Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Idler, Friday, April 26, 2013

The great shedding of flab


IT'S PLEASING indeed that our councillors are about to start riding bicycles about the city centre.


They were probably a little startled to receive from the UN this gift of 294 bikes for the purpose, all in the interests of the international campaign against climate change. But it seems they've accepted the idea with enthusiasm and we look forward to seeing them fly about Durban, shedding flab furiously as they pedal-push for service delivery.


The Metro police are already in training. Stand by for every mayoral procession to be headed by a sergeant on balloon tyres, sweating profusely as he pedals through against the red lights, furiously ringing his bicycle bell.


Lean and mean. It'll be better than the rickshas.


Injured list


THE SHARKS are in New Zealand, and at last we can answer the telephone.


With the injury list getting longer by the day, some of us were getting nervous.




YESTERDAY a reader suggested setting words to the "Bee-Baa! Bee-Baa!" of a police blue-light vehicle going through the red traffic lights, as a new national anthem.


An early response comes from Perry Webb:


Late for tea!

Late for tea!


Calcium gobblers

GIANT snails are eating up buildings in Florida. The African land snails, as they are known, can grow to the size of a rabbit and they are eating into the walls of buildings in search of the calcium they need to grow their shells.

Florida has problems with all kinds of alien species that thrive in the American state's moist sub-tropical climate, including the Burmese python that threatens the ecology of the Everglades. Officials are catching about 1 000 snails a week around Miami.

The source of the infestation has not yet been traced. They haven't blamed Fidel Castro – not yet anyway.


A GROUP of skiers in Canada have performed the largest simultaneous backward somersault ever.

It happened at Mont St Saveur, in Quebec, where 30 skiers went down a short slope then, in unison, performed a backflip, landing on their feet further down the slope. It was captured on video.

These après-ski parties get wilder by the day.


ACTIVISTS are accusing the government of Brazil of failure to protect the Awa people from the inroads of civilisation.

The Awa live in north-eastern Brazil and survive as hunter-gatherers in remote areas of rainforest. But thousands of loggers and settlers have been attracted to their territory. They now outnumber the Awa 10 to 1 and are cutting down huge sectors of forest with chainsaws.

Last year a judge ordered that all outsiders should leave the area within 12 months. But the deadline has passed and no evictions have taken place, says indigenous rights group Survival International.

If the Awas' way of life is destroyed, they will rely forever on government hand-outs, say the activists.

But can or should the benefits of civilisation be resisted? Should the Awa be denied the benefits of algebra, junk food, reality TV and rap music?

It's a no-brainer, surely.

In far Tibet

MEANWHILE, Ogden Nash provides the definitive counterpointing of primitive existence and our modern, consumption-driven society.

In far Tibet
There live a lama,
He got no poppa,
Got no momma,

He got no wife,
He got no chillun,
Got no use
For penicillun,

He got no soap,
He got no opera,
He don't know Irium
From copra,

He got no songs,
He got no banter,
He don't know Hope,
He don't know Cantor,

He got no teeth,
He got no gums,
Don't eat no Spam,
Don't need no Tums.

He love to nick him
When he shave;
He also got
No hair to save.

Got no distinction,
No clear head,
Don't call for Calvert;
Drink milk instead.

He use no lotions
For allurance,
He got no car
And no insurance,

No Alsop warnings,
No Pearson rumour
For this self-centred

Indeed, the
Ignorant Have-Not
Don't even know
What he don't got.

If you will mind
The box-tops, comma,
I think I'll go
And join that lama.


DOCTOR: "Your heart, lungs, pulse and blood pressure are all fine. Now let's see the bit that gets you ladies into all kinds of trouble."
She starts taking off her underwear.
"No, No! Don't take off your clothes ... just stick out your tongue!"




Last word


I think age is a very high price to pay for maturity.

Tom Stoppard


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