Monday, May 14, 2018

The Idler, Friday, May 11, 2018

Sublime to the ridiculous

FROM the sublime to the ridiculous – such was the theme at the St Clement's arts soiree this week and oh boy, did they live up to it!

We had retired drama prof Pieter Scholtz and Wits-graduated actress Jane Ross reading from TS Eliot's The Waste Land, the long, grittily evocative poem written soon after World War I that so captured the exhausted despair of England, and forever changed the texture of English poetry.

Once again, the professionally trained voices of thespians gave that extra depth and evocativeness to a familiar, if complex, poem.

We had Avi the Music Man, down from Maritzburg, a one-man band whose charming melodies on a range of instruments fitted perfectly with the occasion.

Then the ridiculous – Pieter and Jane reading from Words: leaping to life (Horus), a zany little booklet written by Pieter, each chapter dedicated to one of the 26 letters of the alphabet.

Here's Pieter reading from N – Naked.

"Have you ever dreamed that you were walking down the street, and suddenly realised that you had forgotten to put on your trousers? I have! That is not the only surprising thing about the dream; I'm never horrified. In fact I'm quite pleased. The only thing that disturbs me is that the rest of my body does not match my private parts. I would like to be a lean, mean machine, displaying my muscular splendour, but my stomach always lets me down. It capitulates; refuses to remain taut.

"Then there is the erotic side of the dream. I undress the fairer sex coming towards me; not just the young ones but all ages and sizes …"

Pieter – that was no dream! I spotted you the other day, strolling down the beachfront promenade, sans pantaloons! The undressing of the fairer sex was nothing short of sensational!

Sharks repeat?

ONCE more unto the breach, dear friends … the Bulls tomorrow, at Loftus. Can the Sharks repeat their sweet rhythm of last weekend?

I say they can. Here is a talented side that has discovered rhythm, self-confidence. So much of rugby is in the kop.

The drubbing we took from the Bulls last time out was due as much as anything to an exhausting New Zealand tour, plus jetlag. Mentally, we just didn't arrive for the game.

Tensions mount. The damsels of the Street Shelter for the Over-Forties are already strumming at their knickers in anticipation of supplying elastic, in the event of victory, for a fashioning of catapults for the traditional celebratory feu de joie in which the streetlights are shot out.

'Erewego, 'erewego, 'erewego!


AND if tomorrow's outcome should lend credence to the jetlag theory, what does this say of speculation that the Stormers, the Lions and ourselves are planning to join the Pro14 competition in Europe?

It would mean short south-north flights, no jetlag at all – and probably quite a bit of fun. Would it fill our stadiums the way the European ones are filled?

Sanzaar have dismissed the speculation – but then they would, wouldn't they? Interesting.

Teddy bears' picnic

"PICNIC time for teddy bears …" The nursery rhyme came true as a school had to be put on lockdown in Orange City, Florida, in the US, when a hungry mother bear and her three cubs wandered into the grounds and began foraging for food.

The black bears stayed for almost two hours as they went through bins before police and wildlife officers arrived to spoil the picnic and send them on their way, according to Sky News.

The bears had come out of winter hibernation and were hungry, said the Florida Wildlife Commission. The state has a population of about 4 000 wild bears. They try to avoid humans.

And who can blame them, given the churlish way humans carry on? Nobody so much as showed these bears the way to the tuck shop.


TWO teenagers are arrested for smoking a joint in the park. They're taken to the police station. A sergeant explains that they're entitled to one phone call.

A while later a fellow walks into the station.

Sergeant: "Are you the kids' lawyer?"

"Heck no. I'm just here to deliver a pizza."


Last word

Things are more like they are now than they ever were before. - Dwight D Eisenhower


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