Cape Argus - - METRO - DAVID BIGGS

IT’S a rare event when you open your let­ter­box and find a real, per­sonal, hand-writ­ten let­ter in­side.

What a treat. I turned it over sev­eral times, sniffed it and stroked it fondly. Imag­ine that! An old­fash­ioned let­ter. Wow!

Of course it didn’t have a postage stamp on it. The Post Of­fice ap­par­ently doesn’t sell stamps any more. It had a lit­tle cash regis­ter slip stuck on it say­ing that the sender had paid R4.20 to have it posted.

I won­der whether phi­lat­e­lists still ex­ist and, if so, what do they col­lect now? Cash regis­ter slips? Is there a name for some­body who col­lects cash regis­ter slips?

We prob­a­bly all know that a dipter­ist is some­body who col­lects flies (do you know many dipter­ists?) and a phillu­menist is one who col­lects match­box la­bels and a tegestol­o­gist col­lects beer mats, but I have yet to hear of a name for any­body who col­lects till slips.

If there are any en­thu­si­as­tic till slip col­lec­tors out there I am per­fectly will­ing to part with some of mine. I have, for ex­am­ple, a rare 2017 slip that con­tains 500g of but­ter for only R43.99. That should be worth a bit to a col­lec­tor. They don’t make till slips like that any more.

I sup­pose we should be ap­plaud­ing the lack of postage stamps.

The gov­ern­ment has promised to re­duce un­nec­es­sary spend­ing and stamp print­ing doesn’t come cheaply.

The next or­gan­i­sa­tion to look at is the SABC. Maybe we could do away with all that ex­pen­sive elec­tronic para­pher­na­lia and re-train the broad­cast­ers to be town criers.

In­stead of loaf­ing about sip­ping cof­fee in their air-con­di­tioned studios, let them get out there among the peo­ple who pay their salaries. Give them a bell and a loud­hailer and a space in the mar­ket place.

“Hear ye! Hear ye! Be it known that the fol­low­ing of­fi­cials have been charged with cor­rup­tion. The fol­low­ing politi­cians have been ar­rested for fraud and the fol­low­ing trains will no longer be run­ning as they have been burnt. Now for to­mor­row’s weather.”

Next we need to look into SAA. Per­haps we could sell all those ex­pen­sive gas-guz­zling Boe­ings and re­place them with a huge fleet of rick­shaws. A rick­shaw pilot school could be set up in Dur­ban, where there is al­ready a pool of ex­pe­ri­enced in­struc­tors. One of the ben­e­fits of an SAA con­trolled rick­shaw fleet is that there would be a huge re­duc­tion in in­ci­dents of lug­gage theft too.

Pas­sen­gers’ bag­gage would be kept to a bare min­i­mum and would be con­veyed safely on the laps of the pas­sen­gers. We need to think lat­er­ally in these tough eco­nomic times.

Last Laugh

A wrin­kled old man went to the doc­tor and com­plained that he was con­tin­u­ally tired.

“How old are you?” The doc­tor asked.

“I’m 91,” said the pa­tient. “And what kind of life have you led?” asked the doc.

“For 80 years I have en­joyed a life of wine, women and song,” the old man bragged.

“Ah, well I think I have some good news for you.” “What’s that?”

“You don’t have to give up singing.”

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