Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Idler, Thursday, February 9, 2017

Plumbing depths of the unknown


IT'S the big Sona event down at parliament this evening, though what parliament has to do with submarine detection escapes me. Oh no, sorry, that's Sonar, the electronic thingy that goes Ping! Ping! Ping! Then if it bounces off a submarine it goes Ping-o! Ping-o! Ping-o! Very clever.


Sona stands for State of the Nation Address. Sonar stands for Sound and Navigation Ranging. Let's get that straight. But there is a parallel. Both plumb the depths of the unknown.


What will JZ speak about in his address tonight? I predict with confidence that he will focus on cricket because that's the only thing that's in a state worth mentioning to the nation. Rugby is in a diabolical state, football not much better. The girls on the Durban beaches are still an eyeful but that's not the kind of thing you talk about in parliament. That's locker room.


The economy? That's further south than rugby. The political situation? Er, the enemy have taken control of Pretoria, Johannesburg and Port Elizabeth. Let's not go there.


But here's an area of our national life that is absolutely deplorable. The Americans have stolen our thunder. There was a time, not too long ago, when comic issues like the Guptas and the Waterkloof wedding party had the entire world rocking. But The Donald has taken over with his antics in the Oval Office, his tweets and phone calls about the world. We've gone quiet.


A drastic response is called for. At the very least, raspberries over the telephone to world leaders, to Buckingham Palace and the like. This nation needs to be heard, to take its place in the world.


Ping! Ping! Ping! Ping-o! Ping-o!


Yep, that's it. Contact!



Big event


MEANWHILE, Gregory Rogers, Perpetual Quillchewer Extraordinaire, gives us a few lines on the Sona event.


Tonight at 7's

The Main Event,

Parties size up in the ring,

But boxing or circus,

Who can tell?

Yet politicians know only too well!


It's the big showdown,

Ringmaster and clown,

(Or is that perhaps ringleader?)

The electorate doesn't seem to know,

And I'm not sure I bleeding do, either!


So final bets please,

At 17 to 1,

With rand-to-pound heading north,

If they both come out swinging,

While the fat man is singing,

You can be sure that all bets are off!



Crank calls

THE New Yorker reports on a spate of crank telephone calls to heads of government around the world from a person claiming to be the President of the United States.

"According to the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who has fielded complaints about the crank calls, the caller has tormented leaders from Mexico, Australia, and many other countries.

"'The pattern is always the same,' Gutteres said. 'The caller is identified as the President of the United States, so naturally he is put right through. Once he is cnected with the head of government, he begins to speak in a threatening and harassing manner.

"'Then, as his threats reach a crescendo, he hangs up,' Gutteres said. 'Clearly, it's someone's idea of a sick joke.'

"The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, became a victim of the crank caller, an experience that he called 'highly irritating'.

"'I'm a very busy man, and I don't have time to be the butt of some deranged person's joke,' Turnbull said. 'I've blocked the phone number, and I understand other heads of state have done the same.'"

Yes, it's satirist Andy Borowitz again.

Hot seat

AND Jean Timm, of Howick, has her say on The Donald.


The US has President Trump.

His supporters don't think he's a chump.

'He'll tone down,' they say,

But still get his way.'

That Hot Seat could lead to burnt rump!



PADDY'S pregnant sister is in a terrible car accident and goes into a deep coma. After being in the coma for nearly six months, she wakes up to find she's no longer pregnant. Frantically, she asked the doctor what happened.

"Ma'am, you gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. They're doing fine. Your brother Paddy came in and named them so they could be christened."

"My brother? He's a clueless idiot. What did he call my daughter?"


"Denise? Oh, that's a lovely name, I'm so relieved. Maybe I misjudged my brother. What's the boy's name?"



Last word

If all the world's a stage, I want to operate the trapdoor.

Paul Beatty

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