Category Archives: bizarre

Tell Us About Your Favourite Funny Video

There are some staple questions asked during interviews. “Why do you want to work for us?”, “Tell me your greatest strength”, and “What do you know about our company?”.

Recently, I was asked “Tell Us About Your Favourite Funny Video”, which took me a while to think about. I figured out pretty quickly that it wouldn’t be right to choose a video that has a victim. While it might be secretly satisfying to watch someone get maimed while performing the Ice Bucket Challenge, or for a toddler to fall on their arse after being sprung by a fat cat, it might come across as a mildly psychotic choice.

Then I remembered Fenton. The video of a dog that surfaced way back in 2011 (full title: Jesus Christ in Richmond Park).

The video is below. You must watch it, even if you have watched it a thousand times. I am now going to explain, in painstaking detail, why this video is so funny.

An idyllic park in England. Deer graze.
Poor quality, blurred and ultimately mundane footage destined to never be watched again.
The peace is shattered by a man. But not just any man. A British man. A British man, forced to consider his very core values and the very real prospect that he just might be about to make a scene. It’s not fair. For Brits, this type of internal struggle between public decorum and outrage is normally reserved for terrible mistakes in restaurants..
I am familiar with this, because every time Tim Hortons gives me a triple-triple when I ask for a double-double, I drink it anyway while I pretend that I couldn’t be happier – out of politeness.
But seriously, who drinks that much sugar?
“Fenton!”, he yells.
“Fenton!”, he yells again.
And again. But now there is stress in his voice.
A fifth and six time, and there is some serious desperation. He is letting go.
Now a cry for “Jesus Christ!”.
This man has completely forgotten his properness in just 10 seconds inside a serene park. Something that took me 9 years of living in Toronto and taking the TTC to achieve.
A herd of deer tear across the screen, Fenton in hot pursuit and a mortified man…. far behind… but not quite sprinting.
There are no victims in this video.
Some deer get exercise, a dog is thrilled to make some new friends and there is a man who comes of age.

My Filthy Closet: Princess Diana’s Maternity Fashion

my filthy closetIn the basement to my home is a closet. A large closet. A filthy closet. To my British readers, this closet is so large it would make an ideal apartment for a first time buyer. Over an unspecified period of time, I plan to try to clear this closet space and I know for sure that, as well as some very strange books, it contains a multitude of oddities.

To begin with, I present to you a book.

First of all, I am greatly amused by the price sticker. It has the name of my bookstore on it, almost 20 years before I ended up working there. Actually, no. First of all, I am greatly amused by the title.

Princess Diana's Maternity Fashion and Nursery HandbookPrincess Diana’s Maternity Fashion and Nursery Handbook. This version is published in 1984 in the USA – note the Americanese spelling of ‘color’. The book opens with the preface which paints a picture unrecognisable today and all the more hilarious for it.

“Both The Prince and Princess of Wales, obviously delighted with their young family, are determined to lead, as far as possible, a normal family life, and they are prepared to break with tradition to do so. Many people say that family life is under threat in the modern world. If so, the example of Britain’s most famous family will surely help to resist it. They can be an inspiration to us all”. INDEED.

“Their practical and stylish approach has also inspired both the dress making and knitting patterns included in chapter four”. Take me to the knitting patterns!! “The Princess’s natural style and flair never waver; they enhance and complement her decided taste and very positive views about clothes. She has lost none of the stylish elegance and naturalness of touch which distinguished her from the outset… Her radiance has been apparent in every picture, and the Princess remains one of the most photographed women in the world”. Especially in Paris. Few women, of course, are subjected to such intense scrutiny as the Princess, but even under the continuous spotlight of public attention she has grown more relaxed and confident over the past three years, and the pleasure and enjoyment that both she and Prince Charles get from married life have been obvious… Charles and Diana’s secure and happy married life will be a source of satisfaction in the years to come, not just to the couple themselves, but to us all”. Now we know who to blame for the trends in divorce rates.

Prince Charles in a dressPrince Charles in a dress, againPrince Charles in a coat that might hide a dress

The book goes on to cover the historical fashions of royals, particularly royal children. Above are a couple of photos of Prince Charles wearing a dress and one wearing a coat that looks a little like it might be a dress. Or covering one. Or covering nothing *shudder*. In any case, these pictures explain a lot.

DancercisesOne third of the way through the book, almost without warning, we are treated to a few lessons in “Dancercise”. I know it looks like an overweight woman has tripped, tried to reach for a telephone to call the emergency services, thought better of it, tried to get up and then begun a combination of praying and diving. But, no. It’s “dancercise”.

Once we have these out of the way, it’s back to fashion for a while. Then we are onto decor. Specifically of children’s nursery rooms. There’s a couple of fairly boring rooms, even by 1980’s standards and there’s another one that I find quite terrifying.

Nursery Fashion

I just hope that the toys from this room never spring to life a la Toy Story. The whole room looks in some way sinister and I can’t help but feel the lion is an evil bastard. The big rat thing carrying food for the lion hoping that he won’t devour her only remaining child. The lion, smashing plates in the middle of the night and locking innocent toys in the camper vehicle, driving around at break neck speed. The shit.

Finally we are onto the knitting patterns. They do not fail to impress.

 

Sailor Costumes

Sailor suits, for making your kids look posh (during the 80’s) but not so much in the 2000’s. Not outside of manga conventions and Japanese pornography, anyway. Knit this. I dare you.

 

 

 

 

nice sweater

And what of this little number? Prince William as a baby is pictured wearing a coat that looks somewhat similar to this, but even the one that he is trapped inside of has a few less garish letter and toy emblems dotted randomly around it. Even a Scouser in the 1970’s wouldn’t be caught dead in this.

This book is a lot of things, but there is one thing it definitely is not.

Timeless.

Dear Author…

I thought it would be mildly amusing to email a bunch of people who have the same name as famous book authors (but are not the actual author) to see if I would get a reply. The email that I wrote was just odd enough and young enough sounding that the recipient would hopefully feel that it was an innocent and genuine mistake.

I knew the ratio of replies would be low, so I initially sent out around 20 emails to people who share the name Stephen King/Steven King and Michael Crichton.

Here are the emails I sent:

Stephen King Email

Michael Crichton Email

I’ve had a couple of replies from “Stephen King” so far, telling me I have the wrong person – one of them ominously referring to me as ‘friend’, as in, “you have the wrong person, friend”. However, I did get a nice reply from “Michael Crichton”.

Michael Crichton Reply

If I get any more, I will post them!

 

#bookgurn

@stuhall does Act Like A LadyI have this odd trait where, after a few hours of boredom, I suddenly become quite hyper. This is obviously no good at all, because while hyper, I am still in a situation that led to the initial boredom. There is still nothing to do. So I end up bouncing around like an idiot. To give a quick example, the other night, I couldn’t sleep, got bored, and started doing handstands in bed and talking gibberish about forging a yacht from a hollowed out raisin.

Two days ago I was taking my break at work, and I wasn’t that hungry. I got bored, and so it suddenly seemed like a great idea to take a number of photos of myself holding up various books next to my face as I gurned in a manner that mocked the covers of the books.  I didn’t do much with the pictures, except show them to my long suffering friends and wife.

It wasn’t until the next day that I decided to tweet them. Initially I was embarrassed, but after no time, a friend back in England kindly joined in. @RealSamBillett kindly helped to dissipate the crippling embarrassment by performing some extraordinary gurning of her own, and she even managed to convince her sisters to join in, including @Louise_Billett.

I then bullied a couple of colleagues to join in (outside of work hours, naturally). Poor @andiesantos was quite shy about her Tiny Fey impression. @octagonsandpez produced a frightening rendition of Jurassic Park. See the last two images.

@stuhall does theo fleury@RealSamBillett does Slash@stuhall does Ramsay@RealSamBillett does Lipstick on my Collar@stuhall does mandela@stuhall does My Sisters Keeper@RealSamBillett2@stuhall does some kid book

@stuhall does dog book@stuhall does The Internet is a Playground@stuhall does Patricia Briggs@stuhall does Act Like A Lady@RealSamBillett@Louise_Billett does Julie Walters@Louise_Billett does It's me or the dog@Louise_Billett does Gok Wan@Louise_Billett does Readers Digest@andiesantos does Tina Fey@octagonsandpez does Jurassic Park

Book cover images and likenesses are probably copyright and are used without permission, so there.

JOIN IN by taking a photo of yourself gurning beside a book in a sarcastic manner. Post it on Twitter with the hashtag #bookgurn. Or in a comment here, if you want!

One last thing: @RealSamBillett is possibly the most eligable bachelorette in the whole of England, and maybe even Bewdley. She is an English rose and her whimsy and affluence of personality put her on par with the likes of erm… I dunno. Gwyneth Paltrow. Except English. And rose like. Anyway, go beg her for a date.