First with the news and free with its views                                     First with the news and free with its views                             First with the news and free with its views                                    

News

   October 14, 2007  Volume 14, Issue 17


Focus

Arts

Letters

Spotlight

Issues

Fashion

Editorial

Review

           

All creatures great and small...


God's other creations being blessed

By Ranee Mohamed

It was their first time in church  for all the cats, dogs, rabbits, ponies, tortoises and turtles. So was it for the squirrels and the other pets who had gathered at the Church of St. Michael and All Angels, Polwatte Colombo 3 for this very special service, held for the first time.

Father Dushantha Rodrigo and his divine counterparts Very Rev Sydney Knight, Ven. Patrick Fernando and Rev. Patrick Rajaratnam  were conducting a long service, yet the animals waited for the prayers to be over.

And each time the hymns were sung, a 14 year old family dog stood up. For she had come from a family that prayed together, and a family that prays together stays together and so does their family pet.

"She does it at home too. Each time we pray, she stands up for the hymns," her owners told friends. The cats inside the baskets and the boxes too remained calm. It was their first visit to church.

"They did not fight, they did not attack each other. They all stood there, till the church service was over, waiting to be blessed," said Father Dushantha Rodrigo. Dusk was almost approaching as the fathers walked to each animal, blessing these God's creatures with the love they deserve.

"This is a great tribute to all living creatures and we decided to dedicate this in honour of St. Francis of Assisi whose day is also  World Animal Day. We do have to realise that we are destroying the earth," pointed out Father Rodrigo and said that they decided to have the service and the blessing in the open air just so that they can be close to nature.

A special blessing

Father Dushantha Rodrigo said that when they invited pets for a special blessing on this day, they said it could be any pet. "It was the children who showed much enthusiasm and they brought many pets. The children took the first step and no one had fears of how they were going to keep different kinds of animals together in one place," said Father Rodrigo. "We went right up to each animal and touched it and blessed it. We had no fear that it would bite us, and none of them did. There was calmness all around," pointed out Father Rodrigo.

He went on to say that St. Francis thought of all creatures as brothers and sisters. The closeness of this Saint to nature was so intense that he  called the  sun 'brother  sun' and the moon 'sister moon' and the earth 'mother.' He did not want to hurt anything, not a leaf on a tree nor pick a flower. "In short he entered into a relationship with the created order," said Father Rodrigo.

And to the hymn Of All Things Bright And Beautiful, the blessings of all of God's creatures loved and cared for by one section of our society were blessed for the first time in their lives.

Sagarica Rajakarunanayake, an animal rights activist who has a hawk eye for cruelty to animals countrywide who was also present at this church service said that it was an amazing and a wonderful experience. "This is the first time that the Christian Church, in particular the St. Michael's Church in Polwatte, Colombo 3 has made a wonderful gesture in asking the congregation to bring their pets to be blessed and we hope that this is a sign of the Christian Church getting closer and more involved in the campaigns in the country for the prevention of cruelty to animals which they have so far  allowed to pass by without any comment or involvement as an institution," said Sagarica Rajakarunanayake. She however did not fail to mention the love, compassion and care that many church goers show animals.

Extreme commercialism

Rajakarunanayake who has been fighting for the cause of our dumb, innocent animals said that extreme commercialism is destroying a lot of humanity  in our people. "They do not mind exploiting animals in the most ruthless manner. One example is the exploiting of imported and pedigreed dogs. Some people have got hold of these animals for breeding purposes and are keeping them in the most cruel conditions. They practice inbreeding causing the pups to be deformed. Some of these pups are deaf and blind, yet others are born without limbs or with parts of limbs. This is because there is breeding between 'brothers' and 'sisters,'" pointed out Rajakarunanayake and went on to say that however cruel, immoral and unfair this may seem there is no one to step in and take remedial action to save these animals.

Encouraging sign

At a time when hundreds of animals are suffering on the streets without love and care, this church service brings about a newer thinking about God's other creations.  With the rising cost of living today when man is immersed in profit making and acquiring wealth and money seems to take precedence over feelings, sympathy and thoughtfulness towards animals is really encouraging.

Cruelty to animals is on the rise. As modernisation and commercialisation continue to take over our lives, we seem to have less time and lesser thoughts for God's creatures. Thus few of us would have the time or the consciousness to give a meal to an animal or spare a thought about the life it leads and the suffering that brings it howling grief day and night.

Abandoned animals

There are hundreds of  animals everywhere who have given birth, yet have not a morsel of food to eat; and no one seems to have time for them or to think of their sad lives. There are abandoned young animals everywhere - innocent and lost they hide in street corners crying for their mothers till some vehicle mows them down. Hungry and traumatised, they meet with the most gruesome deaths. Yet we have no time to think of their plight - their hunger, misery, sadness and agonising deaths.

Thus a church service for animals, who were blessed along with their owners throws a new light on animals everywhere.  And it is this love, this compassion and understanding that the animals everywhere are begging for from human beings.

They are not asking for money, gold or new clothes - all they want is a little food, a little love and just a little kindness. And we will not be any poorer if we give these little things, for they are gestures that  can come only from our hearts.


Survival of the fittest


With the prices of all essential items skyrocketing, soon malnourishment would be the order of the day

By Nicola Perera

This city can conquer you, or you can conquer it. Most individuals have a plan with a capital P to make a fortune. It is always an idea, which perhaps had begun vague, nebulous and undefined as we try to make a living in these difficult times.

One stark truth can be identified in three important ways. Money talks in the most persuasive voice. Put cold hard cash down on a table and few people could resist picking it up; payment in advance is another irresistible temptation and the more advance you pay, the stronger you are.

Finally, opportunity has to be seized firmly the instant it presents itself, because it does not come knocking on the same door twice. Money is the root of all evil, however, without it, we are reduced to endless struggles and are forced to hope for providence.

The appalling rise in the cost of living is putting a heavy strain on the people. It seems in Sri Lanka, it has become a perpetual habit to increase prices throughout the year.  Whether people can manage to scrape through and what they have to forego and endure is not taken into consideration.

Look at the sky

The upper class (wealthy) most often do not feel the twinge nor see the dark cloud of gloom descending on the middle class and poor people. The latter is hit the hardest and unless everyone is earning over Rs. 35,000 per month, in the months to come, they will be compelled to look at the sky and wait for manna to fall.

Essentials like milk powder, coffee, flour and eggs have shot up in price, causing disdain amongst the already struggling people. A normal loaf of bread is now Rs.35, and with the price increase in flour, hoppers, string-hoppers, pittu etc., have all shot up in price.

How are people to ward of the nagging feeling that their purse would run dry just by having their meals? Gas has already been increased twice, and before one can say Jack Robinson! one of these days, there will be another hike. How are the people supposed to manage? Especially since a gas cylinder does not last like it used to? Meat items and vegetables are no exception.

To add to the woes, petrol is forever going up in price causing people to stop travelling. Children's items have also been conveniently increased, Anchor Milk, which is consumed by so many children, is now Rs.208. How on earth are parents supposed to provide for their children at this rate? The middle class and poor have to sacrifice a lot to ensure their children get some nourishment and hopefully a future.

All talk no action

The value of money  has deteriorated to an unimaginable level.  A thousand rupees can be compared to a hundred these days. Buy a few vegetables and a little meat or fish and the thousand is gone. So much for the Chinthanaya! It never seems to provide any consolation, all talk but no action.

It is the population that makes a country; it is their taxes and output that enables a land to survive. It is up to the government to decide whether Sri Lanka should prosper in all aspects as a united nation and where everyone can equally benefit and look towards a bright future. The million-dollar question is when will the economy stop draining the blood of the middle class and poor people?

What happens when they cannot afford anything? To add to their misery, the monthly bills are also conveniently increased throughout the year. The month's hard earnings are gone when essential provisions are purchased and bills paid!

Concrete solutions

Is the government living in another planet? This has nothing to do with politics but it has everything to do with humanity and understanding the needs of the people. Talking is easy for anyone but finding concrete solutions for the very survival of the people is what is required.

If this continues, robberies will increase, as the poor have to find ways of surviving. This could be prevented only if the budget provides immediate relief. If the cost of living remains what it is the children will be deprived of a future and without them there is no future for all of us.

Frugal and prudent living is the order of the day but for how long? If this economy is not remedied fast deprivation will set in and we all know what that can lead to if the last two insurrections are anything to go by.


Where have all the sparrows gone?


The chirpy House Sparrows

By Shezna Shums

The sighting of a House Sparrow is considered a good sign but today this pretty bird is rarely seen.

The House Sparrow or Gaykurulla population is believed to be diminishing in many parts of the country.

Unlike in the past when these birds made themselves guests in a new home they are seldom  seen today in homes, old or new.

Numbers dwindling

According to ornothologists  from various parts of the country these sparrows seem to be dwindling in number.

However House Sparrows can be seen in town centres and atop  buildings but are not seen in residential areas noted an environmentalist.

Interestingly the sparrow is missed so much that now many households have even made artificial nests to attract them to their homes.

Chirpy friends dissuaded

The House Sparrow is in fact not threatened by people but the problem arises when owners  start cleaning their homes and in the process destroy their nests. Thus these 'chirpy friends' are indirectly dissuaded from returning to their former abodes. 

Environmentalists urge that this bird should be considered as a protected species.

House Sparrows are not endemic to Sri Lanka and are present in many other countries  although they are said to be diminishing in the Indian continent.

Olde World family

The House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) is a member of the Olde World sparrow family Passeridae and is present in many parts of Asia.

This 14 to 16 centimeter long bird is abundant in temperate climates but not universally common and is scarce in hilly areas.

 They usually flock in cities, towns and villages.

Double call note

The sparrow's most common call is a short and incessant chirp.

It also has a double call note -  phillip - which was how the now obsolete name Phillip Sparrow originated. While the young are in their nests the older birds utter a long 'churr.'

 Various sites

They nest in various sites - under eaves, in holes on rooftops or in walls or rocks, in creepers and even in bushes.

Another species

Yet another bird that environmentalists want protected is the Striated Weaver also known as the Wadu Kurulla.

There are two such species of this bird - one, the Baya Weaver makes its nest in a very intricate way.

The Striated Weaver is now considered a protected species.

The Baya Weaver's intricate nests are collected by pet shop owners and sold as a delicacy, or sold to collectors.

The Striated Weaver makes its home in reed beds or among tall grass but this bird does not harm  agriculture or crops.

Nest among reeds

The Striated Weaver population is dwindling more due to the destruction of reed beds causing concern among environmentalists who urge the authorities to declare them as a protected species.

The nest of the Striated Weaver is like a goblet and is usually found among the tall grass and is the main reason why this particular species of bird is confined to areas where they can build their nests.

Range of birds

Sri Lanka can boast of around  427 residential birds and over 200 migratory birds.

There are many popular bird watching sites around the island, and Colombo and its environs have locations such as the area around the Beira Lake, and in Bellanwila and Kotte.


The rare Albino deer is no more


The 'one of a kind' albino deer posing for a picture

By Risidra Mendis

She was only two months old when she was brought to the National Zoological Gardens (NZG), Dehiwela, on September 8. She was a rare attraction as she happened to be an Albino deer. But despite the love and care given to her by her keepers and zoo officials, the deer died on October 4.

World Animal Day was celebrated on October 4. But coincidentally this rare Albino deer died on the very same day that animal rights activists around the world joined hands to fight for the rights of animals. 

Abandoned

This Albino deer was abandoned in the Kaudulla National Park by its herd and found by villagers who handed the baby deer to the park warden at the Kaudulla National Park.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader Education and Research Assistant, Menaka Pathirage said the Acting Director, NZG requested permission from the wildlife director to bring the Albino deer to the zoo. 

"On October 3 the deer started coughing and two injections were given by the veterinary surgeons. But these injections could not save this rare animal. The autopsy report indicated that the animal died due to pneumonia," Pathirage said.

Very rare

An Albino deer is very rare and only one animal is produced from a hundred thousand of them. "Two recessive genes have to come together for an Albino deer to be produced. Albinos cannot stay in the sun for too long, are prone to diseases and don't live as long as other animals. An Albino deer cannot be produced unless there is a male or female Albino deer," Pathirage added.

Villagers claim to have seen more Albino deer at the Kaudulla National Park making this park the first national park to have this rare breed.   

However environmentalists claim the albino deer died due to neglect by zoo officials. Acting NZG Director, Herath Dissanayake was not available for comment. The Sunday Leader learns that Dissanayake was assaulted by zoo officials a few days ago and was hospitalised.


Research shows parents play a big role

What causes offspring to misbehave?

The recent spotlight on the violent behaviour of a minister's son triggers the thought as to why some youth are more aggressive than others. Certain people might argue that it is natural for a high profile person with powers to act in this way but what are the scientific reasons for violence in youth?

Vast research has been done on this topic and I wish to highlight certain facts relevant in our social setting.

A study done in Sweden has shown in humans and non human primates such as monkeys that aggressive, violent behaviour can be stimulated by prolonged stress in the immediate environment. (Lang S, of Klinteberg B, Alm P-O. Adult psychopathy and violent behaviour in males with early neglect and abuse Acta Psy- chiatr Scared 2002:106 (Suppl. 412): 93-100)

Early childhood victimisation including aggressive parents, the father being an alcoholic/showing anti-social behaviour and environmental stress had a clear connection with  a condition called psychopathy, a personality disorder.

Psychopaths are characterised by using charm, intimidation and violence to control others, and to satisfy their needs. In the US alone psychopaths make up 15-20% of prison inmates.

Research on violence over the television and in films, video games and music reveals unequivocal evidence that media violence increases the likelihood of aggressive and violent behaviour in both immediate and long-term contexts. ( The influence of media violence on youth, Craig A. Anderson, Leonard Berkowitz, Edward Donnerstein, Rowell Huesmann, Jantes D. Johnson, Daniel Linz,Neil M. Malamuth,and Ellen Wartella).

Evidence

Short-term exposure increases the likelihood of physically and verbally aggressive behaviour, aggressive thoughts and aggressive emotions. Recent large-scale longitudinal studies provide evidence linking frequent exposure to violent media in childhood with aggression later in life including physical assaults and spouse abuse.

Research done in Canada (Intergenerational studies of parenting and the transfer of risk from parent to child, Lisa Serbin, Centre for Research in Human Development, Concordia University and Jennifer Karp) showed that parental involvement, warmth and nurturing during childhood appear to have important protective effects on later family formation and parenting.

Buffer

Also educational achievement appeared to be a powerful buffer against problematic parenting. Childhood aggression and antisocial behaviour also seem to lead to problematic parenting, adolescent risk-taking behaviour, low educational and occupational attainment, maternal smoking, substance abuse and poverty.

The conclusion arrived at is violence in youth can be avoided by correct parenting and a peaceful environment which are sadly lacking in certain so called high profile families.

- Dr. Himantha  Atukorale Radawana - Government Hospital


Cecile's brilliance sparkles


The designer that put Sri Lanka on the map of the jewellery world:   Sicille P.C. Kotelawala wearing her  own creation, the Sri Lanka pendent

By Ranee Mohamed

The designing brilliance of  Sicille P. C. Kotelawala, emitted rays of pride, glamour and beauty at an upmarket fashion show held at the Tanglin Club in Singapore recently.

Tanglin Club's Churchill Room was a sparkle of activity as the Ceylinco sponsored event dazzled the guests, among them ambassadors, top ranking officials and jewellers from all over the world.

Blue Diamonds Limited, Blue Diamond Jewellery Worldwide and Ceylinco Coloured Stones sparkled into the spotlight with the Deputy Chairperson of Ceylinco Consolidated, Sicille P. C. Kotelawala's own designer creations - the Papillion Ring Collection, the Sri Lanka Pendant and the Pink Topaz `Special Cut' of 200 facets. An amazing facet comes to light when Blue Diamonds Jewellery proved their ability to cut even a five pointer diamond to the 200 facet cut.

The 1250 Caret Pink Topaz necklace designed by Sicille P. C. Kotelawala is for the woman with passion. The hearts and arrows cut on diamonds appear as a very exciting concept especially for Valentines Day. This is a unique feature of Blue Diamond Jewellery. Set in fine gold, based on the traditional eternity necklace design called Liya Vela (eternity chain held together) with the pink topaz, it stands out creating drama that it so richly deserves.

"We have been promoting Sri Lanka, promoting our craftsmanship and promoting what Sri Lanka is truly capable of," said Deputy Chairperson, Ceylinco Consolidated, Sicille Kotelawala.

The sparkling Singapore fashion show consisting of several leading models wearing these designer jewellery as accessories drew light to the jewellery itself.

Blue Diamond Jewellery Worldwide Limited is the company that produces the floating diamond jewellery under the international  brand called Fior Drissage. This is a technically advanced setting which sets diamonds in a component without any prongs or claws.

Creating history in jewellery designs is Sicille Kotelawala's creations, precious Australian Opals and the 'Fior Drissage' - a unique creation that is enjoying unique popularity worldwide.

Blue Diamonds Jewellery Worldwide Limited has taken a positive step forward by giving diamonds which may normally consist of 57 windows a new fire brilliance with their 200 facet cut, giving a brilliance from 200 windows.

And now comes the newest glitter from Cecile International Jewellery Salon. Like period furniture Cecile Jewellery Salon will soon bring to Sri Lanka and to the world, period jewellery. "They will be an exact replica of the period antique jewellery and will come with a description of the jewellery and their origin," said Sicille Kotelawala, the designer behind these great creations. Reasonably priced, yet created in a way that one is hardly able to tell the difference, period, antique jewellery will undoubtedly add another new brilliance to the establishment, to the craftsmen and to the designers themselves.

Sicille Kotelawala undoubtedly inherits her designing talents from her mother whose unique creations in jewellery is said to have dazzled royalty at Buckingham Palace, when the mother and daughter duo were presented to the Queen in 1961. Agnes Stella Fernando, mother of Sicille Kotelawala who hails from Matara had been wearing a big pendant made of Seven Matara Diamond hairpins with a rosette in the centre and Matara Diamond eardrops, all designed by herself. To the words of admiration of her jewellery by Lord Louis Mountbatten, she had modestly quipped "Nothing like the crown jewels...."

Her daughter Sicille Kotelawala's jewellery today has been on display in China and Korea too. The exhibition of an exotic piece of jewellery, the Sri Lanka pendent - an opal and diamond pendant in the shape of Sri Lanka personally created by her coincided with President Mahinda Rajapakse's state visit to China for the celebration of 50 years of diplomatic relations between Sri Lanka and China. It was the first time that this exotic piece of jewellery was revealed to the world - a rare combination of a magnificent opal and the world famous carbonlokd diamonds.

In designing this pendent, particular attention has been paid to detail with the design drawn to scale to bring out an absolute masterpiece. The beautiful multi- coloured Australian opal was gifted to Sicille P. C. Kotelawala by Suzanne White from the famous opal mine in Australia.

In South Korea too, when Minister Keheliya Rambukwella and young Namal Rajapakse along with Asitha Perera launched the Tharunayata Hetak programme to increase job opportunities for Sri Lankans in Korea, the jewellery once again displayed became the dazzler. The Ceylinco sponsored trip also aimed to improve the living conditions and increase job opportunities among the Sri Lankan labour force in South Korea.

All these events dazzled with the exceptional brilliance of Cecile's jewellery. For the displayed gems and jewellery not only drew light but added a sparkle to all these events.


scence & heard

Isankya receives award for unique achievement

Isankya Kodithuwakku who won the 2007 State Literary Award for the Best Short Story Collection for her book The Banana Tree Crisis, published in English in 2006, received her award from President, Mahinda Rajapakse at a function held in New York where Isankya is reading for her Masters in Fine Arts at the Columbia University.

In addition to the State Literary Award, Isankya also won the prestigious Gratiaen Award earlier this year for the Best English Publication in Sri Lanka for 2006. Winning both awards for the same book is rare and unique.

Isankya is the second daughter of Dr. Karunasena Kodituwakku, former minister of education and cultural affairs and  Chandani Kodithuwakku.


Sri Lanka America Society AGM

The 53rd Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka America Society was held recently at Jefferson House, the official residence of US Ambassador Robert O. Blake. Prakash Mirchandani presided. The following office bearers and committee were elected.

President: Christel Perera

Vice-presidents: Cynthia Carron, Mansoor Ghouse

Hony. Secretary: N.L.C. de Silva

Treasurer: Sam Fernando

Executive Committee: Kalyani Ranasinghe, Jennifer Ingleton, Yvonne D'Rosairo, Gamini de Silva, Linda Perera, Nirmala Ragunathan, Dr. Kavan Ranatunga, Anne Nathaniel

Advisory Committee: Rajah Perera, Tita Nathanielsz, Dianne Wijewardena, Dio Wijewardena, Ramani Imbuldeniya, Jehan de Saram, R. Ragunathan

The vote of thanks was proposed by Rajah Perera before which Honarary Life Membership was conferred on Tita Nathanielsz, a former president. Nathanielsz who counts 40 years of membership, in response, thanked the soceity for the signal honour conferred on him. He also expressed special thanks to Charmaine Karunaratne and Kalyani Ranasinghe who he said helped him immensely whenever he organised any special event.


AILD seeks 'help to achieve'

Association for Individuals with Learning Differences (AILD), the managing body of the school Achievers launched their school building project "Help Achieve" on September 25.

AILD was incorporated on July 8, 1996 as a non- profit company by a concerned group of parents with children who had difficulties in fitting into a normal classroom environment. Complaints from the schools were inattentiveness, disruptive behaviour, difficulty to stay on a task, and difficulty in copying from the blackboard despite having perfect eyesight.

They are also comparatively slow in writing, reading, comprehension, mathematics and other subjects. Parents were sent from pillar to post, from family physicians to specialists to find out what  their chaild is "suffering" from.

Research established that these learning and behavioural aberrations were not entirely due to medical reasons but were also the result of other factors such as environment, home conditions, social issues etc.

AILD organised awareness programmes to introduce terminologies such as Dyslexia, Specific Learning Disabilities, Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). As the speakers explained the different types of disabilities, parents understood what held their children back from performing like other children.


Children's Heart Project receives contribution from Gateway's charity walk

The Children's Heart Project of Sri Lanka received a hand some contribution of Rs. 1 million from the charity walk held by Gateway College Colombo last July, which was part of the culmination of the school's 10th anniversary celebrations.

Dr. Harsha Alles, director of the Gateway Group said: "We did not want to merely focus on fun in celebrating our 10th anniversary. Rather, we wished to teach our children that they are responsible for their less fortunate brothers and sisters, in our endeavour to help create a society with lasting values in Sri Lanka. One and all at Gateway College are extremely happy that our hearts reached out to make other little hearts beat with hope."

Dr .Vijith Kannangara, director, Children's Heart Project of Sri Lanka who enlightened the Gateway School community about this long-felt need, said that the problem of children with congenital heart disease in Sri Lanka is severe and heart-rending. One in 400 children in Sri Lanka is diagnosed with a potentially deadly congenital heart defect. The state can cope with only around 600 operations annually. Therefore at any given time, there are over 1,000 children waiting for a life-saving operation and because of the large numbers the wait for an operation is about two years. Many children do not survive the wait. 

"This is a magnanimous gesture by children for children," says Dr. P. N. Thenabadu, chairman, Children's Heart Project of Sri Lanka. "The funds will go towards enhancing paediatric cardiac facilities in Sri Lanka that will help save a lot of young lives. We are greatly indebted to the management, staff, students, parents and alumni of Gateway College and say a heartfelt 'thank you' to them." 


Consul General  Jeff at sacred event

Jeff Goonewardene, Consul General for Sri Lanka in Colombia and Venezuela was invited to bear the sacred Dhathu Karanduwa by the Chief Priest of the Kotte Raja Maha Viharaya during the perahera recently. Picture shows Consul General  Goonewardene  after having placed the Dhathu Karanduwa on the majestic  tusker. The Chief Priest and well wishers are also with him. 


A second look at look alikes

Yesterday I attended a family wedding and was placed once again at the same table as my double, my look-alike friend. She told me she wants to make a distinction between the two of us, so she has started growing her hair! I know, it can be quite irritating explaining you most definitely weren't at a certain place yesterday when people keep saying, "But I saw you!" Lets hope things will get better.

People keep walking up to me and having these long conversations, and all the while I'm frantically wracking my brains as to their identity. They sound and look as if they know me very well, so I also play along, mumbling responses. Sometimes I discover they have mistaken me for her. When I inform them of their mistake, they gaze at me aghast, "But you look just like her, no?"

Healthy appetite

Once at a party, someone wanted to know why I was serving myself twice! Yes, I know, you can't blame them since I have quite a healthy appetite, but of course, it was just that she had served herself just before I did! Another time someone told her that her sister from Australia(??) was sitting all alone and why doesn't she ask me to join them?

Then, another school friend gave me a good couple of smacks and asked me why I didn't enlighten her during her long conversation with me thinking I was she. I said since we were all in the same school and I knew everybody she was referring to, I assumed she was genuinely talking to me!

There is a limit to one's patience, you know. When someone is trying to insist that you were at a dance yesterday without Caveman but with someone else, then you just feel like totally losing it.

The last straw

The last straw was when I had reserved this gorgeous hot pink handbag for my daughter, together with another two. The sales lady looked at me and said, "But madam, you came in the morning and bought them, no?" I asked her whether she thought I was crazy to come and try and get something that I already had. She called the other assistants agitatedly and asked them whether or not I hadn't come and bought the bags that morning. I saw the light.

I explained that there was a lady who looked a lot like I did, and that I was sure she was the culprit! By the way, I confirmed this yesterday, since she told me she had bought these handbags from this shop. Then she said that they were trying to tell her she was giving them the wrong telephone number and rattling off what she was sure was mine!

Anyway, she got the best pick that also included the exciting and enticing hot pink number. I had to make do with the leftovers, unless I was willing to wait till the end of the month for the new stock to come in. Humph!

Unique in my way

I suppose the positive side of this is that I could pretend to be she and do all sorts of daring things. But then again, she would know it was I, wouldn't she? Also, I'd have to grow my hair and there is no way I can do that! It looks absolutely ghastly long. A wig? Hm! On further thought, she would tell the cops about me and I would be caught out.

 But one does get a certain thrill imagining what you could do if you can get away with it. Robbing a bank? And giving it to the poor, of course! What do you take me for? I also would like to throw several no holds barred tantrums and rantings at certain people. Imagine, blandly denying I ever did or said such things. The thought alone is tantalising. Or I could dye my hair dark blue and go around as if I were her.

Even though there might be people who look exactly like me walking this earth, I like to think I am unique in my own way. I think my family will vouch for that! Not in a very complimentary manner, you can be sure! Various quirks and imperfections will be highlighted and exaggerated and they will kill themselves laughing whilst pin pointing them. Never mind, let them laugh, everyone is entitled to their opinion, aren't they? So even though my double is a very nice person, there's no one like me, baby. Not even close!

- Honky Tonk Woman.


HUMOUR

High premium on resurrection

FOUR insurance companies are in competition.One comes up with the slogan: "Coverage from the cradle to the grave."The second one tries to improve on that with: "Coverage from the womb to the tomb."Not to be outdone, the third one comes up with: "From the sperm to the worm."The fourth insurance company really thought hard and almost gave up the race, but finally came up with: "From erection to resurrection."

Superpower talk

George: Condi! Nice to see you. What's happening?

Condi: Sir, I have the report here about the new leader of China.

George: Great. Lay it on me.

Condi: Hu is the new leader of China.

George: That's what I want to know.

Condi: That's what I'm telling you.

George: That's what I'm asking you. Who is the new leader of China?

Condi: Yes.

George: I mean the fellow's name.

Condi: Hu.

George: The guy in China.

Condi: Hu.

George: The new leader of China.

Condi: Hu.

George: The main man in China!

Condi: Hu is leading China.

George: Now whaddya' asking me for?

Condi: I'm telling you, Hu is leading China.

George: Well, I'm asking you. Who is leading China?

Condi: That's the man's name.

George: That's who's name?

Condi: Yes.

George: Will you, or will you not, tell me the name of the new leader of China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir? Yassir Arafat is in China? I thought he's dead in the Middle East.

Condi: That's correct.

George: Then who is in China?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir is in China?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Then who is?

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Yassir?

Condi: No, sir.

George: Look Condi. I need to know the name of the new leader of China. Get me the Secretary General of the U.N. on the phone.

Condi: Kofi?

George: No, thanks.

Condi: You want Kofi?

George: No.

Condi: You don't want Kofi.

George: No. But now that you mention it, I could use a glass of milk. And then get me the U.N.

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: Not Yassir! The guy at the U.N.

Condi: Kofi?

George: Milk! Will you please make the call?

Condi: And call who?

George: Who is the guy at the U.N?

Condi: Hu is the guy in China.

George: Will you stay out of China?!

Condi: Yes, sir.

George: And stay out of the Middle East! Just get me the guy at the U.N.

Condi: Kofi.

George: All right! With cream and two sugars. Now get on the phone.


HUMOUR


Survival of the fittest


Where have all the
sparrows gone?


Cecile's brilliance sparkles


The rare Albino deer
is no more


What causes offspring
to misbehave?



scence & heard



 


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