As the crow flies…is an expression whereby some idiot writer tried to indicate the shortest distance between two geographical locations. I do not know who was the first scribbler to use this expression but it has been copied ad infinitum by thousands of other scribblers. None of these literary champions can ever have observed a living, flying crow. This bird belongs to the success stories of animaldom. They are exceptional flyers with eyesight keener than we can imagine and with a brain wonderfully astute to keep him or her ‘just’ out of trouble. I say him or her because crows function as a couple, married for life, poison or traps can’t kill them and only a very clever, good shot farmer manages to kill one rarely. When flying to look for food they describe great overlapping curves, mama and papa not covering the same ground and the distance flown between two points is more than twenty times that distance in a straight line. Flying in a straight line is of no interest to them.

So much for the biological knowledge of these literary artists; frequenting expensive universities to study literature is a totally useless endeavour if you want to describe life.

Another fine, well-copied phrase is about the fellow who…’washed down his excellent meal with a bottle of very expensive Burgundy.’ This stylish expression is still worse than the ‘crow’ one because more people are supposed to have a better idea about wine than about crows. Anyone who decides to buy an expensive wine is not going to function like a bloody washing machine to get the stuff down as fast as possible. It is to be sniffed, regarded, appreciated, reflected upon and that way it can greatly improve a medium quality meal.

In any case, when these literary chaps start talking about wine they even produce a greater amount of nonsense born of ignorance than the best of politicians. Of those I know about, none of them has ever produced a litre of wine and their talk about soft tannins, berries, peppery, smoky, is devoid of sense. These fellows know nothing; they merely ape what other nitwits have been writing.

Some newspaper writers tell us today that farm workers have set alight South African vineyards. These vineyards are still in first spring growth; deep green, if you want to burn them you’ll have to pack them full with tyres. We’re surrounded by lies, written by people who studied literature and so at least these lies are nicely phrased at times.

Another crowd of keyboard maniacs are those that write about cars. Admittedly, car design and manufacture seem to be undertaken by a bunch of clones where the difference between models is merely a question of price. Top of the range are vehicles destined for money spinning crooks, murderers and tax profiteering politicians. All the big names in car manufacture would be bankrupt if the world’s criminal population decided to go walkabout. No fear of that.

For the lesser plebeians, cheaper varieties are made, all with sloping windscreens, which make the entrance into these vehicles a vertebrae endangering exercise. The reflective anomalies of these screens do not induce good visibility. Reading the prose of the car- writing hacks about these badly designed vehicles is an education in technical ridicule. Quite a few of these fellows find certain cars ‘sexy’, I can’t make it out, have the exhaust tail pipes influenced their hormonal reflexes? Of course, in order to be invited by the carmakers to these luscious car tests, nice things must be said by these overpaid wordsmiths.

A few months ago a Dutch passenger ship asked permission to enter a Moroccan harbour. When I found out that permission was refused I was ready to blame some ayatollahs for anti-western behaviour but I was quite wrong. This ship, one of those horrible cruise things that look like misshapen, top heavy blocks of flats, ready to capsize, was refused entry because it was filled up to the scuppers by 500 couples of homosexual males. Morocco, a Muslim country did not want any truck with such tourists. These homosexual fellows are making more and more fuss of themselves for, to me, unknown reasons. Governments appear to have nothing better to do than to discuss their marital status and pensions.

 But I can understand the reasoning of this ayatollah harbourmaster when he did not want his harbour soiled with a ship containing a thousand celebrating poofters. I don’t know what love game these fellows practice but to imagine a thousand of them at their rituals in confined quarters makes a horrible picture. “Out wid dis focking sheep!” the harbour master might have said while I wonder how a skipper was found for such a vessel. It’s also annoying that a perfectly good word ’gay’ has been stolen from the English vocabulary without any good reason.

There have never been more hospitals and medical doctors all over the world and never more sick people and more diseases have manifested themselves. Does medical aid create more disease? I wonder what will happen when, in time to come, no one can afford to pay anymore for all these illnesses. Fewer doctors, I think.

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