Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Idler, Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Whirlpool in Washington

WASHINGTON is a whirlpool these days. Besides the White House gossip book Fire and Fury mentioned yesterday, former FBI director James Comey is top of the New York bestsellers list for his book, A Higher Loyalty - before it has even been launched.

Comey was fired by President Donald Trump. He's been giving pre-publication interviews and in his book he apparently describes Trump as reminding him of the Mafia bosses he used to prosecute.

Trump in turn calls him a "slimeball".

Meanwhile, General James Clapper, retired head of US Intelligence, is about to publish his own book, which is widely expected to contain dynamite on Russian interference in US affairs.

Yes, a whirlpool.

In another skirmish, President Trump has been tweeting against billionaire Jeff Bezos, owner of Amazon, the giant digital marketing and delivery company, accusing Amazon of having a sweetheart deal with the US Post Office.

Some note that Bezos also owns the Washington Post, a newspaper that is highly critical of Trump.

On top of all this, the New Yorker reports that Amazon has delivered 10 000 advance copies of Comey's book to the White House. (This seems like an inversion of tok-tokkie). Amazon has apologised, calling the delivery "a regrettable accident".

"Cartons kept coming throughout the day, until stacks of the book clogged virtually every hallway and office in the building.

"Donald Trump was so incensed by the book situation that he screamed at Mike Pence while the Vice-President was in the middle of praising him, one source said.

"The White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, called any speculation that Trump had ordered Comey's book 'absurd', adding: 'The President does not order reading material.'"

Yes, this is satirist Andy Borowitz again. The poor guy has to work hard to keep satire ahead of what is actually happening.


Modern vogue

CHOGGIM is in session in London. When Verwoerd gleefully walked out in 1961, it was called the Commonwealth Conference.

By the time Nelson Mandela walked back in again in 1994 it had followed the modern vogue, changing its name to the clumsy Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, known by the ugly contraction CHOGM.

But at least we're back and our athletes have been raking in the medals at the Games in Australia.

Choggim. I think I'll keep calling it the Commonwealth Conference, I'm very old-fashioned.


OVERHEARD in the Street Shelter for the Over-Forties: "How many existentialists does it take to change a light bulb? Two. One to screw it in and one to observe how the light bulb itself symbolises a single incandescent beacon of subjective reality in a netherworld of endless absurdity, reaching toward the ultimate horror of a maudlin cosmos of bleak, hostile nothingness."



Lovely frogs

WHAT a lovely pair of frogs … Louisiana redhead Fabiana LeFleur grew up hunting and fishing with her dad on the local bayou near the town of Henderson in America's Deep South.

Her dad taught her to use every possible part of the fish and other creatures they hooked or speared. What couldn't be eaten should if possible be put to other use, such as pelts or bone knife handles.

Now, according to Huffington Post, she's taken it to just about the ultimate. She's fashioned herself a bikini from the cured skins of huge frogs speared on the bayou.

Two frogs account for the upper rigging. From what one can make out from the photograph, two more are used for the bottom bit.

It's, er, not terribly appealing. Not for the fashion catwalk. But Fabiana looks a nice enough gal, and topsides she's certainly got a lovely pair of frogs.




AN ATTRACTIVE woman goes up to the craps table in the casino and puts down a bet of 20 000 bucks on a single roll of the dice.

"I hope you don't mind," she says. "But I feel much luckier when I'm bottomless." And with that she strips from the waist down. She rolls the dice, yelling: "Momma needs a new pair of pants!"

Then she jumps up and down, shouting: "Yes! I win! I win!"

With that she scoops up her winnings and leaves.

First casino worker: "So what did she roll anyway?"

Second casino worker: "Dunno. I thought you were watching the dice."

Last word

I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.

e e cummings



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