Sunday 26 September 2010

Comical points

I used to read (I think that is the word) Richie Rich comics when I was growing up. I am still growing up (I am told) but I have not read a Richie Rich comic since I was a teenager.

I remember those adverts that often appeared in the middle or on the back cover page. You know those compelling sales pitches where you were seduced into selling and delivering newspapers, and whereby you could earn points in doing so, and then you could trade in those hard earned points for something from the colourful catalogue, which basically made up the bulk of the pitch. I am sure you will remember those cool things - there was the air hockey table, the slot car racing kit, the Spalding baseball glove (obviously for Americans this one), the rocket, and more ... and my all-time favourite, the X-ray specs.

Didn't you used to stare at this page and just wonder. Ah man, the X-ray specs - I actually believed, for years, that I could look through things - you gotta love those Americans - they sure do know a few tricks when it comes to marketing.

Are there still Richie Riche comics in the world today? Maybe I just haven’t looked for one ... one thing is for sure, the all seducing points system thing back then is still alive and well - check this :

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Wednesday 22 September 2010

Leave it to the English

A friend of mine sent this to me - it was too good not to share.

Extracts from letters written to local councils:

1. It's the dog mess that I find hard to swallow.

2. I want some repairs done to my cooker as it has backfired and burnt my knob off.

3. I wish to complain that my father twisted his ankle very badly when he put his foot in the hole in his back passage.

4. Their 18 year old son is continually banging his balls against my fence.

5. I wish to report that tiles are missing from the outside toilet roof. I think it was bad wind the other day that blew them off.

6. My lavatory seat is cracked, where do I stand?

7. I am writing on behalf of my sink, which is coming away from the wall.

8. Will you please send someone to mend the garden path. My wife tripped and fell on it yesterday and now she is pregnant.

9. I request permission to remove my drawers in the kitchen.

10. 50% of the walls are damp, 50% have crumbling plaster, and 50% are just plain filthy.

11. I am still having problems with smoke in my new drawers.

12. The toilet is blocked and we cannot bath the children until it is cleared.

13. Will you please send a man to look at my water, it is a funny colour and not fit to drink.

14. Our lavatory seat is broken in half and now is in three pieces.

15. I want to complain about the farmer across the road. Every morning at 6am his cock wakes me up and it's now getting too much for me.

16. The man next door has a large erection in the back garden, which is unsightly and dangerous.

17. Our kitchen floor is damp. We have two children and would like a third, so please send someone round to do something about it.

18. I am a single woman living in a downstairs flat and would you please do something about the noise made by the man on top of me every night.

19. Please send a man with the right tool to finish the job and satisfy my wife.

20. I have had the clerk of works down on the floor six times but I still have no satisfaction.

21. This is to let you know that our lavatory seat is broke and we can't get BBC2.

22. My bush is really overgrown round the front and my back passage has fungus growing in it.

23. He's got this huge tool that vibrates the whole house and I just can't take it anymore.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Saturday 18 September 2010

The fast

Today was the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, and most Jewish folk fast, even if they are not religious. Some do it for tradition, some do it for spiritual reasons, and some do it to fit into their jeans (well, just for a day or so, and then the few kilos seem to appear again, just like that).

I have fasted every year, as long as I can remember. I normally spend the day at home, just thinking and reflecting, which is what I tried to do again today.

But there is one thing I don't quite understand. Why do people ask you how the fast was, like it is major achievement. Fasting for 24 hours is a walk in the park. What isn't so easy is being good to others. And I guess this is just how the world is today: selfish. People ask you how the fast went because it is something easy, simple and contained. But ask someone if they have been good to others around them and that is not such an easy question to answer.

And yet, people will get judged by their piers if they didn't fast. But whether they do good in the world or not, no one seems to question that.

Interesting world we live in ...

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Monday 13 September 2010

Talk talk

What is with those private number calls that you get on your cell where they go, "Hello sir, how are you?"

And you say "What is this about?", which generally comes back with another "Hello, how are you?"


I respect anyone who works for a living, and telesales can't be the easiest gig in town, but lighten up a bit for fuck sakes.

The other day I tried the following. I was in my car, and a private call through early in the morning, and this is what went down "Hello, sir, how are you today?"

So, I reply with, "Not so good - I just lost my job today, and, my mother told me she is not my mother." (Just kidding mom ... I wonder if she knows about this blog thing?!)

See how long they keep up their robot stance. Seriously, try it too; it makes the whole thing much more fun. It was a very short conversation to say the least.

But this is nothing compared to the clown who leaves a message on your cell and doesn't say what it is about. Like this young alleged film maker who left a bunch of messages on my phone that went like this "Hi Ronnie, this is Bobby, please call me ..."

Why would I call someone I don't know, on a number I have not seen before, when I have no idea what it is about. There is only one thing worse than a telesales robot calling you, and this is when you call some guy who know nothing about, for something you know is only going to upset you. Why would be do it?! And then, our man Bobby, catches me one day, early in the morning, and asks me if he can come and see me about a movie he wants to make. Proper clown - all he wants is a few million. Sure thing Bobby.

Maybe I am just old fashioned. Yeah, I am old school alright.

I was mentoring a bunch of young guys the other day (well, I was trying too) and I was asked an intriguing question, "If there are so many monkeys out there... incompetent, unprofessional folk, in big jobs, with big responsibilities, then how did the IT director of that big firm we are talking about ever get the job if he is such a clown?"

I had to think about this and this is was my response, "You should see the guy he replaced!"

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Wednesday 8 September 2010

New words for 2010

A friend of mine sent this to me - it made me laugh - I had to share it.

Waving your arms around and talking bollocks.

Sitting round in a group, discussing why a deadline was missed or a project failed and who was responsible.

A manager who flies in, makes a lot of noise, craps on everything and then leaves.

The experience of spending an entire day swimming upstream only to get screwed and die.

An office filled with cubicles.

When someone yells or drops something loudly in a cube farm and people's heads pop up over the walls to see what's going on. (This also applies to applause for a promotion because there may be cake.)

An excellent phrase for an overweight person.

A deeply unattractive person.

One who has bleached/dyed her hair but still has a 'black box'.

The fine art of whacking the crap out of an electronic device to get it to work again.

That minuscule fraction of time in which you realize that you've just made a BIG mistake. (e.g. You've hit 'reply all').

A very short skirt, only an inch from the hare.

The contents of a Wonderbra, i.e. Extremely impressive when viewed from the outside but there's actually naught in there worth seeing.

A bath so hot, that when lowering yourself in, you go: 'Oo! Oo! Oo! Aa! Aa! Aa!'.

The bus that arrives at the pub on Friday night while you're in the toilet after your 10th pint and whisks away all the unattractive people so the pub is suddenly packed with stunners when you come back in.

Bottled premixed spirits, regularly consumed by young women.

Tattoo on a female.

A woman whose knickers are too small for her, so she looks like she's got 4 buttocks.

Posted by Ronnie Apteker

Friday 3 September 2010

Please don't tell my mom

I have had this cool motorbike in my garage for years and years. And it was starting to hate me! I have not ridden that monster for about 5 years, and then something inspired and I called Linex Yamaha and they came to collect my XT600 and they got her up and running. I got the bike over 10 years ago and I have hardly riden it. But still, it is great machine and they got her firing away in no time.

This past weekend I took the bike for a spin. I felt like I was back in school, on my old nifty fifty. And then it hit me - bikes are proper old school - no car phones, no built-in GPS, no CD player. If you have to find an address you gotta to look for it the old fashioned way. If you want to call someone, you gotta pull over, stop, and switch off the engine. Yeah, I like it!

I went to visit my mate Kevin, who I have not seen in ages. I have not been to his place before, so I had to pull over, call him, get directions, and follow my nose. And it felt good.

But please don't tell my mom - she does not like the thought of me on a two wheeler. I know that riding a bike is dangerous, especially in Johannesburg, with all those crazy drivers on the road. But it did make me feel alive.

I am gonna ride her again this weekend - I can't wait!


Posted by Ronnie Apteker