Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The Idler, Wednesday, January 25, 2017

You don't know what to believe

IS HE A mystic possessed of psycho-kinetic and telepathic powers, possibly derived from Outer Space? Or is he just a very proficient stage magician? Spoon-bender Uri Geller himself seems to hover between the two opinions, no doubt profiting by this sense of mystery.

Now, according to records recently declassified and released, it emerges that Geller's abilities were once tested by America's CIA, to see if they could be weaponised,

According to Sky News, Geller was tested for a week at Stanford Research Centre in 1973. A scientist would pick a word at random from a dictionary, then draw a picture of that word and stick it on the door of a sealed room in which Geller sat. He would then be asked to himself draw the same image, using his paranornal powers.

Some of the results were a bit shaky. But some were brilliantly accurate – a bunch of grapes, the solar system and a swan.

The CIA's conclusion: "As a result of Geller's success in this experimental period, we consider that he has demonstrated his paranormal perception ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner."

Wow! Yet several stage magicians claim to have replicated Geller's spoon-bending and so forth, using stage trickery.

I once saw Geller on stage in Johannesburg. He did seem to bend spoons without touching them; stop and then restart watches from people in the audience.

Later it transpired that I was wearing frilly knickers. The lady who had watched the show with me had on my tartan Y-fronts. You just don't know what to believe.

Good augury

THE Gambia is a tiny wedge of a country on the West Coast of Africa. It's had a very close call, democracy holding out in the face of authoritarianism – through military pressure from the country's Ecowas neighbours. It's an encouraging augury in contemporary Africa.

Newly elected leader Adama Barrow says he foresees the closest relationship with Britain through the Commonwealth and older ties.

Theresa May and Boris Johnson will no doubt be greatly relieved. Having kicked France, Germany and Italy in the teeth – as well as the other 24 member nations of the European Union – the Brits need all the friends they can get.




NEWS from America. Chelsea Wilson, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, asked her dad for a lift into town for a job interview. He dropped her off and wished her luck.

But then, according to the Florida Sun-Sentinel, she covered her blonde locks with a red wig, put on sunglasses and marched into a bank with a gun. She handed the teller a handwritten note: "You have exactly one minute to give me all your $50 and $100 bills from both your drawers or I will shoot you! No dye packs, no alarms. Follow these instructions and no one will get hurt, act normal."

She got a haul of $300 (R4 080) and then went shopping for groceries.

But an eye-witness had recognised her as being wanted for four other robberies. He tipped off the police and they arrested Chelsea while she was still in town going about her business.

Such normality, such abnormality.

Courtroom flash

IT'S all happening in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Susan Surette, an escort and porn actress who trades under the name, "Kayla Kupcakes", was in court charged with disorderly intoxication. Her films include Private Stuffers 1, Sexcretaries and Mature Thunder Buns 1, according to Huffington Post.

During the hearing, she alleged she was the victim of police brutality and as evidence lifted her shirt to flash her boobs at the judge.

The judge then ordered her to undergo a mental examination.


Maybe one day he'll write his memoirs.



ROB Nicolai, Howick's resident theoretical physicist, suggests that brewing conglomerate AB Inbev should sponsor the Proteas.


"Not just because AB de Villiers bears a similar name to the brewing giant but it could be David Miller time as well. The Proteas T20 side now has a Heino Kuhn which is very like Heineken."


He also wants the leg beerfore wicket rule amended.

Something seems to be on Rob's mind. Is there perhaps a beer drought in Howick?


A POLE is having his eyesight tested. The optician shows him a wall chart with the letters CKOPVWXSCZY.

"Can you read that?"

"Read it? I know the guy!"

Last word

Hell hath no fury like a bureaucrat scorned. - Milton Friedman


The Idler, Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Now the lifeboat needs baling

REMEMBER the Absa Lifeboat? It wasn't much of a secret at the time. The Treasury apparently gave the bank some sort of financial lift to get out of a sticky situation. Some of us – stick-in-the-mud codgers who objected to rugby adopting the terminology and values of American gridiron when it went professional – used to talk about "Lifeboat Stadium" when they changed King's Park's name to "Absa Stadium".

But that was yonks ago. Now the issue seems to have resurfaced. Investment analyst Dr James Greener revisits it in his latest grumpy newsletter.

"It's all turning very messy rather quickly. Most of it is very old news but now the events are being revisited in a sea of confusion, bad grammar and indignant vengeance, all fuelled by the vain expectation that the state might be able to get its hands on some sorely needed cash.

"More than two dozen years ago, the now very extinct Trust Bank was doing what badly run banks have done through the ages. It was lending money to people who were never going to be capable of paying it back. So when Trust Bank's inevitable sticky end approached, the government, very mindful that many of the bank's owners (in itself a messy story) and clients were Nationalist Party supporters, made the foolish and probably illegal decision to launch the infamous 'lifeboat'.

"Taxpayers' money was loaned to the ailing bank at a very low rate on the condition that it be used to buy much higher yielding government bonds and other instruments. The capital amount was probably therefore never at risk, but the net interest flow was from the lender (the government) to the borrower (Trust Bank). An interesting early example of negative interest rates.

"Just what became of the 'lifeboat', and what its potential recovery value to the state might be has long concerned the curious. In particular, the rash of bank amalgamations that have taken place since those days has complicated the task for at least four investigations into the mystery.

"The now leaked Public Protector's is just the latest attempt to follow the money. One investigation even was carried out by a commercial British outfit, who as well as charging a very large upfront fee in pounds, got the new government to agree to pay as much as 10% commission on any 'recovered' funds. Fortunately, it seems they recovered nothing, not least because Absa, which undeniably is a distant descendant of Trust Bank, strenuously insist that they acquired no liabilities arising from that particular wreck.

"The cold fact is that the money – actually now in today's terms a rather modest amount – is gone. Yet another memorial to every government's desire to carry out political allocation of assets."


Sergeant-major Spooner

FROM time to time I receive a missive, unsigned and addressed only by way of a cut-out of the Idler's logo – coffee mug and feet on desk - glued to the envelope. Now I learn it comes from a World War II ex-serviceman, identity still unknown.


This fellow says he always takes a book with him to meetings of his ex-servicemen's association, to read while waiting for the regimental sergeant-major to pitch up. This particular evening he had a book on the sayings of the Rev William Archibald Spooner, which by coincidence we discussed last Wednesday.


Spooner, a respected scholar and warden of New College at Oxford University, regularly got his tongue twisted when he spoke, to hilarious effect: "Those girls are sin twisters";";I was hocked and shorrified"; "We each had tee martoonies"; "He rode off on his well-boiled icicle."


When the RSM arrived, he took one look at the book my correspondent was reading and burst into spluttering laughter: "Kinkering kongs (Conquering kings); the Lord is a shoving leopard (loving shepherd); blushing crows; leave no tern unstoned …"


So Rev Spooner reaches also to the warrant officers' mess.


"Parade! Shun-ten!"





OVERHEARD in the Street Shelter for the Over-Forties: "Innuendo? Isn't that an Italian suppository?"



PADDY and Mick have been out on the marshes hunting duck, but they've had no luck.

"All day we've been here, Mick, and not a single duck. What's wrong."

"I tink we must make a new plan, Paddy. Next time dey fly over, we'll trow de dogs a little higher."


Last word


I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them.

Isaac Asimov

The Idler, Monday, January 23, 2017

Are these the hollow men?

HERE we go with non-stop reality TV. At the Trump inauguration, pugnacious, hectoring, inarticulate, isolationist rhetoric; shallow sloganeering; and an absolute lack of any hint of humour. You could not help but compare with the atmosphere of Barack Obama's lengthy farewell press conference. Nor did you have to necessarily agree with Obama.

Then hundreds of thousands of women marching in protest in Washington, probably millions more world-wide, over issues that are no doubt worthy but - for those who worry more about a continuation of the equilibrium that has kept world peace for an unprecedented 72 years - most definitely peripheral.

America is going to be made great again, they say. Had it collapsed? Some of us hadn't noticed.

A weariness sets in. This reality show looks like becoming very tedious. Yet may it remain tedious. The worry is that all kinds of actual reality could transpire – possibly in the international theatre - making the show exciting in a way nobody could want.

Yet perhaps this is unduly alarmist. One thinks of TS Eliot in The Hollow Men.

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

This is the way the world ends

Not with a bang but a whimper.

Trump honoured

AN EARLY honour for President Donald Trump – a tiny moth has been named after him.

The minuscule creature - Neopalpa donaldtrumpi - was discovered by Canadian scientist Vazrick Nazari who says he was struck by the resemblance of the golden scales on the head of the moth to Trump's signature hairstyle, according to The Maverick.

Nazari says he named the new species, which measures about 9 mm, after the new president to focus attention on ecological issues. (Some hope there – Trump has already begun dismantling his predecessor's regulations to combat global warming).

The moth is native to southern California but its habitat extends to Baja California in Mexico.

President Trump still has some leeway to make up if he is to overtake his predecessor. A caterpillar found in the Peruvian Amazon has been named the "Trumpapillar" because its orange-yellow furry cover resembles Trump's hairdo. But that's an unofficial naming; it still has to be made legit in the scientific annals.

And Obama already has nine species named after him. They include a Hawaiian coral fish and a trapdoor spider.

Moths, caterpillars, trapdoor spiders … Isn't it time these scientists showed some respect?

Eerie symbolism

JUST about the time President Trump was being installed, Mexican druglord Joaquin "El Chapo" (it means "Shorty") Guzman was being flown in to New York, extradited to face charges, according to Agence France Presse.

He had been in prison in Ciudad Juarez, just beneath the Texas border, since he was abruptly transferred there from another penitentiary near Mexico City after a spectacular tunnel jailbreak.

The border with Mexico … drug dealers and rapists … keeping them out … the whole thing seems to have an eerie reverse symbolism.

Not too long ago, satirist Andy Borowitz predicted in the New Yorker that El Chapo will be one of Trump's early appointments – to head up America's federal anti-drugs agency.

And here he's arrived, a day before the inauguration. Watch this space …

A prose writer gets tired of writing prose, and wants to be a poet. So he begins every line with a capital letter, and keeps on writing prose.


The Idler, Friday, January 20, 2017

The Bullingdon Club strikes again


NEVER a dull moment in world affairs these days. Hardly has the US settled into what will probably be sullen good manners for the Trump inauguration today when British foreign secretary Boris Johnson re-ignites World War II.


In his plummiest Eton/Oxford/Bullingdon Club tones, Boris the Menace goes on record comparing Britain's leaving the European Union with those classic escapes from the Nazi POW camps – punishment beatings and all – in the movies he so much enjoyed as a lad.


Ah yes, Stalag 17, The Great Escape, The Wooden Horse – all those dumb Krauts. Those hopelessly disorganised, garlic-eating French resistance characters, couldn't organise a booze-up in a brewery, couldn't rely on 'em even in those days. Yet he even seemed to be calling current French President Francois Hollande a Nazi (Got his history a bit mixed up there).


It's caused absolute fury in Europe. Not a great start to negotiations on Brexit.


What lies behind this? Does Boris feel The Donald has been attracting more than his fair share of the limelight with his tweets? Will The Donald get ahead again with further tweets later on tonight?


Or is this just the Bullingdon Club talking? The Bullingdon Club – fruity-voiced elite yobboes who went to Oxford - specialises in wrecking restaurants at its get-togethers. Have they now branched into international diplomacy?


You couldn't make it up. Future study of the history of our times will be complex and challenging. Alexander the Great, Napoleon and Bismarck did not behave this way. Maybe we need to develop a computer programme that makes sense of the data fed in. That programme could be based on observation of school playgrounds.


Trigonometric …


ROB Nicolai, Howick's resident theoretical physicist, has now broadened his activities by becoming a cricketing trigonometric alignment authority. He addresses himself to Cricket SA on how they ought to treat AB de Villiers.


"After losing Abbott and Rossouw to overseas contracts, please listen carefully, I shall try using small words to make this clear: You simply cannot play hardball with AB de Villiers who only wants to be in top form for the 2019 World Cup.


"AB is recovering from an elbow injury and if he will be better rested and prepared for the World Cup, please let him.


"Surely you know that AB could easily get a contract with virtually any team that offers him a better deal and without AB our chances of winning are less in ODI cricket. Or does CSA wish to chase more top players offshore to make 'transformation' easier?

"If AB is not accommodated for the 2019 World Cup and we do not win, cricket sponsorship and support will falter and it may take ages to recover from. CSA officials will probably lose their jobs and more players may be permanently lost so please do the basic maths.


"Excluding AB from the Proteas on purpose is like not allowing Chuck Norris to fight in a war!"


You tangle at your peril with a trigonometric alignment authority.



A READER says he's just discovered he's a seenager – senior teenager. He says he has all the things he wanted as a teenager, only 50 or 60 years later.

"I don't have to go to school or work. 

"I get an allowance every month. 

"I have my own pad. 

"I don't have a curfew. 

"I have a driver's licence and my own car. 

"I have ID that gets me into bars and the wine store.

"The girls I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant.

"And I don't have acne."


A SCOUSER (inhabitant of Liverpool) walks into the local job centre. He marches up to the counter and says: "Hi, I'm looking for a job. I'm serious. I'm ready to try anything."

The man behind the counter replies "Your timing is amazing. We've just got one in from a very wealthy man who wants a chauffeur/bodyguard for his nymphomaniac twin daughters. You'll have to drive around in a big black Mercedes and wear the uniform provided. The hours are a bit long but the meals are provided. You also have to escort the young ladies on their overseas holidays. The salary package is £200 000 a year."
Scouser: "You're kidding me!"
Man behind the counter: "Well, you started it."


Last word

What if everything is an illusion and nothing exists? In that case, I definitely overpaid for my carpet.

Woody Allen

The Idler, Thursday, January 19, 2017

An inauguration we can't ignore

TOMORROW the world changes. Donald Trump gets sworn in as President of the US and nothing will be the same again anywhere in the world – not even in Isipingo.

America has had its oddball presidents. There was Tricky Dicky, whose aides organised a burglary of the offices of his political opponents, a scandal which eventually drove him from office – yet not before he'd got the troops out of Vietnam and opened relations with China.

There was Jimmy Carter the na├»ve do-gooder who was humiliated in Iran – he got the Ayatollah in place of the Shah – and delayed the ending of apartheid in South Africa by at least a decade.

There was George Dubya orchestrating what developed into the current disaster zone of the Middle East.

But all of them operated within certain known and trusted parameters. They were all of them 100% committed to Nato, which has successfully kept the peace since World War II. They used diplomacy within accepted rules. They played canny chess with the Soviets, who later morphed back into being the Russians. Everyone knew where they stood. There was a certain equilibrium.

From tomorrow there's a fellow who's ambivalent about Nato, appears to have contempt for his own security establishment, is not very articulate, is personally combative, appears already to be at odds with members of his newly-nominated cabinet and has a habit of sending out sometimes incendiary tweets to the world in the early hours. Will World War III be declared on Twitter?

This is a very different style. It's difficult to know who's more nervous – his nominal allies in Nato or his supposed new friends elsewhere. Only one thing is certain – from tomorrow things will be different.

Satirist Andy Borowitz has been having fun in the New Yorker. The karaoke machine engaged to perform at tomorrow's inauguration has abruptly backed out. Vladimir Putin has banned all Meryl Streep movies from Russia, following her public denunciation of Trump. The president-elect himself has scolded his security men for going after Russia when the "very real threat" is from Hollywood actresses.

But from tomorrow it's different. Will anyone be laughing about anything in six months' time?


ANOTHER unsettling factor is this dossier that's doing the rounds, prepared by a former MI6 officer. Apparently just about every member of Congress has already seen it.

If there's the merest smidgeon of truth in it – quite apart from the lurid allegations of sexual shenanigans – that must surely come out. It would convulse America in a way to make Watergate and Vietnam look like picnics.

When America catches cold, we get pneumonia. Maybe Isipingo is the place to be after all.

Coming home

OVERHEARD in the Street Shelter for the Over-Forties: "Do you know what it means to come home to a man who'll give you a little love, a little affection and a little tenderness? It means you've come home to the wrong house."


RETIRED headmaster (and consummate legspin bowler) Tom Lambert says he thoroughly enjoyed the anecdotal memories this week of retired Judge Chris Niocholson of his days as an advocate in Windhoek. They reminded him of an advocate friend he had in Maritzburg in days of yore.

"This fellow appeared one morning defending a motorist who had been caught in a speed trap. Through sheer intellectual brilliance, he won his case, getting his client off scot-free.

"That afternoon he appeared for the prosecution in another case – involving a motorist who had been caught in a speed trap. Through sheer intellectual brilliance he won his case. The fellow was found guilty and slapped with a hefty fine.

"Asked afterwards how he justified presenting two opposite arguments on the same day – and winning – he said: "In the morning I thought I was right. In the afternoon I knew I was right."

He got the guineas – right!


THIS fellow tells the doctor the "thrill" has gone out of his marriage. What's gone wrong?

The doc says he needs to build up his stamina. He must jog 10km a day for 30 days, then report back.

He gets a call from his patient. "Wow, thanks Doc, it worked. I feel great."

"And your love life?"

"Heck, how would I know? I'm 300km from home."


Last word

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'

Ronald Reagan

The Idler, Wednesday, January 17, 2017

The tough and rumble of life


A WONDERFUL collection of spoonerisms comes this way, expressions by the Rev William Archibald Spooner, who made slips of the tongue an internationally recognised art form


It began when Spooner, an Anglican clergyman, highly-regarded scholar and warden of New College at Oxford University, announced a hymn in chapel. What should have been Conquering Kings Their Titles Take came out as Kinquering Kongs Their Titles Take.


The congregation kept a straight face at that but the spoonerisms soon became a torrent.


At the time of Queen Victoria's jubilee: "Three cheers for our queer old dean".


On a visit to the British fleet at Portsmouth: "The cattleships and bruisers."


Rebuking a student for "Fighting liars in the quadrangle".


Rebuking an entire class for "Hissing my mystery lectures".


Also: "Those girls are sin twisters"; "I was hocked and shorrified"; "We each had tee martoonies";"She joins this club over my bed doddy'; "He rode off on his well-boiled icicle."


Then his classic when a lady had taken his seat in church: "Mardon me, padam, you're occupewing the wrong pie; let me sew you to another sheet."


Spooner died in 1930 at the age of 86, by that time renowned throughout the English-speaking world for his linguistic acrobatics rather than his mystery lectures (which some had unfortunately hissed).


Do we not need a modern-day Spooner to capture the tough and rumble of day to day life in this country? Might whonopoly capital … concession suctest … mactionalism in the fovement …


High seas encounter

A SEGMENT  from a Donald Trump nightmare. An American destroyer is on patrol in the Atlantic. It comes across a rowing boat in mid-ocean. The captain gets on the loudhailer: "Ahoy, small craft! Where are you headed?"

A Mexican puts down his oar, stands up and shouts: "We are invading the United States of America to reclaim the territory taken  during the 1800s!"

The entire crew of the destroyer double over in laughter. The captain catches his breath and gets back on the loudhailer: "Just the four of you?"

 "No, we're the last four. The other 12 million are already there!"

 Nobody on the destroyer laughed.

Task team

THIS must be one of those government task teams we're always hearing about. A little story comes this way about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybody's job.

Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realised that Everybody wouldn't do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.

Yes, definitely a government task team.



Her diary:

Tonight I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it.

Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn't say much.
I asked him what was wrong; He said: "nNthing."

I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset.

He said he wasn't upset, it had nothing to do with me and not to worry about it.

On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can't explain his behavior.
I don't know why he didn't say; "I love you too"'

When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent.

Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep; I cried. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster.



His diary:

A two-foot putt... Who the hell misses a two-foot putt?


Last word

Eighty percent of married men cheat in America. The rest cheat in Europe.

Jackie Mason

The Idler, Tuesday, January 17, 2017


MENTION last week of goings-on in Namibia – including the antics of the unforgettable Hannes "Mal" Smith (also known as Smitty) editor of the Windhoek Advertiser – brought back memories for reader Chris Knaggs,


"I spent six years in Namibia, from 1984 to 1990, and what a great country it is.


"I met Hannes and what a character, truly. The Advertiser was an extremely entertaining newspaper and brutally graphic too."


Last week's piece revolved round a fellow who, a bit tanked up, came to a police roadblock. He slid over to the passenger's seat and placed a puppy behind the wheel in the driver's seat – then fought the case in court, saying the police did not find him at the wheel.


Chris says he had a slightly different experience. He'd been celebrating being given a company car (the way they celebrate everything in Namibia) when the police pulled him up.


"They said: 'Move over, you idiot!' and drove me home."


Yes, that sounds like Namibia.


MORE on the above-mentioned Mal Smith, who had a head of wiry hair at which he was constantly tearing in excitement.

Every year the South-West Africa administration would hold a cocktail party to which all the Windhoek notables were invited. (This was in the days South Africa was still administering the territory as a League of Nations mandate). The invitation list included newspaper editors – though pointedly not Smitty.


In response he ran a front page editorial: "The administrator-general's wife snorted on her brandy and coke. The chief justice's wife choked on her biltong. The attorney-general's wife wet her pants. You could have heard a pin drop. Suddenly they realised Mal Smith was there."


Yes, Namibia was/is the last frontier of the Wild West.

LAST week's mention of squirrels snatching chocolate bars in Toronto, Canada, reminds reader Maureen Elysee of an experience in the US when staying in a hotel cabin in the woods of Yosemite.

"I woke to the sound of ' someone ' in my room. If I stayed perfectly quiet maybe they would not  kill me.

"Eventually I sneaked my arm out to a large bottle of juice next go my bed and sat up with a great shout, brandishing the bottle - only to frighten the wits out of some squirrels stealing a bag of sugared walnuts."

It's a jungle out there, Maureen.


The Reverend William Archibald Spooner was a highly-regarded scholar and warden of New College at England's great Oxford University. Believe it or not, it was a mere slip of the tongue that started thisdignified British clergyman on the road to eternal renown.

One day in a chapel, when announcing the name of a hymn, Spooner intended to say "Conquering Kings Their Titles Take." But what came out was  "Kinquering Kongs Their Titles Take."Although the members of the congregation probably maintained their composure, no doubt with considerable difficulty, from then on Spooner was a marked man.

There is evidence, too, that Spooner went along with the joke and contributed some sterling examples of his own making. By about 1900, the word spoonerism had entered the language.When Spooner died in 1930 at the age of eighty-six, The New York Times allotted his obituary nearly a full column crammed with choice examples of the literary curiosity bearing his name.

At the time of Queen Victoria's Jubilee, said the Times, he was credited with calling for "three cheers for our queer old dean."

On a visit to the British fleet at Portsmouth, he was quoted as asking to go out and see the "cattleships and bruisers."

A student once noted that he had been rebuked by the warden for "fighting liars in the quadrangle," and an entire class was scolded severely for "hissing my mystery lectures."

"Those girls are sin twisters."

"I was hocked and shorrified."

"We each had tee martoonies."

"She joins this club over my bed doddy."

"He rode off on his well-boiled icicle."

"Mardon me, padam, you're occupewing the wrong pie; let me sew you to another sheet."

(Source:  The Old Farmer's Almanac)

I just discovered my age group!  I am a Seenager. (Senior teenager)

I have everything that I wanted as a teenager, only 50-60 years later. 

I don't have to go to school or work. 

I get an allowance every month. 

I have my own pad. 

I don't have a curfew. 

I have a driver's license and my own car. 

I have ID that gets me into bars and the wine store.  I like the wine store best. 

The people I hang around with are not scared of getting pregnant, they aren't scared of anything, they have been blessed to live this long, why be scared? 

And I don't have acne. 

Life is Good!  Also, you will feel much more intelligent after reading this, if you are a Seenager. 

Brains of older people are slow because they know so much.  People do not decline mentally with age, it just takes them longer to recall facts because they have more information in their brains. 

Scientists believe this also makes you hard of hearing as it puts pressure on your inner ear. 

Also, older people often go to another room to get something and when they get there, they stand there wondering what they came for.  It is NOT a memory problem, it is nature's way of making older people do more exercise. 


I have more friends I should send this to, but right now I can't remember their names.


So, please forward.


 An online broadcast of a US network from the floor of the House of Representatives has been bizarrely interrupted by the Russian news site RT.

The C-SPAN website was replaced by RT for about 10 minutes, said a spokesman for the US network devoted to public affairs.

The problem was likely a routing issue, since RT is one of the networks that C-SPAN regularly monitors, he said.

There was no suggestion of hacking.




READER Barbara Johnston says somebody was looking last year, through this column, for contact details for one Arabella Trollipe. Barbara knew Arabella – they met at Teyateyaneng, in Lesotho – but she thought she too had lost contact.

But now she finds she had Arabella's e-mail address all along. So if that person is still looking for Arabella Trollipe, she can help.



THIS fellow goes into the office of a theatrical agent and announces himself as a bird imitator.

"Bird imitators are 10 a penny. It's hardly worth putting you on my books."

"Well, here's my card in case you change your mind."

Then he drops his trousers, lays an egg and flies out of the window.

Last word

He who lives without folly isn't so wise as he thinks. - Francois de La Rochefoucauld