Night of the zombies
WHAT is behind this fixation on zombies – the "walking
A few years ago I participated in a books programme on
radio – not in this country – part of which was devoted to
children's books, mainly from the UK.
I took no part in those kids' book discussions but listened
in astonishment, still in the studio, as a high proportion of
the books written for small kids were about zombies.
Okay, fairies and elves are also pure hokum but nothing
like as menacing and disturbing to young minds as stories
about zombies, which are also pure hokum.
Often the authors were interviewed by telephone, and they
came very close to convincing we listening adults that they
were in fact themselves some kind of proto-zombie. They
were not what you would call erudite. Were these the
successors to Enid Blyton?
Now Zombie lore has invaded Lake Worth, Florida, in the
US. According to Huffington Post, a recent power outage
in the town in the early hours prompted a bulletin to
residents warning of a "power outage and zombie alert"
and of "extreme zombie activity."
City officials were soon scrambling to find out how it
"We are looking into reports that the system mentioned
zombies," city public information officer Ben Kerr said. "I
want to reiterate that Lake Worth does not have any
zombie activity currently and apologise for the system
No zombie activity currently? So there might have been some
last week? Maybe some next week?
It starts with kids' books. No citizen bulletins are reported,
featuring beanstalks, giants, gingerbread palaces or sleeping
beauties. Those books went out of fashion years ago.
READER Andrew Dale says last week's photograph of a floral
Union Jack at the Chelsea Blooms flower show in London was a
bit of a bloomer.
"It's a pity that the designer did not grow enough white flowers
to reflect the width of the white bands correctly."
Yes, the Union Jack is a difficult enough flag to draw correctly –
all those bits of white, not quite even – so I guess growing it is
so much trickier.
The cheese rollers
ONCE a year, scores of Poms risk life and limb by racing down
a grassy yet precipitous Cooper's Hill, at Brockworh in
Gloucestershire, to win a 3.6kg Double Gloucester cheese.
They trip and roll a lot. The trick is to stay on your feet,
especially difficult this year after heavy rain.
The cheese rolling contest was won this year by professional
soldier Chris Anderson, 30, who says he doesn't even like the
taste of Double Gloucester cheese, he prefers cheddar.
Contestants come from far. One was …. Anstey, from Australia,
who wowed the crowd by competing –taking a lot of tumbles -
in a pair of red Y-fronts, known in his own country as "budgie
Why do they do these things, year after year? Dunno. Ask the
Comrades and the Canoe Marathon folk.
A BOTTLE of wine dating back to the time of Louis XVI
1774 has sold at auction for a record €103,700 (R1.5m) in
The bottle of Vin Jaune (yellow wine) comes from the
eastern Jura region and was made in 1774.
At the same auction, another bottle of the same vintage
fetched €76 250, and a third was sold for €73 200.
They were made by the winemaker Anatoile Vercel and
had been in the possession of his descendents in Arbois,
the winemaking heart of the Jura region, and are believed
to be among the oldest existing wines in the world.
The buyers were Canadians and someone who used to
purchase wine for Americans.
Salut! No spilling! Who could possibly spend that kind of
money on wine?
IAN Gibson, poet laureate of Hillcrest, says tut-tut, childen, the
Supersport affair is getting into the realm of Patricia de Lille and
Remember that fly-half called Naas,
Who would kick rather than pass?
Now he and old Nick
Are receiving some stick,
From Ashwin who's top of the class!
DOCTORS at a hospital went on strike and picketed with
placards. The hospital authorities got in a pharmacist to tell
them what the doctors' demands were.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.