Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

sleepy pilotWhen we first arrived in Australia some 25 plus years ago, our first experience of flying inside the country was from a small airport in Cairns, when we were heading to the very pretty Dunk Island for a few days unashamed luxury.

A small bunch of us sat and sat, and sat, and sat some more, until in the end they actually paged the flight crew. They duly wandered out of the bar. As one of our fellow passengers commented, “Well, they might have been drinking orange juice.” He didn’t look convinced, though.

It was a very small plane. Our communal confidence was not increased when the co-pilot (who was flying) asked the pilot which way to go. The pilot scrabbled through his maps for a minute, before admitting he’d left the maps behind. “Look out of the window, follow the road” was his advice to the co-pilot. Which is exactly what the co-pilot did: opened the window and stuck his head out. As you do.

Anyhow, an ex airline pilot wrote an interesting article on Yahoo about the stuff that goes on in the cockpit that passengers really don’t want to know about. This segment of article jumped out at us, especially the last bit (in bold). Seems like good advice to us:

Prior to 1978, each airline worked out schedules with its pilots to accommodate the routes the airline flew while protecting the pilots from undue fatigue. But after 1978’s deregulation, all that changed. Competition between airlines became so fierce that pilots were forced to fly more hours with less rest. Fatigue led to accidents. At the beginning of this year, new rules established by the FAA and supposedly based on scientific study, went into effect which gave pilots a reasonable amount of uninterrupted rest between days of flying, but increased the number of hours a two-pilot crew could fly per day from eight to nine hours!

Under these new pseudoscientific rules, a pilot who reports for duty at 7am can be on duty for 14 hours. That may sound reasonable until you consider that being at work at 7am may mean getting up at 3am, leaving home at 4am, and driving two hours to the airport. That allows only 20 minutes for traffic and 40 minutes to catch the bus from crew parking to the terminal. Your pilot can be forced to work until 9pm, 18 hours after waking up — if lucky — from five to six hours of sleep.

According to research done in Australia, a person who has driven more than eight hours has the same ability to function as a person with a blood-alcohol level of .05. The research also showed a person who has been awake for 18 hours function like a person with a blood alcohol of .05. What does that say about your pilot who is landing the plane after flying nine hours or being up 18 hours?

Pilots are stuck with the new rules, and no matter how fatigued a pilot may be, refusing to fly means big trouble. As a pilot, you don’t fly fatigued, you can’t keep your job. Don’t expect things to get better.

So, if you want a pilot who is fully awake after a full night’s sleep, don’t fly earlier than 10am.

If you want to be sure your pilot’s performance is better than a drunk driver, steer clear of short flights after 7pm.

Longer domestic flights and international flights that depart after 7pm are not a problem in this regard because on such flights pilots are usually beginning their work day.

The world is a big, funny place. Practices and activities that are perfectly normal in one country might be verboten in another.

Even in countries that have had a stable government for centuries, some absolutely archaic laws still stand, even though legislators and citizens alike know that they’re ridiculous.

Try not to break any of these wacky laws on your next trip abroad.

Not in Thailand you don't girl.

Not in Thailand you don’t girl.

Don’t go commando in Thailand

In Thailand, it’s illegal to leave one’s domicile if not wearing underwear. Letting the fresh air sweep round your fundament is a no-go!

A Western mind immediately wonders, “How would the police know?”

But let’s be frank, visible panty lines are preferable to Thai jail.

Please don’t infringe on the property of elves

In Iceland, modern road developments may not encroach on the traditional homes of, er, magical creatures. Actually this is still to be ruled on by Iceland’s Supreme Court.

However, in 2013, an elf advocacy group called Friends of Lava halted the construction of a major highway project due to fears about disturbing the elf habitat.

We kid you not.

Save space for the aliens

Brazil has had its share of bizarre laws. There is a municipal law on the books in the state of Mato Grosso that sets aside land in the town of Barra do Garças for an alien airport.

Just in case, you know, the little green men come calling.

Listen to the ladies

Women make the laws in the all-female town Noiva do Cordeiro, located in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.

This made international headlines last month when the town issued a public invitation for suitable men to meet and hopefully marry some of the single female population. The important caveat is, men need to abide by the women’s rules.

This makes a lot of sense, considering that Noiva do Cordeiro was founded by a woman who was excommunicated after leaving a forced marriage in the late 19th century, and populated over the generations by women who had nowhere else to go under some of Brazil’s more conservative and chauvinist family laws.

Leave your medication at home

Don’t bring your medication to Japan.

Visitors to Japan may not bring Actifed, Sudafed, Vicks, or asthma “inhalers” into the country. Check your toiletries bag! Nothing with pseudoephedrine or codeine shall pass!

(This is one we have broken personally lol)

Get your pet a passport

In the EU, circus animals need passports to travel between member states. Circus mice can travel under a collective passport. It’s up to the veterinarian in the member state of departure to verify that all animals’ passports are up-to-date.

We imagine that getting stuck behind a travelling circus at airport passport control could be the worst. Especially if the elephants have eaten recently.

Put a nappy on your donkey

In Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil, a peculiar piece of legislation requires that horses and burros wear nappies.

Don’t chew gum in Singapore

Pretty much everyone knows about the chewing gum ban in Singapore. (And its concomitantly gum-free streets.) It’s illegal to import it, sell it, or bring it into the country for personal use. Doubtful they’ll jail you for accidentally having a few sticks in your handbag, but better to just leave the bubblegum at home when you travel here.

Leave your suit of armour at home

It is illegal to wear a suit of armour into the Houses of Parliament in London. Presumably in case you are about to launch an armed insurrection.

Don’t eat mince pies at Christmas – phew, this one’s a myth.

In England, it is often claimed to be illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas. This went on the books in the Oliver Cromwell era, is broken en masse by British citizenry every holiday season, and placed near the top of a recent poll of “most ludicrous laws in the UK”. In fact, it’s a nonsense. There is no such law, it was repealed by Charles II after the Restoration. Munch away with gay abandon.

Leave the pink hot pants at home

That's gotta put a man off grilling his shrimp.

That’s gotta put a man off grilling his shrimp.

Visiting us in the Wellthisiswhatithink locale? Allegedly, women may not wear pink hot pants any time afternoon on a Sunday in Victoria, Australia. So as one website said, “Yes, wear those fuchsia Daisy Dukes to church on Sunday morning, but put on something more modest for your afternoon barbecue.”

Except we are sorry to disappoint you, again we can’t find reference to the law anywhere, other than it keeps getting repeated on websites around the world.

If you were to turn up in pink hot pants at an Aussie barbie we’d reckon you’d get chucked in the pool. You have been warned.

Next week: states in the USA that still consider it illegal to engage in oral sex.

I very rarely reproduce internet memes (usually found on Facebook) but this one actually made me larf out loud. So I thought I would share it, and see if it matches your experience of Literature. And teaching. And school generally. And, for that matter, art generally.

meaning

Which brings us straightway, of course, to the very obvious point that Literature is art, and therefore open to interpretation, as is all art.

We have always believed in the adage (with something approaching fanaticism) that “art means whatever it means to you”, irregardless of the supposedly “correct” or merely generally-accepted explanation of what it’s supposed to mean.

As one of the commentators on this meme on FB so aptly put it:

Art professor commenting on a painting I did: “Your repeated use of eye and mouth imagery in your artwork symbolises how the eyes interpret reality while the mouth manipulates said reality.” My response: “I just thought eyes, lips and teeth looked cool.”

Sometimes, they're just eyes and mouths. Deal with it ...

Sometimes, they’re just eyes and mouths. Deal with it …

Indeed.

One of the more interesting experiences in our life has been writing poems that we think mean one thing and then discovering that the people listening think they mean something else.

But what is truly bizarre is when someone else reads one of the poems and interprets it quite differently from what was intended – we mean interprets in terms of balance, flow, pausing, emPHAsis and so on.

Initially, we were horrified, Dear Reader, until (with a certain impressive maturity, we thought) we realised that what was actually being created was not a replacement art form, but an additional one.

It’s very much the same when one writes a TV/film script and then passes it over to a Director. What eventually ends up on screen is often wildly different from how it appeared in one’s mind’s eyes. And sometimes that’s a good thing, and sometimes it isn’t.

The point is, once an item of art has left one’s bosom, it inevitably belongs to the world, not to you any more.

And it may or may not have any intrinsic or inherent value. After all, if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, surely artistic value is too?

great-wall-of-vagina-exhibitionWe are on record, for example, as being a fan of James McCartney’s “Great Wall of Vagina”, where 400 intimately detailed casts of womens’ vulvas are displayed in ten panels both to encourage women to get more in touch and comfortable with their own body, and to campaign against the concept of plastic surgery to “normalise” womens’ vaginas.

Is it art? Well, we think so. You may not. And we’re comfortable to disagree.

It is most definitely an important piece of agit-prop, which has always gone hand in hand with high art. We actually find it strangely soothing, and not in the least erotic. Which is an interesting outcome.

The music, words or art that becomes favourited or valuable are not necessarily any good, it is just stuff which has acquired cachet, renown, infamy or superficial value. We have seen more brilliant art from people who have never sold a canvass, been paid to sing a song or for an article or a piece of anything else artistique than we have from those whose music, canvasses, books or whatevs sell for millions. Let us remember that Van Gogh never sold a painting to anyone (other than his long-suffering bro Theo) before he died. Unless giving away little paintings for a glass of absinthe and a plate of beed stew counts.

Is it art? You be the judge,

Is it art? You be the judge.

So if you feel inclined to write something, or paint it, or sculpt it, or crochet it, or blow it or slump it or stick it together with glue or create a pop song or a symphony, be true to yourself, but don’t necessarily seek approval, and even less, seek understanding.

The art has its own value.

To you.

If it has a value to anyone else, that’s a bonus. It is so vanishingly unlikely that you will ever earn a living as an artist as to be more improbable than a very improbable thing on Planet Improbabability on Inter-Galactic Improbability Day, so above all do the work you love, and hang the critics.

If it sells, double bonus.

Anyhow, should you feel the need to create your own art wank, to pre-empt the crap thought or written by others, I recommend this little website, called Arty Bollocks. It allows you to instantly generate your own arty bollocks for gallery descriptions, articles, and criticism of any type. Just click on “Generate Bollocks”.

That allows us to easily share with you, Dear Reader, the deep rationale behind our recent works poetical.

Our work explores the relationship between multiculturalism and midlife subcultures.

With influences as diverse as Caravaggio and Joni Mitchell, new insights are created from both constructed and discovered textures.

Ever since I was a student I have been fascinated by the theoretical limits of meaning. What starts out as contemplation soon becomes debased into a manifesto of distress, leaving only a sense of unreality and the prospect of a new order.

As wavering forms become frozen through emergent and academic practice, the listener is left with a testament to the outposts of our future.

keep calm“The outposts of our future.”

That’s what it’s all about.

So there.

Other reading: Is art wank? http://www.fearfuladventurer.com/archives/4677

dislikeOne of the biggest and most persistent criticisms of Facebook that you hear in people’s grumbles is that it has morphed from being a social networking site into nothing more than a mechanism to deliver you ads and sponsored PR content.

In a way, that’s hardly Facebook’s fault. It is, to its users, a “free” service, after all. So the business model demands that they sell ads.

Of course, as any good marketeer will explain, there is an unwritten compact between the advertisers and the advertised to that we ignore at our marketing peril.

Too much advertising, or too badly targeted, or too repetitive, and the great unwashed masses start turning away from the advertiser or advertisers who are pestering them to the point of distraction. You see the same effect with TV advertising. You’re watching a favourite movie, and the same advertiser pops up in every ad break, playing you the self-same message time after time after time.

Sure, the advertiser is getting their desired “reach and frequency figures”, but they are also very likely having afacebook-fail net negative effect on their market. How much advertising is enough is a much more complex discussion than the simple sheets of “Xs in boxes” that advertisers get from their media buying companies, whose skill set is generally focused on, well, buying more and more media. That’s how they make their money, after all.

Unfortunately, the way the website is set up now is making it increasingly user-unfriendly and sometimes downright annoying.

In case you doubt such a harsh judgement, read how Wired correspondent Mat Honan “liked” everything he saw on Facebook for two days. Here’s what it did to him.

It’s a great article – very informative and enjoyable. Enjoy.

Oh, and if you want to avoid a similar fate, there’s a simple solution – stop hitting that damn LIKE button!

Article begins:

There’s this great Andy Warhol quote you’ve probably seen before: “I think everybody should like everybody.” You can buy posters and plates with pictures of Warhol, looking like the cover of a Belle & Sebastian album, with that phrase plastered across his face in Helvetica. But the full quote, taken from a 1963 interview in Art News, is a great description of how we interact on social media today.

Warhol: Someone said that Brecht wanted everybody to think alike. I want everybody to think alike. But Brecht wanted to do it through Communism, in a way. Russia is doing it under government. It’s happening here all by itself without being under a strict government; so if it’s working without trying, why can’t it work without being Communist? Everybody looks alike and acts alike, and we’re getting more and more that way.
I think everybody should be a machine. I think everybody should like everybody.
Art News: Is that what Pop Art is all about?
Warhol: Yes. It’s liking things.
Art News: And liking things is like being a machine?
Warhol: Yes, because you do the same thing every time. You do it over and over again.

The like and the favorite are the new metrics of success—very literally. Not only are they ego-feeders for the stuff we put online as individuals, but advertisers track their campaigns on Facebook by how often they are liked. A recent New York Times story on a krill oil ad campaign lays bare how much the like matters to advertisers. Liking is an economic act.

I like everything. Or at least I did, for 48 hours. Literally everything Facebook sent my way, I liked—even if I hated it. I decided to embark on a campaign of conscious liking, to see how it would affect what Facebook showed me. I know this sounds like a stunt (and it was) but it was also genuinely just an open-ended experiment. I wasn’t sure how long I’d keep it up (48 hours was all I could stand) or what I’d learn (possibly nothing.)

See, Facebook uses algorithms to decide what shows up in your feed. It isn’t just a parade of sequential updates from your friends and the things you’ve expressed an interest in. In 2014 the News Feed is a highly-curated presentation, delivered to you by a complicated formula based on the actions you take on the site, and across the web. I wanted to see how my Facebook experience would change if I constantly rewarded the robots making these decisions for me, if I continually said, “good job, robot, I like this.” I also decided I’d only do this on Facebook itself—trying to hit every Like button I came across on the open web would just be too daunting. But even when I kept the experiment to the site itself, the results were dramatic.

THERE IS A VERY SPECIFIC FORM OF FACEBOOK MESSAGING, DESIGNED TO GET YOU TO INTERACT. AND IF YOU TAKE THE BAIT, YOU’LL BE SHOWN IT AD NAUSEAM.

The first thing I liked was Living Social — my friend Jay had liked it before me and it was sitting at the top of my feed. I liked two more updates from friends. So far, so good. But the fourth thing I encountered was something I didn’t really like. I mean, I don’t truly like Living Social either, whatever the hell that is, but who cares. But this fourth thing was something I sort of actively disliked. A bad joke — or at least a dumb one. Oh well. I liked it anyway.

One thing I had to decide right away was what to do about the related items that appear after you’ve liked something. Let’s say you like a story about cows that you see on Modern Farmer. Facebook will immediately present you with four more options to like things below that cow story, “relateds” in Facebook parlance. Probably more stories about cows or agriculture.

Relateds quickly became a problem, because as soon as you like one, Facebook replaces it with another. So as soon as I liked the four relateds below a story, it immediately gave me four more. And then four more. And then four more. And then four more. I quickly realized I’d be stuck in a related loop for eternity if I kept this up. So I settled on a new rule: I would like the first four relateds Facebook shows me, but no more.

Sometimes, liking is counterintuitive. My friend Hillary posted a picture of her toddler Pearl, with bruises on her face. It was titled “Pearl vs. the concrete.” I didn’t like it at all! It was sad. Normally, it would be the kind of News Feed item that would compel me to leave a comment, instead of hitting the little thumbs up button. Oh well. Like. The only time I declined to like something was when a friend posted about the death of a relative. I just had a death in my family last week. It was a bridge I wasn’t going to cross.

But there was still plenty more to like. I liked one of my cousin’s updates, which he had re-shared from Joe Kennedy, and was subsequently beseiged with Kennedys to like (plus a Clinton and a Shriver). I liked Hootsuite. I liked The New York Times, I liked Coupon Clipinista. I liked something from a friend I haven’t spoken to in 20 years—something about her kid, camp and a snake. I liked Amazon. I liked fucking Kohl’s. I liked Kohl’s for you.

My News Feed took on an entirely new character in a surprisingly short amount of time. After checking in and liking a bunch of stuff over the course of an hour, there were no human beings in my feed anymore. It became about brands and messaging, rather than humans with messages.

Likewise, content mills rose to the top. Nearly my entire feed was given over to Upworthy and the Huffington Post. As I went to bed that first night and scrolled through my News Feed, the updates I saw were (in order): Huffington Post, Upworthy, Huffington Post, Upworthy, a Levi’s ad, Space.com, Huffington Post, Upworthy, The Verge, Huffington Post, Space.com, Upworthy, Space.com.

Also, as I went to bed, I remember thinking “Ah, crap. I have to like something about Gaza,” as I hit the Like button on a post with a pro-Israel message.

By the next morning, the items in my News Feed had moved very, very far to the right. I’m offered the chance to like the 2nd Amendment and some sort of anti-immigrant page. I like them both. I like Ted Cruz. I like Rick Perry. The Conservative Tribune comes up again, and again, and again in my News Feed. I get to learn its very particular syntax. Usually it went something like this:

Screenshot_2014-08-04-10-18-01

Sound familiar?


A sentence recounting some controversial news. Good!

A sentence explaining why this is good.

A call to action, often ending with a question?

Once I see this pattern, I start noticing it everywhere. SF Gate, the San Francisco Chronicle‘s web presence, uses a similar tactic.

It is a very specific form of Facebook messaging, designed to get you to interact. And if you take the bait, you’ll be shown it ad nauseam.

I was also struck by how different my feeds were on mobile and the desktop, even when viewed at the same time. By the end of day one, I noticed that on mobile my feed was almost completely devoid of human content. I was only presented with the chance to like stories from various websites, and various other ads.

Yet on the desktop — while it’s still mostly branded content — I continue to see things from my friends. On that little bitty screen, where real-estate is so valuable, Facebook’s robots decided that the way to keep my attention is by hiding the people and only showing me the stuff that other machines have pumped out. Weird.

As day one rolled into day two, I began dreading going to Facebook. It had become a temple of provocation. Just as my News Feed had drifted further and further right, so too did it drift further and further left. Rachel Maddow, Raw Story, Mother Jones, Daily Kos and all sort of other leftie stuff was interspersed with items that are so far to the right I’m nearly afraid to like them for fear of ending up on some sort of watch list.

STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND LOOK AT THIS BABY THAT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE JAY-Z.

This is a problem much bigger than Facebook. It reminded me of what can go wrong in society, and why we now often talk at each other instead of to each other. We set up our political and social filter bubbles and they reinforce themselves—the things we read and watch have become hyper-niche and cater to our specific interests. We go down rabbit holes of special interests until we’re lost in the queen’s garden, cursing everyone above ground.

But maybe worse than the fractious political tones my feed took on was how deeply stupid it became. I’m given the chance to like a Buzzfeed post of some guy dancing, and another that asks Which Titanic Character Are You? A third Buzzfeed post informs me that “Katy Perry’s Backup Dancer is the Mancandy You Deserve.” According to New York magazine, I am “officially old” because Malia Obama went to Lollapalooza (like!) and CNN tells me “Husband Explores His Man-ternal Instincts” alongside a photo of a shirtless man cupping his nipples. A cloud that looks like a penis. Stop what you’re doing and look at this baby that looks exactly like Jay-Z. My feed was showing almost only the worst kind of tripe that all of us in the media are complicit in churning out yet should also be deeply ashamed of. Sensational garbage. I liked it all.

Screen Shot

Annoying for you. Even more annoying for everyone else.

While I expected that what I saw might change, what I never expected was the impact my behaviuor would have on my friends’ feeds. I kept thinking Facebook would rate-limit me, but instead it grew increasingly ravenous. My feed become a cavalcade of brands and politics and as I interacted with them, Facebook dutifully reported this to all my friends and followers.

That first night, a small little circle with a dog’s head popped up in the corner of my phone. A chat head, from Facebook’s Messenger software! The dog turned out to be my old WIRED editor, John Bradley. “Have you been hacked,” he wanted to know. The next morning, my friend Helena sent me a message. “My fb feed is literally full of articles you like, it’s kind of funny,” she says. “No friend stuff, just Honan likes.” I replied with a thumbs up. This continued throughout the experiment. When I posted a status update to Facebook just saying “I like you,” I heard from numerous people that my weirdo activity had been overrunning their feeds. “My newsfeed is 70 percent things Mat has liked,” noted my pal Heather. Eventually, I would hear from someone who worked at Facebook, who had noticed my activity and wanted to connect me with the company’s PR department.

But I’d already put a stop to it by then anyway, because it was just too awful. I tried counting how much stuff I’d liked by looking in my activity log, but it was too overwhelming. I’d added more than a thousand things to my Likes page—most of which were loathsome or at best banal.

By liking everything, I turned Facebook into a place where there was nothing I liked. To be honest, I really didn’t like it. I didn’t like what I had done.

Ed Byrne

Ed Byrne

So. The Wellthisiswhatithink clan was driving through the rain yesterday evening to a very swanky dinner, (on behalf of departing Monash Uni Vice-Chancellor Ed Byrne and his wife Melissa – a wonderful event which we were thrilled to be asked to, although we are sad to be losing this wonderful couple to London – our loss is their very profound gain), when we came across this hilarious  sign on a building in swanky Malvern, one of Melbourne’s “better” suburbs.

Physio

We immediately cracked up.

Patient – “Well, I feel better now, can I stop coming?”

Manipulative physiotherapist – “Oh yes, I’m sure you feel better. Yeah, now worries, stop coming. I’ll find another patient to fill the gap. You go off and enjoy yourself. Knock yourself out. Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine.”

Yes, yes, we know it doesn’t say emotionally manipulative physiotherapist, but stuck in traffic at 6pm in the rain and dark we just laughed and laughed.

Guess you had to be there.

(Feel free to contribute your personal conversation snippets between patients and the manipulative physio. Let’s see if there are any more people out there with our weird sense of humour.)

Incidentally, some of the musical entertainment provided at the dinner was from the ineffably brilliant jazz musician Paul Grabowsky. It was a true privilege to hear him and a bunch of other leading musicians at close quarters. Blessings in life arrive unexpectedly, don’t they?

"Who's the guy over your left shoulder?" "Can't remember, keep smiling ..."

“Who’s the guy over your left shoulder?” “Can’t remember, keep smiling …”

Good news for everyone who has missed Julia Gillard in public life – and there are some – she’s back.

The former Prime Minister has lain low since the 2013 leadership spill — but she appeared in public today to launch a former colleague’s book. Looking healthy and cheerful, (and on her pension, frankly, why the hell not?) Gillard launched former climate change and industry minister Greg Combet’s memoir, The Fights of My Life, at the NSW Trades Hall this morning.

In her address, Gillard issued a language warning to readers — joking that anyone who blushed from bad language needed to have a cold compress on hand.

Interestingly for us, Gillard also confirmed she urged Combet to run as leader when it became clear it was her time to go, the Sydney Morning Herald reports. She said: “I wanted to see the next part of his life being for the support of his colleagues to lead the Labor government into the 2013 election but it was not to be”.

Former Labor minister Combet recently told the ABC’s 7.30 that Ms Gillard had offered to stand aside for him if he wished to do battle with Mr Rudd. Instead he retired from politics at the 2013 election.

In our opinion, history will judge that this was a crucial loss of nerve. Combet is tough as nails, as seen by his principled and courageous leadership of the dockworkers in their battle with Patricks and the Howard Government, especially when battling the intransigence and bullying of Peter Reith. As the veteran of dozens of industrial negotiations, he had the sort of “real world” experience that a political junkie like Tony Abbott lacks, and although he would probably still have lost to Abbott on the principle of Buggin’s Turn (Labor was surely un-re-electable, wasn’t it?) he would have made a thoughtful, serious, incisive leader of the Opposition and #onetermtony would have very predictably been up for taking in two and a half years.

As it stands, we suspect our next Prime Minister will be Combet’s mate Bill Shorten, (although he did back Albanese in the leadership contest), so no harm done, from their perspective. But with his gnarly, bespectacled intensity and sheer intellectual clout we think Greg Combet might just have been the Prime Minister Australia never suspected he could be. We said so at the time. No-one agreed – in fact, we were were laughed out of court by everyone we advanced the theory to. Which is why we now find Ms Gillard’s and Mr Combet’s revelations interesting. Or to put it another way, nar nar nar, we told you so.

If this isn't the next Prime Minister of Australia, then god didn't make the little green apples, and it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime ...

If this isn’t the next Prime Minister of Australia, then God didn’t make the little green apples, and it don’t rain in Indianapolis in the summertime …

We’re historically pretty good at picking winners.

Despite a recent (but very temporary) bump in the poll standings for Tony Abbott over his brawny Putin-tweaking response to the downing of MH17, put your money (if you can find someone to take it) on Malcom Turnbull to replace him in a coup before Christmas, especially after the shambolic ALP in Victoria nevertheless manage to reasonably comfortably topple the incompetent but poorly-communicating Liberal-National Party Coalition in November.

In Victoria, Labor are current 3-1 “on” a victory, (hardly worth the risk, except one third of your stake for certain is better than none of it for getting it wrong, we guess) and the Coalition 2-1 against. If the Coalition suddenly lifts its game we reserve our rights to change that prediction, because if a week is a long time in politics then 122 days and 5 hours is a positive aeon, but we don’t see any real sign that is going to happen.

Considering the Napthine Government just delivered the highest spending infrastructure budget in Victoria’s history without borrowing a cent, one does actually feel rather sorry for them.

Of further interest to those who mainline psephology, (oh, look it up), we see that Labour in the UK are 5/6 to win the largest number of seats there, against Evens for the Tories. We think that’s too tight, and Labour are currently much better placed. We’d be interested, if you disagree, to know why. And in the US the Democrats are paying 1.60 to the dollar against 2.25 for the GOP. Unless Hillary is discovered doing something highly illegal between now and 2016, we reckon you should lump on, although the mid-terms later this year will be a further helpful guide, so maybe hold off for now.

Er … that’s it.

*Gabbled in a very fast high-pitched voice “All betting advice is purely speculative and should not be taken as true. Don’t rely on us. All care, no responsibility. No, nu-uh, tough shit, so sue us.”*

Many moons ago, we submitted an article to the New Yorker. They rejected it. This is not an uncommon experience for writers submitting to the august magazine, which sets an stratospheric standard for its contributors, which is why it’s such a good read, of course. Indeed, on the remaindered shelf at a bookstore many moons ago we bought a “best of” collection of the famous New Yorker cartoons which is still one of the funniest books we have ever read.

We may submit another article to them one day if we can ever think of anything worth saying. Anyhooo … Fruit of One’s Loins was sent this article which is apparently doing the rounds on the Internet from November 2013 and it’s easy to see why it’s so popular. It’s a hilarious mental ramble based on a very old joke, and it’s simultaneously both witty and a clever commentary on the modern world. It’s by Simon Rich*, who is clearly much funnier and talented than me. And younger. And better looking.

Bastard.

Guy Walks Into a Bar

So a guy walks into a bar one day and he can’t believe his eyes. There, in the corner, there’s this one-foot-tall man, in a little tuxedo, playing a tiny grand piano.

So the guy asks the bartender, “Where’d he come from?”

12 inch pianistAnd the bartender’s, like, “There’s a genie in the Mens’ room who grants wishes.”

So the guy runs into the Mens’ room and, sure enough, there’s this genie. And the genie’s, like, “Your wish is my command.”

So the guy’s, like, “O.K., I wish for world peace.” And there’s this big cloud of smoke—and then the room fills up with geese.

So the guy walks out of the Mens’ room and he’s, like, “Hey, bartender, I think your genie might be hard of hearing.”

And the bartender’s, like, “No kidding. You think I wished for a twelve-inch pianist?”

So the guy processes this. And he’s, like, “Does that mean you wished for a twelve-inch penis?”

And the bartender’s, like, “Yeah. Why, what did you wish for?”

And the guy’s, like, “World peace.”

So the bartender is understandably ashamed.

And the guy orders a beer, like everything is normal, but it’s obvious that something has changed between him and the bartender.

And the bartender’s, like, “I feel like I should explain myself further.”

And the guy’s, like, “You don’t have to.”

But the bartender continues, in a hushed tone. And he’s, like, “I have what’s known as penile dysmorphic disorder. Basically, what that means is I fixate on my size. It’s not that I’m small down there. I’m actually within the normal range. Whenever I see it, though, I feel inadequate.”

And the guy feels sorry for him. So he’s, like, “Where do you think that comes from?”

And the bartender’s, like, “I don’t know. My dad and I had a tense relationship. He used to cheat on my mom, and I knew it was going on, but I didn’t tell her. I think it’s wrapped up in that somehow.”

And the guy’s, like, “Have you ever seen anyone about this?”

And the bartender’s, like, “Oh, yeah, I started seeing a therapist four years ago. But she says we’ve barely scratched the surface.”

So, at around this point, the twelve-inch pianist finishes up his sonata. And he walks over to the bar and climbs onto one of the stools. And he’s, like, “Listen, I couldn’t help but overhear the end of your conversation. I never told anyone this before, but my dad and I didn’t speak the last ten years of his life.”

And the bartender’s, like, “Tell me more about that.” And he pours the pianist a tiny glass of whiskey.

And the twelve-inch pianist is, like, “He was a total monster. Beat us all. Told me once I was an accident.”

And the bartender’s, like, “That’s horrible.”

And the twelve-inch pianist shrugs. And he’s, like, “You know what? I’m over it. He always said I wouldn’t amount to anything, because of my height? Well, now look at me. I’m a professional musician!”

And the pianist starts to laugh, but it’s a forced kind of laughter, and you can see the pain behind it. And then he’s, like, “When he was in the hospital, he had one of the nurses call me. I was going to go see him. Bought a plane ticket and everything. But before I could make it back to Tampa . . .”

And then he starts to cry. And he’s, like, “I just wish I’d had a chance to say goodbye to my old man.”

1974 Plymouth VoyagerAnd all of a sudden there’s this big cloud of smoke — and a beat-up Plymouth Voyager appears!

And the pianist is, like, “I said ‘old man,’ not ‘old van’!”

And everybody laughs. And the pianist is, like, “Your genie’s hard of hearing.”

And the bartender says, “No kidding. You think I wished for a twelve-inch pianist?”

And as soon as the words leave his lips he regrets them. Because the pianist is, like, “Oh, my God. You didn’t really want me.”

And the bartender’s, like, “No, it’s not like that.” You know, trying to backpedal.

And the pianist smiles ruefully and says, “Once an accident, always an accident.” And he drinks all of his whiskey.

And the bartender’s, like, “Brian, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that.”

And the pianist smashes his whiskey glass against the wall and says, “Well, I didn’t mean that.”

And the bartender’s, like, “Whoa, calm down.”

And the pianist is, like, “Fuck you!” And he’s really drunk, because he’s only one foot tall and so his tolerance for alcohol is extremely low. And he’s, like, “Fuck you, asshole! Fuck you!”

And he starts throwing punches, but he’s too small to do any real damage, and eventually he just collapses in the bartender’s arms.

And suddenly he has this revelation. And he’s, like, “My God, I’m just like him. I’m just like him.” And he starts weeping.

And the bartender’s, like, “No, you’re not. You’re better than he was.”

And the pianist is, like, “That’s not true. I’m worthless!”

And the bartender grabs the pianist by the shoulders and says, “Damn it, Brian, listen to me! My life was hell before you entered it. Now I look forward to every day. You’re so talented and kind and you light up this whole bar. Hell, you light up my whole life. If I had a second wish, you know what it would be? It would be for you to realize how beautiful you are.”

And the bartender kisses the pianist on the lips.

So the guy, who’s been watching all this, is surprised, because he didn’t know the bartender was gay. It doesn’t bother him; it just catches him off guard, you know? So he goes to the bathroom, to give them a little privacy. And there’s the genie.

So the guy’s, like, “Hey, genie, you need to get your ears fixed.”

And the genie’s, like, “Who says they’re broken?” And he opens the door, revealing the happy couple, who are kissing and gaining strength from each other.

And the guy’s, like, “Well done.”

And then the genie says, “That bartender’s tiny penis is going to seem huge from the perspective of his one-foot-tall boyfriend.”

And the graphic nature of the comment kind of kills the moment.

And the genie’s, like, “I’m sorry. I should’ve left that part unsaid. I always do that. I take things too far.”

And the guy’s, like, “Don’t worry about it. Let’s just grab a beer. It’s on me.”

 

Simon Rich*Rich was born and raised in New York City. He attended The Dalton School and then enrolled at Harvard University where he became president of the Harvard Lampoon. His older brother is novelist and essayist Nathaniel Rich, and his parents are Gail Winston and New York Times author Frank Rich. His step-mother is New York Times reporter Alex Witchel. After graduating Harvard, Rich wrote for Saturday Night Live for four years where Rich and the staff of Saturday Night Live were nominated for the Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Variety, Music or Comedy Series three times in 2008, 2009, and 2010 and twice won the Writers Guild of America Award for Comedy/Variety Series in 2009 and 2010. Rich then departed to work as a staff writer for Pixar. In 2013 and 2014, Rich was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 List. We hate him. In a good way.

 

Karen Gillan

If you have to get into the Tardis and fight aliens threatening to destroy the known Universe, we know who we want along for the ride.

We have to confess, Dear Reader, to a slight weakness for redheads. Well, a full-blown can’t-stand-up-properly-weak-at-the-knees weakness if the truth be known. Many of our male colleagues agree.

Recent news that scientists in Scotland reckon the red-headed gene (Scotland has more redheads per head of population than anywhere else in the world, by the way, such as Dr Who’s Karen Gillan, pictured left) may start to die out has cast a generation of ginger-fans into a gloomy funk.

Apparently global warming means less cloud cover in Scotland which reduces, for some strange reason, the need for the gene. The fact that the change will take generations is hardly the point.

Interestingly, there is some genetic basis for “Gentlemen prefer redheads”.

Genetic diversity is attractive, and redheads possess a number of genetic traits that make them preferred mates.

1. Peacocking: Bright hair color draws visual attention. Also, the relative rarity of the recessive trait means that those of us lucky enough to successfully mate with a redhead will get to pass those genes along with our own: meaning that the next generation will want to get jiggy-jiggy with our progeny, which is good for our survival in the gene pool, donchaknow.

2. Fair skin: In pre-industrial societies, fair skin was indicative of wealth and status, both things we find attractive, as it was a visible sign that the person had enough wealth to NOT work in the fields. We may have some distant cultural, hormonal or genetic memory of that.

3. Redheads have a well-known higher threshold for pain: Makes them more resilient to be our partner in the race of life.

4. There might actually be some truth to the myth of the lustful redhead. A recent study by a sex researcher in Hamburg, Germany found that women with red hair had sex more often. Another survey in England duplicated those findings, and reported that redheads had sex an average of three times per week, compared to twice per week for blondes and brunettes.

We’re so glad to discover that we aren’t just deeply obsessive and weak-willed.

Gulp.

Gulp.

Coz that means there’s a good strong genetic reason for us having a monster crush on Emma Stone, too.

Though the genetic reason for us going all heart fluttery at the sound of her adorable little lisp is more obscure …

And that’s before we even get onto Amy Adams, Isla Fisher, Kate Mara, Scarlett Johanssen, Renee Olstead, Alicia Witt, Rachelle Lefevre, Evan Rachel Wood, Bella Thorne, Simone Simons et al …

(Right, that’s enough hot redheads for today: Ed.)

 

Bingle was kind enough to cover up her nips with some sticking plaster. #freethenipple? Apparently not.

Bingle was thoughtful enough to cover up her nips with some sticking plaster. #freethenipple? Apparently not.

You might have thought, like us, Dear Reader, that July 14th is most famous as Bastille Day. But no. Apparently, it’s  National Nude Day!

Really? Who knew? But it’s true. For one thing, as you can see, serial Instagram poster Lara Bingle posted a topless photo of herself for all her enthralled followers in celebration of the day.

The website that lists all national days excitedly tells us that “National Nude Day is a way to keep cool on a hot, sticky summer day.” Which is fine, well and dandy, unless you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, a rather obvious fact which has clearly escaped the enthusiastic compilers of the website.

If you went nude in Melbourne right now you would rapidly turn blue and any male protagonists would look somewhat emasculated quick smart. It’s about 50 Fahrenheit here, and bloody windy.

Nevertheless they plunge on to tell us that “Nudist groups around the world celebrate this holiday and take it quite seriously! Nudist’s (sic) are not perverts (good to know – Ed) even though their desire to go “au natural” might be offensive to the conservative population! (“Which conservative population?” we are minded to ask, but never mind.) The website excitedly continues to advise us that “Nudists are individuals who believe the human body is most beautiful in their natural state. Whether or not you agree with them, nudist’s (sic, again) encourage people to strut their stuff.”

Do they? Lots of good looking nudists persuade us to do the opposite of strut our stuff, frankly, but maybe that’s just us.

 

Anyway, we have managed to artfully combine a story on National Nude Day and Bastille Day. Our work here is done.

Anyway, we have managed to artfully combine a story on National Nude Day and Bastille Day. Our work here is done.

 

We note that the immortal painting by Eugène Delacroix, of Liberty Leading the People at the storming of the Bastille was nothing like as coy as Ms Bingle.

Still, those crazy whacky Frenchies, eh?

The French revolution inspired a lot of great art. Austrian composer Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf wrote his Symphony in C Major to celebrate the storming of the Bastille, indeed, the First Movement is specifically dedicated to it. Should you feel the need to overthrow any royalist dictatorships near you today, here’s nine minutes of audio inspiration accompanied by some nice pictures. Enjoy.

<iframe width=”640″ height=”390″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/TyuQCNijm-8″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen>

Dear ol’ Ditters was an interesting chap. As a curious aside, he finished writing his autobiography just three days before he died.

About 1785, Haydn, Dittersdorf, Mozart and Wanhal played string quartets together, Dittersdorf taking first violin, Haydn second violin, Mozart viola and Wanhal cello. Eminent Irish tenor Michael Kelly, for whom Mozart created the lyric tenor roles of Don Ottavio and Ferrando in his great da Ponte operas Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte, was of the opinion that although they played well their performance as a whole was not outstanding; but the image of four of the greatest composers of their time joining in common music-making remains an unforgettable vignette of the the second half of the eighteenth century.

 

 

 

 

Yup.

Yup.

 

So. The marketing manager for White Castle spotted nothing. Nor the graphic artist or the (presumably outsourced to Asia) printer. The account executive was out to lunch, chowing down on 100% beef chicken, presumably.

 

Probably not.

Probably not.

 

But even that pales into insignificance compared to this little beauty.

One is not entirely surprised the bain marie seems still full of the rice.

So much more …. interesting …. than a scattering of dried shallots or a cashew or two. Not sure how they got it in there, mind. Does it come in a packet?

There aren’t enough English speakers left in the world to get little details like this right, of course.

(For a bazillion other great examples in our F*** Ups series, just stick F*** Up in the search box top left on this page. Go on – you know you want to.)

We'd like Holland to go all the way in this World Cup. Just, you know. Because.

We’d like Holland to go all the way in this World Cup. Just, you know. Because.

OK, Dear Reader, I have decided on the job I want in my next life.

Don't think we can bring ourselves to support Argentina for any reason. Then again ...

Don’t think we can bring ourselves to support Argentina for any reason. Then again …

It’s to be the guy who sits in a football stadium with a pair of binoculars as a “spotter” for the cameramen for those inevitable cutaway shots of beautiful scantily-dressed 18-25 year old women who are cheerfully sitting there looking stunning while they holler and hoot for the country, all festooned in team colours with their faces painted with flags and a big grin on their face. See, someone has that job. It’s not the Director, because he’s too busy looking at the overall coverage of the game, including those oh-so-vital flashes of “colour” – that’s what it’s called in the trade. You know the ones: the crying eight year old boy watching his life get ruined forever as his heroes ignominiously crash out of the tournament, the great tub of lard with no shirt, worker’s shorts and a sombrero clutching a vuvezela and a bottle of what looks suspiciously like what you’re not allowed to take into the ground, and, of course, the wannabee supermodels who have taken a day off their relentless rise to glamour stardom to bounce up and down looking all jiggly and happy while their boyfriends explain the offside rule to them. And it’s not the cameramen finding them either. Coz they’re pointing their cameras where they’re told to. Nope, there’s actually someone whose job it is just to scan the crowd and find the young ladies (80-90% of the job, I reckon), and just occasionally a crying kid or a nearly-naked middle-aged man so we’re not all bailed up for just being a bunch of dirty old pervs. We could do that. Giz a job, Mister.

Apparently this young lady from Korea is an instant sensation in Asia. And she thought she was just going to the footy.

Apparently this young lady from Korea is an instant sensation in Asia. And she thought she was just going to the footy.

Hey: it’s dirty work, but someone’s got to do it. Here’s an example of the process. http://www.sooziq.com/11964/world-cup-cameraman-impossibly-finds-the-pretty-girl-in-the-crowd/. Why anyone would think we’d want to look at her instead of some gigantic black guy in a Nigerian shirt I can’t imagine.

A young lady from Denmark. We tried all the puns we could think of about horns but couldn't come up with any that would be publishable on a nice blog. You do the math.

A young lady from Switzerland. Oh, those crazy, whacky Swiss. We tried all the puns we could think of about horns but couldn’t come up with any that would be publishable on a nice blog. You do the math.

 

We are reminded that some years ago a very funny video circulated via email of a couple having awkward sex waaaay up at the top of a stand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, thereby fulfilling two of Australia’s obsessions – sex and sport – in one convenient time-efficient hit. Should you need to, you can see it here:

http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/80740298/. Oh go on, you may as well see it if you haven’t already.

Colombia are doing expectedly well at this World Cup and garnering a lot of interest. Can't imagine why.

Colombia are doing expectedly well at this World Cup and garnering a lot of interest. Can’y imagine why.

It’s quite tame and rather funny, though probably still not safe for work – but that will depend on your work, I guess. What you can’t hear on this webpage, which you could on the version of the clip that circulated by email, is the amused banter between the Director and the cameraman. “They are, you know.” “Nah, they couldn’t be.” “They bloody are.” So funny to think that they’re probably now married with kids – either to each other or someone else – and in relatively senior professional jobs, we bet. Ah, the careless joys of yoof.

Australia have been, er, holding their end up. So to speak.

Australia have been working hard, er, holding their end up. So to speak.

Anyhow, the young ladies of the World Cup are altogether tamer, but so much nicer for it, too. Bright young lasses all of them,
to be sure. Bringing a little light relief to the fevered tensions of the game, and all quite innocently. And that, M’lud, explains why we were in the crowd with our binoculars trained on the young lady from Columbia in Row ZZ 17 and we conclude the case for the defence. Talent spotting in crowds has a long and honourable (ahem) history, of course.

*mops brow* Pammie does her first TV commerical. Photo: Tumblr

*mops brow* Pammie does her first TV commerical.
Photo: Tumblr

Belgium’s most famous teen is not the first to shoot to global stardom after being spotted in the crowd.

In 1989 a certain Pamela Anderson, then a fitness instructor, attended a local football game in Canada.Footage of the blonde on screen was well received and her success with Playboy ensued.

The rest, as they say, is popular cultural history.

And more recently supermodel Kate Upton found fame after a friend uploaded a video of Upton dancing in the stands at an LA Clippers game.

Meanwhile, here is further evidence, should it be needed, of why England, compared to the rest of the world, are really just a bunch of losers.

Right.

Right.

 

Surgeons

Is doctor slang on the wane?

The inventive language created by doctors the world over to insult their patients – or each other – is apparently in danger of becoming extinct.

So says a doctor who has spent four years charting more than 200 colourful examples.

Medicine is a profession already overflowing with acronyms and technical terms, and doctors over the years have invented plenty of their own.

However, Dr Adam Fox, who works at St Mary’s Hospital in London as a specialist registrar in its child allergy unit, says that far fewer doctors now annotate notes with abbreviations designed to spell out the unsayable truth about their patients.

TOP MEDICAL ABBREVIATIONS
CTD – Circling the Drain (A patient expected to die soon)
GLM – Good looking Mum
GPO – Good for Parts Only
TEETH – Tried Everything Else, Try Homeopathy
UBI – Unexplained Beer Injury

The increasing rate of litigation means that there is a far higher chance that doctors will be asked in court to explain the exact meaning of NFN (Normal for Norfolk), FLK (Funny looking kid) or GROLIES (Guardian Reader Of Low Intelligence in Ethnic Skirt).

Dr Fox recounts the tale of one doctor who had scribbled TTFO – an expletive expression roughly translated as “Told To Go Away” – on a patient’s notes.

He told BBC News Online: “This guy was asked by the judge what the acronym meant, and luckily for him he had the presence of mind to say: ‘To take fluids orally’.”

Quaint up North

Regional dialects abound, even in the world of the medical abbreviation.

In the north of England, the TTR (Tea Time Review) of a patient is commonplace, but not in the south.

And the number of terms for patients believed to be somewhat intellectually challenged is enormous.

Patient

“I can’t believe what he just called me…”

From LOBNH (Lights On But Nobody Home), CNS-QNS (Central Nervous System – Quantity Not Sufficient), to the delightful term “Pumpkin Positive”, which refers to the implication that a penlight shone into the patient’s mouth would encounter a brain so small that the whole head would light up.

Regular visitors to A&E on a Friday or Saturday night are also classified.

DBI refers to “Dirt Bag Index”, and multiplies the number of tattoos with the number of missing teeth to give an estimate of the number of days since the patient last bathed.

A PFO refers to a drunken patient who sustained injury falling over, (Pissed Fell Over) while a PGT “Got Thumped” instead.

MEDICAL TERMS – A GLOSSARY
Digging for Worms – varicose vein surgery
Departure lounge – geriatric ward
Handbag positive – confused patient (usually elderly lady) lying on hospital bed clutching handbag
Woolworth’s Test – Anaesthetic term. (If you can imagine patient shopping in Woolies, it’s safe to give a general anaesthetic)

This is an international language – Dr Fox’s research reveals that a PIMBA in Brazil can be translated as a “swollen-footed, drunk, run-over beggar”.

Doctor insult

And much of the slang is directed at colleagues rather than patients.

Thus Rheumatology, considered by hard-pressed juniors one of the less busy specialties, becomes “Rheumaholiday”, the “Freud Squad” are psychiatrists, and “Gassers” and “Slashers” are anaesthetists and general surgeons respectively.

Dr Fox is keen to point out that neither he, nor the other authors of the paper, published in the journal Ethics and Behavior, actually advocate using any of the terms.

He said: “It’s a form of communication, and it needs to be recorded. It may not be around forever.”

He said: “I do think that doctors are genuinely more respectful of their patients these days.”

If that is the case, perhaps the delights of a “Whopper with Cheese”, “Handbag positive” or “Coffin dodger” could be lost forever.

(From the BBC, with thanks.)

We say: it would be a shame if such humour was lost because of political correctness. We are sure other industries must have similar shorthand terms. Certainly in the ad business – well in our agency, anyhow – we talk about PLU – “People Like Us” – people who share our general world outlook, are pleasant to deal with, and thus make good customers or suppliers. If we remember correctly the terms was first coined by none other than Margaret Thatcher to describe political colleagues who could be relied upon.

The funniest we’ve ever heard was “He’s a complete ankle.” An ankle being lower than a C-word. Certainly someone to be avoided …

 

Seeing as how, like, we work in the good old ad industry thingy to earn a crust, we have remarked many times how in today’s wired-up world one unhappy incident can turn into a worldwide embarrassment.

Ryanair: today, it's all about the, er, cock up.

Hmmmm.

We can spend millions on advertising and marketing, but it takes just one dis-satified, disgruntled customer to start a hare running that can cause lost custom, a trashed brand, and a story that could run and run for weeks or months, running out of control into the darkest and unreachable corners of the world wide interweb.

One such story about a complaint letter sent to Ryanair was posted to Facebook on April 25th, by James Lockley, and is rapidly going viral, apparently. Indeed, people are re-posting it on their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts pleading with people to help the story go viral.

Without commenting on the veracity of the content, the letter is also very funny.

Let us make this clear: we weren’t at Stansted airport with James and his missus so we can’t judge the bona fides of the story one way or the other, and in our experience there are always two sides to every story. Our interest is therefore not in the incident itself, but in how social media makes companies’ reputations vulnerable to customers with a gripe, and how they need to be aware of the risk and have plans to mitigate it.

The airline is apparently in touch with the customer. We await further news with interest.

For other F*** Ups just put F*** Up in the search box top left of the page – there are lots to enjoy …

And by the way, we would just like to note that this is the 700th blog on Wellthisiswhatithink – over the last couple of years we have enjoyed many thousands of hits and comments, with a more than healthy number of “followers” and lots of great interaction with you, our much-valued readers. We’d just like to say thank you, and keep reading!

We only hope they’re ready for stiff competition.

 

Um.

Um.

 

When local water works closed streets to traffic, a pub sensibly decided to let customers know it was still open for business.

However, as this hilarious picture shows, it did not go exactly to plan.

As reported by the West Briton, its creator did not leave adequate space between the words ‘pen’ and ‘is’.

The sign has since been taken down from the pub, which is named after the local crown court. Nice looking spot for a pint, too.

 

wig-and-pen

 

To view our vast and growing collection of F*** Ups from the world of advertising, marketing, newspapers, packaging and a whole lot more, just put F*** Up in the search box top left. Enjoy.

OK, this is just very, very, very funny.

Do yourself a favour. Just don’t blame me if you spit your coffee on the keyboard.

Meanwhile, Ep 1 of the latest season is on today. Whoot!

Further comment blissfully superfluous.

20140329-123239.jpg

Put brain in here. Scrub thoroughly.

Put brain in here. Scrub thoroughly.

For years, I have been wracking my brains to tell people about a TV ad for whitegoods in the UK which I thought was utterly brilliant, in the way it used the brand name to drive home it’s core promise – which was durability.

But while I could remember the brand name and the kicker 25 years or so later … Ariston … and on-and-on-and-on … I could never find the ad. Now, thanks to http://www.headington.org.uk/adverts/index.htm I have finally tracked down the lyrics.

Released on New Years Eve, 1985 …

When you buy an Ariston Its guarantee is five years long, Last well past nineteen ninety-one … Ariston! And-on-and-on-and-on-and-on.

One million French think they’re très bon, Half million Germans can’t be wrong, From Italia to Bri-ton, Ariston … And-on-and-on-and-on-and-on.

Tune: Da-Da-Da by Trio

But wait, there’s more! To prove (if proof were needed) what a deeply obsessional person I am, I then found it on YouTube as well, although someone thinks it was a couple of years later. Anyhow:

Pure advertising genius. Enjoy. Better still, ask me to write you an ad as good as this.

Better still, ask me to write you a CAMPAIGN, instead of a just a one off ad. Like this:

(That’s enough washing machines – Ed.)

Year of the Whores

Ooops.

As most of you know, it is Chinese New Year. Or at least it was a couple of days ago.

It is now the Year of the Horse. The Year of the Wooden Horse, specifically.

Among his other facets, the Horse is apparently a great communicator.

As a result, his year favours writers, actors, presenters, journalists …

This message seems to have got a bit “lost in translation” on it’s way to the captioning department of at least one august news organisation, however …

Well may the people of the globe celebrate, we hear you say. And you may be right, but we’re sure we certainly couldn’t comment.

Oh Jean-Luc, you didn’t. That’s so human of you, really.

OK. It’s really time this was dragged out again.

Yes, it’s childish. It’s silly fart jokes. It’s just infantile. I mean seriously: who makes this crap?  Who has the time?*

But who cares? Engage!

PS Put your coffee or beer down before you hit play. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

(Thanks Mimi)

*Someone does, thank goodness.

Is it a bird? Is it a pig? Is it … a cabbage?

No, it’s just Chinese labelling. What a dull world it would be without it.

Um ...

Um …

For more peculiar labelling, and a good laugh, head here now.