Larry, Angel and the brain drain
SOME things you know are silly, but you do them anyway. You cannot help yourself. Like kicking the tyres of a new car or going to a Kenny G concert. Or taking a shot at Larry and Angel, they of the wireless.
I know I should resist temptation. It will only result in people I hardly know calling me to say some airwave intellectuals have spent a couple of days calling me ugly names. They confuse me with someone who could give a damn.
Mostly I show restraint. You have to. If I put laser printer to paper every time stuff came over local radio and television that would embarrass the residents of our zoo, I would be writing 197 columns a week.
It was like this: I was working out in the gym when this vindictive and probably deaf woman wandered in and switched on FM Select. She looked at me with an evil grin and hopped on to the treadmill next to mine.
Despite turning the speed dial of my machine up to 'Go For It, This Will Be Your First Coronary' and shoving my fingers in my ears, the Larry and Angel quiz show still got through.
It seems South African Airways (tell your lawyers to back off, Larry, your client got his plug) sent him or Angel or the entire babbling duo to its home base. The problem is South African Airways also brought them back. It was part of a promotional exercise to get Hong Kong people to visit African game parks, which are safe enough - lions don't much like Chinese food.
The quiz is an attempt to demonstrate that Neanderthal man and woman are alive and living in Hong Kong. They have mastered skills such as picking up the telephone and saying hello. That is pretty much it.
'Hello' gives the talkative twosome licence to repeat 'South African Airways' 723 times. In between, the cave dweller on the end of the line gets the chance to win a 50 cent plastic key ring or a something-or-other T-shirt worth 10 bucks.
Now, I swear to God I am not making it up. The quiz question was: What is the name of the famous mountain near Capetown? Uh? ...
The famous mountain near Capetown ... it's a city in South Africa.
You need to tell us the name of the famous mountain near Capetown.
Uh? ... Is it ... A. Mount Everest B. The Mariana Trench C. Tabletop Mountain? Uh? ...
OK, we'll give you a clue. It is not Mount Everest! Uh? ...
And the Mariana Trench goes down, not up.
Uh? ... is it ...
Yes ... yes ? ...
Is it the other one? You mean Table ...? Tabletop mountain? ...
That's correct! (Cheers, thunderous applause) If the Africa quiz is to become universally popular (and with laughs like that it could soon be the number one show worldwide) it will need some good questions. I am your man, Larry. You can have these for nothing.
South Africa has vast gold reserves. Is this because: A. Gold is heavy and it all sank from the top of the continent to the bottom.
B. God likes South Africa more than Chad and Somalia.
C. Don't know.
What colour is Nelson Mandela? A. Baby pink.
C. A funny sort of brownish black.
What is the source of illegal rhinoceros horn? A. Nelson Mandela.
B. The Sudanese Hippopotamus.
C. Something else.
Elephant grass is: A. A giant marijuana plant.
B. A weed named after the Cape Buffalo.
C. Not sure.
About 200 million black people now live in the Americas. Is this originally due to: A. Slave trade in Africa.
B. The African slave trade.
C. Trade in African slaves.
D. Don't care.