Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Idler, Monday, February 20, 2017

Fiery re-entry - from Durban to Lake Michigan

AN AMERICAN police officer's dashcam captured a meteor shooting across the night sky. The meteor appeared around 1.25am over Lisle, Illinois, and was seen by hundreds of people before landing in Lake Michigan.

Lisle police officer James Dexter told CBS he spotted the meteor while on patrol, and his car's dashcam recorded the fireball lighting up the night sky.

"It looked like the beginning and then the end of a firework that doesn't explode. It was just a large, green orb that suddenly appeared with a trail, and then it flashed out, and then it disappeared in a streak across the sky," he said.

American Meteor Society operations manager Mike Hankey said the organisation received more than 200 reports from people who saw the meteor. It was the size of a minivan and was travelling at a speed of about 70 000 km/h.

A minivan? Our Durban taxis are now launching into the atmosphere and re-entering to splash into Lake Michigan at 70 000 km/h? Nothing surprises us these days.

Leap year issue

WHOOPS! Clive Raaff points out that this is not a leap year.

"You wrote last Friday how much you were looking forward to Saturday's Six Nations game between England and Ireland. I trust you didn't sit up too late waiting for the game which you obviously will have realised by now takes place on March 18, not February 18.

"The error would not have occurred if 2017 were a leap year."

You're right, Clive, thanks for pointing it out. Also, I can now shelve contingency arrangements to avoid the ladies, whose proposals you of course have to accept on the last day of February in a leap year.

Learning to fly

PIETER Scholtz, retired drama professor and compere at the St Clements arts soirees, is always seen in a black leather cap which some might describe as a Lenin cap, others perhaps as a bargeman's cap. He once issued forth in disguise, wearing a Stetson.

He reveals all this in a new poem, My Black Leather Cap.

I call it my naughty cap

short for 'nautical'.

That cap is like a bad penny

it turns up everywhere.

I lost it when I fell into a canal

off a narrowboat

it floated off towards a weir

but was recovered timeously.

Without that cap people don't recognise me.

I wore a Stetson to the supermarket

no one greeted me

Where's your friend with the cap, they asked

It is ubiquitous.

I have lost it and recovered it

at bus-stops, at coffee-shops

and even in the toilet at Harrods.

Only, there they call it

'The Gentlemen's Retiring Room'

My cap would never be found

in a toilet!

This is contained in a little book of verse Pieter has published, titled Learning To Fly (Horus), which he is to launch next month at St Clement's.

Pieter has produced quite a bit of verse in the compressed Japanese haiku form of 17-syllables. Free verse is a departure, which presumably accounts for the title. Since retirement he's been shuttling between Durban and his hometown of Eshowe, in Zululand, which gives to a lot of time on the road to think.

It's amusing and pithy stuff.

A female body

In a bubble-bath

could also make my hormones hop …

… two gleaming mounds

Rising from the foam

Tickles my fancy.

Yes, who could disagree.


A wench …

red wine …

a wench …

red wine …

is there anything as comely

as a wench?

And a hogshead of wine?

Yep, that's the St Clement's soiree all right.






"WHAT would you like for breakfast? Omelette with mushroom filling?"

"This Viagra has put me off my food, I'm afraid."

"What would you like for lunch? Greek salad? With fish fingers? Then ice cream?"

"Still not hungry. This Viagra has completely spoiled my appetite."

"What would you like for dinner? Juicy steak with mushroom sauce? Roast potatoes? Spinach and butternut? Trifle to follow?"

"I'm sorry, this Viagra has completely taken away my desire for food."

"Well do you mind getting off for a while? I'm starving!"

Last word

Television has raised writing to a new low.

Samuel Goldwyn



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