A ticket to Banks and other comedians will tickle your funny bone

Mark Banks keeps gate-crashing my dreams. It happened again in the early hours of the morning when I awoke to the buzz of a mozzie overhead. Reaching for the can of evil-smelling repellent, I recalled Banks boasting about his anti-mosquito product: “It doesn’t kill…it just silences them!”

That would suit me fine. Their bites don’t worry me. It’s that I can’t breathe when I pull the sheet right over my head to exclude the tiniest gap. The under coverlet skills of mosquitos should be included in the handbook for DIY terrorists.
Banks in his show Bankskrupt at the Theatre on the Bay was brilliant. The laughter was almost continuous and he was so quick that he could pick up on anything and run with it.

When he asked for her name a woman in the audience replied shyly “Fiona…sort of”. Thereupon he launched into an authoritative-sounding talk about the roots of the “Sortoff” family as though they were a family listed in Debrett’s!

His political incorrectness was startling but refreshing. We are becoming so tied up in being PC that it is almost absurd. I noticed a supermarket selling black grapes labelled red.

“Woolies” came in for a drubbing. Banks was horrified that they were selling a pack of two avos for R65. “Sixty-five rand!” he exclaimed “and labelled ‘Ready to Eat’”. He’d like to find the man who wrote that label and force him to eat a malachite-hard avo which would surely shatter his teeth!

A ticket to the show not only buys you Mark Banks as a stand-up comic looking at our bankrupt society, you also get a perspective of South African life from several other characters. Such as Mr Rabinowitz, the armchair critic; a classically-trained car guard who mumbled incomprehensibly; and an attractive red-haired telly dolly promoting her wide range of “danger tours” to clients wanting a brush with death.

Banks’s humour was at its most wicked promoting the chance of a hijack experience in Cape Town. “And for a bit extra you can be locked in the boot for a thrilling high-speed drive through the city!”

Sort out parking

The owners of the Forest Glade Centre, at the corner of Dalmore and Tokai roads, need to sort out the parking chaos firmly, fairly and quickly.

Inconsideration seems to be at the heart of the conflict between those running businesses needing short-term parking for their customers and the cyclists who bag the close spots early in the day and return hours later. The agro has apparently increased since the upper Tokai Forest’s paths were reopened.

Cyclists may argue that it can take more than two hours for a woman to have her hair cut, coloured and blow-dried but such customers don’t arrive simultaneously or in any great numbers at the Set Up.

Perhaps restricting parking to 15 minutes on one side of the road would help and also issuing tickets to those who, because there is no short-term parking available, park on pavements, in front of houses and cause congestion at that very busy intersection.

Of course not all motorists are cyclists but all cyclists are motorists.

Joost had courage

The death of rugby legend Joost van der Westhuizen has focused attention on MND (Motor Neuron Disease) and whether his rugby injuries were perhaps to blame. Some think it is triggered by a mix of genetic and environmental factors, plus things like exposure to chemicals, fractures and injuries, smoking, military service, and engaging in some sports or high levels of exercise. However research studies have so far failed to find conclusive evidence of a single cause.

Whether Joost was one of those who felt there was little point in worrying what had caused his condition, or asked himself “Why me?”, he behaved with extraordinary courage that was worthy of a VC.

To be a world-class scrum half in top physical condition and to see and feel his muscles wasting away must have been a courage-destroying experience. South Africans can reward him by contributing towards his dream of establishing in his name an international centre for MND.

Rewired and not retired

My quip on January 26 about hating it when you see an old person and realising you went to school together brought an interesting response from Paul Britton. He offered a different slant on aging. “We have two ages,” he wrote. “Our chronological age, which we can’t control, and our psychological age, which we can largely manage.

“Thus your quip could be changed to: Don’t you just love it when you see an old person you went to school with and know that you are much younger.”

Paul runs pre –retirement planning workshops to encourage psychological age through being “Rewired and not Retired”. Check out the website www.fulfillingretirement.co.za

La la land

After a couple of heavy movies lately, it was a joy to see the American musical drama La La Land. To begin with, the plot was mindless with lots of wild dancing on car roofs but it progressed into a story with some depth about an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) who reluctantly falls in love with a jazz musician (Ryan Gosling).

I don’t think it is worthy of receiving 14 Oscar nominations, which is a record-tying number with great movies like the 1997’s Titanic and the 1950’s All About Eve, but the jazz and the two leads are great and the ending avoids being predictable.

Short-term memory loss

Isn’t it maddening that you can remember every single word of your old school song but can’t remember why you went into the kitchen?

fionachisholm@iafrica.com