Silly encounters of the canine kind

I had a bad voting moment at the Tokai library. When I looked up and down the long list of 66 candidates I couldn’t see the party I had come to support. I suppressed the impulse to bite the head off any nearby member of the IEC and refrained from barking “Where is the DOG party?”

I could have been forgiven for reacting like this. The lamp posts up and down Tokai Road had overnight become covered with posters shouting “VOTE FOR ME” above the head of the unusual candidate – a friendly yellow Lab with the election promise “I won’t let you down”.

This clever, politically-smart advertisement was hung up by the SPCA to draw attention to the need for people to adopt their many lost, strayed and abandoned dogs by calling 021 700 4152 or https:// capespca.co.za

Cashing in on voting day with this inspired bit of canine humour brought a welcome light touch to the 2016 elections marked by violent protests and even murders. Humour can be so therapeutic and defuse irritation.

Another example was last week when I sat in a long queue at the dispensary counter of a pharmacy chain and stared blankly at a video being played to entertain impatient customers who did not have their cellphones to distract them. Suddenly I sat up in shock as a car appeared on the screen apparently driven by a large brown German Shepherd dog.

There he was in the driver’s seat with his paws on the steering wheel and no co-driver beside him. Pedestrians in the video looked in disbelief as the car with this extraordinary “motorist” drove past. Their expressions were hilarious.

As the camera focused on the real driver in the back seat, I noticed a sign on the screen reading “Gags”. It just made my day.

With world news pretty ugly right now local newspapers should daily be carrying quips and cartoons and more humorous and off the wall articles to keep us sane. There is often very little to smile about in their pages.

Painful memories

Humour pops up in unlikely places. Recently I was killing time in Claremont’s public library prior to an appointment with an ophthalmologist (and I mean an ophthalmologist not an optician, or an optometrist), when I spotted a copy for sale of Grogan’s South Africa.

This had nothing to do with previously published cartoons when Tony Grogan was the resident cartoonist of the Cape Times. It was a special edition about the antics of a Brakpan-born character Johnny Rousseau-Smit sharing his thoughts in 1989 about “this great land of blue skies, braaivleis, boycotts, tricameral parliaments, rocketing prices, states of emergency, beer and rugby…”

It was painful to be reminded of some of the ridiculous and hurting laws which apartheid inflicted on the lives of many but by 1989 it was clearly on the way out. One cartoon showed Johnny wearing an oversized crash helmet dodging stones being thrown during riots and saying “One of our great newspaper editors has explained that apartheid had to be tried…to show it wouldn’t work!”

Fair play

Like Eliza’s dad Alfred P. Doolittle, I had a little bit of luck and managed to get a seat for My Fair Lady in the final “sold out” week. And what a great show it was despite the stoppage half way through the first act because of a technical fault during a scene change. Luckily the computer boffin was on hand so the holdup was a lot shorter than that on the Saturday night when he had to be fetched from his home.
I was particularly delighted that Fish Hoek’s Lynn and Mike Moss’s talented daughter Jennifer was playing Eliza. I have seen her in several Masque and G&S productions but not since she married and became Jennifer Human. She carried off her role as the coarse cockney flower seller with real conviction but looked magnificently royal and beautiful at the Embassy Ball.

Jennifer was due to share performances with Linda Pledger Eiders but due to Linda’s bad bout of flu, Jennifer had to do more performances.

Dicky Longhurst’s outrageously gorgeous costumes for Ascot and the Ball brought home what a loss the South African theatre scene has suffered by his death last year on his 63rd birthday. It was a fitting tribute that the production was dedicated to this highly talented and inspired designer.

Music for the soil

On Sunday August 14, at 6.30pm, Soil for Life in Brounger Way
Constantia is holding a fund-raising screening of the award–
winning documentary Symphony of the Soil at the Labia Thea-
tre.

Tickets are R200 and include a glass of Stellar Organic wine, yummy plant-based snacks and comedian Nik Rabinowitz as the host of this “green gala evening” to help change the world one garden at a time.
Filmed by US based film-maker Deborah Koons Garcia in Israel, India, USA and the UK, the movie spotlights the efforts of scientists, farmers and foodies to transform dead dirt into living soil, feed-
ing natural compost, growing cover-crops and using drip irrigation to miraculously regenerate the soil.

The theme resonates with Soil for Life’s mission to build heal-
thy soil, people and communities.

Book through Webtickets or contact Soil for Life on 021 794 4982 or info@soilforlife.co.za for details.

Blew it

Laugh and the whole world laughs with you, cry and you have to blow your nose.

fionachisholm@iafrica.com