More monkey biz
IT SEEMS I'm wasting my time squirting the garden hose at vervet monkeys. Reader Mandy le Roux says she lives on the edge of the Stainbank Nature Reserve, where the monkeys have beautiful indigenous forest in which to forage, yet they won't stay out of her garden.
And they seem to love water. They even dive into her swimming pool, treating the pool area as a holiday resort.
Yes, I get her point. I was beginning to doubt the hose-squirting tactic anyway because the monkeys were starting to turn up wearing shower caps and carrying towels and bars of soap.
What do I do? Get another Irish terrier? Take up playing the bagpipes? How does one discourage these pests?
Meanwhile, my advice to Mandy is to get Chad le Clos around to take a look at those diving, swimming monkeys. This could be Olympic talent just waiting to be harnessed.
Bagpipes it is
THERE is probably no better deterrent to monkeys than an Irish terrier. Mine hated them with a passion. He would leap into the lower branches of the trees trying to get at them; he would run up perpendicular walls at them until the law of gravity asserted itself, the whole time shrieking with fury.
They would never have dared run on the lawns and open the birdseed bins the way they do now.
But there is a downside with Irish terriers. Mine was barred from three pubs for bad behaviour. He had a police record for disturbing the peace. And he was so astonishingly handsome wiry ginger hair and athletic in build that pretty girls would stop me and get into conversation about him and ask if they might pat him. It could become very tedious.
So maybe I'll try the bagpipes after all to drive away the monkeys. I'll first consult the neighbours, find out which tunes they like.
SCIENTISTS have discovered a cross-dressing mollusc in the Antarctic. They'd known about the bivalve Lissarca miliaris since 1845 but only now have scientists from the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, England, discovered its astonishing scecret. Some of the males change sex to efficiently reproduce in the extremely cold ocean.
"Hermaphroditism is not necessarily uncommon in Antarctic bivalves, and with many species still to study there may be many more to describe," says researcher Adam Reed.
And not just in the Antarctic. He should take a look at what goes on in some of the less inhibited bars of Durban. Hoo boy!
THOUSANDS of "love padlocks" on a Roman bridge are being removed with bolt-cutters in order to protect the ancient structure. Couples have been decorating the Ponte Milvio bridge on the river Tiber with locks to symbolise the locking of hearts,
But the city authorities now say rust from the locks, which hang off chains, is harming the fabric of the ancient bridge. The locks have to go.
But it's causing a bit of a fuss. The city authorities are accused of lacking romantic sentiment.
It somehow reminds me of an incident involving my old pal Tom Dennen, who writes in occasionally. He used to drive a beat-up old VW which he would park outside his local pub.
As a precaution against theft, he had a chain and padlock which he would pass around the axle and a lamp post. One evening he came out and the chain and padlock were stolen. The car was still standing there.
Tom was so insulted he took off to his native America for quite a while. (I guess I'll be hearing from him again).
THIS chap goes into a doctor's rooms and the receptionist asks what he has.
She writes down his details and tells him to take a seat.. A nurse aide asks what he has.
She weighs him and measures his height. She tells him to wait in the examining room.
A a nurse comes in and asks what he has.
So she gives him a blood test, a blood pressure test and an electrocardiogram. She tells him to take off all his clothes and wait for the doctor.
The doctor comes in and finds him sitting patiently in the nude. He asks what he has.
"Outside on the truck. Where do you want me to offload 'em?"
Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.