• Message from James Clarke

    "South Africa's Best Humour Columnist"

    - SA's Comedy Awards September 2008

    “South Africa’s funniest columnist.”

    - Financial Mail

    WELCOME TO MY BLOG

    The name is Clarke. James Clarke. I have been told by people who know their way around the electronic world with its iPads, USBs, processors, modems, 500 gb hard drives, Blackberries and microwave ovens, that as a writer I have to have a blogsite. Otherwise, I am told, it is like passing oneself off as a CEO and you haven’t a leather chair that tilts back.

    Yet after four years of having a blogsite I still don’t really understand what it is or how it helps sell my books which is my major concern in life apart from not stepping on cracks when walking on the pavement.

    I am also told that on a blogsite it is customary to refer to oneself in the third person. This enables one to grossly exaggerate ones attainments without appearing to have done so personally.

    Not being one to buck the system...

    London-born James Clarke is your average tall, dark, handsome fellow who writes books – fiction and non-fiction. As a humorist he has been compared with PG Wodehouse and James Thurber. (The Daily Bugle in Des Moines said “compared with the works of PG Wodehouse and James Thurber, Clarke’s writing isn’t worth a row of beans”.)

    He long ago settled in South Africa where he became a mover and a shaker in the world of the environmental sciences. As a youth, being a mover and a shaker, had made it impossible for him to follow in his father’s footsteps as a bottler in a nitro-glycerine plant. Hence he turned to journalism.

    But around the time he retired a few years ago he found a new pursuit as a humorist. He wrote a daily humour column in the Johannesburg Star (now syndicated) and began turning out books of humour in the UK and South Africa.

    Clarke very recently moved boldly into the electronic publishing world. It was, he said afterwards, like a non-swimmer diving into a pool without first testing its depth.

    In November 2011 he re-issued his latest book of humour, “Blazing Saddles”, as an Amazon Kindle e-book under the title “Blazing Bicycle Saddles”. For a mere US$4.99 you can download a copy of this seminal cycling book in a matter of seconds by clicking here ....


    ooo

    He did this with the full realisation that he is totally at sea in the electronic world with its telephones that take movies and receive faxes and sports results.

    The original edition of “Blazing Saddles”, published by Jonathan Ball, has been out of print for two years. It reveals the true story of how six retired men – five of them journalists – year after year set out (intrepidly) from the African continent on a series of exploratory expeditions cycling into “Darkest Europe” to bring back to the people of Africa tales of its funny natives.

    Clarke will also shortly be publishing, via Amazon.com, another of his action-packed autobiographical books – this time an account of his Second World War exploits as L*E*A*D*E*R of the Yellow Six Patrol of the 1st Streetly Boy Scouts in the English Midlands. He recounts the patrol’s ceaseless campaign to defeat Adolf Hitler’s plan to invade England.

    You can read about “The Yellow Six” within this blogsite.

    Clarke, apart from moving and shaking, is a travel writer and proud father of two highly successful daughters – one a biologist and the other an environmental impact analyst. He and his wife, Lenka, live north of Johannesburg.

Is there a Santa Claus?

I wish to commemorate that milestone in American emetic journalism when a New York editor, Frank Church, received a letter from a little girl named Virginia.
Virginia told Church that her friends were mocking her because she believed in Santa Claus. Frank Church wrote: “Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age… Not believe in Santa Claus? You might as well not believe in fairies.
“No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives, and he lives forever.
“A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.”
One wonders how, in this day and age, an editor might handle little Virginia’s letter.
How, for instance, would I have handled it?
“Dear Virginia,
“Thank you for your letter of the 12th inst. Herewith is my response, please find enclosed.
“Your friends are dead right.
“Santa Claus! Ha! You might as well believe in fairies. Nay, you might as well believe in the Easter Bunny, time tables and what you read in the newspapers.
Make no mistake, Virginia, Santa Claus is a figment of the Chamber of Commerce’s mission statement.
“Have you ever stood back and watched Father Christmas at your local departmental store? Do you see how obscenely fat he is? Can you visualise him sliding down your chimney – even supposing you have a chimney which, living in New York, you almost certainly don’t?
“Can you imagine him getting into any suburban home today without setting off alarms and Rottweilers and getting lead poisoning from 9mm slugs?
“Come on Virginia, get real.
“I am yours ever so sincerely,
“James F Clarke
“Editor of the Column that Tells It Like It Is.”
As I typed in that final full stop (please find) I heard the thump of gumboots getting louder and louder. They stopped outside Stoep Talk Organisation’s luxurious suite of offices. Then a fat, white-bearded man, dressed in ridiculous red clothes launched himself at my computer’s “ZAP” button.
“Stop!” he cried. “You are crazy! You have gone insane! Look at me! Say who I am! Go on, say it!”
I said: “Who I am.”
“No, no! Tell me who, or even whom, YOU think I am!”
“Father Christmas,” I said, taken greatly aback. (Nay, Virginia, I was gobsmacked.)
“And how did I get here notwithstanding the absence of a chimney?”
“You screeched up on that sledge pulled by those overgrown sprinklebokkens and kicked down my door causing the picture of my aunt, Pamela Anderson, to fall off the wall.”
“Yes, well, it was an emergency. But note that your lack of a chimney was no handicap to me. I gain entry through MAGIC.”
Then he said: “Look here, do you want something really nice for Christmas?”
“Yes please. I could do with a one of those cellphones that takes movies, prints faxes, boils kettles and has a built-in Swiss Army knife. Then I’d like mag wheels for my dustbin and I’d like some socks and…”
“And what must you be to get all these things?”
“I must be a good boy.”
“Then just remember that!”
And, so help me Virginia, he hit my “ZAP” button and rode off leaving a trail of stardust which the cleaning lady is going to be spitting mad about.

Advertisements

8 Responses

  1. Tech Question:
    Q

  2. Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it seems
    as though you relied on the video to make your point. You definitely know what youre talking about,
    why throw away your intelligence on just posting videos to your weblog
    when you could be giving us something informative to read?

  3. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be
    book-marking and checking back frequently!

  4. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the knowledge you provide here and can’t wait to take
    a look when I get home. I’m shocked at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI,
    just 3G .. Anyhow, very good site!

  5. This article will help the internet people for setting up new
    webpage or even a blog from start to end.

  6. Hi to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this web site; this webpage consists of remarkable and genuinely fine material for readers.

  7. Hello to all, how is everything, I think every one is
    getting more from this web page, and your views are pleasant in favor
    of new people.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: