Blithe Spirits

Durban ca 1980 – I’ve been sent here by the army; I know very little about this Last Outpost of the British Empire, but my friend Steve Reed has been here a year so he knows everything. And he knows some girls.

Some comet was due to approach Earth and (we extrapolated) threaten our way of life, our partying, our poison of choice (alcohol) and perhaps even kill us.

We determined to protect ourselves and our beloved planet from this unwelcome alien intruder.  Steve hired a beach cottage at Blythedale Beach on the Natal north coast and we repaired there with a bunch of female friends and adequate stocks of various powerful potions and elixirs to be taken internally. We also bought tinfoil.

In the self-catering kitchen we found plenty with which to arm and armour ourselves: Spatulas, colanders, pots and pans made good headgear. Braai forks, braai tongs and wooden spoons made anti-galactic weapons. We warmed up our IQ’s by imbibing aplenty and so started a rip-roaring Defend the Planet Party which ended successfully in the wee hours on the beach.

Was it perhaps Comet Aarseth-Brewington? Well, we made it saweth its arseth by our brewing and distilling.

Actually, it was more likely Comet Tuttle. There it is. It came back in 2007 but it knew better than to approach too close:


Only after recovering from my hangover did I realise another of the planned missions had once again been a complete failure: Snaring any girls. As so often, the booze had won.

Ah, well! Hail to thee blithe spirit!

Pic by Robogun -, FAL,

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