For those who have the same warped sense of humour this Letter can also be had in French.
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Saturday, June 23, 2012
Paralympians prove Humour is the best medicine.
The jovial Hassiem
Dear Headmasters everywhere,
Sorry, this is actually aimed at everybody, particularly
the headmaster of St John’s College inJohannesburg
(seeHitler moustachejoke gets boy Jewishtreatment), as well as all those
people who are unable to recognise the humorous side of life.
In other words people
who take jokes dangerously seriously.
I was touched, not in the head as you
might automatically assume, but
emotionally by what I read in The Times about the attitude that members of South Africa’s
Paralympics team have to life.
Achmat Hassiem, one of the
62 athletes who will be jetting off to London soon, believes he can
swim faster now than before. Before what you will obviously be asking?
Well it was nothing serious. He relived to journalist David Isaacson the incident that happened six years
ago that still doesn’t keep him out of the sea.
He was doing life-saving drill off Cape Town’s Muizenberg beach when he saw it. It was heading for his brother. Life saving was what he was there for so he caused a
distraction by frantically splashing around. It worked.
4.7m Great White shark lost interest in his brother and came straight at him
like a torpedo. Before he knew what was happening it had his right leg in its
He was dragged underwater for some
70m. I couldn’t
hold mybreath any more but I decided not to go down without a fight,
He kicked it with his left leg. I felt a ripping then there was asmack sound and I broke free.
Minutes later his brother rescue him in a rubber duck
as the Great White
returned to finish its meal.
He lost his leg below the knee but he had saved his brother
from possibly an even worse fate.
But in this case the shark did him a favour. My times are muchfaster than when I had two legs, he
revealed. I suppose when you have a GreatWhite
after you it does tend to make you set new records.
just so that Achmat doesn’t forget what happened he has the jaws of a
shark drawn on his prosthetic leg.
It’s fun. It’s a bit of humour, he called it. It’s a fashionstatement at the games.Who has the best leg, the best
arm, the best wheelchair?
Pistorius & Radebe celebrating
Samkelo Radebe, who is in the same 4x100 relay team as
blade runner Oscar Pistorious that set a world
record earlier this year, also jokes about his disability.
I wanted to see if I could be like Superman and carry a
load. I did; hey, so I lost a couple of hands.
At aged nine his game with an 11 000 volt electric cable cost
him both arms below the elbows.
these two can joke about their afflictions and laugh them off after what has
happened to them it should be a lesson to all of us that humour is the best
Jon, who got his Laughter Doctorate
at the University of Giggle and who thanks his
lucky stars that he hasn’t got anything missing, except perhaps for a few brain
cells, although that’s not as obvious as half a leg or both hands.
Buy my book 'Where have all the children gone?' on Amazon.com It's a thriller with an underlying love story that defied generations of Afrikaner/ English prejudice.