The Fifth Column

 
Dark forces threaten Member
Dark forces threaten Member
Malusi Gigaba is an Honourable Member, as they say in Parliament. He is, shall we say, a member in good standing.
A clever plan for silly season
A clever plan for silly season
It was the worst time to have a costume on: 1pm on a hot summer’s day. The costume wearer had trouble keeping his or her wig out of their eyes...
A 50-minute work week is remotely possible
A 50-minute work week is remotely possible
I’m on holiday. Sort of.
Mummy’s hung in for a long time
Mummy’s hung in for a long time
I must have wondered a few times why the word for an embalmed body, “mummy”, is the same as a term of maternal address but I haven’t ever...
Save petrol tip spills over to crazy
Save petrol tip spills over to crazy
I enjoy it when writers make an effort to write headlines. Like the headline “Petrol price spills over R17/litre mark” I noticed on a leading...
Weed war needs a little indica
Weed war needs a little indica
Let us honour South Africa’s decriminalisation of the personal use of cannabis, even if there is a lack of clarity about the amount that would be...
The art of the flea market deal
The art of the flea market deal
We were both surprised and mildly shamed by what happened. Bargaining had never been in my nature (I’m sure it wasn’t in his) but I’d decided...
Of ciphers and little favours
Of ciphers and little favours
It’s often forgotten that apartheid and the Afrikaner nationalism that underpinned it weren’t quite as monolithic as they would appear when...
Flummoxed by all the fakery
Flummoxed by all the fakery
News story of the week (I do hope it’s not fake news) is that a bunch of scammers pretending to be Hawks cops tried to shake down a few of the...
Celebrate! It’s in the bag
Celebrate! It’s in the bag
A while ago, I wrote a radio spot for a leading retailer to promote a celebration sale they have each year. The idea was to stage an everyday...
Men, go Deep to be Actively Clean
Men, go Deep to be Actively Clean
In the old days (up to five years ago, that is), the Mail & Guardian used to get a fair amount of freebies — gifts, corporate promo...
Penning a route for lost Odysseus
Penning a route for lost Odysseus
Luxury pen-making company Montblanc keeps sending me press releases, though not yet any pens. Its latest release celebrates those ancient foundations of Western literature, the Iliad and the Odyssey, and thus writing, and hence, presumably, very expensive pens, by means...

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