AS I SEE IT (1 April)

virgin cola blue can                  

By Terry O’Neill.

The new Springbok rugby coach is to be announced today.

After months of uncertainty following South Africa’s exit from the rugby World Cup last October and former coach Heyneke Meyer’s decision to stand down, Allister Coetzee apparently is the firm favourite although Rassie Erasmus or Johan Ackermann have support.

On a less serious sporting theme may we acknowledge today harks back to the Roman Hilaria, the Indian Holi Festival and the medieval Feast of Fools first recorded in Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales in the 1300s. You know his story of the vain cock Chauntecleer who was subtly tricked by a wily fox, and it heralded that date for playing harmless pranks on family and friends.

The media have not been slow on that date to call on the good sport in us all. Back in the 1980s the evening newspaper The Oamaru Mail responded to a hot topic and published a photo of a substantial industrial building on Oamaru’s Cape Wansbrow connected by conveyor belt down to the wharf in the harbour to indicate the proposed cement works’ construction would enable cement to be exported. Absolute outrage gave a new meaning to indignation. 

It was the Otago Daily Times that pictured a tractor and plough rooting up Carisbrook’s hallowed turf. Phones scorched many ears in the furore that followed.           

And the Guardian newspaper introduced a “British Weather Machine”. This discovery would control weather within a 5000 kilometre radius – good news for the Brits with a guarantee of long summers with rain falling only at night.

The BBC’s 1957 “spaghetti tree hoax” was either a joke or hoax to newspaper. In 1996 Virgin Cola ran an advertisement in British newspapers suggesting that, in the interest of consumer safety, it had integrated a new technology into its cans so when the Cola passed its use-by date, it would react with the can to turn it bright blue. And Virgin Cola warned consumers to avoid purchasing all blue cans. Meanwhile opposition company Pepsi had recently unveiled its newly designed cans which were bright blue.  Sporting?

Recently a line of socks, “Fatsox”, was advertised as a weight loss product incorporating a nylon polymer, Flora Satra Tetrazine, previously used in the nutrition industry. Apparently as the wearer’s body heat rose and blood vessels dilated, the socks drew “excess lipid from the body through the sweat from the feet”.  So, after sweating off the fat, the wearer simply washes the socks, and fat, down the plughole. The franchise is available for these in North Otago.

But above all, after enjoying a tad of sporting fun and belly laughs, remember the Feast of Fools ends at noon today after which the instigator is the fool!


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