Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Idler, Friday, February 3, 2017

Some authentic fishing stories


THIS week's account of the yellowfish that was hooked in the Ntsuze River, in Zululand, which was then taken by a monster barbel, which was taken in turn taken by a crocodile, reminds reader Ian Gielkink of an incident in the Umfolozi Country Club.


No, crocodiles and things are not allowed in the bar of the Umfolozi Country Club (the members are bad enough). Ian and his brother-in-law, Tickey Nel, and a few others were taking a snort or two when some fellows arrived from Zimbabwe.


Talk got around to fishing and these blokes were describing how big the vunda (barbel) grow in Kariba dam. At the dam wall they would let down a huge bait, and when the vunda took it they needed the winch on the 4X4 to haul it in.


"Tickey, being a great story-teller, said that's nothing, down at the Wild Coast there's huge river, the Umtamvuna. A farmer would slaughter a sheep, put it on a huge hook attached to a long, thick rope, row out to the middle of the river and drop it.


"Then he would attach the rope to a big thorn tree with a slip knot. Next morning he would come down with a span of those huge cattle with big horns. By this time the thorn tree would be bending right over. He then attached the rope to the span of cattle and slipped the knot.


"On one occasion the barbel in the river was so huge that the last thing anyone saw was the horns of the cattle disappearing underwater.


"Tickey told the story so convincingly, that they swallowed it hook line and sinker!"


That's nothing. A group of us were fishing deep sea on the Isle of Capris one day when one of the guys hooked a navy submarine and … but that's enough, I don't want to be accused of putting out fake news.





WHY do people say ace prosecutor Gerrie Nel is known as "The Bulldog"? He's not an ugly critter at all, in fact his facial features are more like those of a terrier.


A terrier is a quick, lively and gutsy dog that enjoys nothing more than sniffing out a rat, pouncing then shaking it. That surely describes a good prosecutor.


And now Gerrie is to become a freelance, private sector prosecutor. Who is he going to act against? He surely has not been hired to vegetate. The script becomes fascinating. One senses that interesting things could lie ahead.


Mood music

THE Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and Glasgow University have been jointly conducting a most fascinating experiment – playing mood music to dogs and measuring their reaction: heart rate variability, cortisol levels rock and behaviour such as barking or lying down, which suggests relaxation.

As noted on one of our goodLIFE pages, the dogs were played classical music, soft rock, reggae and motown. Different reactions were measured and the dogs seemed to prefer reggae and soft rock.

The bagpipes? Perish the thought! This was the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.


Sinister stuff

THE Australian Reptile Park – a zoo just outside Sydney – has appealed for people to catch and send to them funnel web spiders so they can be milked for their venom.

The funnel-web spider is found in rotting wood, logs, rockeries and even bundles of clothes, bedclothes and towels. It is highly venomous.

Why are the Aussies milking highly venomous funnel web spiders? It could be most sinister.

We play cricket against them next month. These Van Diemenslanders stop at nothing.



RECENT discussion of Spoonerisms – the mangling of language by mixing up syllables – reminds Mike Wyatt, of Waterfall, of a court case in England. A police constable was giving  evidence in a case of driving under the influence.


"I was proceedin' on me beat down the 'Igh Street when the haccused passed me in his vehicle, drivin' extremely erratically. The vehicle stopped at the hend of the street and as I approached the haccused wound down his window and greeted me with the words 'Consternoon Afterble'".


The magistrate had difficulty restoring order to the court.





WHAT do you call a Frenchman in sandals?


Phillipe Philoppe.


Last word


There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.

Oscar Levant


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