It's the All Russian Bandy Federation
WHO had heard of the All Russian Bandy Federation? Obviously it has nothing to do with the Bolshoi Ballet, where participants are anything but bowlegged.
Is it some sort of organisation of farmworkers who have developed bandiness through their daily catching of pigs? An association of cellists?
No, it turns out that bandy is a sport, a combination of field hockey and ice hockey, played in the snow in Russia and Scandinavia.
The All Russian Bandy Federation is in the news because it has just ordered two teams – Baikal-Energiya and Vodnik – to replay a match in the Russian Super League ,in Arkhangelsk, which Baikal-Energiya won 11-9.
That's 20 goals altogether - but all were own goals. The All Russian Bandy Federation suspects something fishy.
Baikal-Energiya were 3-0 up (own goals by Vodnik), when they suddenly responded with nine rapid own goals of their own (9-3 to Vodnik). Then Vodnik replied by putting eight goals into their own net (11-9 to Bailkal-Energiya). Scintillating play. The fans must have been throwing their fur caps in the air.
The All Russia Bandy Federation suspects the thing was fixed. Why is not clear. As Churchill described Russia, it's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. The match will be replayed.
They say there's a sell-out of tickets.
Keep an eye
POLICE in the Netherlands the other day handcuffed a harmless 99-year-old woman and locked her in a police cell. But it was at her own request.
It happened in the town of Nijmegen. It seems the 99-year-old – identified by Sky News only as "Annie" – wanted the experience of being arrested and locked up before she turns 100.
It's an extraordinary wish to have on the bucket list. It possibly reflects regret at having led a blameless life free of incidents of being drunk and disorderly and heaving bricks through windows – a sort of compensation.
But the police would do well to keep an eye on Annie. It could be she's paid her debt to society in advance. Before she turns 100 she intends going on the rampage through Nijmegen. It could get ugly.
READER Beau Lintner says he and his friends are wondering why a particularly steep part of Sarnia Road is known as "Jacob's Ladder".
It must surely be a biblical reference – Genesis 28:
"And Jacob went out from Beersheba, and went toward Haran.
"And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.
"And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven: and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it."
There's also a Jacob's Ladder in the Drakensberg – a steep, zig-zag pathway down from the High Berg in the Cathkin area to the farm, Hermon, which was owned in the 19th century by Jacob van der Merwe. Hermon also has biblical associations. Mount Hermon, in Israel, is a high, snowy peak on the border with Lebanon and Syria.
Does anyone out there have more information on Jacob's Ladder in Sarnia Road?
JOAN Leslie, of the love/hate relationship with vervet monkeys, turns her attention to blaring music at sports events and the ridiculous haircuts cricketers have these days, as well as sprouting whiskers and small beards.
"It' got to the stage where they are playing music in between games in tennis – games, not sets – and in cricket after each over.
"I know I'm old school but really the so-called music is killing me. Of course, I grew up with Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby and all those golden oldies and good jazz too. But this "music"! And the haircuts! And it's so unusual to see sportsmen who shave."
Joan doesn't mention Mr Big, leader of her local monkey troop. I guess he hasn't had a crazy haircut or sprouted a beard.
THE best way to lose weight is to eat while standing naked in front of a mirror.
The restaurant will chuck you out after just a couple of mouthfuls.
Ninety-eight percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It's the other lousy two percent that get all the publicity. But then - we elected them.