Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Idler, Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Baby shark kidnapped

THIEVES – two men and a woman – scooped a small shark out of an aquarium tank in San Antonio, Texas, then wheeled it out in a pushchair, disguised as a baby.

Fortunately nobody tried chucking the baby under the chin – they could have lost a finger or two – and the threesome – now a foursome – made it out of the aquarium.

But the thing had been picked up on CCTV, according to Sky News, and the cops were alerted. There was a panic that the shark would die pretty quickly.

The police put out a public alert and next thing the thieves – or perhaps we should call them sharknappers – were traced in the vehicle in which they had left the aquarium, arrested and the small shark – a horn shark named Helen – was returned double-quick to her tank, still in good fettle.

When the cops went to the van owner's home, they found it was virtually a private aquarium, all kinds of fish and other marine animals in tanks. How he stocked it is no doubt the subject of further investigations.



I WAS in The Pub With No Name in Florida Road the other evening when I spied a fellow in a Maritzburg College rugby jersey.

He was with a girl who was bent over the bar counter in concentration on her smartphone and he was assisting by patting her assiduously on her derriere. Manners. This was most definitely a College Boy.

Then it turned out that the group at an adjacent table were also College Boys – all except one who went to Ixopo High but is about to start at Maritzburg College as a sports coach.

I recalled playing rugby at Ixopo with the mist so thick the scrumhalf could barely make out his flyhalf; the ball disappearing if it were kicked into the air. A kind of hide and seek rugby. This fellow agreed that rugby at Ixopo is indeed like that.

'Twas a most jolly encounter with these young fellows. They insisted I must not miss the Old Boys' Reunion this coming weekend.

It was heartwarming to discover that these fellows – they were all of them Africans – have come on board totally with the school traditions, and with great cheerfulness. I'm sure it's true of all our traditional schools, and that surely is significant social progress.

I departed with a cry of "Jigamalayo!" – College's Zulu war cry - to which they responded, just about raising the roof.

A little bit of Maritzburg tradition comes to Durban. It's an enriching thing.


Brexit dilemmas

WHOM the gods would destroy they first make mad. The ancient proverb seems increasingly applicable to the Brexit process.

It's becoming clear that nobody – not even the arch-brexiteers – did their homework on the practicalities of leaving the EU.

How can the "soft" border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland be retained, with the UK out of the customs union? It seems an impossibility.

Now an investigation by Sky News reveals that the port of Dover has no hope whatever of imposing customs regulation on the volume of goods entering and leaving Britain, in the event of the UK crashing out in a "no deal" Brexit.

And opinion polls show a decisive majority of Britons are fed up with the whole thing and would rather remain in the EU. But Downing Street insists there will be no second referendum.

Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad. Will the House of Commons come to the rescue? It's worth a flutter with the bookies.

Choc horror

STILL with the EU, the European Court of Justice – bete noire of the brexiteers – has ruled against KitKat, the chocolate bar.

Nestle, manufacturers of KitKat, have been trying for 11 years to get the four-fingered wafer covered in chocolate trademarked as their own.

But they are opposed by Cadbury's and by a similar Norwegian chocolate bar called Kvikk Lunsj  - "quick lunch" – that has been around for about 80 years.

The European Court of Justice has ruled against KitKat. Nestle intend appealing. This one will run and run.


WHEN a man holds a woman's hand before marriage, it's love. After marriage it's self-defence.

Last word

Just a word of advice. Whenever you're furious with your parents or you think they're terrible, just remember, you vomited on them and they kept you.

John Green

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