Thursday, September 13, 2018

The Idler, Friday, September 14, 2018

Don't say it's

only a


ARE you a Springbok rugby fan? Are you feeling depressed?

Then call SARU helpline on 0800 10 10 10.

That's zero eight hundred, won nothing, won nothing, won nothing.

Yes, the above is the kind of stuff that's flying about on the internet these days. South African rugby is in a state of deep despondency. Only the brave will switch on their TV sets tomorrow.

But nil desperandum. It's decided in 80 minutes on the field, where anything can happen. Rugby is a game played with an awkwardly bouncing oval ball. Anything can happen.

The Boks need to eliminate the silly buggers stuff, kicking away possession, those crazy line-out throws. They need to tackle the way the Sharks do. Then anything can happen. Keep the ball in hand. Give 'em a skrik!

Let nobody say it's only a game.


STILL with rugby, retired MP Val Volker recently reminded us of a match in 1870 on the Maritzburg market square between Maritzburg College and the Deutsche Schule Hermannsburg (where he has grandchildren, the sixth generation to go there). The match was played according to the early laws of rugby where a try counted for zero, merely giving the scoring side the right to kick at goal.


More on that match is found in a 1990 piece by Reg Sweet, at the time doyen of rugby writers in this province, in a publication to mark the centenary of the Natal Rugby Union.

He quotes The Natal Witness: "After playing for nearly two hours with varying success, the High School players kicked what ought to have been a goal but which the umpire did not give as such, the ball striking a bystander in the goal space and bouncing off into play before touching the ground …"

Sweet quotes Danie Craven, of the South African Rugby Board, on that incident: "The bystander referred to was one used to load the goals when the kick was taken, for players and spectators alike tried to stop the ball from going through the goalposts …"

Hmmm … players and spectators alike? Did the spectators also do a bit of tackling? Is there a loophole here? It's too late now to organise a contingent to get to Auckland to surge onfield and help the Boks out of a tight spot, but it's a thought for future matches.


THE folk of Philadelphia, in the US, are nervously tucking their pants into their socks. More than 7 000 goggas ― including a highly venomous spider ― have been stolen from the city's Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion according to Huffington Post.

Thieves made off with about 90% of the museum's collection, including a six-eyed sand spider whose bite can rot 25% of its victim's body.

Philadephian fellers are also being careful with their zippers. You don't want to play host to the six-eyed sand spider.



FIREFIGHTERS in Minnesota, in the US, had to use the jaws of life to rescue a black bear from the wreck of a car he'd wrapped around a telephone pole … er, correction, from a milk can inside which his head had got stuck.

A conservation officer called the firefighters after attempts to lubricate the bear out of his predicament with cooking oil failed, according to Sky News.






A FLEA jumps over the swing doors of a saloon, drinks three whiskies, then jumps out again.

He picks himself up out of the dirt, dusts himself down and says: "OK. Who moved my dog?"

Last word

Nobody believes the official spokesman... but everybody trusts an unidentified source.

Ron Nesen

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