Bless you, love letters, high tide and the travel bug


Christmas is a time of begetting. On the minor scale of begetting, hayfever begets sneezes. And sneezes beget blessings. But what begot ‘bless you’s’ for sneezes? In one theory, kindness begets blessing: you bless the soul that is momentarily expelled from the body when you sneeze. Sterner scholars claim that fear begets blessing: you say a blessing to ward off the devil that wants to be sucked back into the body after you sneeze. More alarming, as usual, are the thoughts of doctors. They surmise that plague begets blessing. Your sneeze was the first indication you had caught the plague, and the blessing was for your coming death. Which suggests that there may also be a time to refrain from begetting.

Mixed messages

German President Horst Koehler recently announced the world would be a better place if people wrote more love letters. A poor society, he thought, is one in which more hours are spent text messaging and emailing than in seriously amorous composition.

He is right, of course, but a president of the country that produced Karl Marx should realise that love letters are only the smile on the face of commercial reality. Appropriate remedies for the scourge of sms-ing must be devised at more commercial levels. We should insist, for example, that only eulogies with rhetorical amplitude may support the claims of the next Australian Idol. We should demand a gift for passionate polemic from those who would evict their Little Brothers. And would not the world be a better place if bills only became legal documents when accompanied by a touching evocation of the pitiful plight of parents, grandparents, children and cousins, should not the account be met?

Of locusts …

The long drive is something of an Australian summer family tradition. A driver in country NSW, enduring the worst of a locust inundation, seems to have a head start on the rest of us. Phoning ABC radio the driver reported some early summer in-car research. Travelling at 90km/h locusts will bounce off the car windscreen. Cars travelling at 92km/h will cause locusts to splatter. Wonder if he’s applied for a research grant?

… and floods

And in further reports from the natural world, Eureka Street was amused to receive the following warning:

A huge 300ft high ocean wave is moving towards your continent. Your [sic] and many other cities are in real danger. Approximate wave moving speed is 700km/h.

Please read more about this catastrophe here:

We are strongly urging you to evacuate yourself and your family as soon as possible, even though you may live far away from your city. The tsunami will reach the continent in approximately FOUR hours.

Brings a whole new meaning to surfing the web.



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