Hello and welcome! This little column presents news and politics at its most absurd. SAtired supports freedom of speech, small government and free markets. This means were centrists. This is NOT a safe space!

The Weekly Squib* 

  • squib /skwɪb/ noun: squib 1. a small firework that issues a hissing sound before exploding into a short piece of satirical writing.

INTERNATIONAL EDITION 

‘Missing’ man joins search party looking for himself

A missing middle-aged man in Turkey accidentally joined a search party for hours before realising he was the person they were looking for.

Beyhan Mutlu had been drinking with friends on Tuesday when he wandered away from them into a forest in Bursa province.

When he failed to return, his wife and friends alerted local authorities and a search party was sent out.

Mr Mutlu, 50, then stumbled across a search party and decided to join them.

But when members of the search party began calling out his name, he replied: “I am here.” He’d probably sobered up a bit by then.

He was taken aside by one of the rescue workers to give a statement.

“Don’t punish me too harshly, officer. My father will kill me,” he reportedly told them.

Police then drove Mr Mutlu home.

Cricketer, commentator, comedian finds obvious career – politician

International cricketer, TV commentator, permanent guest on India’s biggest comedy show and a judge on others, and a reality TV contestant, Navjot Singh Sidhu’s political career is similarly flamboyant. 

In 1996 Sidhu triggered a storm when he walked out of India’s cricket tour of England and flew home after a fight with his captain, Mohammad Azharuddin.

Sidhu was apparently hurt over some swear words used by his captain in “good humour”.

Two years later, Sidhu allegedly hit a 65-year-old man in a dispute over parking; the man later died in hospital. Sidhu was found guilty of manslaughter. He appealed but the Supreme Court convicted him, giving him a small fine for causing hurt, but acquitted him of manslaughter.

Earlier this week, he caused a ‘political kerfuffle’ with the chief of the Congress party in Punjab.

Barely three months after being chosen to lead the party and days after the departure of his main rival Sidhu handed in his resignation.

Apparently he was peeved over “inappropriate” appointments in the government of the new Chief Minister. “I am willing to sacrifice anything but will stick to my principles. I do not hanker after any posts,” he said after quitting.

Critics say that after 17 years in politics – first with the BJP and then with the Congress – he remains an ‘impulsive and self-centred’ politician. ‘He’s a very unusual politician. He’s not very seasoned, speaks out of turn, isn’t a team player, doesn’t weigh his words and is temperamental,’ says Ashutosh Kumar, a political scientist.

Sidhu’s friends describe him as a protean maverick who has successfully straddled a number of careers. Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is a friend. ‘My friend Imran Khan has made my life successful. He separated politics from religion’.

Sidhu’s career in cricket reflected his many personalities. He was both a dour batsman and a swashbuckling hitter of the ball. He played in 51 Test matches for India between 1983 and 1999, scoring an average 42.13. ‘To improve his performance, he never went to parties, movies or followed any other despicable habit.’

In his second career as a commentator Sidhu gained a cult following for his home-grown wisecracks, ‘mauling the spoken word with a unique, entertaining concoction of mixed metaphors and garbled clichés’, according to writer Amit Varma. For example: “Positive anything is better than negative nothing” and “An idle mind is where mischief hatches eggs”.

Then came a career as a sharply dressed guest in a laugh-loud popular comedy show where he wore bright turbans and colour-coordinated suits. In 2019, he was fired from the show over his comments after a suicide attack killed more than 40 Indian soldiers in Indian-administered Kashmir. Sidhu’s remark – that it was futile to blame Pakistan for the folly of a “few individuals” – was seen as unpatriotic and was extensively criticised.

With state elections near, Sidhu has positioned himself as a politician of principles who wants to “save” Punjab. The northern state is constantly in ferment. Farmers are protesting planned market-friendly reforms. There is the continuing fallout of the 2015 desecration of the Sikh holy book. Drug abuse is high. There’s deep-rooted corruption with politically connected cartels running lucrative businesses.

“If I have to clear the muck, then I have to stay in the muck,” is one of his trademark wisecracks. His critics say he remains unhappy that he hasn’t been made the chief minister of the Punjab.

Good Guy With a Gun Defends the Species

This story is an inspiration for the IRR’s stance on defending the rights of legal gun owners to own guns for defence … against stupidity!

The Darwin Award for 2020 went to a man in Arizona, in 2018. The Darwin Awards commemorate those who improve our gene pool – by removing themselves from it in the most spectacular way possible. Sometimes it is given to someone who simply sterilises themselves, but most of the recipients die because of their own actions. 

This is an incident reported by the Buckeye Police Department, Arizona. Arizona law does not require a permit – nor a holster – to carry a gun, so our hero felt free to carry his piece “commando-style” (unholstered) beneath his waistband while he shopped in Walmart. 

When the unholstered gun drifted down into his jeans, he reached in and managed to pull the trigger while repositioning his weapon. ‘This loose cannon’s low hanging fruit didn’t have a chance’. 

The award judges noted that the pro-gun lobby can add this event to the arsenal of ammunition against gun control. ‘Guns really do make a difference’.

‘Odds are, our gun nut (pun intended) shredded his ability to breed and wins the uncommon Living Darwin Award: still alive but unable to reproduce.

Otherwise, his reward is an Honorable Mention – “better luck next time”.’