CHOOSING Plonker of Year is no easy task
In Benidorm’s Company Bar last week the conversation turned to the subject of people who collect stuff. “Do you know,” asked one clever clogs, “what people who collect postcards are called?”
“Pathetic old gits?” I sarcastically replied. “Nope. Deltiologists,” he said smugly. “And people who collect banknotes?” I rolled my eyes. “Merchant bankers?”
“Wrong again. The correct term is notaphilists.”
I instantly did a Google check. Of course he was right. While I was at it I checked out other terms for collectors ranging from those addicted to teddy bears (arctophiles) to beer mats (tegestologists) but could not find a word for my specialist hobby: collecting idiots, klutzes, dunderheads, fools, nincompoops, dullards, drongos and half-wits.
My hobby began in the late sixties when I was a cub reporter on a local weekly newspaper, and I decided that the most stupid man I’d ever encountered was the town’s mayor, a Mr Terblanche. The first speech I heard him give was at an award ceremony for a local bigwig. In praising the business activities of the fellow, Terreblanche said: “He is involved in so many enterprises that I can proudly say that he has had a finger in every tart in town”.
The mayor looked genuinely puzzled when the recipient of the award turned beetroot red and the whole town hall audience fell about laughing.
This prompted me to begin compiling a list – purely for my own amusement – of names of every knucklehead my job brought me into contact with. At the end of each year I would examine these names, and the crazy things they said, and nominate my Plonker of the Year.
Compiling the lists became an obsession. I then I decided to share them in a satirical column for an underground South African magazine called Time Out. Sadly, the publication was banned, mainly because I called the head of the censorship board, one Jannie Kruger, a moron on no fewer than three occasions.
I never found another magazine courageous enough to publish my lists, but, out of habit, I continued compiling them, and this week, dear readers I would like to offer the names of a few people I reckon could easily qualify for Plonker of the Year 2017. (I’ve deliberately omitted the most obvious: Donald Trump, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s “supreme leader”, et al.)
Instead, in no particular order, I offer you the names of four people you may never have heard of:
Yonatan Razel, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish singer who performed at a concert for women-only in Jerusalem a few weeks back. He did something quite grotesque when members of the audience began dancing. He covered his eyes with black masking tape, because he was apparently offended by the sight of undulating female bodies. A career change is called for, methinks.
Queensland Independent Member of Parliament Bob Katter, who worked himself into a frenzy in November over the fact that his country was debating whether or not to legalise gay marriage. He insisted they should be far more concerned by an “epidemic” of crocodile attacks on humans. In reality, there have only been 11 fatal crocodile attacks in Queensland since 1985, according to data provided by the Australian Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. Oh, and despite the killer crocs, Australia legalised same-sex marriage earlier this month.
Rania Mahmoud Yassin, an Egyptian TV presenter who told viewers of her Al -Assema television programme that her country, to its shame, has 866 atheists. I’ve yet to discover how Yassin arrived at this figure.
Ezekiel Mutua, the head of the Kenya Film Classification Board. When shown a photo of two male lions canoodling, he instantly blamed gays whom he suggested might have “influenced” the beasts.
He said: “These animals need counseling, because probably they have been influenced by gays who have gone to the national parks and behaved badly … they must have copied it somewhere … because these animals do not watch movies.”
Step forward, Mr Mutua. You’re definitely my choice of Plonker of the Year.