This was not a real Au­gust

The Jewish Chronicle - - Comment & Analysis - Si­mon Round

AU­GUST IS great if you hap­pen to be a jour­nal­ist. For 11 months of the year the world is a very se­ri­ous place – there are ri­ots, rev­o­lu­tions, fi­nan­cial crises and scan­dals. Then ev­ery­one goes on hol­i­day and we can write what­ever we want – it’s called the silly sea­son. Un­til this year that is.

I don’t know whether to blame global warm­ing, El Nino or the gov­ern­ment but this Au­gust the sea­son has been so se­ri­ous it’s been silly. There was me, sit­ting down to lis­ten to rain stop­ping play at the cricket on Ra­dio 4 to dis­cover that ri­ots had bro­ken out in just about ev­ery town in Bri­tain big enough to have a branch of Sport­sDirect.

Then, just as the youth of to­day is get­ting bored of its new train­ers and X Boxes, the Libyan rebels en­ter Tripoli to so much clam­our in the me­dia that there was lit­tle space to re­port on mur­der­ous at­tacks in Israel and prac­ti­cally none to record the fact that the USA and Europe are nose-div­ing to­wards eco­nomic obliv­ion.

It’s not just that it’s de­press­ing, it’s that I miss the sum­mer sto­ries. So here, in this small corner of the

JC, I de­clare the silly sea­son open for busi­ness. Con­sider this a space where we can safely muse about those im­mor­tal silly sto­ries from sum­mers past – the crop cir­cles in the shape of Wayne Rooney’s bald patch which mirac­u­lously ap­peared then dis­ap­peared (much like Rooney’s bald patch). Or the South Lon­don squir­rels on crack and the at­tack of the of killer chip­munks. What about this sum­mer? You may not have no­ticed that the town of Cleethor­pes mys­te­ri­ously van­ished for three days last week.

You may also have missed the mo­ment on Sun­day when Bri­tish num­ber one ten­nis player Andy Mur­ray mo­men­tar­ily turned into a smoked sal­mon bagel while serv­ing for the set in the fi­nal of a tour­na­ment in Cin­ci­natti. His op­po­nent No­vak Djokovic was so shocked that he re­tired, claim­ing in­jury.

Mean­while, in an at­tempt to at­tract more tourists, Is­raeli of­fi­cials an­nounced that the town of Ash­dod would be re­named “Rio de Janeiro”. A gov­ern­ment spokesper­son ex­plained that the Ash­dod weather was fairly sim­i­lar to that in parts of Brazil and that the falafel was much bet­ter.

In Moscow, sci­en­tists re­leased re­search which re­vealed that eat­ing an ex­cess of borscht can cause peo­ple to lose the abil­ity to tell the time – but only on dig­i­tal clocks. Those tested were given only beet­root for 15 years. At the end of the ex­per­i­ment none of them could pro­nounce the word, “Uruguay”.

In Alaska, two live woolly mam­moths were dis­cov­ered. They had ap­par­ently been liv­ing qui­etly in a sub­urb of An­chor­age for many years. When asked, neigh­bours said that the cou­ple kept them­selves to them­selves and had never given any­one cause to sus­pect that they might have been ex­tinct mam­mals.

And at the Oval, Eng­land won the fi­nal test against In­dia to com­plete a 4-0 white­wash, which means they have be­come the world’s top crick­et­ing na­tion. If you be­lieve that, you’ll be­lieve any­thing.

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