fires (or "barbecues").

From deepest Suffolk comes a circular on barbecue etiquette.

When a man volunteers to do the barbecue:

·        The woman buys the food.

·        The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables and makes dessert.

·        The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces.

·        The woman remains outside a compulsory 3m exclusion zone where the exuberance of testosterone and other manly bonding activities can happen place without her interference.


Then - flourish of trumpets – the man places the meat on the grill.


·        The woman goes inside to organise the plates and cutlery.

·        The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is looking great.

·        He thanks her and asks if she will bring another drink while he flips the meat.

Then – another flourish of trumpets – the man takes the meat off the grill and hands it to the woman.


·        The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins and sauce and brings them to the table.

·        After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

Then – very important – everyone praises the man for his cooking.

Then the man asks the woman how she enjoyed her night off. At which she spoils the party by delivering what is known as a boereklap.

Nothing at all like our braais. I wonder where they got that word "boereklap"?

Moose mix-up

AN AMERICAN police officer was called to a home in Ogden, Utah, where he had to use bolt cutters to free a moose that had got caught in the chains of a child's swing. It took him some time and the moose was none too co-operative.

"It was pretty crazy stuff," Sergeant Lane Findlay said afterwards. "This is certainly a first for me, and hopefully a last."

But just wait until the grizzlies start commandeering the kiddies' slides and the raccoons take over the sandpits. The animal world want their bit of playground fun as well.



THEY'VE had a row and are driving along a country lane in icy silence. They pass a barnyard of mules and pigs.

She: "Relatives of yours?"

He: "Yep. In-laws."

Last word

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.

John Kenneth Galbraith


The Idler, Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Watch the hemlines

THE LADIES must not take it amiss if their legs are suddenly being paid unduly close attention by stockbrokers and others in the field of finance. It seems the Hemline Index is back in vogue.

The Hemline Index was developed by Professor George Taylor at the University of Pennsylvania, way back in 1926. He posited that women's hemlines fluctuate with the economy. The better the economy is performing, the higher the hemline.

He seemed to be vindicated when hemlines overnight dropped virtually to the ground in 1929, this coinciding with the great Wall Street crash.

Now a New York financial journal, Business Insider, has caused a flutter by conducting a survey of women's fashion that shows conclusively – or so it says – that skirts are getting shorter again. Ergo, the economy is beginning to perform, confidence is returning. Stocks and shares rise and fall with women's hemlines, they say. (Remember the Swinging Sixties and the mini?)

It's caused some controversy. A New York fashion designer says it's all nonsense, hemlines follow the dictates of fashion, not economics. They go up and down all the time, "just like the stock exchange".

Yes, but isn't that exactly what Prof Taylor said in the first place? If hemlines are going up and down right now, isn't that exactly what the stock exchanges of the world are doing? The point is, are they connected?

It's an intriguing notion. Perhaps Dr James Greener, the investment analyst who so often shares his grumpy thoughts with us, can be persuaded to conduct his own research into the correlation between women's skirt lengths and the economic outlook.

Maybe what the world economy needs is something really drastic like a Lady Godiva. I leave it to James.



POST-EVENT Olympics analysis. What's 120mm in diameter, silver and covered in dust?

The CD of the Australian national anthem.




Bloody nose

A COUPLE of years ago a senior naval officer told a parliamentary select committee that one of the reasons we need a submarine fleet is that we might need to give the Americans a bloody nose.

With our brand-new, platinum-plated, diamond studded, R5 billion submarine fleet of three craft now totally out of commission in dry dock, Barack Obama must be in a blue funk.

As Churchill might have said: Some nose! Some blood!

Nordic saga

X-RAY apparatus at Fiumcino airport, in Rome, picked up something strange on the moving baggage belt that takes luggage from the check-in desks to where it is despatched to be loaded onto the aircraft.

The mystery object turned out to be a 36-year-old Norwegian tourist, asleep in the foetal position. It seems he somehow clambered over an unmanned desk, got on the belt then fell asleep. As he was the worse for strong liquor, he was unable to give the airport authorities a coherent account of how he got there.

Here's a worthy addition to the Icelandic sagas.



WHILE there's a lucifer to light your fag … Archeaologists in Israel had thought at first that certain cylindrical objects of clay and stone found at a place called Sha'ar HaGolan were cultic phallic symbols.

But now it's believed they were the earliest known matches – fire-sticks which were swivelled at high speed backward and forward in notches on "fire boards" 8 000 years ago. This generated heat and caused flame.

We wait for news of prehistoric stompies.



TWO WOMEN came before wise King Solomon, dragging between them a young man.

"This young man agreed to marry my daughter," said one.

"No! He agreed to marry my daughter," said the other.

And they haggled before the king until he called for silence.

"Bring me my biggest sword," said Solomon, "And I shall hew the young man in half. Each of you shall receive a half."

"Sounds good to me," said the first woman.

But the other cried out: "Oh Sire, do not spill innocent blood! Let the other woman's daughter marry him."

The wise king did not hesitate a moment. "This man must marry the first lady's daughter!" he proclaimed.

"But she was willing to have him hewed in two!" the king's court exclaimed.

"Indeed," said wise King Solomon. "That shows she is the true mother-in-law."

Last word

He who fears he shall suffer, already suffers what he fears. - Michel de Montaigne

The Idler, Monday, August 13, 2012

Whisky and haggis

THE SNOWMEN got there before the Scots this year. The fields around Fort Nottingham have hundreds of snowmen in them, some melting into shapelessness in the bright winter's sunshine, some still being built by car-loads of day trippers, many of them up from the coast. It's quite an odd spectacle.

Saturday's Highland Games could hardly have been more authentic. Snow on the hills aboot, whisky and haggis in the tent and kilted strongmen doing things like throw empty metal beer barrels high over a crossbar. (Who had emptied them in advance we were not told). The activities all in bright sunshine. And, throughout, the skirl of the pipes. It was a great day.

In the VIP tent – courtesy of the Maclaine of Lochbuie, patron of the Games, and Colonel Pat Acutt, head honcho of the local regiments – there was much bonhomie. Two kilted barmen were explaining to an incredulous army type in camouflage the intricacies of a haggis hunt. But they over-egged it a bit and he just burst out laughing. Army folk are very gullible but you can lead them by the nose only so far.

What is the point of a Highland Games? Originally in Bonnie Scotland they were the clans' alternative to killing each other, carrying off each others' womenfolk and stealing each others' cattle. And, of course, they were an occasion for whisky and haggis.

At Fort Nottingham on Saturday all kinds of people were participating. Soldiers from the local regiments who don't have a Scots heritage – the "Makhathini from Maritzburgh" line comes to mind; also tough outjies from the Vrystaat and Gauteng. All of them in kilts, all getting into the spirit of things, tossing the caber and so forth.

Maybe it's not that far from the origins in Bonnie Scotland after all.

Weird stuff

WHICH is most weird? Girls whacking the daylights out of each other at the London Olympics in the women's boxing, or the commentators and others making as if this is absolutely unremarkable and long overdue?

At least they didn't call it the ladies' boxing.

Knock-out blonde

THE ACCEPTANCE of women's boxing as an Olympic sport appears to have generated all kinds of enthusiasm for female pugilism. British TV has had shots of girls sparring in Hyde Park. It also had footage in which women were interviewed sparring in a gym in Lancaster.

One was a good-looking blonde, though there was a certain harshness about her facial features. Yes, she was a policewoman. Terrifying!


WHAT are the social consequences likely to be of an upsurge in popularity of women's pugilism. One thinks of domestic violence. One thinks of bar brawls.

There was the classic Punch cartoon:

"Why did you beat your wife?"

"Superior footwork, Your Worship."

That one can now be turned around as the girls develop footwork, shorts jabs, right crosses and the rest of the boxer's repertoire. Okay, the domestic playing field has been levelled.

But bar brawls? Any boxer – amateur or professional – is in big trouble if he gets involved in punch-ups outside the ring. The law takes a dim view of it; so do the controlling bodies of boxing.

This surely needs to be emphasised if ladies take up boxing in significant numbers, otherwise our watering holes could come to resemble the Wild West.


Runaway Bolt

STILL with the Olympics, Jamaica's Usain Bolt is like a runaway steam locomotive. The sports science fundis are baffled. They say a man that size just shouldn't be able to run that fast. Yet Bolt streaks in for the 100m and the 200m (for the second time – he also did it in Beijing) and does a few press-ups for the crowd after he's crossed the finishing line.

I wonder if he can catch a rugby ball? The Sharks should make him an offer, he'd be dynamite in the Currie Cup.


Woman patient: "That pill you gave me to boost my husband's libido worked a treat."

Doctor: "I'm glad to hear that."

Woman patient: "As you suggested, I slipped it into his mashed potatoes. A minute later he swept all the food and dishes onto the floor and ravished me right there on the table."

Doctor: "Any side effects?"

Woman patient: "Well, we can't go back to McDonalds any more."


Last word


Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Soren Kierkegaard

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Idler, Friday, August 3, 2012

Being a monkey

THE St Clements season of soirees has closed for a couple of months, yet where should I find myself the other night but back there listening to a gig by former DHS boy Roger Seldon, a wandering troubadour with guitar.

The place buzzed with Horseflies of course (which rather lowered the tone for we more fastidious fellows who were at school elsewhere) but what an entertaining evening. Roger – who in his spare time is a medical doctor in Canada – writes his own music and lyrics, sometimes borrowing from a poet or two he seems to know.

His guitar work is masterful. The lyrics are thoughtful and deep, often amusing. One song concerns an incident from his childhood when he put gloves on his feet to be able to imitate a monkey. It ended badly. If I remember the lyrics correctly:

Up in the trees,

Gloves on my feet,

Swingin' in the breeze,

Bein' a monkey …

Amazing what these DHS sixth-formers get up to.


Good cop

A LADY in the audience told me she was at Botanic Gardens the other morning when a policeman approached, carefully holding in his hands an Egyptian gosling (I suppose that's what you'd call the young of an Egyptian goose).

It had pitched up at the nearby police station the day before, he said. He took it home overnight for safekeeping. Now he wanted to release it back into the wild.

They put it on the lawn, wondering if the parents would reclaim it. They didn't have to wait long. Next thing a pair of Egyptian geese were there, hissing with indignation as they walked their offspring away to safety.

All's well. And that's the kind of cop I like.

Parrot science

AFRICAN grey parrots are smarter than the average two-year-old human, according to scientists in Vienna. They say human children start catching up only from the age of three.

The African greys were asked to choose between two boxes, one of which was empty. The other rattled because it had a walnut inside. The African grey parrots outsmarted the two-year-olds every time by shaking the box to see if it rattled. The kids were completely bamboozled.

This is astounding stuff. The march of science is relentless. Those Viennese scientists no doubt also discovered that African grey parrots don't wet their pants.



OCCASIONAL contributor Sarita Mathur does her bit in celebration of Women's Month:

Splashes of colour, I can see,

These are the colours of my personality.

Bright and cheerful, good taste too,

Multi-tasking career woman and mother,

There is nothing I can't do.

Yes, a woman is phenomenal

In all she is and can do,

From childbearing and rearing,

From being hardworking to caring

A woman can be creative,

The world is there to see,

A woman is phenomenal,

I am sure you all agree.

So this is to women,

Young and old.

Your spirit is special,

The value more than platinum or gold.

A woman is phenomenal,

That is true,

So phenomenal woman,

This is for you.


Three aitches


ILLA Thompson sends in a snatch of dialogue between her sister, Helen, and her 10-year-old son Ben.
"Hey, Mum, did you know it's snowing today in Heineken?"
"Love, where is Heineken?"
"Ag Mum, half way between South Africa and Pietermaritzburg."
"Love, don't you mean Hilton or Howick, and halfway between Durban and Mooi River?"

"Ag, Mum - same place."
"No place is a beer."
Oh, I don't know, the kid's probably right. A couple of Heinekens and who cares if it's Hilton or Howick?


Games on

TOMORROW'S Highland Games at Fort Nottingham are still very much on. The Maclaine of Lochbuie (also known as Drambuie), patron of the gathering, says the forecast is a clearing of the weather tomorrow before it closes in again on Sunday.

So snow aboot on the hills and bright sunshine. Just like Bonnie Scotland on a guid day. Slainte!


Doctor: "What's your physical activity level?"

Patient: "Well, yesterday afternoon, I took a five hour walk through some pretty rough terrain. I waded along the edge of a lake. I pushed my way through brambles. I avoided standing on a snake. I climbed several rocky hills."
Doctor: "You must be one heck of an outdoors man."
Patient: "No, I'm a terrible golfer."




Last word

Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read.

Frank Zappa

The Idler, Thursday, August 9, 2012

Otherwise much the same

THE NORTH wind doth blow and it will bring snow … the pugs, pekinese and chihuahuas of the Berea strain at the harness as they take the dog sled through the snow to the supermarket to pick up supplies. St Bernards are in huge demand.

The royal palms of the Esplanade are a frosted filigree worthy of any Christmas card. The vessels in the harbour are frozen at their moorings and there is talk on the radio news of hiring an icebreaker from Murmansk.

Penguins have taken over the pelican nesting sites at Blue Lagoon. Where once there were crocodiles in the Umgeni, polar bears are now being sighted. The moose has taken over at Umfolozi. His antlers are believed by people in the Far East to be a powerful aid to male sexual potency.

This global warming really is getting out of hand.




Mars probe

THE ROVER exploratory vehicle Curiosity is creeping across the surface of Mars in search of the building blocks of life. So far it hasn't found so much as a Kentucky Fried Chicken, but we must be patient. These building-blocks – fast food outlets, pubs and discos – will no doubt, in time, come within the sweep of its antennae.

What happens when Curiosity discovers the Martian equivalent of Sunset Boulevard? Flashing neon signs: "Girls! Poker! Margaritas!" That's when radio contact with Earth will abruptly terminate.

It's been a journey of millions of miles through space, costing gazillions of dollars. But it will be worth it to know there is life on Mars as we understand it.



A TINY spider discovered recently in Australia has been named after British TV naturalist Sir David Attenborough. The species Prethopalpus attenboroughi is found on Horn Island, off northern Queensland.

Sir David says he's honoured by the naming. But I wonder. Why did they previously call it the goblin spider?


Gong man


THIS week's comparing of the size the Olympic medals with the gong struck before the start of the old J Arthur Rank movies takes Neville Esterhuizen, of Addington Beach, back to the Free State goldfields of the late 1940s.


"Around 1947 I was employed by Anglo American when they started digging for the Welkom mines. At that time there were only two public drinking holes in the area, both of which were situated in Odendaalsrus.


"Working in one of them was a burly barman who claimed to be the man who struck the J Arthur Rank gong of yore. He was quite famous for this and attracted a lot attention. Maybe some other old-timers will remember him from those dusty and muddy days."


Meanwhile, George Hutchison, of Kwambonambi, says the strongman who beat a giant gong at the start of the movies was Bombadier Billy Wells, a British soldier and well-known boxer.

"The reason we know this is that the J Arthur Ranks films are about to hit the circuit here at last in Kwambonambi."


Yes, Kwambonambi always was a leader in film culture.


And a question arises. Did Bombardier Billy Wells become a barman in Odendaalsrus?





MEANWHILE, speaking of gongs, is it not curious the way medal-winners at the London Olympics are presented with a small posy of flowers  – men as well as women?


Is this some process of androgynisation, to go with the acceptance this year of women's boxing as an Olympic sport? Or am I just incorrigibly old-fashioned?


Fish 'n chips

IF YOU'RE looking for a large fish 'n chips, Whitburn, in England, is the place to be.

Fishermen there hauled in a porbeagle shark, seven feet in length, and took it to the local seafood deli.

It might be a shark and it might be a protected species but nothing goes to waste in Whitburn. Into the frier it went.

How do they wrap such a large order? Well, fortunately there are a lot of special supplements out on the Olympics.

A SCOT is on a ski-ing holiday in Canada. After a hard day on the slopes he's downing a couple of whiskies. He notices a stuffed animal with antlers on the wall. He asks the barman: "Wha's that?"
"It's a moose."
"A moose! Guid gracious! What size are yer cats then?"

Last word

We are here and it is now. Further than that all human knowledge is moonshine.

H L Mencken