Archive for the ‘Humour’ Category

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.

It's not just me, then ...

It’s not just me, then …

I was recently involved in the preparation of an advertising campaign which included the words “Public Transport”.

At the very last moment in the dispatch of over 80 newspaper ads, a member of staff spotted that the headline was actually written “Pubic Transport”. At least ten people had checked the ad before this point, including me. Yet more evidence, if evidence was needed, that the eye sees what it thinks its sees, and not what is really there.

I suppose we could have argued, if the eagle-eyed helper had not spotted it in time, that Public Transport is also Pubic Transport. But I doubt our client would have been mollified, even though they had checked it too. Anyway, nervous laughter all round and no harm done.

Meanwhile, one is given to musing about pubic hair. Or, hair generally. Billy Connolly once delivered a hilarious sketch wondering how pubic hair “knows how to stop growing”.  Why, he asked, did it not simply keep on growing, so eventually it would come out of the bottom of your jeans, and you could back comb it to waist height and tie it in a little bow?

The answer, apparently, is that some hair – armpits, pubic, arms, legs, eyebrows etc – is genetically programmed to stop growing at a certain point, and eventually fall out. This is not nearly as interesting as another answer I saw on Yahoo, which is that the pubic elves come at night and gather it, and if you wake in the morning and find an teensy-weenie little hat and boots lying forlornly on your bed, then you have rolled over in the night and squashed one of the poor little buggers going about their business.

None of which, Dear Reader, really explains to me the two great mysteries of human hair.

To wit, nose hair. And ear hair.

As always, Wikipedia is our friend.

Adult humans have hairs in the anterior nasal passage. Their function may be to keep insects and foreign particles from entering the nasal cavity.

Nasal hair, of course, should not be confused with cilia of the nasal cavity, which are the microscopic cellular strands that, unlike macroscopic nasal hair, draw mucus up toward the oropharynx via their coordinated, back-and-forth beating.

So there.

Meanwhile, ear hair is simply peculiar. Wikipedia for once falters and merely offers: Hair growth within the ear canal is often observed to increase in older men, together with increased growth of nose hair.[citation needed] Visible ear hair that protrudes from the ear canal is sometimes trimmed for cosmetic reasons.

Well, quite.

But that leaves us wondering what on earth the genetic cause of increased nasal and ear hair growth is in older men. Are older men somehow more likely to experience foreign bodies trying to get up their nose than younger men? And what earthly purpose does ear hair serve, other than instantly undoing the artifice of the mid-50s guy who tries to pretend to a younger woman in a bar that he is “just a tad over 40″?

About once a month, a single, long grey hair unrolls itself from just above my right earlobe. Screams of horror from Mrs Wellthisiswhatithink lead to an immediate and savage attack with the kitchen scissors to remove said offending strand.

What is it for, for heavens sake? How did growing ear hair in middle age help Homo Sapiens to win the race of life?

Is it to attract small fish? Sweep the air clean of pollutants as I pass? Make me more attractive to women “d’un certain age”? If so, Charlotte Rampling is yet to ring.

I think the people should be told. We rely on your ingenuity, in the Wellthisiswhatithink cohort, to tell us what ear hair is for.

Meanwhile, Iworldearhairbar_450x300ndian grocer Radhakant Baijpai was crowned the official Guinness world record holder for the longest ear hair back in 2003, when his aural fronds were an already-impressive 13.2cm long.

But that didn’t stop him pursuing his goal of ever-longer hair on his ears.

After several more years of carefully cultivating and caring for the ear-hair, Radhakant’s tufts now stretch an astonishing 25cm. He is now waiting for Guinness adjudicators to confirm that he has set a new high, hairy bar for his chosen field.

Radhakant, from Uttar Pradesh in northern India, acknowledges that his wife has, at times, wished that he would cut his ear hair off – but he says that she has agreed to let him keep it, as it is a source of pride.

His 25-year-old son is already displaying signs of growing similar ear-hair – although only time will tell if the son can eventually take the place of the father, standing triumphant atop the pinnacle of human ear-hair achievement.

Speaking personally, we will stick to the shears.

Gynaecology Restaurant

Signage F*** Up? Well, yes, in more ways than one, really.

So gather round, Dear Reader. Apparently intelligent people decided the directional signage in this hospital.

Managers. Paid a lot of money.

Then skilled tradespeople painted the signs on the wall.

NO-ONE thought this was unwise?

You know, like, “Italian restaurant …” “French restaurant …” “Gynaecology …”

Oh, never mind.

One can only wonder what they serve.

Placenta pie? Clam bake?

And is it our fevered imagination, peeps, or do the plate and eating irons seem to be spelling out “Lol”?

As well they might.

One of the lesser known and more interesting features of the social media Leviathan that is Facebook is that every year they release some country specific data allowing us to see what different parts of the world are talking about.

They have just released their Australian data today, along with about 20 other major countries.

Most talked about topics (by Australian Facebook users):

1. Vote
2. Kate Middleton
3. Cricket
4. Kevin Rudd
5. Grand Final
6. Election
7. GST
8. Lions
9. Tony Abbott
10. Big Brother

Most talked about Global Topics:

1. Pope Francis
2. Election
3. Royal Baby
4. Typhoon
5. Harlem Shake
6. Flood
7. Miley Cyrus
8. Boston Marathon
9. Tour De France
10. Nelson Mandela

Most talked about Entertainment Topics:

1. Big Brother
2. The Voice
3. One Direction
4. Breaking Bad

Most popular Check-in Location in Australia:

1. Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).

What does this tell us about ourselves?

Well, we’re sport obsessed. Duh.

We have an active and abiding interest in politics – read, in expressing our opinion – and social media is increasingly where we do it.

We seem surprisingly to still be very interested in “the Royals”.

And Miley Cyrus is, well, Miley Cyrus. We live in terror that the twerking popette will be chosen as Time Person of the Year.

Reviewing the full Facebook 2013 year in review is a fascinating glimpse into what “real people” are interested in.

Worldwide, our most commonly posted life event is a relationship. Getting married, engaged, or being “in a relationship”. How we perceive ourselves in a social sense is clearly an important part of our self-awareness that we wish to broadcast. And interestingly, sport in general seems markedly less important in Asia than it is in Europe or countries that “grew out of” old Europe.

Anyhow, you can checkout the Facebook annual report, including data from many other countries, here: http://www.facebookstories.com/2013/en-en

One of the quirks of this year’s results is the persistent success of “The Harlem Shake”. This silly internet meme was essentially tens of thousands of thirty second dance videos uploaded to YouTube worldwide. Always following the same format, the massive success of the videos was in part attributed to the anticipation of the breakout moment about halfway through the videos, and their universally short length, making them very accessible to watch.

The Washington Post opined that the meme’s instant virality by referring to the jump cuts, hypnotic beat, quick setups, and half minute routines. At Wellthisiswhatithink we were a little more cynical: the success is largely attributable to people having too much time on their hands and too little to do. Bah, humbug.

The Harlem Shake is technically very easy for fans to reproduce, as it consists of a single locked camera shot and one jump cut. Nonetheless, the simplicity of the concept allows fans considerable scope in creating their own distinctive variant and making their mark, while retaining the basic elements. In its simplest form, it could be made with just one person; a more sophisticated version might even involve a crowded stadium. Moreover, there is a level playing field for celebrities and fans alike, with no guarantee of success for either group. There is a strong vein of humour running through each video that is not dependent on language, further increasing its potential to spread virally.

Sample the best of the worst here. And a warning, this is four and half minutes you’ll never get back.

 

 

(In his “day job”, the author of Wellthisiswhatithink is a marketing and advertising consultant working for one of Melbourne’s leading ad agencies, Magnum Opus, see: magnumopus.com.au. To chat to Steve Yolland about proper grown-up paid advertising advice or to sample his communications knowledge, or maybe to get an opinion on your organisation’s current public profile, just email him on yolly@magnumopus.com.au …)

The world of the interweb is a wonderful one that just keeps on giving. Those of you that follow our F*** Ups series through the meandering lunacies of advertising, sub editing, social media and, of course, packaging, will enjoy these. They’re right up there with the infamous Masterfoods cock-up we spotted a while back.

At least most of these have the excuse of being obviously “foreign”, unlike Masterfoods in the USA, and of course, we all know that foreign Ingrish (on menus, for example) can sometimes leave a little to be desired. Chicken Anus Soup, anyone? Nevertheless, these are utterly hilarious. Well, they are to our tiny minds at the Wellthisiswhatithink desk, anyhow …

We don’t really understand why the Asian manufacturers of these products don’t think to check with a native English speaker for any concerns that might be raised. Then again, here we are advertising their products for them for free, so maybe, you know, those inscrutable capitalists are just cleverer than we thought?

Nice girls, your soup is in the next aisle.

Nice girls, your soup is in the next aisle.

 

Please ask the lady concerned for informed consent first.

Please ask the lady concerned for informed consent first.

 

One does not want to be a product taster in this factory.

One does not want to be a product taster in this factory.

 

Yummy. Not.

Yummy. Not.

 

Ditto.

Ditto.

 

We know Asians reputedly eat anything, but this answer to world population problems is a step to far.

We know Asians reputedly eat anything, but this answer to world population problems is surely a step too far.

 

A whole new level of refreshment. Where level includes "lower level".

A whole new level of refreshment. Where level includes “lower level”.

 

Everyone's always getting at the Jews. But juicing their ears is totally wrong.

Everyone’s always getting at the Jews for somethin’ or other. But juicing their ears is just totally wrong.

 

So that's what was wrong with that snack we purchased in Beijing.

So that’s what was wrong with that snack we purchased in Beijing.

 

Interesting flavour choice for crisps.

Interesting flavour choice for crisps. We can see it appealing to a certain audience.

 

We are not going anywhere near this. Nuh-uh. Lips are sealed. No, no, no.

We are not going anywhere near this. Nuh-uh. Lips are sealed. No, no, no. Don’t tempt us.

 

Pretty sure we've drunk this too. We remember a little cafe in Brentford.

Pretty sure we’ve been served this too. We remember a little cafe in Brentford before a football game.

 

Now we have definitely been served this with our vodka, often. Every time they serve that stuff that comes out of a pipe rather than a bottle.

Now we have definitely been served this with our vodka, often. Every time they serve that stuff that comes out of a pipe rather than a bottle. Clearly Ghana manufactures the stuff in bulk and exports it to my local pub.

 

Wishing you all one.

Wishing you all one.

 

Believe it or not, Dear Reader, this really IS a product we know. It is a very popular ice cream in Australia, and I can report it is utterly delicious confection of vanilla/toffee/nutty thing. And yes, everyone sniggers when they buy it, but the brand is a long-standing one, since long, long before the word “gay” acquired other meanings.

The makers have steadfastly refused to change it, and good on them, we say. Indeed, as it is 32 degrees in Marvellous Melbourne today, we may just treat ourselves to one a little later on.

Related articles

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE*

I am indebted to Ian Hanslope who immediately got back to me with these wonderful examples. Keep ‘em coming, people! (*A very famous Australian advertising punchline.)

Truth in advertising from Princebrim Foods?

Truth in advertising from Princebrim Foods?

And we all know how we feel after a few sakes.

And we all know how we feel after a few sakes, right?

Thanks to George Takei on Facebook (who apparently has one of the most followed FB pages in the world: yes, that’s right, Mr Sulu re-inventing himself in his old age) this hilarious Hallmark moment has been doing the rounds on various bits of the three wubbleyoose.

 

I know a few people I could buy this card for.

I know a few people I could buy this card for.

 

But the world of type, and especially of type kerning (that’s how much of a gap you leave – or don’t leave – between the letters) has many more delightful examples to entertain us. Try this:

 

They reliably assure us they rent more than porn vids.

They reliably assure us they rent more than porn vids.

 

Just think, someone looked at that in the cold, grey light of dawn and OKayed it.

Sometimes, it’s the design of the type.

 

Clearly an unusual taste sensation.

Clearly an unusual taste sensation.

 

We think we’ve eaten a few of those.

But our favourites are always those where the use of type really, really, REALLY produces something people just wouldn’t say. Which is why this is our FInal example.

 

Why would they need that? And how would they do it?

Why would they need that? And how would they do it?

 

All other examples, as always, gratefully received. And thank you, David O, for the first one.

 

 

Stephen "Yolly" Yolland:

"Who would have thought Lionel could be so enraged by my forgetting he likes peas with his faggots?"

“Who would have thought Lionel could be so enraged by my forgetting he likes mushy peas with his faggots?”

Those of you, and perusing our correspondence file there are many, who view the rampant success of the suburban blockbuster epic that is 50 Shades of Grey with some confusion – not to mention those who avoided reading the books altogether, commes moi – will love this blog from Speaker 7.

Genuinely hilarious, and recommended. As, indeed, is most of the blog. Give yourself a break and have a larf … fewer calories than a Kit-Kat, after all. Click here:

http://speaker7.wordpress.com/2013/11/18/fifty-shades-of-movie-magic/

P.S. Um. Are there really so many suburban housewives suffering total frustration of their darker sexual needs that they are absolutely hanging out for this movie to arrive, having read and re-read the three books a dozen times each? Sheesh.

(It’s out on Valentines Day next year, by the way. Yup, Valentines Day, for a movie about Dominance, Submission, and BDSM. You heard it here, first.)

Homo Suburbus clearly needs to lift his game. Personally, one always does one’s best to hold one’s end up where conjugal duties are concerned, but then there’s the back to be considered, not to mention the war wound … the gardening needs finishing, then there’s that tap that’s leaking. Not to mention, of course, football to watch.

Today I heard of a voraciously fit young lady marrying a much older guy this weekend, whose female friends are genuinely concerned that she will kill him.

Where coronary thrombosis beckons, discretion is the better part of valour, we say.

For some reason, Dear Reader. we are reminded of one of our all-time favourite poems, from a man who has created many of the wittiest and most apposite verses in the English language in the last forty years or so. Yes, OK, our mind is wandering: age will do that to you. Heigh ho. Anyway, those who are familiar with my poetry will immediately spot the genesis of my style, such as it is, in McGough’s work, which is acknowledged in the foreword to my book. Enjoy.

Today is Not a Day for Adultery

by Roger McGough

Today is not a day for adultery.

The sky is a wet blanket

being shaken in anger. Thunder

rumbles through the streets

like malicious gossip.

Take my advice: braving

the storm will not impress your lover

when you turn up at the house

in an anorak. Wellingtons,

even coloured, seldom arouse.

Your umbrella will leave a tell-tale

puddle in the hall. Another stain

to be explained away. Stay in,

keep your mucus to yourself.

today is not a day for sin.

Best pick up the phone and cancel.

Postpone until the weather clears.

No point in getting soaked through.

At your age, a fuck’s not worth

the chance of catching a ‘flu.

from Roger McGough, Selected Poems, 2006 at Penguin Books.

Originally posted on Speaker7:

I was delighted when I saw the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly:

ewcoverFinally, the first of many issues heralding the arrival of this movie. Being a big fan of the books, I tore through the magazine pages, reading voraciously and savoring every morsel I could.

I understand it will be difficult to condense E.L. James 600-paged behemoth down to a two-hour film. Will they cut out one of the 1,200 email exchanges? Or one of the 4,507 times Christian orders Ana to eat? Or one of the 35,678 times Christian remarks on Ana’s wetness.

God, I hope not.

In the magazine, the stars were interviewed about their thoughts on the film.

fiftyshadesactorsFor the uninitiated, Fifty Shades of Grey is a steamy trilogy about a virginal sockpuppet who falls in love with a controlling oil-retention enema. They murmur and stick things in holes. It’s awesome or–to use Virginia of Lame Adventures

View original 111 more words