Somebody recently sent me an email in which a video showed several kilometres of Dubai roadway taken up with identical tanker-trucks all heading out of town. I learned from another friend who had worked there that these trucks were all on their way to sewage treatment plants. He explained that when the hysterical building boom hit Dubai, producing such buildings as the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure, public utilities such as water, electricity and sewage struggled to catch up. Consequently, much pumping out and a fleet of tanker trucks.
To its credit, Dubai is trying to make the best of its shit. It uses the grey water for parklands and sells the dried out, de-ponged solid stuff to gardeners to produce food which people then eat and turn back into shit: sic fiat semper omnibus quest omnibus.
A few years ago I wrote a novel called cafe. I am reminded of my hero’s soliloquy:
“I realised what a taboo subject ‘shit’ was. People talked endlessly about food but never about its destination. Dumbed down mentions of shit only ever came up in the media when governments discussed sewage disposal or fouled public places. Sometimes they managed, holding their metaphorical noses, to utter the words: ‘untreated solids’. Yet shit was more likely to overwhelm mankind than most other stuff. There seemed too much of it to handle. Every day billions of sphincters disengaged – to the private pleasure of their owners – and released millions of tons of shit. Every sweet child, every gorgeous model, every nun, every derelict, every athlete, every prime minister – they all took a shit.
“Somewhere in the United Nations there had to be an agency dealing specifically with the facts about shit. There would be studies on how much shit there was on a daily, monthly and yearly basis. It would also have calculated how long the human race could last before it drowned in its own shit. Some future generation would have to build spaceships for mankind to escape Earth because it had turned into a huge, rotating ball of shit. But the United Nations wouldn’t dare publish its findings because the problem could not be solved and, much more to the point, decent people couldn’t bear to be confronted with it. Decent people could talk about global warming, AIDS, weapons of mass destruction, the big bang, the mind of God, orgasms, but not about shit.”
The Dirty Great Hole. Mountain not shown.
It is an accepted fact that fear and greed drive the share market. Other emotions are often mentioned too, but I’ve never heard anybody get a belly laugh out of it. That was until this week where there was an announcement about I share I own called Beacon Minerals.I bought lots of it years ago for 1.3 cents believing it couldn’t go any lower. I was wrong. It did. In fact, it almost disappeared when it sank to .2 of a cent. That was so close to zero that I wondered if a share could have a negative value in which shareholders has to pay money to keep their shares. It happens with Japanese interest rates, so why not shares?
Anyway, Beacon went through a directors’ coup and the new lot started feverishly digging up ore until they had a 12,199 ton mountain on one side and a dirty great hole on the other. Needless to say, they didn’t own a processing plant to extract the gold. They seemed to have arrived at a stalemate and the future didn’t look good. At that stage the shares had settled in at .4 of a cent. Maybe this was because somebody thought they could sell the hole to the Saudi sewage department whose treatment plant is currently overwhelmed.
Then a miraculous offer came from Northern Star Gold Mines to buy the mountain of ore and give Beacon cash for it. My shares went up 50% in one day – from .4 of a cent to a dizzy .6 of a cent. After it was confirmed that the mountain did, in fact, contain the percentage of gold that Beacon had claimed, the grand announcement hit the stock exchange yesterday. It said: “A total of 12,199 tons of gold was sold to Northern Star at $611.87 per ton, nett of all costs.” What the f…? I nearly fainted at the news. These idiots, I thought, have accepted $7 million for gold worth over $600 million. Time for another coup – led by me. Then today the stock exchange put out an oops. A revised announcement said:
“A total of 12,199 tons of gold ore was sold to Northern Star at $611.87 per ton, nett of all costs.” The devil was in the detail. What an oresome mistake. I got a good laugh out of it, though.
And how much gold is there in the world, one may ask? The experts can’t agree but it is probably around 160,000 tons. That would cover the center court at Wimbledon to a depth of about 10 meters.
Biting a medal is being overdone
Olympic organisers have long known that medal presentations create perplexing problems for the recipients as the media descends on them to create images for a waiting world. There is only so much you can do with a medal on a ribbon without it looking like a set piece.Although this was supposed to be an Olympic secret, I can now reveal that all competitors were given medal receipt behavior instructions, behind closed doors, immediately they arrived at the Olympic village in Rio. There are only three poses which medal winners are trained to perfect and indeed permitted to use.
Pose 1. Wear the medal dangling on its ribbon as nonchalant naval protection.
Pose 2. Hold the medal between the thumb and forefinger next to the cheek and show all your teeth in a huge, jaw-locking smile. Bend towards the camera while doing this.
Pose 3. Break the above pose by kissing the medal. Look at the medal lovingly and then assume Pose 1.
Pose 4. Turn the medal parallel to the ground and bite it, then laugh.
The problem is that these four poses have become so overused that they have lost their spontaneity. I humbly submit some fresh medal-winner poses for the consideration of the Olympic organisers so that recipients will not be seen as robotic.
Pose 5. Hold the medal aloft by its ribbon, turn side-on and pretend to lower it down the throat to a depth of about 20 centimeters before slowly drawing it up. This is an old sword swallowing trick that can be quickly mastered.
Pose 6. Swing the medal rapidly around on its ribbon, like a propeller, and move towards the nearest person with a camera. Make loud aircraft engine noises.
Pose 7. Open the top of your tracksuit pants and drop the medal so that it goes down one leg of the track suit. Then plunge your right arm down and fish around, finally retrieving it with a cheer. Hold it up and sniff it.
Pose 8. Substitute a gold foil coated chocolate medal for the real thing, Quickly peel it and eat it.