Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Idler, Wednesday, March 8, 2017

915 coins in the fountain

PEOPLE have a habit of throwing coins into a fountain, making a wish or simply because it will bring them good luck generally.

It seems this is a world-wide practice, Thailand included. What happens to the coins? About €3 000 a day goes into the famous Trevi fountain in Rome. It gets scooped by municipal workers and used to assist the poor.

The Trevi fountain inspired a romantic movie in the 1950s. The soundtrack by Frank Sinatra, Three Coins in the Fountain, became an international hit.

In Thailand it's much more low-key. When tourists and others toss coins into a lake in a certain Bankok park, wishing for good luck, they get swallowed by a resident female turtle named Omsin.

But the coins stay lodged in Omsin's tummy. They eventually developed into a huge, heavy ball that began to crack the shell on her underbelly.

The vets were called in, they operated and removed a total of 915 coins, from a range of currencies. Omsin is now fine and no doubt looking forward to chomping again on a few silver dollars and things.

They say the Guptas are having trouble finding a bank to handle their cash. Maybe they need to import a few Thai turtles."


THE Underground is a major part of every Londoner's life. While there's a lot to be said for straphanging on the tube at rush hour, in close proximity to a secretary bird, it's mainly a drudge. However, the railways staff do their best. A collection comes this way of actual announcements by drivers to their passengers.

·       "Ladies and Gentlemen, I do apologise for the delay to your service. I know you're all dying to get home, unless, of course, you happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you'll want to cross over to the Westbound and go in the opposite direction."

·       "Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from E & B syndrome: not knowing his elbow from his backside. I'll let you know any further information as soon as I'm given any."'

·       "Do you want the good news first or the bad news? The good news is that last Friday was my birthday and I hit the town and had a great time. The bad news is that there is a points failure somewhere between Mile End and East
Ham, which means we probably won't reach our destination."

·       "Ladies and gentlemen, we apologise for the delay, but there is a security alert at Victoria station and we are therefore stuck here for the foreseeable future, so let's take our minds off it and pass some time together. All together now ... 'Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall …'"

·       "We are now travelling through Baker Street. As you can see, Baker Street is closed. It would have been nice if they had actually told me, so I could tell you earlier, but no, they don't think about things like that."

·       "Beggars are operating on this train. Please do not encourage these professional beggars. If you have any spare change, please give it to a registered charity. Failing that, give it to me."

·       "May I remind all passengers that there is strictly no smoking allowed on any part of the Underground. However, if you are smoking a joint it's only fair that you pass it round the rest of the carriage."



GREAT stuff by the Sharks at the weekend. But can anyone explain why two teams should take to the rugby field wearing practically identical jerseys? Our guys were in their customary black, the Brumbies in black with a patch of white about the shoulders.

Who would be a referee?



Road safety


READER Ray Gorven provides a bit of doggerel, in the interests of road safety.



Remember one thing you stupid old bastard,

Don't drink too much beer then drive when you're plastered

'Cos the cops are out there, concealed in a thicket,

Just waiting to give you a whacking great ticket! 


Very sound advice, Ray.




A GUY walks into a crowded bar, waving his .45 Colt pistol and yells: "I've got a .45 Colt with an eight-shot clip and I'm lookin' for the guy who's been foolin' with my wife?"

Voice from the back of the room: "You ain't got enough ammo!"



Last word


Every dogma has its day. - Anthony Burgess




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