RANDOM RERUN: Meanwhile, Back in the Ukraine

Monday 27 August 2007

Some associates of mine recently returned from a business trip to Moscow and brought back a box of what were allegedly, and thankfully turned out to be, chocolates. OK, so it’s not actually from the Ukraine; but it’s Russian, so it’s close – unless it was made in Vladivostok or one of the other ten time zones not next door to the Ukraine.
On the other hand, the writing on the wrapper may in fact say “Made in the Ukraine”. Attempting foods with labels and ingredients written in a foreign language is bad enough, but when you can’t even recognise the alphabet it gets particularly dodgy: there are no potential warning signs to deduce (TESTICALES CON LARDO!) and you start to worry that it comes from a culture sufficiently different from your own to consider tamarind pits coated in Vegemite a delicious treat.
Nor did the picture on the wrappers inspire confidence. Here is a typical picture of a child on a sweet wrapper from the rest of the world:

Note the smiles and general impression that the contents are good to eat. Now here is the picture of the child on the Russian Mystery Chocolate wrapper:

Three thoughts spring to mind:
  1. The poor kid just ate one of the chocolates.
  2. This is as happy as a Russian child can get.
  3. ALLERGY ALERT: This product contains Slavic orphan parts.
In fact, the chocolates were rather nice, so if you can read Cyrillic, please don’t tell me what was in them.

(First posted 13 July 2005.)

The mummified corpse of Jeremy Bentham reads inter-office emails.

Tuesday 21 August 2007

 This one's supposed to come pre-shagged.

30 years on, Leo Sayer is still alive

Wednesday 15 August 2007

Perhaps it’s the steady rain outside that’s making me more melancholy than usual and thinking about Melbourne, but I kind of wish I was around the Melbourne Cemetery to see what odd little ceremonies the faithful are up to around the Elvis Memorial right about now.
I remember where I was when I heard that Elvis had died. I was at home and my mum mentioned it. I’d never heard of Elvis before so I just mentally substituted the name of the first pop star I could think of.

Only French airport security officers are so precise.

Thursday 2 August 2007

In most ordinary airports, train or bus stations, if you leave your luggage unattended it will be removed and maybe destroyed; but at Paris Orly airport, it will be removed and systematically destroyed. None of that feckless, willy-nilly destruction for the French – they can leave that to the British luggage handlers.
Speaking of British randomness: security at London City airport consists of passengers and staff wandering back and forth through a metal detector, sometimes with two people going through in both directions at once, and someone from the cabin crew flipping through your passport just as you board the plane.

Short Answer: Wrong.

Thursday 12 July 2007

Just to save you the effort, because I know you’ll want to try it for yourself, if you do search Google Images for Denise Drysdale with Safe Search off, you get about 500 links to Reasons You Will Hate Me, and this:

An offhand remark made nearly three years ago and I’m still getting traffic for it: a haiku.

Tuesday 10 July 2007

Strangers search my blog
Demanding one thing only:
Show me Ding Dong‘s tits!

Your chance to own a piece of broadcasting history

Sunday 1 July 2007

While travelling through Europe, ABC Classic FM presenter Julian Day (pictured left) stayed over at my place last week, during the London phase of his visit. I didn’t see him at all for the last three days he was sleeping on the sofa in the front room, and on Saturday morning he waited till I was in the loo before slinking out the front door without saying goodbye to catch his flight back to Australia. Was it something I said?
In any case, he left in such a hurry that he left behind a bag containing personal items more or less essential for his morning ablutions. I thought of keeping them as a souvenir, but now I have decided to offer them up for auction to the highest bidder. No doubt there are many fans of New Music Up Late who will rush to own a little piece of the man himself.
To this end, I decided to set up an Ebay account, but after a few minutes of reading through their FAQs it all started to look a bit complicated and potentially costly, so if you want anything on display below just email me privately at boringlikeadrill at yahoo dot com dot au and name your price. Reserves are listed in Australian dollars for the target demographic: a handy currency converter can be found here.
Lot 1: A mostly-full jar of Schwazkopf Taft Full-On Extreme Hold Power Wax. Now you too can have the look of the coolest radio announcer on ABC Classic FM, or at least like the metrosexual Morrisseyalike pictured on the label. There’s probably about 70g of the stuff left. I have personally tested this product and can guarantee that it sticks to your hair for a period of time. Reserve: A$5.00.
Lot 2: A rather stiff Body Shop shaving brush and Gillette Excel Sensor disposable razor. Both appear to have been fairly well used, which is odd, because he was unshaven when turned up at my house and didn’t shave the whole time he was here, as far as I could tell; but then, what would I know, having not seen him for the last three days he was lurking around upstairs? Reserve: A$6.50.
Lot 3: A used Colgate Reach toothbrush. Depending on your point of view, this item is either the most or least prized of the entire auction. Doubtlessly teeming with ABC DNA, the thumbgrip on the handle stills clearly bears used toothpaste residue. No toothpaste is included with the sale, so he was either borrowing my toothpaste or “went native” while in England and didn’t brush at all. The angled head and compact bristles make cleaning the harder-to-reach parts of your mouth a breeze. Reserve: A$2.00.
Lot 4: A slightly-used tube of Nivea FRESH Fresh Scent Mild Care Deodorant FOR MEN. Funny, I’d always thought Nivea was a girl’s brand, but I must have been wrong. That, or they’ve expanded their range of fine toiletries lately. This experience has been educational as well as financially lucrative. I’m almost tempted to hold on to this item myself, as there’s a part of me that can’t stand going shopping for deodorants, even thought it has become a fairly crucial aspect to keeping a girlfriend for any substantial period of time. Hopefully, Julian has since bought a replacement so as not to offend too many fellow travellers by the time he reaches Kuala Lumpur International Airport. If you see him, it may be wise to keep your distance at first, just in case. Alcohol-free, so don’t buy this if you were planning on drinking it. Reserve: A$3.00.
Lot 5: A small mirror broken off a small hinged compact, with a suspicious tranlsucent white stain on the glass. Also thrown in, a nub of mystery soap in a torn paper sleeve, possibly used for shaving (see above). The mirror frame is unmarked black plastic, so I can’t say for certain whose or what kind of compact this got broken off of. There are several perfectly good mirrors in my house, so this tiny glass is no excuse for Julian not shaving while he stayed over. Pleaese note that when I call that green blob “shaving soap” I’m only guessing. Reserve: A$1.50.
Lot 6: A small bag of complementary accessories from Qantas, including sleep socks (slightly worn), sleeping mask, a branded strap for attaching god knows what to it, and what appears to be a small grey vibrator sealed in a cellophane package (tests pending). It could be a rather industrial-strength looking tampon applicator, but I doubt it. I’m not going to break the seal and find out. Everything is tastefully shaded battleship grey and marked with the Qantas logo. These exclusive products are usually only available to the lucky few who take intercontinental flights in economy class on Australia’s premier airline. Reserve: $5.00.
SPECIAL OFFER: Buy all six lots and receive this special presentation bag (left) in which all the above items were carefully hand-packed by Mr Day. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity, because I doubt I’ll have him crashing round my place again.

Auction closes Midnight, Sunday 8 July 2007 GMT.

Anatomy of a Nerd (13.5% vol.)

Thursday 21 June 2007

ACT ONE

Late one Friday night at a cool indie pub in Whitechapel. Scruffily dressed bright young things mingle while a DJ plays dub mashups. In one corner, Ben.H is jumping up and down in front of a doorway.

A Friend
What on earth are you doing?

Ben.H
There’s a book up on that shelf above the doorway. It’s really thick with a pale green spine so I thought it might be Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy.

THE END

Epilogue

In a twist ending, the book turns out to be The Ultimate Pub Quiz Book, and not The Anatomy of Melancholy after all.

The mummified corpse of Jeremy Bentham reads inter-office emails.

Monday 28 May 2007

SEX BOMB BEER GEEZER

Fly home daughter, cover your ears: Eurovision, the Movie!

Sunday 13 May 2007

The Eurovision Song Contest wrap-up will appear tomorrow. In the meantime, please enjoy the following announcements from the Eurovision website:

There were two new announcements which were made today were that the European Broadcasting Union, the first of which was that it has signed a contract with a feature film company, who produced amongst other things Notting Hill and Love Actually. They will make a feature film with a comedy hint all about the Eurovision Song Contest, and will hopefully be in cinemas in 2008.

The second announcement is that negotiations are underway for a Eurovision Song Contest musical inspired and including the songs from the past 52 years of the contest. This follows on from the success of Mamma Mia. This again is hopefully going to happen in 2008.

Aha ha ha ha aha ha ha AAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGHHHH!!!!!!!!!

Wikipedia: Mostly Harmless

Wednesday 9 May 2007

David Nichols recently wrote at Sarsaparilla about the vagaries of Wikipedia, its errors and omissions, some accidental and some by misguided intention.

Wikipedia has a real future, and this to me is it: it is a beautiful, worldwide record of what people think they know. Day by day it is going to become a bigger, bolder better record of changing attitudes and ideas…

A commenter described his own experience of adding Australian content to the site, only to see overzealous volunteers (presumably not Australian) marking articles for deletion because they’d never heard of the people or places involved: “What struck me about the process was how difficult it seemed for volunteers to verify whether the work was deserving.”

Fortunately, some articles are self-evidently authoritative and thorough. Below is the current Wikipedia entry for the Holden Standard, the base model Australian family car of the 1950s and 60s, reprinted in its entirety:

The Holden Standard was a vehicle manufactured by Holden in Australia. It’s a pretty standard vehicle. As far as standard cars built by Holden go, this is by far the standardest and most Holdeney.

This doesn’t even need a “citation needed” tag. For additional fun, check out the entry’s revision history, showing the careful expansion and polishing it has undergone during the past six months.

The mummified corpse of Jeremy Bentham reads inter-office emails.

Sunday 29 April 2007

Whoops, someone chopped off a bit of Harrison Ford.

Filler by Proxy XLIX: “Great Expectations presented as a log flume” – I’m not making this up.

Wednesday 18 April 2007

I’ve been to the opera, but I can’t post about it today: I’m off to Dickens World!
Never mind that the books tackle child exploitation, poverty, murder and domestic violence; the indoor attraction is based on designs by the creator of Santa World in Sweden so the emphasis is firmly on fun, fun, fun.
Dickens World feels like Disney gone to the dark side. In place of the Magic Kingdom there is Newgate Prison; instead of talking animals there will be shady characters loitering in dark corners. Although the attractions are all faithfully Dickensian, the larks are very much 21st century….
The whole project cost £62m and hopes to present Dickens to coaches of schoolchildren without having to call in the Muppets for backup.
It’s all within a day-trip from my house, apparently.

The mummified corpse of Jeremy Bentham reads inter-office emails.

Monday 16 April 2007

What about YOUR horse fetish?

The mummified corpse of Jeremy Bentham reads inter-office emails.

Sunday 1 April 2007

Not if you drop it out of a plane.