Thursday, March 2, 2017

The Idler, Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Extra, extra – read all about it!

WHAT a week. Hardly had I won the national ballroom dancing championships in Cape Town – the judges liked the way I segued from the tango to the gumboot dance – and hardly had I escaped my somewhat clingy dance partners, when I found myself in deep discussion with Pravin Gordhan on a strategy to rescue the economy.

He likes my recovery plan very much. It's simplicity itself. We abandon the ridiculous experiment of decimalised money and go back to pounds, shillings and pence.

A mixed grill on the beachfront will again cost four shillings and sixpence (equivalent of 45 cents) and a pint of beer will again  be one and sixpence (15 cents). You will again be able to take a girl out to dinner at a top restaurant for a pound (R2).

That's what I call economic recovery. Just you wait – Pravin and I are cooking something up.

Meanwhile, I am commissioned to put together a plan to promote tourism in the Nkandla locality. No sweat! I know the place well, used to swim bare-assed in the Ntsuze, which runs into the Tugela near No 1's pad.

Did I ever tell you about the 10kg yellowfish I once hooked in the Ntsuze? The monster barbel that took the yellowtail as I was playing it? And the crocodile that then took the barbel? Where else do you get fishing like this?

Nkandla, the sportsman's paradise.

You think all this is fake news? Well of course it's fake news, that's flavour of the month. We've got Donald Trump's fellows saying the news is fake, the camera lies. We've got an ANC "war room" accused of rubbishing opponents with fake news. We've got the British House of Commons investigating the phenomenon of fake news.

Should our readers be deprived?

Flying fish

EARLIER this week we discussed a strip sensation at  Vetch's beach when a well-known nurseryman waded out to retrieve a ball, clad only in his bright blue Y-fronts. It reminds Anne Bolton, of Westville, of something even more strange that she saw at Vetch's.

"It was an encounter with the most amazing fish I have ever seen. About two weeks ago, I was paddling in shallow water at Vetch's beach, keeping a beady eye out for the ever-present bluebottles, when I saw a fish, very close to shore, with wings.

"At first I thought it was a remote-controlled, toy aeroplane. I looked around to see who was operating the remote, but there was no-one. On closer inspection, I realised it was a real, live fish.

"He didn't seem worried about my presence, swimming very close to my legs, wings spread out. But then, strangely, he swam to shore and beached himself.

"I was too afraid to pick him up and return him to the sea, but I was saved this rescue by the waves, which picked him up and took
him back into the water.  However, this strange little fellow kept on beaching himself.

"By now there were a few people around me who had also seen this phenomenon.  I bent down low (so that no-one else could hear me speaking to a fish) and whispered: 'You're going the wrong way, you must go back that way!' I gestured with my arm towards the sea. Upon which the flying fish righted himself and took off through the waves towards the open sea, wings folded snugly against his body.  I watched him go until I could see him no more.

"When I got back to my husband who was at Ushaka beach, he thought I had been hallucinating.

"Was it a flying fish?  Are there any marine biologists out there who could tell me more?  He was 15 to 20cm long with a wingspan of about 30cm. He was dark blue on top with a silver underbelly. His wings were a pinkish colour and were definitely not normal fins.

"Oh how I wish I'd had my camera or cellphone with me!"

Wow! What a story! Stranger even than Frank Edwards in his under-rods. Can anyone out there help?


"I'VE got an important meeting with a client. Which tie should I wear?"

"They're both nice."


"How did your meeting go?"

"Wearing two ties was not a good idea."

Last word

Boys will be boys, and so will a lot of middle-aged men.

Kin Hubbard


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