Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Idler, Thursday, November 22, 2018


Bereft of


ALAS, Durban is bereft. I hied me the other evening to the Irish tavern on Florida Road, only to discover that the lovely Goddess of War has decamped to invade America.

Yes, some bar in Baltimore or New Orleans or wherever will be treated to the exquisite ballet of the Goddess wiggling her posterior onto a shelf, then reaching up to get a bottle of whisky off the high shelf. It's better than Sadlers Wells or the Bolshoi, poetry in motion, beauty encapsulated.

America's gain is our sad loss. I mention this purely as an afficionado of the ballet.

The same evening I encounter Harry, the Irish quizmaster, who is absolutely over the moon following the All Blacks game. Listening to his quiz questions, I learn that the indentation under a bottle is known as a "punt".

Of course, a punt is also a kick of the ball in rugby or a river craft that is poled along the River Isis and the River Cam by students at Oxford and Cambridge.

It calls to mind doggerel that we used to recite in the rugby club in days of yore:

Old Missus Hunt

Has a rough-cut punt,

Not a punt cut rough

But a rough-cut punt …

Its meaning is opaque and has always puzzled me. Perhaps Harry will use it as a quiz question one day.


OVERHEARD in the Street Shelter for the Over-Forties: "Men who say they can see through women are missing a lot."


A LESSON in life comes this way.

A Boeing 777 wide-body jetliner is lumbering along at 800km/h at 33 000 feet when a cocky F-16 fighter jet flashes by at Mach 2.

The F-16 pilot decides to show off. On his state of the art radio that is part of his state of the art 3D and million dollar headset, the F-16 youngster tells the 777 pilot: "Hey Captain, watch this!"

He promptly goes into a barrel roll, followed by a steep, unimaginable, vertical climb. He then finishes with a sonic boom as he breaks the sound barrier, as the F-16 screams down at impossible Gs before levelling at almost sea level.

The F-16 pilot asks the 777 pilot what he thought of that?

The 777 pilot says: "That was truly impressive, but watch this!"

The 777 chugs along for about five minutes at the steady 800km/hr, Then the 777 pilot comes back on and says: "What did you think of that?"

Puzzled, the cocky F-16 pilot asks, "What the heck did you do?"

The 777 pilot chuckles and says: "I stood up, stretched my legs, walked to the back, used the toilet then got a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll and secured a date with one of the hostesses for the next three nights in a five-star hotel paid for by the company."

The lesson: When you are young and foolish, speed and flash may seem like a good thing. When you get older and smarter, comfort and dullness is not such a bad thing. It's called SOS – Slower, Older and Smarter.




THIS fellow goes into a doctor's rooms wearing a hat. Inside, he takes off the hat. A frog is growing out of the top of his head.

Doctor: "What have we here?"

Frog: "Dunno, Doc. It started out as a boil on me backside."


Last word

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.

Herm Albright

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