Monday, 19 November 2007

Legend of a hot dish

With half-a-dozen pay-TV channels about to be unleashed on South Africa, look out for the blossoming of the new national flower: the satellite dish. And expect these dishes' omnipresence to result in the transmission of many new urban legends into our consciousness.

In particular, prepare yourself for a new generation of do-it-yourself urban legends.

This one happened in Cape Town, where one particular techno-freak convinced himself he knew it all, and needed no help in the installation of his proud new possession.

One afternoon this Cape Town man persuaded his wife to watch the screen while he manipulated the dish on the roof. After tilting it this way and that, unscrewing the base here and replacing it there, he finally heard her shout that the picture was fine, even though the dish was pointing a little low. Nevertheless, they settled down to watch an afternoon show beamed in from who knew where.

After three hours of solid viewing, they heard a tremendous racket outside, with people screaming and sirens howling. They rushed out and saw their neighbours' house on fire.

The fire department quickly established the cause of the blaze: the dish had concentrated the sun, reflected it onto the neighbours' house, and set fire to their net curtains!

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