Sunday, July 8, 2018

The Idler, Monday, July 9, 2018


Football and the EU

HAS anyone noticed? The four countries in the Football World Cup semi-finals are all of them members of the European Union.

Yet England, as a constituent of the UK, is planning to leave. Given the agonising over such things as retaining the "soft" border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, while taking the UK out of the customs union – clearly an impossibility – is it not time to abandon the ridiculous exercise?

Meanwhile Russia, who have bowed out after defeat by Croatia in the quarter-finals, still have the satisfaction of having staged a splendid World Cup that has bristled with upsets and excitement. Imagine if they'd won their way through, right to the end.

That would probably have been too much for the world order, altogether too much grandeur for Vladimir Putin to manage. He has to be satisfied with the quarter-finals; Brexit and the weakening of both Britain and the EU; Donald Trump in the White House, causing confusion within Nato plus launching a trade war that could damage the western economies.

Yes, Vlad has a thin smile.

Comfy chair

INVESTMENT analyst Dr James Greener notes in his latest grumpy newsletter that the Tour de France has begun.

"The organisers and the producers of the TV coverage are total masters at choosing routes and camera angles that show off the very best of the French countryside.

And if your rear gets bit numb just remember to call the Road Accident Fund chaps who will put you in touch with someone who'll rent you a nice comfortable chair for a mere R1 666 a month.


Into a bar


GRAMMAR in a bar-room setting:


·        A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.

·        A bar was walked into by the passive voice.

·        An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.

·        Two quotation marks walk into a "bar."

·        A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his magnificent other, who takes him for granite.

·        Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.

·        A question mark walks into a bar?

·        A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.

·        Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says: "Get out -- we don't serve your type."

·        A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.

·        A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink and then leaves.

·        Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.

·        A synonym strolls into a tavern.

·        At the end of the day, a clich√© walks into a bar -- fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.

·        A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.

·        A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.

·        An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel.

·        The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.

·        A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned a man with a glass eye named Ralph.

·        The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.

·       A dyslexic walks into a bra.

·       A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.

·       An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television, getting drunk, and smoking cigars.

·       A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert.

·       A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.

·       A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.



A HEALTH specialist is giving a talk in the village hall on well-being.

"The best way to start the day is with five minutes of light exercise then five minutes' deep breathing.

"After that I take a sort hot shower and feel rosy all over."

Voice from the back: "Tell us more about Rosie!"

Last word

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.

Thomas Jefferson


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