Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The Idler, Tuesday, September 4, 2018

An answer to

our fiscal


PARROTS can make complex economic decisions, according to German scientists. Sky News reports that 33 parrots - nine great green macaws, eight blue-throated macaws, eight blue-headed macaws and eight African greys - were coached at the Max Planck Institute into recognising the value of tokens which could be exchanged for food.

The birds then had to invest their tokens, either in low-value immediate rewards, or high-value but more expensive rewards.

The most patient parrots could exchange their tokens for pieces of walnut, while the less determined traders were stuck with dry corn or sunflower seeds.

Scientists found that when offered a low quality food or a token, the parrots would consistently choose the token.

Lead researcher Dr Auguste von Bayern says: "We have found that they are capable of making surprisingly subtle decisions."

This is fascinating. Are parrots the answer to our fiscal woes here in South Africa? The budgetary shortfalls, the colossal waste, the even more colossal corruption? Let the parrots look after things!

It's time the Onderstepoort veterinary chaps started looking into this. We have to get our finances right. We don't have great green macaws, blue-throated macaws and blue-headed macaws. African greys are from the equatorial regions. But in the forests of the Wild Coast and in the southern districts of KZN we do have the Cape parrot.

Sars needs to start recruiting. Also the state-owned entities. It's a race against time

·         IKEA the Swedish furniture giant began operations in India last month. Yet it's already been fined the equivalent of R2 000 – because a customer found a caterpillar in a rice dish served as a promotion at its store in the southern city of Hyderabad, according to the BBC.

That's dashed bad luck. What Ikea needs is a sergeant-major.

A chap I knew was an officer in the British army. He was on duty in the mess hall one evening and walking about calling the customary "Any complains?"

"Yessir," a private replied. "I got a caterpillar on me lettuce."

And sure enough, he had. This officer was somewhat mindboggled, but the sergeant-major came to his rescue.

"Well, don't wave it around, lad! Everyone will want one!"



Defence attorney: "Will you please state your age?'

Little old lady: "I am 86 years old".

"Will you tell us, in your own words, what happened on the night of April 1?"

"There I was, sitting there in my swing on my front porch on a warm spring evening, when a young man comes creeping up on the porch and sits down beside me."

"Did you know him?"

"No, but he sure was friendly."

"What happened after he sat down?"

"He started to rub my thigh."

"Did you stop him?"

"No, I didn't stop him."

"Why not?"

"It felt good. Nobody had done that since my Abler died some 30 years ago."

"What happened next?"

"He began to rub my breasts."

"Did you stop him then?"

"No, I did not stop him."

"Why not?"

"His rubbing made me feel all alive and excited. I haven't felt that good in years."

"What happened next?


"Well, by then, I was feeling really spicy. I just laid down and told him: 'Take me, young man. Take me!.'"

"Did he take you?"

"Hell, no! He just yelled: 'April Fool!' And that's when I shot him, the little bastard!"

Last word

At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies.

P G Wodehouse 






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