Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Idler, Friday, March 17, 2017

A new television genre is born

SCENE-stealing is what it's all about. A fellow by name of Professor Robert Kelly was talking live about very serious stuff to the BBC. They were in his home in Busan, South Korea, where he's at the local university, and they were talking about the ousting of South Korean President Park Geun-Hye.

Then a little kid in a yellow jumper came dancing into the room behind him. As an amused but embarrassed prof tried to shoosh the kid away with his arm, an even smaller one scooted into the room in a baby walker.

Then the prof's wife was there, trying to duck away from the camera lens and shooshing the kids out.

For a few minutes the whole world forgot about President Park Geun-Hye and rolled about laughing.

Scene-stealing is what it's called. Those kids are naturals. It went viral on the internet.

Do we have here a new TV format - home interviews? The dog chasing the cat through the sitting room? The bath overflowing, the toast burning? The husband interrupting his wife's discourse on her art or literature by appearing with a towel round his waist, shouting: "Oi! Where's my jockstrap?"

It amplifies the production. A new TV genre is born.

Fairy Koffdrop

IN DAYS of yore, scene-stealing was a feature of the Christmas pantomimes every year in Maritzburg.

No panto would be complete without a fellow strolling onstage at some point, wearing overalls and with a bucket and mop.

He would look to the audience with wide-eyed astonishment, shout "Hau!" then scoot off into the wings.

It brought the house down every time. The first time it was an accident. Then it became part of the script.

There was also the Fairy Koffdrop. He would appear whatever the pantomime was.

It could be a tense moment in Jack and the Beanstalk, Aladdin, Snow White or Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. The lights would drop, there'd be a bang and a flash and the Fairy Koffdrop would skitter onstage under a spotlight, a tubby little fellow with a moustache, in fairy outfit and with wings and wand.

"I am the Fairy Koffdrop," he would declare in a high falsetto. "And even though my part is small - Cinderella shall go to the ball!"

Then bang/flash again, the lights would come up and he was gone.

Scene-stealers both of them. They're making a come-back.

Dummy duty

WHO will be in charge of the dummies at Kings Park tomorrow?

This is no reflection on the youthfulness of our backline, where the "ou man" of the centre pairing is Andre Esterhuizen at the venerable age of 23. I speak of course of the dummy pass with which our threequarters have to bamboozle the EP Kings.

A young side, the skipper out through injury. It spells: "Pas Op!" The Kings might be bottom-loggers, the Sharks might have been on a roll last week, but rugby is a game of surprises especially when you make a lot of changes. Take nothing for granted.

This one has to be buttoned up. Come on fellers, let's show some juvenile delinquency.

Cossack dancing in the Duikers' afterwards!

Mensa invitational

THE Washington Post annual Mensa Invitational invites readers to take any word in the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting or changing one letter, and to supply a new definition.

Here are some of the winners :

Intaxication : Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realise it was your money from the start.

Reintarnation : Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

Foreploy : Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting lucky.

Giraffiti : Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

Sarchasm : The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Inoculatte : To take coffee intravenously when running late.

Decafalon : the grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you.

Glibido : All talk and no action.

Beelzebug : Satan in the form of a mosquito that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

Caterpallor: The colour you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.


THEY met at the local bean restaurant. It was instant inflatulation.

Last word

Not a shred of evidence exists in favour of the idea that life is serious.

Brendan Gill

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