Sunday, 21 October 2018


I'm off in South Africa right now and being dragged on these Land Rover observations 'trips'.

So yesterday was a pretty miserable day (even by Alabama standards). Storm clouds, 20 mph winds, open Rover, misty rain, 60 degrees.  This ride went on for four hours.

The two high points?

First, we stopped at some point while 'Safari Bob' gave us a ten minute lecture on the difference between Rhino dung and Elephant dung.....while drizzle continued.  For a brief moment, I had this brief image of seventh grade science teacher.  It was info that came in one ear and out the other.

Second, toward the very end, we finally came upon two lions (Karl and Maggie, my names for them).  They were at the fenceline, resting. 'Safari Bob' launched into another ten minute lecture, with misty rain falling and a hefty wind.  It was an odd thing, Karl was obsessed with the opposite side of the fence.

Then suddenly from this other fenced area came 'Ingrid, a much younger female lion.

Naturally, Karl's lady got all upset. A lot of lion yelling occurred, and that kinda ended the days events.

'Safari Bob' dropped us by the gate and 'Safari Max' shuttled back to the lodge.  He's a 65 year old guy and fairly talkative. He related each of 7 episodes with malaria, kinda like a guy talking over ex-wives.  Back at the lodge, my German wife got all peppy.....malaria?  Instead of worrying about lion attacks, snakes, or mad elephants....she is now focused on malaria. 

Me? This misty rain and 60 degree temp, with 20 mph wind has zeroed out the day.


I sat this morning reading over the reaction of a Dear Abbey column. She basically spoke up about giving a kid a foreign name.  She did not mean 'Karl' with a K. She meant names Chicki, Munsi, Doretta-Tassa, or Luniva.  People apparently got upset about that.

The problem here goes in two directions.

First, spelling some name can be impossible for folks.  You could sit over a lifetime, explaining this at least six-thousand times. You might start getting frustrated already by the fourth grade.

Second, this will pause folks to ask how the hell did you get this name. Over and over, this explanation will be required.

Teasing?  Well, it might reach a crisis stage already by age 12....requiring some mental clinic.

I worked with a guy twenty years ago who got married and wanted to name his kids after Greek gods.  For the wife, that was a none acceptance thing.  Their first kid was lucky....he would have been named Zeus, if the wife had been agreeable.

Right now, I'm waiting on some Alabama guy to name his son Donny Trump-This Jones.