Well, this cheered me up – but I want to know what the tune is!
Thanks Suzi for spotting and sharing on Facebook!
Well, this cheered me up – but I want to know what the tune is!
Thanks Bryony for this spot:
Thanks to @changingworship to bringing attention to this – I thought I’d share it as a Happy Christmas!
HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS YOU, EVERY ONE, FOR 2013
Here’s a lovely version of the Nativity composed from Bricks, with an appropriate ‘northern’ accent in honour of my move to Durham:
Loving my new home – first time have my own Christmas Tree… though missing my Winchester friends – but thank goodness for Facebook, etc. they don’t feel as far away!
And there’s some helpful guidance from Durham Markets as to how to prepare/cook your Christmas Turkey:
Looking a bit more round the Internet – liking this from Pinterest:
And I thought I’d leave you with some Christmas Cake – it’s got fruit in it and everything:
On holiday on the Isles of Scilly, got onto local radio, and Radio 5 (Scilly segment starts about 47 minutes in, through to 60 minutes – I’m on twice):
Listen live to the whole programme.
This ambitious book maps out the relatively undeveloped field of women’s reading habits across time and cultures, all in fewer than 350 pages. It is not an easy task, but Belinda Jack accomplishes it brilliantly. She shifts seamlessly between wide-ranging examples, from the Byzantine princess Anna Komnene, who persuaded her tutor to help her circumvent a parental ban on erotic poetry, to The Peony Pavilion (1598), a popular play whose heroine became an alter ego for the young Chinese women who read it obsessively to the point of exhaustion, prompting some concerned mothers to burn their copies.
Great story caught my eye in Times Higher Education this week:
But the University of Dundee has come up with a novel way to reward benefactors: murder them. Fictionally, that is.
As part of Dundee’s attempt to raise £1 million to build a new state-of-the-art teaching mortuary, four best-selling crime and mystery writers will allow the highest bidder to appear as a corpse or character in a forthcoming novel.
Participating authors include Stuart MacBride, whose Logan McRae series uses Aberdeen as a backdrop for “horrific crimes” as well as “much eating of chips and drinking of beer”, according to his website.
Read full story.
2 weeks ago I’d not even heard of The Hunger Games, I have now read all 3 books (on Kindle), and watched the film (not bought the album though!)… and thoroughly enjoyed all of them:
Category : Just for Fun
I was looking for a birthday video for @hels_bels_1, and thought I’d look up Cows, on Prince Edward Island (have wanted to go to PEI since I was about 10 – yes, Anne of Green Gables – what’s not to love!) – who I’ve previously ordered t-shirts for – and then a quick look on YouTube – this made me laugh (and makes me want to buy their stuff even more… as I said to Helen, this is one place where my argument that the ‘virtual’ is real falls down…) .. proper independent business there!
And which of their new designs am I loving:
An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, “Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger.”
The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, “What would you want talk about?”
“Oh, I don’t know,” said the atheist. “How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?” as he smiled smugly.
“OK,” she said. “Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first.
“A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff – grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?”
The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl’s intelligence, thinks about it and says, “Hmmm, I have no idea.”
To which the little girl replies, “Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death, when you don’t know shit?”
And then she went back to reading her book.
A warning to all “evangelists” whether Christian, Atheiest, or other…
Indeed!! Thanks to @beyondchoc for bringing it to our attention…
This evening I’ve been to see Hugo - an interesting film, and a lot was explained once I saw that Johnny Depp was behind the film! You can see the trailer here:
Kulula is a low-cost South-African airline that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Check out their new livery! And read about their Customer Relations.
See close ups of the full fleet here.
Kulula is an Airline with head office situated in Johannesburg. Kulula airline attendants make an effort to make the in-flight “safety lecture” and announcements a bit more entertaining.
Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:
On a Kulula flight, (there is no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced,
“People, people we’re not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!”
On another flight with a very “senior” flight attendant crew, the pilot said,
“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants.”
On landing, the stewardess said,
“Please be sure to take all of your belongings.. If you’re going to leave anything, please make sure it’s something we’d like to have.”
“There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane.”
“Thank you for flying Kulula. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride.”
As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Durban Airport , a lone voice came over the loudspeaker:
“Whoa, big fella. WHOA!”
After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in the Karoo, a flight attendant on a flight announced,
“Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted.”
From a Kulula employee:
“Welcome aboard Kulula 271 to Port Elizabeth. To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don’t know how to operate one, you probably shouldn’t be out in public unsupervised.”
“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite.”
“Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we’ll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Kulula Airlines.”
“Your seats cushions can be used for flotation; and in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments.”
“As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses..”
And from the pilot during his welcome message:
“Kulula Airlines is pleased to announce that we have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!”
Heard on Kulula 255 just after a very hardlandingin Cape Town : The flight attendant came on the intercom and said,
“That was quite a bump and I know what y’all are thinking. I’m here to tell you it wasn’t the airline’s fault, it wasn’t the pilot’s fault, it wasn’t the flight attendant’s fault, it was the asphalt.”
Overheard on a Kulula flight into Cape Town, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain really had to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said,
“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to The Mother City. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what’s left of our airplane to the gate!”
Another flight attendant’s comment on a less than perfect landing: “We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal.”
An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a “Thanks for flying our airline”. He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said,
“Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?”
“Why, no Ma’am,” said the pilot. “What is it?”
The little old lady said,
“Did we land, or were we shot down?”
After a real crusher of a landing inJohannesburg , the attendant came on with,
“Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Captain Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we will open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal..”
Part of a flight attendant’s arrival announcement:
“We’d like to thank you folks for flying with us today.. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you’ll think of Kulula Airways.”
Heard on a Kulula flight:
“Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing.. If you can light ‘em, you can smoke ‘em.”
Thanks to Kathy Day for sending this to me!
Wonder exactly what it’s basing it’s stats on, but pretty fascinating none the less!
Provided by Andrew Bloch. First saw this this morning, and now keep seeing it everywhere, and yes, I have voted!
Category : Just for Fun
Yesterday, for the first time in ages, I turned on ITV, and caught the re-run of ‘Sing if You Can‘ (a crazy show in which people have to carry on singing whatever is thrown at them…), just as Keith Lemon was talking to Camilla Kerslake (looking stunning in a lovely dress… chosen for her by the ITV producers, in case you’re wondering…). I undertook my coaching training with Camilla’s mum at The Kerslake Company (then known as Serenergise; which has strongly influenced the way I approach my life… still decluttering, several years later)… and you can see the way she has influenced Camilla to keep going through anything in this video (in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust):
Not too late to sign up for The Kerslake Company’s next coaching course, starting 15th May!
Thanks to @DGRush for demonstrating my life to me…
It is a truth universally acknowledged that any serious student of English literature must be a postmodernist with a huge appetite for deconstruction and a cultivated disregard for the enjoyment of the books themselves. Who needs to wade through the 896 pages of Middlemarchwhen it’s so much more interesting – and often far quicker – to identify hermeneutical opposition within a narrative discourse, or apply hypertextual liminality to notions of the authorial voice?
Even though the invasion of cultural theory had only just begun when I was an English undergraduate, it was enough to instil in me a discernible guilt about reading novels for personal pleasure, for feasting myself on Jane Austen’s sparkling prose and barbed satire and delighting in the way her books propose a morality, an idea of how to live.
But now a new book has appeared that has done much to banish that guilt and restore my Leavis-inflected faith in literature as an expression of humanism. It’s a lavishly illustrated edition of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, comprehensively annotated by Patricia Meyer Spacks, professor of English at the University of Virginia. Suddenly I’ve been given a dispensation not merely to enjoy the novels but to care about every detail of the characters and their specific milieux.
Spacks loves detail. But never for its own sake; never in the service of pedantry. Her detail illuminates and refreshes the experience of reading. If you’ve ever wondered why the Bennet sisters spent so much time trimming their bonnets, Spacks can enlighten you. Material was so expensive that to stay fashionable the girls would have to upgrade existing garments as they wouldn’t be able to afford new ones.
Mealtimes are frequently used by Austen as plot devices but Spacks gives them added significance. The Bingleys look down on their country neighbours for serving dinner earlier than in more fashionable town circles. And Lady Catherine de Bourgh can afford not one but two separate breakfast parlours.
Money, of course, is the invisible main character of all of the novels, so our understanding of the real plight of the Bennet sisters is poignantly enhanced when Spacks reveals just how much of it a gentleman needs to run his household, how much the girls would inherit from their mother, as well as the invidious property laws that were responsible for disinheriting them.
Read full story.
See where Phil originally posted this…
Effective immediately, the following economising measures are being implemented in the “Twelve Days of Christmas” subsidiary:
- The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the cash crop forecasted, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance;
- Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated;
- The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French;
- The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked;
- The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks, appear to be in order;
- The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one;
- The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, thereby enhancing their outplacement;
- As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching;
- Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps;
- Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year;
- Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which will drop right to the bottom line;
Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.
Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney’s association seeking expansion to include the legal profession (“thirteen lawyers-a-suing”), a decision is pending.
Deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to remain competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinise the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.
Original Source Unknown
“Georgette Heyer’s 1929 romantic novel Beauvallet took these tropes further. It features the roistering freebooter Sir Nicholas Beauvallet, who “bit his thumb at Spain” and is as daring as Drake and as feared. He captures the ravishing Dominica de Rada y Sylva, daughter of the Governor of Santiago. There is, of course, lots of name-dropping laced with swathes of Tudor blarney: it is obligatory to say “poltroon”, “dizzard” and “roistering” whenever the opportunity arises. The book was published amid a positive rage for Tudor Rose tea rooms, suburban “Tudorbethan” semis and Spanish galleons on the mantelpiece.
Heyer set the tone for the many histories, novels, television shows and films that were to follow. You may be forgiven for thinking of Alison Weir with her “character-driven” histories that read like novels and are based around the tragic women of the 16th century, or Philippa Gregory, whose novel The Other Boleyn Girl (2002) charts the coming of Mary Boleyn to Henry VIII’s court. There she becomes a “pawn” in the king’s sexual game with her sister and is subsequently forgotten until she meets a man who dares to “offer … a life of freedom and passion”. Certainly the garish covers of Gregory’s six Tudor romances are suggestive of upmarket Mills & Boon books.”
I started reading Georgette Heyer novels when I was around 10/11, and still love re-reading them, particularly enjoying an academic conference all about Heyer in 2009… and of course she has a decent Wikipedia entry! See where she fits in this full story in Times Higher Education, discussing the fascination that many still have with the Tudor era (Heyer, of course, is much better known for her Regency romances) – I like a bit of Jean Plaidy myself. the conclusion it largely comes to is that this is a mythical image, and: “To a great extent, the Tudor historian has given ground to the novelist, where women writers of romantic and detective fiction have the field almost to themselves. What we want is not history but “faction”.”
Wikipedia: I thought I’d have a go at editing her “legacy” as it doesn’t mention anything about last year’s conference – I think it was quite significant!
Not if I keep staying up this late, I won’t!
Thanks to @adamswbrown for bringing this one to my attention – be interesting to know the stats used – all they had was access to Twitter account (so know the follower numbers), and had to input date of birth… try it yourself: Followerdeath.
What more do I need to say..?! Reminds me of when Titanic was out, and the common term was “It sinks…” Working on the @bigbible project as part of the #biblefresh initiative, to tackle that which is indicated by this picture – as Jeremy Paxman pointed out – that Bible knowledge is getting weaker in our culture. Even Richard Dawkins thinks that to understand Western culture, the Bible needs to be read and understood… Found via ‘Paper.Li‘ (which made me realise how little control I have over what it says…):
Yesterday, I went to a clothes swap party, and despite expecting to come away with nothing (well, since my chest infection, I’ve put on a lot of weight but it’s steadied now – just waiting to go the other way), but I came away with the following:
It was a really enjoyable evening – no one was quite sure what to do at the beginning, but Lynne had organised it all very well. Racks for bottom half/top half, shoes & bags on the floor, accessories on the table, and as everyone came in, everything got placed on the rails. People were busier chatting/grabbing a snack to begin with, but then one person found a skirt, and suddenly everyone was diving in. Lots of comments that it was lovely to “go shopping” with “the girls” (most at the party were young mums), and the atmosphere was lovely, encouraging about lots of things – and “this doesn’t fit me, why don’t you try it”. Once the frenzy was over, everyone sat down with some delicious olives, sticky toffee pudding & chocolate fountain (although a certain amount of, “just tried lots of clothes on, should I eat more?! oh well, why not..”). Lynne has been left with quite a big pile of clothes to take to the charity shops – there was still lots of nice things left – they just didn’t fit anyone there (there was probably about 20 of us?!)…
Read Christian Aid’s review of a Clothes Swap party.
The Science Museum has started creating “Lates“, an evening at which only adults are present. It’s title “adults only” appears to raise a few titters, but, just think, how many times have you tried to get around a museum and not been able to see past crowds of children! It was Rachel’s birthday, so she invited us to partake in the “silent disco” last night. I’d not been to one before, so it seemed like a good idea, and a good chance to catch up with Rachel too (and as I was in London that day anyway…). The disco was hosted in the Space area of the museum, so slightly surreal. Incredibly funny as you first walk in and see people dancing around to “nothing”, but once you have your own headphones on, you kind of forget that the music’s “for your ears only”.
The headphones have a choice been up to 3 DJs (the museum had 2), and you can tell which channel others are listening to via the green, blue or red light on their headset. The real advantages were: if you don’t like the music, you can try another channel without having to go to another room; if you don’t like either – take the headphones off! Taking the headphones off can also open you up to another couple of experiences – chatting to friends at a normal level rather than yelling over the music (am I sounding old!), and listening to people singing along to the tunes:
1. If you’re too open minded, your brains will fall out.
2. Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
3. Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
4. Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
5. If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you’ve never tried before.
6. My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance.
7. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.
8. It is easier to beg forgiveness than get permission.
9. For every action, there is an equal and opposite government program.
10. If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip.
11. Bills travel through the mail at twice the speed of checks.
12. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel good.
13. Eat well, stay fit, die anyway.
14. Men are from earth. Women are from earth. Deal with it.
15. No husband has ever been shot while doing the dishes.
16. A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.
17. Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.
18. Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.
19. Junk is something you’ve kept for years and throw away three weeks before you need it.
20. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.
21. Experience is a wonderful thing. It enables you to recognize a mistake when you make it again.
22. By the time you can make ends meet, they move the ends.
23. Thou shall not weigh more than thy refrigerator.
24. Someone who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world
Well, I thought it was better than heading it “Walk Like An Egyptian”!!! I’ve been missing my travelling, but last year was pretty much all I could do to earn enough to live on – this year, however, I know what work I’m doing for the next year, so I can plan in a trip… and am going to spend Christmas and New Year in Egypt!! Here’s the blurb from ‘GoBus’s’ website:
“Travel with GOBUS to the land of the Pharoahs, where an amazing action packed adventure awaits you. Nowhere does ancient better than Egypt! Walk like an Egyptian amongst one of the ancient wonders of the world – the awe inspiring Pyramids of Giza. Explore the spectacular tomb strewn Valley of the Kings in Luxor and gaze in wonder at the mighty Abu Simbel. Top off your journey back in time with some good old fun in the sun – sailing down the Nile onboard a felucca and swimming in the azure waters of the Red Sea in Dahab.
Our tours are designed for the budget conscious traveller who wants to see all the major highlights of Egypt without breaking the bank. Cross Egypt off your wish list and experience all it has to offer with GOBUS!”
I’d not heard of them before, but a friend had seen Travel Talk’s trips, but there were quite a few negative reviews of them on the internet, and it’s always good to do a bit of extra checking (without spending HOURS checking), and I came across GoBus, for which I could find nothing but good reviews (not on GoBus’s site!)… the only complaint I could see was from someone who wasn’t on a GoBus Tour – and the Tour Leader helped him get to a hotel – and his criticism was that the GoBus Tour Leader didn’t seem sure what to do…!
We’re on the Pyramids & Beaches tour – so a chance to chill out in Dahab at the end (hopefully with a bit of diving!) – can’t wait!!!
In case you needed further proof that the Human Race is rife with stupidity, here are some actual label instructions from various international consumer products.
On a blanket from Taiwan:
NOT TO BE USED AS PROTECTION FROM A TORNADO.
(Darn, what am I gonna use now???)
On a helmet-mounted mirror used by American cyclists:
REMEMBER, OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE ACTUALLY BEHIND YOU.
On the bottle-top of a British flavoured milk drink:
AFTER OPENING, KEEP UPRIGHT.
On a New Zealand insect spray:
THIS PRODUCT NOT TESTED ON ANIMALS.
In an American guide to setting up a new computer:
TO AVOID CONDENSATION FORMING, ALLOW THE BOXES TO WARM UP TO ROOM
TEMPERATURE BEFORE OPENING.
(Sensible, but the instruction was INSIDE the box.)
On a packet of American Sunmaid raisins:
WHY NOT TRY TOSSING OVER YOUR FAVOURITE BREAKFAST CEREAL?
On an American Sears hairdryer:
DO NOT USE WHILE SLEEPING.
On a bag of American Fritos-brand Corn Chips:
YOU COULD BE A WINNER! NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. DETAILS INSIDE.
(The shoplifter’s special!)
On Tesco’s Tiramisu dessert (printed on bottom of the box):
DO NOT TURN UPSIDE DOWN.
(Too late! You lose!)
On a Korean kitchen knife:
WARNING: KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN.
(Dammit! Who are they to tell me what to do with my kids?)
On a string of Chinese-made Christmas lights:
FOR INDOOR OR OUTDOOR USE ONLY.
(As opposed to use in outer space?)
On a Japanese food processor:
NOT TO BE USED FOR THE OTHER USE.
(Now I’m curious!)
On British Sainsbury’s peanuts:
WARNING – CONTAINS NUTS.
On an American Airlines packet of nuts:
INSTRUCTIONS – OPEN PACKET, EAT NUTS.
(I’m glad they cleared that up.)
On a Swedish chainsaw;
DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STOP CHAIN WITH YOUR HANDS OR GENITALS.
(What kind of consumer phone-call led to this warning?)
On a Canadian child’s Superman costume:
WEARING OF THIS GARMENT DOES NOT ENABLE YOU TO FLY.
(That’s right, destroy a universal childhood fantasy!)
On some British frozen dinners:
SERVING SUGGESTION: DEFROST.
On a hotel provided shower cap in a box:
FITS ONE HEAD.
On packaging for a Rowenta iron:
DO NOT IRON CLOTHES ON BODY.
On a British Boot’s “Children’s” Cough Medicine:
DO NOT DRIVE CAR OR OPERATE MACHINERY.
On a British Nytol Sleep Aid Tablets label:
WARNING: MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS.
On British Marks & Spencer Bread Pudding:
PRODUCT WILL BE HOT AFTER HEATING.
- On an Electrician’s truck: “Let us remove your shorts.”
- Outside a Radiator Repair Shop: “Best place in town to take a leak.”
- In a Non-smoking area: “If we see you smoking we will assume you are on fire and take appropriate action.”
- On Maternity Room door: “Push, Push, Push.”
- At an Optometrist’s Office: “If you don’t see what you’re looking for, you’ve come to the right place.”
- At a Car Dealership: “The best way to get back on your feet – miss a car payment.”
- Outside a Muffler Shop: “No appointment necessary. We’ll hear you coming.”
- Outside a Hotel: “Help! We need inn-experienced people.”
- At an Auto Body Shop: “May we have the next dents?”
- In a Dry Cleaner’s Emporium: “Drop your pants here.”
- In a Veterinarian’s waiting room: “Be back in 5 minutes. Sit! Stay!”
- On a Music Teacher’s door: “Out Chopin.”
- At the Electric Company: “We would be delighted if you send in your bill. However, if you don’t, you will be.”
- On the side of a Garbage Truck: “We’ve got what it takes to take what you’ve got.”
- On the door of a Computer Store: “Out for a quick byte.”
- In a Restaurant window: “Don’t stand there and be hungry, come in and get fed up.”
- Inside a Bowling Alley: “Please be quiet. We need to hear a pin drop.”
- In the front yard of a Funeral Home: “Drive carefully, we’ll wait.
- A shop owner put this sign in his window, “Lovely glass paper-weights. The best way to keep your household bills down.”
- Outside a country shop: “We buy junk and sell antiques.”
- In a repair shop: “We will oil your sewing machine and adjust tension in your home for $1.”
- In the window of an Oregon store: “Why go elsewhere and be cheated when you can come here?”
- On a bumper sticker: Keep honking, I’m reloading.
- In a classified ad: “Vacation special: Have your home exterminated. Get rid of aunts.”
- In a Maine restaurant: “Open 7 days a week and weekends.”
- At the dry cleaners: “We do not tear your clothing with machinery. We do it carefully by hand.”
- In the vestry of a New England church: “Will the last person to leave please see that the perpetual light is extinguished.”
- In a Pennsylvania cemetery: “Persons are prohibited from picking flowers from any but their own graves.”
- On a roller coaster: “Watch your head.”
- In the offices of a loan company: “Ask about our plans for owning your home.”
- In a classified ad: “Tired of cleaning yourself? Let me do it.”
- In the window of a Kentucky appliance store: “Don’t kill your wife. Let our washing machine do the dirty work.”
- In a New York restaurant: “Customers who consider our waitresses uncivil ought to see the manager.”
- On the wall of a Baltimore estate:
“Trespassers will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
- Sisters of Mercy”
- Pinned to an Army barracks door: “Shut the door, stupid! Not you, sir.”
- On a long-established New Mexico dry cleaners: “38 years on the same spot.”
- In a Los Angeles dance hall: “Good clean dancing every night but Sunday.”
- In a Florida maternity ward: “No children allowed.”
- Bumper sticker seen on an Austin Mini: “The parts falling from this car are of the finest British workmanship.”
- In a New York drugstore: “We dispense with accuracy.”
- On a New York convalescent home: “For the sick and tired of the Episcopal Church.”
- On a Maine shop: “Our motto is to give our customers the lowest possible prices and workmanship.”
Below are genuine announcements made by tube drivers, on the London Underground.
To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage, what part of ‘stand clear of the doors’ don’t you understand?”
At Camden town station (on a crowded Saturday afternoon): “Please let the passengers off the train first. Please let the passengers off the train first. Please let the passengers off the train first. Let the passengers off the train FIRST! Oh go on then, stuff yourselves in like sardines, see if I care, I’m going home.”
“Ladies & Gentleman, upon departing the train may I remind you to take your rubbish with you. Despite the fact that you are in something that is metal, fairly round, filthy and smells, this is a tube train for public transport and not a bin on wheels”
“Ladies and Gentlemen do you want the good news first or the bad news?” “The good news is that last Friday was my birthday and I hit the town and had a great time. I felt sadly let down by the fact that none of you sent me a card! I drive you to work and home each day and not even a card.”
“The bad news is that there is a point’s failure somewhere between Stratford and East Ham, which means that we probably won’t reach our destination. We may have to stop and return. I won’t reverse back up the line – simply get out walk up the platform and go back to where we started. In the meantime if you get bored you can simply talk to the man in front or beside you or opposite you.” “Let me start you off: “Hi, my name’s Gary how do you do?”"
“Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from elbow and backside syndrome, not knowing one from the other. I’ll let you know any further information as soon as I’m given any”.
“Please mind the closing doors…” The doors close…The doors open. “Passengers are reminded that the big red slidey things on the side of the train are called the doors. Let’s try it again, shall we? Please stand clear of the doors.” The doors close… “Thank you.”
“I am sorry about the delay, apparently some nutter has just wandered into the tunnel at Euston. We don’t know when we’ll be moving again, but these people tend to come out pretty quickly…usually in bits.”
What do I need to say – the link to this was triggered off by watching ‘Saved‘ earlier this evening, which is a comedy written by a non-Christian, which shows us FAR too much about Christian fundamentalism. Very cringy because it’s recognisable, but kinda so bad it’s funny!
The following are actual stories provided by (American) travel agents:
- I had someone ask for an aisle seat so that their hair wouldn’t get messed up by being near the window.
- A client called in inquiring about a package to Hawaii. After going over all the cost info, she asked, “Would it be cheaper to fly to California and then take the train to Hawaii?”
- I got a call from a woman who wanted to go to Cape Town. I started to explain the length of the flight and the passport information when she interrupted me with “I’m not trying to make you look stupid, but Cape Town is in Massachusetts.” Without trying to make her look like the stupid one,I calmly explained, “Cape Cod is in Massachusetts, Cape Town is in Africa.” Her response … click.
- A man called, furious about a Florida package we did. I asked what was wrong with the vacation in Orlando. He said he was expecting an ocean-view room. I tried to explain that is not possible, since Orlando is in the middle of the state. He replied, “Don’t lie to me. I looked on the map and Florida is a very thin state.”
- I got a call from a man who asked, “Is it possible to see England from Canada?” I said, “No.” He said “But they look so close on the map.”
- Another man called and asked if he could rent a car in Dallas. When I pulled up the reservation, I noticed he had a 1-hour lay-over in Dallas. When I asked him why he wanted to rent a car, he said, “I heard Dallas was a big airport, and I need a car to drive between the gates to save time.”
- A nice lady just called. She needed to know how it was possible that her flight from Detroit left at 8:20am and got into Chicago at 8:33am. I tried to explain that Michigan was an hour ahead of llinois, but she could not understand the concept of time zones. Finally I told her the plane went very, very fast, and she bought that!
- A woman called and asked, “Do airlines put your physical description on your bag so they know who’s luggage belongs to who?” she said. “No, why do you ask?” She replied, “Well, when I checked in with the Airline, they put a tag on my luggage that said FAT, and I’m overweight, is there any connection?” After putting her on hold for a minute while I ‘looked into it’ (I was actually laughing,) I came back and explained the city code for Fresno is FAT, and that the airline was just putting a destination tag on her luggage.
- I just got off the phone with a man who asked, “How do I know which plane to get on?” I asked him what exactly he meant, which he replied, “I was told my flight number is 823, but none of these darn planes have numbers on them.”
- A woman called and said, “I need to fly to Pepsi-cola on one of those computer planes.” I asked if she meant to fly to Pensacola on a commuter plane. She said, “Yeah, whatever.”
- A business man called and had a question about the documents he needed in order to fly to China. After a lengthy discussion about passports,I reminded him he needed a visa. “Oh no I don’t, I’ve been to China many times and never had to have one of those.” I double checked and sure enough, his stay required a visa. When I told him this, he said, “Look,I’ve been to China four times and every time they have accepted my American Express.”
- A woman called to make reservations, “I want to go from Chicago to Hippopotamus, New York.” The agent was at a loss for words. Finally, the agent asked, “Are you sure that’s the name of the town?” “Yes, what flights do you have?” replied the customer. After some searching, the agent came back with, “I’m sorry, ma’am, I’ve looked up every airport code in the country and can’t find a hippopotamus anywhere.” The customer retorted, “Oh don’t be silly. Everyone knows where it is. Check your map!” The agent scoured a map of the state of New York and finally offered, “You don’t mean Buffalo, do you?” “That’s it! I knew it was a big animal!”
- At lunch time, sit in your parked car w/sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
- Page yourself over the intercom. Don’t disguise your voice.
- Insist that your e mail address is: Xena-Warrior-Princess@companyname.com Elvis-the-King@companyname.com.
- Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
- Encourage your colleagues to join you in a little synchronized chair dancing.
- Put your garbage can on your desk and label it “IN.”
- Develop an unnatural fear of staplers.
- Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.
- In the memo field of all your checks, write ‘for sexual favors.’
- Reply to everything someone says with, “That’s what you think.”
- Finish all your sentences with “In accordance with the prophecy.”
- Adjust the tint on your monitor so that the brightness level lights up the entire work area. Insist to others that you like it that way.
- Dont use any punctuation
- As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
- Ask people what sex they are. Laugh hysterically after they answer.
- Specify that your drive-through order is “to go.”
- Sing along at the opera.
- Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don’t rhyme.
- Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits. Wear them one day after your boss does. (This is especially effective if your boss is of the opposite gender.)
- Send e-mail to the rest of the company to tell them what you’re doing. For example, “If anyone needs me, I’ll be in the bathroom, in Stall #3.”
- Put mosquito netting around your cubicle. Play a tape of jungle sounds all day.
- Five days in advance, tell your friends you can’t attend their party because you’re not in the mood.
- Call 911 and ask if 911 is for emergencies.
- Call the psychic hotline and don’t say anything.
- Have your co-workers address you by your wrestling name, Rock Hard.
- When the money comes out of the ATM, scream “I Won!”, “I Won!” “3rd time this week!!!”
- When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot, yelling “Run for your lives, they’re loose!”
- Tell your boss, “It’s not the voices in my head that bother me, its the voices in your head that do.”
- Tell your children over dinner. “Due to the economy, we are going to have to let one of you go.”
- Every time you see a broom, yell “Honey, your mother is here!”
And the final way to keep a healthy level of insanity….
Send this list to everyone in your address book, even if they sent it to you or have asked you not to send them stuff like this.
- January 2000: Kathleen Robertson of Austin Texas was awarded $780,000.00 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running amok inside a furniture store. The owners of the store were understandably surprised at the verdict, considering the misbehaving tyke was Ms. Robertson’s son.
- June 1998: A 19 year old Carl Truman of Los Angeles won $74,000.00 and medical expenses when his neighbour ran his hand over with a Honda Accord. Mr. Truman apparently didn’t notice someone was at the wheel of the car whose hubcap he was trying to steal.
- October 1998: A Terrence Dickson of Bristol, PA, was exiting a house he finished robbing by way of the garage. He was not able to get the garage door to go up, the automatic door opener was malfunctioning. He couldn’t re-enter the house because the door connecting the house and garage locked when he pulled it shut. The family was on vacation, so Mr. Dickson found himself locked in the garage for eight days. He subsisted on a case of Pepsi he found, and a large bag of dry dog food. This upset Mr. Dickson, so he sued the homeowner’s insurance claiming the situation caused him undue mental anguish. The jury agreed to the tune of half a million dollars and change.
- October 1999: Jerry Williams of Little Rock, AK was awarded $14,500.00 and medical expenses after being bitten on the buttocks by his next door neighbour’s beagle. The beagle was on a chain in its owner’s fenced-in yard, as was Mr. Williams. The award was less than sought after because the jury felt the dog may have been provoked by Mr. Williams who, at the time, was shooting it repeatedly with a pellet gun.
- May 2000: A Philadelphia restaurant was ordered to pay Amber Carson of Lancaster, PA, $113,500.00 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her coccyx. The beverage was on the floor because Ms. Carson threw it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.
- December 1997: Kara Walton of Claymont, Delaware, successfully sued the owner of a night club in a neighbouring city when she fell from the bathroom window to the floor and knocked out her two front teeth. This occurred while Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the window in the lady’s room to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge. She was awarded $12,000.00 and dental expenses.
Love to hear more of these…
Could you be a TV expert? Claire Richmond – findatvexpert.com Ex TV Producer…
Read the official blog from the event, and listen to the podcast…
Here’s my rough notes from the evening, notebook coming into play
Background of PR. Big Breakfast Work Experience, 3 years, 1 year blagging prizes. Moved to make TV programmes ? Endemol (Changing Rooms/Ready Steady Cook). London TV, BBC.
Aged 42, set up platform to help connect experts with TV programmes, can showcase selves to TV/industry… and journalists to find experts… Can’t get an agent until already known… TV already looking for the next big thing/twist/person…
UK leader in factual programming – watch/entertained, go away knowing something… TV Gold = formatted factual show, can recycle with different content year in year out. Everyone loves it – audiences know what they get, get professionals in. Experts, 3 minutes, breakfast shows, etc. Succinct. Experts – authority, credibility, passion to a show! Cross-section of people – those who challenge us/make us question how we think/entertain us/love to hate.
Meets with producers weekly to help hook up with … long & varied, especially gardening, property, cookery, new business, etc… TV helps raise your profile… Media Profile, sales of books, etc… If you’ve got it, flaunt it…
What makes a good TV expert?
Knowledge & Expertise – know their stuff (related background, almost any subject can works)
Passion (different forms, may not be TV personality)
Attitude (think Gordon Ramsey… engages – like or hate!)
Quirkiness/Uniqueness (bit different, mad & crazy)
Experts with access/projects working on (your clients/your world that TV researcher/producer won’t have access to – things that are everyday in your life, can make a producer excited, e.g. follow something being set up/a journey); friends with someone ‘in the know’ can give good access…
**** Change education from inside***
Entertain, Inspire, Inform… in that order!!!
Never go in saying you have a book to sell – if it’s part of the package it’s OK. Think what makes you special… same as if you’re launching a business/a product. Need that extra something that a researcher thinks will make it work…
Production Company – needs to pitch to a broadcaster, what is going to make a viewer want to watch you…
Top Ten: What Next?
- Watch, Think, Read, Understand TV (Broadcast Magazine – what is happening/being commissioned, etc.; Tvmole.com – all programmes – greenlit)
- TV Researchers – are scanners – will be looking everywhere for talent, including blogs, TV, etc. Become an authority by writing a book… (could become a consultant on the programme?)
- Give presentations at consumer fairs, etc. – whatever is related to your expertise – researcher may be there…
- Google – come as high up as you can be in the searches… Keywords from USP – keep USP succinct
- Make the news… e.g. via YouTube…
- Be in the news. Chase up PR to get quoted in articles, get features written about you… On the radio? Phone in because you never know who’s listening… If they like you, may get you back for something else…
- Join relevant associations. Let them know that you want to be on the list of TV experts… **** History and Policy***. University list of experts…
- If young enough, long hours, no money, join production company as researcher, etc. as Kate Humble did… The Time is Right/luckiness… e.g. Jamie Oliver – be proactive! Look for the Series Producer for the end credits… let them know you exist & keep it short! Don’t call – send an email, as they’ll be thinking about something else…
- The Back Door – expertise, show on TV with relevance… e.g. Come Dine With Me, if come across well, they then think, maybe we can use for something else… what else are they passionate about!
- Join FindaTVexpert.com (discount voucher). Other roles within the show, not just on screen… Alternate weeks sends details of new experts to TV companies. Form of screentested. May not go anywhere, for many reasons, other than your own talent…
- Hunt on Google for ‘contributors’ for a show… Who do you contact… ? Watch show, find out who its made by, find name of the Exec producer. Everyone’s freelance, so everyone else will probably have gone…
What about pitching your own format for an idea? It’s tricky – hard to have an idea no one had’s before… A lot of production companies (some say accept ideas) want to be the creators/owners of the idea and profit from it, otherwise it gets a bit difficult to say who it belongs to. Tended not to open emails that said “This is my idea”… Tend to have had the idea before, or triggers off an idea for something different… then whose idea is it!
Once get known for e.g. Jamie Oliver, for cooking – then can try out his other ideas such as School Dinners, etc… What IS different – something new setting up. Make it yourself & put it on YouTube (e.g. Make Up Tips, ended up on TV)
How do you entitle the email if you’re trying to attract TV – find someone who knows someone in TV. Getting on TV isn’t easy… thousands of other people with ideas/up against! Who Wants to Be a Millionaire turned down for YEARS… can all be a question of timing!!! Networking is key.
Specialist factual genre – science, history, factual, etc… that’s different!!! *** PhD thesis on posters BEFORE a book?*** ***Church and Media Network*** make more of those contacts!
What about regional/foreign accents… local accents are quite in!! Depends on the programme – sometimes it works!!
Posters: September Films: “The Power of the Poster”; “History in Pictures” WW2 memorabilia. More interest in that than doing the cartoon angle.. Series of 6 through images.. tell history through these iconic images… “Your Country Needs You”, “Keep Calm and Carry On” – what else is HUGE…
TV = visual – watch the coaching process – wouldn’t work on TV! People love transformation, has to happen quickly… 30 seconds…
Findadate – Ben – make the news – YouTube, Twitter #findmeadate, then you’ll be on This Morning…
Philip – wants to destroy the school system!! Find some unusual schools – the wackier the better so far as schools are concerned! Makeover – school turnaround (no?), need a result, compare something with something! Need to film in 3-6 months! Over half-hour slots… Kids in Charge – set up a school… Know what’s in the news – can you tie it into everything that going on… …
Things you would never know without the movies:
When they are alone, all foreigners prefer to speak English to each other.
If being chased through town, you can usually take cover in a passing parade – at any time of year.
All beds have special L-shaped cover sheets that reach up to the armpit level on a woman but only to the waist level on the man lying beside her.
The Chief of Police will almost always suspend his (sic) star detective – or give him 48 hours to finish the job.
A police detective can only solve a case after he has been suspended from duty.
All grocery bags contain at least one baguette.
It’s easy for anyone to land a plane providing there is someone to talk you down.
During all police investigations, it will be necessary to visit a strip club at least once.
The ventilation system of any building is the perfect hiding place – no one will ever think of looking for you in there and you can travel to any other part of the building undetected.
The Eiffel Tower can be seen from any window in Paris.
All bombs are fitted with electronic timing devices with large red readouts so you know exactly when they are going to go off.
You are very likely to survive any battle in any war unless you make the mistake of showing someone a picture of your sweetheart back home.
Should you wish to pass yourself off as a German officer, it will not be necessary to speak the language – a German accent will do.
A man will show no pain while taking the most ferocious beating but will wince when a woman tries to clean his wounds.
When paying for a taxi, don’t look at your wallet as you take out a bill – just grab one at random and hand it over. It will always be the exact fare.
If staying in a haunted house, women should investigate any strange noises in their most revealing underwear.
Mothers routinely cook eggs, bacon and waffles for their families every morning even though their husbands and children never have time to eat it.
Cars that crash will almost always burst into flames.
All telephone numbers in America begin with the digits 555.
A single match will be sufficient to light up a room the size of RFK stadium.
Medieval peasants had perfect teeth.
Any person waking from a nightmare will sit bolt upright and pant.
It is not necessary to say hello or goodbye when beginning or ending phone conversations.
Even when driving down a perfectly straight road, it is necessary to turn the wheel vigorously from left to right every few moments.
It is always possible to park directly outside the building you are visiting.
It does not matter if you are heavily outnumbered in a fight involving martial arts – your enemies will patiently attack you one by one by dancing around in a threatening manner until you have knocked out their predecessors.
When a person is knocked unconscious by a blow to the head, they will never suffer a concussion or brain damage.
No one ever involved in a car chase, hijacking, explosion, volcanic eruption or alien invasion will ever go into shock.
Once applied, lipstick will never rub off – even while scuba diving.
You can always find a chainsaw when you need one.
Any lock can be picked by a credit card or a paper clip in seconds unless it’s the door to a burning building with a child trapped inside.
Television news bulletins usually contain a story that affects you personally at the precise moment that they are aired.
No matter what the person(s) in the movie do for a living, everyone has a beautifully furnished, clean home, a new vehicle and a well-to-do wardrobe.
Everyone has a well-stocked liquor cabinet. The ice never seems to melt. It’s just always there.
If someone says, “I’ll be right back.” they won’t.
- If you decide to start dancing in the street, everyone around you will be able to mirror all the steps you come up with, and hear the music in your head.
- Police departments give their officers personality tests to make sure each is assigned a partner who is their total opposite.
- Large, loft apartments in New York City are plentiful and affordable, even if the tenants are unemployed.
- One of a pair of identical twins is evil.
- Should you decide to defuse a bomb, don’t worry about which wire to cut. You will always choose the right one.
- When you turn out the light to go to bed, everything in your bedroom will still be clearly visible but slightly blue.
- If you are blonde and pretty, it is possible to be a world-famous expert on nuclear fission, dinosaurs, hieroglyphics, or anything else, at the age of 22.
- Honest and hard-working policemen are usually gunned down a day or two before retirement.
- Rather than wasting bullets, megalomaniacs prefer to kill their enemies using complex machinery involving fuses, deadly gasses, lasers, buzz saws and hungry sharks, all of which will give their captives at least 20 minutes to escape.
- During all crime investigations, it is necessary to visit a strip club at least once.
- It’s easy to land a plane, providing there is someone in the control tower to talk you down.
- If you are beautiful, your makeup never rubs off, even while scuba-diving or fighting aliens. However if you are overweight, your mascara will run and your lipstick will smear.