Monday, June 11, 2018

The Idler, Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The new diplomacy?


PRESIDENT Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, of North Korea, sit down for talks in Singapore today, a historic meeting of the world's two worst haircuts.

What will they discuss? Er, that's not entirely clear. Trump operates largely without the professional input of the State Department and conventional diplomacy. Maybe they'll crack a joke or two about the way he bombed the G7 meeting in Canada – a trade war with the EU, Canada and Mexico; shredding the communique; why wasn't Russia invited? Hilarious, twos-up to Mueller the witchhunter! That'll show those schmucks.

And now a curious story is doing the rounds, that the State Department input might be replaced by the efforts of a facilitator, an American basketball star named Dennis Rodman.

Rodman appeared on Trump's reality TV show, The Apprentice, and apparently they get on well.

Rodman is also a fan of Kim-Jong-un. He's visited North Korea several times. Sky News has footage of him singing a soulful "Happy Birthday" to Kim.

Rodman is of unusual appearance. He has a large ring through his lower lip and only slightly smaller ones through each nostril.

This would be unconventional diplomacy, to be sure. But then what has been conventional about the US presidency in recent months?




WE BEAT England at rugby. We beat England at sevens rugby. Our gals beat England in women's cricket.

Ole, ole, ole!




OVERHEARD in the Street Shelter for the Over-Forties: "Success at dominoes is like success with women. It's not how you pick them up, it's how you lay them down."




MY OLD pal Gregor Woods agrees with me entirely that we need to go back to paper and cardboard and abandon the plastic bags and wrappings that are strangling the world's oceans.

In the late 1960s he managed a supermarket on the Bluff, They used paper grocery bags.

"Unfolded, they had flat, square bottoms, so the empty bag could be stood on the counter, open and erect without needing to be held open with one hand as with plastic bags

"We placed loaves of hot bread and hot rolls in paper packets, hence they never 'sweated' and became soggy as they do in plastic. In-house butchers wrapped fresh meat first in waxed paper and then in brown butcher's paper, tied with biodegradable string. The supermarket suppled large re-usable carry bags made of very strong paper with thick string loops for handles, also entirely biodegradable. Everything worked.

"It wasn't until about 1968 or1969 that plastic bags came to be used by supermarkets, and only in recent decades did these become South Africa's national flower, adorning trees, hedges, barbed wire fences and the ground itself.

"And now they are permeating the oceans, killing whales and other sea creatures. Where next? Outer space?"


Gregor is a man whose opinion is to be respected. He had the distinction during schooldays of crash-tackling the headmaster of Maritzburg College in a case of mistaken identity.


Finch benefit

DURBAN musicians are to join a countrywide (plus Namibia) fund-raising effort in support of singer/songwriter Brian Finch, who has been diagnosed with cancer.


The Durban benefit will be at Musketeers (the old German Club) in Barham Road, Westville, starting at 2pm on Saturday.

Entertainment will be provided by Dicky Roberts and Don Clarke, Tiffany Sheppard, Rorke Kemp, Alchemy, Spider Murch, Graham Boyle, Salty Dog, East Coast Basement Blues Band, and others. It's organised by Dicky Roberts and Don Clarke, two of Durban's musical characters.


Brian was born in Durban, and has had a long and illustrious musical career. He is now based at Prince Albert, in the Western Cape.

He played with Brian Gibson at the renowned club, Totum, in Durban in the late 60s and also worked with the late Ken E Henson in the duo Finch & Henson, who toured South Africa extensively. Brian has also performed as a solo artist.


Various donated items will be raffled to augment funds raised.


Tickets: R50 adults, R30 children under 12. Bookings: Charmaine, 084-5481385  .





Billy-Bob calls an ambulance for Emily-Sue, who's taken ill.

Operator: "What's your address?"

"We're at 1132 Eucalyptus Drive."

"Can you spell that?"

A pause.

"How about I take her over to Oak Street?"


Last word


But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated. - Ernest Hemingway


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