Thursday, 2 January 2014


The story normally runs that the products of your childhood decline rather than get better.
Often measured by how closely the product matches the photo on the package. Back in your youth it invariably seemed a better fit. This was never more evident than in the case of the Iced Zoo biscuit whose reality of obscure white sugary animal-blobs on fields of green, pink, orange or (yum) blue never matched the crystal-clear packaging pictures.

Yet something pretty strange yet rewardingly positive appears to have happened. I spent New Years day at a braai (BBQ) at Jem and Megans pad in Fish Hoek Cape Town – of all my friends houses – this is my favourite. A nostalgic purchase of a pack of Iced Zoos (for the children of course) revealed that the animal on the biscuit does in fact resemble the packaging in far more recognizable form than any of us ever recalled! Somebody got a new biscuit factory

Some of my friends felt this removed some of the charm of the iced zoo but I think there is such merit in starting 2014 with something that has in fact got better!!!

Here are some comparisons

Yesterdays beautiful Polar Bear and a Gibbon with a child or a melon compared with some archival footage shot as it happens on super8 – thats how old this material is (ok shot in 2002 but that is over a decade ago! See the stop-frame demonstration on how to eat them here). 

I also sent a pack of these biscuits to Nicey to review on his 'nice cup of tea and a sit-down' site back in 2003 – read it here:

It might also be a decent corroboration of the belief many of my friends (Topangans in particular) have that the world is shifting. The warmongers and con artist politicians have suffered reverses and are in retreat. Yes, they are not routed. Their starvation-economy, fear-driven inability to do-the-right-thing-and-allow-the-world-to-become-a-better-place means theyll cling to power like the devils they are. So long as we fire flowers of light and lovebombs of peace this shift will prevail. The improvement of the Iced Zoos is all the indicator I need

This is the positive message

But wait this is sadly not all The Light that is Monsieur Polo has slipped this mortal coil. His was a super charged and enviable existence. His life-pattern was broad and varied, delighting others and drawing to him numerous equally wonderful folk from so many walks of life. The feeling is that we are robbed of great riches with his early departure. Many will suffer much more than I from having been far closer to him than myself (sweet Livia, my heart aches for you).

Death might as well shout itself hoarse for all the attention we tend to give it until its oft-untimely arrival. His passage reminded me that there are many ways to prepare for death but all of them involve living. Polo Lived Deeply. It was why he was so fun to be around. He inspired me to find ways to live in community but free from the constraints and taboos of society. Polos journey continues somehow, somewhere, free now from Earthly constraint.

Many may criticize my writing of biscuits and a departed friend in the same article but I loved them both and was surprised by both. One thing as inconsequential as anything yet that did, in its moment, delight and the other whose import has yet to be fathomed – if it ever will. And as I also owe God a death, I will also owe you a Life. And in my attempt to part with my socially-imposed self-consciousness I will continue to share slight slices from it. No matter how inappropriately combined. Juxtaposition has its place in reminding us of the importance of life.

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