Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Idler, Friday, September 7, 2018

Currie Cup



THE Pumas tonight at Kings Park. It's the second-last home match in the pool games and, looking at the log, it ought to be a cinch.

But, as we all know, in rugby there's no such thing as a cinch and tonight the Sharks need to come away with a win and a bonus point. A place in the semi-finals could depend on it.

But the real angst is tomorrow Down Under. The Boks can do it, but will they? Have they managed to put behind them, psychologically, the debacle of Argentina?

Cool heads and discipline are needed, domination upfront so we can dictate the game to Australia. Easier said than done, but it can be done. Next stop New Zealand - but one game at a time.

The gals of the Street Shelter for the Over-Forties are upbeat for tonight, poised to supply knicker elastic for a fashioning of catapults for the traditional celebratory feu de joie in which the streetlights are shot out. Stand by for something similar tomorrow!

'Erewego, 'erewego, 'erewego!


·        REVELATIONS in Britain read like a John le Carre novel. Hoodlum poisoners from Russia photographed and named as they went about Salisbury in an attempt to eliminate a renegade – agents of GRU, successors to the KGB.

The means of poisoning: the deadly nerve agent novichok, sprayed onto a door handle from a perfume spray. This is vintage Le Carre. Those GRU people must be avid readers of his books.

The details of the Salisbury poisonings – and the apparently accidental poisonings that followed in the vicinity – reveal impressive depths of capability in the British police and security services. The Russians are no doubt somewhat shaken.

But what happens next? They've already kicked out most of the Russian diplomats – that happened immediately after the first poisoning. More sanctions? Maybe a selective freezing of certain oligarchs' bank accounts in Britain? How would Le Carre treat that?

Meanwhile, events in the US read like a Bob Woodward book. Correction – they are a Bob Woodward book. Fear: Trump in the White House is to be released only next week, but excerpts have already appeared in the Washington Post.

They include:

·       Chief of staff John Kelly describing Trump as "unhinged". Also: "He's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything. He's gone off the rails. We're in Crazytown."

·       Trump's lawyer, John Dowd, trying to dissuade Trump from testifying before Special Counsel Robert Mueller (investigating alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 election). After conducting a mock interview himself with Trump, Dowd is quoted telling him: "There's no way you can get through these. Don't testify. It's either that or an orange jumpsuit."

·       Defence Secretary James Mattis telling associates that Trump "acted like - and had the understanding of - a fifth or sixth-grader".

Kelly, Dowd and Mattis have denied saying such things. Is this more fake news?

Woodward is a fastidious reporter who has won two Pulitzer prizes. He wrote (with Carl Bernstein) All the President's Men, which detailed their investigative work that exposed the Watergate scandal and sank the Nixon presidency. He is no lightweight.

As the political pundits say: Nou sal die poppe dans!



THIS fellow walks into a bar with a pork pie on his head. He asks for a pint of beer.

Barman: "Do you know you've got a pork pie on your head?"

"Yes, I always wear a pork pie on Thursdays."

"But today's Friday."

"Is it? Good heavens, I must look a right idiot!"

Last word

The first time I see a jogger smiling, I'll consider it.

Joan Rivers


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