Havre Daily News - News you can use

By Pam Burke 

Well, no one burned at the stake


The next time I get to whining about how my government is like my mother — always saying no, can’t don’t — I’m going to have to remind myself that at least I don’t live in Swaziland where they just passed laws regulating fictional behavior.

Civil aviation authorities in Swaziland have decreed that witches flying broomsticks above 150 meters will be subject to arrest and a hefty fine of $47,000 — equivalent to 505,000 in Swazi lilangeni, the local currency.

With all due respect to the surely fine people of this African nation, this whole thing sounds whacked out.

I know, what do I expect with a name like Swaziland?

I’m sure in their native Swazi language the word translates to something like “We are a slice of heaven with awesome frosting.” In English, though, it sounds like the place is nestled between Alice’s Wonderland and Oz — as in “The Wizard of Oz,” not the Australian land down under. But I swear it’s a for real place.

It’s nestled into the northeastern border of South Africa. Its official name is Kingdom of Swaziland. It’s about two-thirds the size of Hill County, Montana, USA. Their dollar is relatively on par with the South African rand. Their language is related to the Bantu language. And they have outlawed high-flying witches.

Johannesburg, South Africa, news site TimesLive.co.za reported Wednesday that the new law was a response to a private detective using a remote-control helicopter to film some surveillance footage.

Civil Aviation Authority marketing and corporate affairs director Sabelo Dlamini told newspapers the law applies to the the drone-like helicopters, toy helicopters, kites and witches on broomsticks.

It's the law, ma'am.

In other headlines out of Africa, Timeslive.co.za reports “Body on runway disrupts operation at Nairobi Airport.”

No worries, though, the dead person out on the tarmac only interrupted one Turkish Airlines flight for a couple minutes before authorities, or someone in janitorial staff, cleared the mess away.

No word yet on cause of the bodily incident or whether or not the Kenya government skipped straight to shooting witches straight out of the air.

Of course, the name Kenya isn’t nearly as funny as Swaziland, so I suspect they don’t have near the sense of humor there so, undoubtedly would shoot first, ask questions later, at the first sign of witch-on-a-broomstick chicanery.

The irony of it all is — and you know we love irony here in Pamville — that the people of this region believe in witchcraft, and witches are known to use brooms to fling potions around a room and onto people, the article says, but the brooms are bundles of reed-like twigs tied together.

There are no sticks to fly on brooms above 150 meters. Government regulations ... hmmm.

(Maybe the brooms can be fitted with remote-control guidance systems at pam@viewfromthenorth40.com.)


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