The Way IC it

Whew! What a year this has been! Absolutely chronic! Virtually every issue has been at least 25% larger than anticipated. And speaking of virtually, we also have the website,, which needs some attention to upload, so that web-readers can download. Loaded is the name of the game. A dicey situation!

Not being a gambler myself, even hating bingo — mainly because I never win — part of my life outside of the Chronicle is the mentally challenging game of bridge.

Don’t let anyone kid you, bridge is not a card game like poker or kalookie. It demands logic, good memory and a temperate nature. So how I dare to play it is a mystery. Yet appeal it does. If you play it with people of round about your own level, even if you are kailikers, it’s still stimulating. And, since it is not played at ‘the club’ … fun!

Of course, were it not for the extramural time required for this paper over the past 23 years, I could have become an Ace player. I know I have the finesse.

Forgot to mention, however, that one is required to know the rules — never my strong point. And one also has to take cognizance of the “They say” element — the forward passing of advice and tips from those mysterious and mythical ‘theys’.

Most disappointing it was to find no response AT ALL from readers to last month’s appeal for tips for what was to be a really helpful and innovative column. In the circumstances, I did try to elicit some myself, but they had to be ‘tried and true’.

So happens, one of my bridge partners passed on a bloody good one. I tested it out on the evening of the Rugby Cup final, when our hostess to the TV viewing of this nerve-wracking event accidentally cut her hand in the excitement of the moment.

As the blood flowed, I could rescue the situation with a “Get some pepper, quickly!”

Pepper was shaken onto the wound — and, lo and behold, the bleeding stopped. It was a painless procedure and, as pepper is a natural disinfectant, no other medicating was required. And we didn’t need to call the CSO medical team.

We then decided, having watched the gory battle on the field — and especially John Smit’s face, streaming with blood — that a pepper cannon for spraying over the wounded would have been an excellent idea. There too an international call to the CSO would not have been necessary.

Ideas flowed at the Staff Wise ‘do’ celebrating their over a 1000th placement the other evening. These emanated from the guest speaker, Arthur Gillis, who apart from being a major figure in the hotel industry, is also something of a pro at motivational speaking. He dropped a lot of witty quotes and oneliners which rang true, but I particularly liked the Q&A:
“What happens if you train people and they leave?” … “What happens if you don’t train and they stay?”

Another good one, which was relevant to Staff Wisdom, was: “You hire for attitude; train for skill”.

Attitude, generally, is what it’s all about. Tough situations can be resolved or eased if the attitude be right. Like, ‘It’s not what you say; it’s the way that you say it.’

So I hope that I was gentle earlier in criticising readers for not coming up with tips. And to show that no ill feelings are harboured, I am going to offer you a special tip for the idle moments that will undoubtedly arise during the forthcoming holiday season.

Tip: Go into the website It’s easy, stimulating and also great fun. And in the process you will do your bit to feed hungry mouths.

Check it out and let me know what you think about it. Little skill, as such, is needed.

I’ll be here at the beginning of January, ready to receive such reports and hoping that you will do better than you did with the ‘tips’. Happy Holidays! Happy Channukah!


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