Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Idler, Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Who'd be a goalie?

TO SOME people, rugby is a rough, loutish game. Yet, watching the Football World Cup in Russia, one detects a hard, merciless cruelty that is disturbing.

The role of the goalkeeper in defending during run of play is demanding enough. But when it comes to a penalty shoot-out - as the other night between Spain and Russia – it becomes excruciating psychological torture. How is one man, standing in that enormous goalmouth, expected to guess which direction the kicker is going to aim for from the penalty spot? Almost every time, the poor old goalie dives the wrong way.

And I'm told that if the first round of the shoot-out is a draw, they go into a second round using the second-string kickers. And it becomes "sudden death". A single goal decides the match.

This is horrendous cruelty, the kind of thing the UN would describe as "cruel and unusual punishment". If goalkeepers were dogs, the SPCA would step in.

Who would be a goalie? The beautiful game has some disturbing undercurrents.


MOTHS are on the march in Britain. Infestations have increased by 110% in recent months, according to Sky News.

Now I know these beery gatherings of ex-servicemen at bowling clubs and such places are not everyone's cup of tea, but to describe them as "infestations" is surely a little unfair. And society certainly owes it to them for their past military service.

Oops, sorry, my mistake! This is not the Memorable Order of Tin Hats they're talking about, it's real moths, the flying kind whose larvae chomp your clothes. It seems people are buying more fabrics containing wool and silk. These contain kerotin, which moth larvae absolutely cannot resist.

Also, people are tending to wash their gear at lower temperatures than they did before. The water needs to be at least 55 degrees Celsius to kill moth larvae.

Wool, silks. They don't mention denim. Yet everywhere you see youngsters in ragged denim jeans, their knees showing through. Some say it's a fashion, they buy the gear that way, pay lots of dosh for it - but obviously it's just more moth infestation.

Populism rules OK

IT SEEMS Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador – a leftwing populist known by his initials, Amlo – has won the Mexican presidency.


Amlo, a former mayor of Mexico City, is billed in certain quarters as "the Donald Trump of Mexico" and has vowed to root out the corrupt elite who ruled until now.


The election gives us a leftwing populist south of the border and a rightwing populist north of the same border. Does the populism count for more than the leftwing and rightwing labels?


Amlo says he wants good relations with the US. Does this mean both sides now want a Great Wall of Mexico?



Monster cat

A HUGE cat weighing 13kg turned up at an animal shelter in Pasadena, California, the other day and had them puzzled.

The blue-eyed Himalayan mix was a little bedraggled but very well-fed. The owners must be somewhere in the vicinity. But there was absolutely no response from them, even though the thing went viral on the internet.

Looking at the photo of this giant cat who they've nicknamed Chubbs – he has a rather hostile gaze – one surmises that he is indeed a stray and has been feeding on the neighbourhood bulldogs.

But he's now been adopted by a couple in Monrovia, California. Bad luck for the bulldogs of Monrovia, California.


No confusion


IT'S as well that the Pasadena Humane Society describe their digs for stray cats as an "animal shelter". "Cats' home" is too easily confused with "cathouse", which can cause all kinds of awkwardness.


I myself once experienced this when I was told over a bad phone line of a meeting in a pub in Durban North called the Taphouse – which I heard as "Cathouse."


Most embarrassing wandering about the neighbourhood asking the way to the Cathouse. But then I am naïve, having led a sheltered life.




THE best way to lose weight is to stuff your face while standing naked in front of a mirror. The restaurant will chuck you out before you can swallow too much.


Last word


To get back my youth I would do anything in the world, except take exercise, get up early, or be respectable.

Oscar Wilde


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