Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Idler, Friday, Juky 6, 2018

Round or oval ball?

ROUND ball or oval ball this weekend? It's round ball today with Sam Wallace, of the London Telegraph, predicting France to beat Uruguay 3-1; Belgium to beat Brazil, also 3-1.

Tomorrow it's oval ball with the Sharks determined at Newlands to avenge defeat by the Stormers early in the season and maybe stay in with a sniff at the play-offs. Given last week's performance, anything could happen. (Sam Wallace makes no prediction). This will be another cracker.

Then back to round ball, where Sam says England will beat Sweden 2-1 and Croatia will beat Russia, also 2-1.

If you lose your money to the bookies, blame Sam Wallace, not me.


Thai caves

IT'S a shocker of a dilemma in Thailand – first relief at the discovery of the football kids high and dry and safe in the flooded cave network. Then a nightmare at the thought of how to get them out.

Can they really be trained in scuba diving so they can be swum to safety over a long distance and with no opportunity to break surface? Quite apart from the risk of calamity, what of the terrifying ordeal of protracted claustrophobia? Cave diving is the most specialised and dangerous branch there is of scuba work.

The Thai authorities are said to be seeking geological "chimneys" so they could climb out. Good idea.

But what about pumps? Those caves were dry when they went in. Surely the developed world must have the technical capacity to pump them dry again, in spite of the monsoon. If not dry, at least shallow enough to wade, heads above water.

That seems to be under consideration right now.


OUR metro police shouldn't fret about unpaid parking tickets. They get paid eventually.

In Pennsylvania, in the US, a man named Dave has paid a parking ticket 44 years after he got it, according to Sky News.

Police in Minersville, in Schuylkill County, received a handwritten note from Dave confessing that he had an unpaid parking ticket - along with a $5 bill.

The ticket, for parking in a restricted zone, was from 1974 and was for $2.

The letter said: "Dear Police Department, I've been carrying this ticket around for 40+ years. Always intending to pay. Forgive me if I don't give you my info. With respect, Dave."

The return address: "Feeling guilty, Wayward Road, Anytown, California."


CALIFORNIAN Mark Hough had just fixed himself a margarita to beat the summer heat relaxing in a deckchair on the lawn of his property in Altadena, when he heard a strange crunching sound.

Getting up to investigate, he saw a bear climbing over his fence, according to Huffington Post.

Staying in the background, he took a video of his uninvited guest, who spotted the margarita and made a beeline for it, knocking it over and spilling it, but lapping it all up.

Then he jumped into the jacuzzi and began sloshing about with gusto.

The video went viral on the internet and appeared also on TV news programmes.

Next thing the bear had climbed a tree and settled down for a snooze.


"He had his margarita, he had his jacuzzi and now he's ready for an hour's nap," Hough said.

The bear eventually left his property - and Hough made himself two more margaritas.

That's just the right thing to do.


WE'RE becoming slaves to these electronic gadgets with artificial intelligence that are supposed to be serving us.

In the British House of Commons the other day, a cabinet minister found himself being heckled by his own Apple "digital assistant".

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson was speaking about Syria when the device ― triggered by the country's name ― chimed in loudly: "I found something on the web for Syria."

Williamson looked about him in surprise. Then he made a dive for his pocket to switch off his mobile.

"What a very rum business this is," said Speaker John Bercow, to laughter from MPs

"It's very rare that you're heckled by your own mobile phone," Williamson conceded.

Rare today, but commonplace by next week. The cameo is doing the rounds on our smartphones.


TWO slugs are slithering along the pavement. They round a corner and find themselves stuck behind two snails.

"Oh no! Caravans!"

Last word

The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.

e e cummings

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