Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Idler, Thursday, July 5, 2018

Nick Mallett sighting

NICK Mallett seemed understandably distressed as Switzerland went down 1-0 to Sweden in St Petersburg the other night in the Football World Cup.

Sweden now go through to the quarter-finals, Nick and Switzerland go back home.

The other day we discussed the remarkable physical resemblance of Switzerland football coach Vladimir Petkovik to our own Nick Mallett. Spitting image - it's uncanny.

But we haven't seen Nick at all on TV in recent times. The suspicion becomes overwhelming that this actually is him in Russia. He's switched to football, has been signed by Switzerland and has changed his name to Vladimir Petkovik. And who can blame him?

I haven't seen any sign at the Football World Cup of Naas Botha or Ashwin Willemse.

Poms scrape through

SO ENGLAND are through to the quarter-finals – but boy, did they not agonise over it?

An equaliser to Columbia in the closing moments in an exceedingly ill-tempered game. Then another 30 minutes of extra time. Then the penalty shoot-out.

Two down in the shoot-out. All is lost! Then Columbia fluff three in a row. An excruciating win. What does that flurry of yellow cards actually mean?

One thing has changed, another hasn't. England have broken their shoot-out jinx. (They'd never won a shoot-out before). Columbia have still never beaten England.

The Football World Cup proceeds in all the unpredictability it has produced this time round. It's been entertaining, even for we outsiders.

Illegal high

FIREFIGHTERS of the West Midlands Fire Service had to rescue a man from the "precarious position" he was in on a 10m lamppost in Birmingham, England, the other night.

He had scaled the lamppost and sat there for about an hour, his bare legs and feet dangling, according to Sky News.

To reach him they needed a 13.5m ladder, and to get him down they used a hydraulic platform/

He was found to be "under the influence of an illegal high", the firefighters said.

It recalls an incident in East Griqualand some years ago. Police on patrol very early one morning noticed that the roadside telephone poles were – every one of them – adorned by an empty beer bottle, impaled upside down on the iron spike each pole had as a lightning conductor.

They followed the trail of beer bottles. Eventually it veered off onto a farm road, each telephone pole still faithfully bearing an upside-down empty beer bottle.

The trail led to the farmhouse of a fellow I was at school with. The cops went into the house, dragged this fellow from his bed, took him outside and made him shin up every pole to retrieve the beer bottles.

Yes, he too had been "under the influence of a high" – but there's nothing illegal about beer, thank goodness. But it does sometimes induce an instinct to shin up poles.

East Griqualand and Birmingham have much in common, it seems.

Ratty digs

ZIMBABWE'S national rugby team slept on the streets in Tunisia the other night rather than accept the ratty conditions of the hotel they had been allocated in the town of Beja, about 100km from Tunis, the capital.

The team are in Tunisia for a World Cup qualifier on Saturday, according to the BBC. They also complain of being held at immigration for six hours.

Rugby Africa, which is responsible for the fixture, has apologised for the "unfortunate situation". It says suitable accommodation has now been found in Beja.


THE Indiana state police, in the US, have discovered in a drugs crackdown a stash of orange-coloured ecstasy pills in the shape of Donald Trump's head.

One side of the pill features the face of the president. The other is stamped with the words "Great Again", according to Huffington Post.

Patriotism shows itself in many forms.


THE doctor prescribes her something to pep up their love life. "Just slip it into his mashed potatoes," he says. "Let me know how it goes."

She reports back. "Fantastic! He ravished me then and there on the table."

"Any side effects?"

"Well, we can't go into McDonalds' any more."

Last word


Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.

William James

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