Yes, another quick spin through the excitement of my bizarre search query hits. These include such gems as:
  • sex bloggs - more internet pervs who can't spell
  • lolly stick jokes - I am a world authority on the question of the lolly stick joke
  • diggerworld uk kids - those uk kids just can't get enough of those crazy jcb diggers!
  • vivian darkbloom - don't know whether they were looking for nabokov or xena warrior princess porn
  • bands formed from other bands - oh, I'm not so good at this kind of trivia. You could try Cream, I suppose, or Wings, or that kind of thing. Why not ask an expert?
  • air steward advert delivery - bizarre freak what the hell are you on about?
  • edward norton%27s hair - see above comment
  • harry potter chambers of secret video file size - I have an algorithm which guarantees to compress any file down to half the size. And the great thing is, you can run it on the output, and keep crushing it down until it fits on a floppy disk! No more need for expensive CD-Rs! (NB floppy disks are now more expensive than CD-Rs)
  • clayderman windows media - you what?
  • juemilia video - who?
  • weirdest google search - this is almost ironic, that "weirdest google search" is actually a really quite mundane query to pose
  • google bloggs - learn to spell
  • dervla kerwin pickup - I do hope that this is a reference to "A Dance To the Music of Time" and not another pathetic internet stalker... Also note, that I should have spelt it Kirwan. Sorry. Take this as your online Corrie and Clarrie
  • lolly alf - not 'alf!
  • blow the bloody doors off joke - Oi!
  • shrek words - weak, lame, green, tedious, eddie, murphy, mike, boring, myers, unnecessary, sequel - that should do you.
  • diggerworld day out uk - can't be beaten!
  • weird painted mini coopers - pervert
  • time travelling in trucalling - don't try it kids! You'll only end up sleeping with your own grandparents and getting into all kinds of hilarious awkward situations and paradoxes!
  • bloggs iraq - blogg off
  • diggerworld england - perhaps the finest theme park in the world, let alone England
  • diggerworld. com - They don't .com any better. Although you probably want Diggerland.com
  • jokes lolly stick - In theory, brilliant. In practice, crap.
  • globeblog - I think you just made that word up.
  • bloggs diary - nosy parker
  • second hand j.c.b diggers - fell off the back of a, er, enormous flatbed truck?
  • fred bloggs - that's me!
  • jcb strood - Strood, where, amongst other things, you can find the delights of Diggerland!
  • bloggs on sex - Sounds like a hard-hitting investigative journalism show on ITV at about 11pm on a wednesday.
  • julianna hatfield bands - this year's latest must-have fashion accessory.
  • geek webring - World's smallest webring! Click here for the next site in the ring!
  • britney spears oui magazine - you'll be lucky.
  • shrek fiona nude - filth! And for that matter... why?
  • tony shaloub as monk quotes - How about "Oi! you were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"
  • alan cumming%27s marital status - um. Take a wild guess, sweetheart.
  • harvey birdman episode summary - quite funny.
  • faircall - fair cough

That's all for now. Keep sending in those wacky search terms that bring you to this site, because who knows, you could win a prize (it could happen. Just not a prize from me)


Just a last post to point out that I thought I had exhausted the lolly stick jokes, since the last couple of lollies in the packet all had the same jokes on them. But, joy of joys, although the first joke in the new pack was another repeat, there was an original joke on the second stick. I ran some statistics on this data (a combination of the coupon collector problem and the birthday paradox, stats trivia fans), and my conclusion is that there are one or two more jokes that I haven't seen yet, but that it may take another half dozen or so packets before I can expect to have seen them all. Sigh. Well, they had better be worth the wait, since this new one was rubbish. It went:

Why did the bird go to the theatre?
So it could wait in the wings.

Now, think about this. Why do people normally go to the theatre? Well, to see a play or something, I expect. You can't actually go and wait in the wings. They chuck you out, even if you have a ticket. And I know the pun is supposed to be something to do with the fact that birds have wings, but it still doesn't work in any remotely sensible way: it's like saying "Why did the man enter the two part running race? So he could take part in both legs" Because a man has two legs, and so does the race. Ha ha. Get it? It's completely meaningless. What is the damn point of writing idiot jokes like this if, after you've sucked it off and got sticky juices running down your chin then, all you get is a strange sense of disappointment and revulsion. Which gives me an idea for a joke:

Why is collecting lolly stick jokes like being a male prostitute?

I'll let you fill in the punchline yourself, but meantime, why not rush out and buy Lolly Woe by Anna Perera, quite possibly the only novel which features lolly sticks in a starring role. It gets 4 stars on amazon, so it must be good.
I was in one of those ex-trendy clothing shops in town at the weekend. You know, the ones with the six hundred varieties of jumper that all look absolutely identical. Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that there were a bunch of peculiar little stalls set amongst the khaki jeans, from which a bunch of adorable cockerney stereotypes were vending fruit and vegatables. I was most perplexed by this unexpected sighting, and when I turned to look again, they had disappeared again. I mentioned this incident to veteran Newsround anchor, John Craven, who explained to me, "It sounds like you have spotted a market in The Gap". Goodnight all.
Good news everyone! I've found out where diggerworld is (this is perhaps also of use for the 15 or so poor misguided fools who have made "diggerworld" the top search term for this non-blog. It's actually called diggerland, and you can find it on the interweb at diggerland.com. It is quite possibly the best theme park ever, and the great news is, there isn't just the one in Kent, there's actually three all over Britain, ensuring that you are never more than half a day's car journey from your closest diggerland! Unfortunately, there isn't much information on the website about what there actually is there, but take a look at the postcards to get some idea of the rides and excitement that you can get there when you visit. I would go this weekend, but I'm in America at the moment. No, never mind! I'll book a flight over right now so I can go this weekend anyway. It'll be great!
When I was younger, I was such a fool. In the classroom where we did English there was a poster saying "Kissing a smoker is like kissing an ashtray". And so one day I tried kissing an ashtray, because I wanted to know what it would be like to kiss someone.

Of course, I'm not so naive anymore. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm just off to take a bath with my socks on.


Spoonerism of the day: "Moan and Grumble" - "Groan and Mumble"

Good thing Dr. Spooner never had to lecture on the troubles in the West Bank, eh?

Less later


Extension plugs

I have an extension plug here (you know, one that lets you stick a couple of devices into one electrical outlet. It looks roughly like this:







Two prongs, since most plugs round here don't have earth connections. Now, carefully, one prong is longer than the other, in order to avoid getting the thing in the wrong around. But, can you spot anything wrong with the way that this plug is designed? Think about obvious failure modes.

Yes, it's possible to plug something in the wrong way round using two adjacent slots. I have no idea what effect this has, but I've got rather attached to having uninterrupted power, and I'd like to keep it that way, so I'm not experimenting.

In other news: although you may have been advised to boil your water before consuming it, you are allowed to let it cool down from boiling before decanting it into a plastic bottle to put into the fridge so that you can enjoy cool water later that day. That is all.
Many thanks to everyone who wrote in to ask whether I had been knocked off the net by the great Eastern Seaboad Powercut (as opposed to a Seeboard Power cut). Actually, no one wrote to me, but as it happens I was almost entirely by the powercut, to the extent that I didn't even have to go around and reset any clocks, although an unattended computer did reboot. Thanks for your concern.

Robert Eger Hates The Movies -- American Wedding

Sometimes this job is just too easy.

What we can only hope is the last in the "American... " series, American Wedding completes the trilogy begun with American Pie and American Beauty. I hadn't seen the first two movies, but that didn't stop me trying to claw my way out of the cinema before the end of the first scene.

As far as I can work out, this film is supposed to be a comedy. Unfortunately, there's only about one funny line and one mildly amusing scene. The rest consists of the sole named writer trying to construct humour out of supposedly hilarious situations. This is farce written by an arse. Isolated scenes which have no bearing on each other attempt to engineer awkward situations for the protagonist to be embarassed in. Inevitably, these fail to amuse, and instead just peter out when the potential for 'hilarious' misunderstandings have run out.

I'm not opposed to farce and broad humour; a well-crafted nob gag is possibly the finest thing that human civilisation has yet produced. But what the producers don't seem to realize is that you can't just toss off a nob gag. You have to take your nob-gag in hand, mould it into shape; you have to polish your nob gag if you want it to come to anything. Otherwise, it is just sucky. And this movie is filled with sucky nob gags. Several of these occur in a scene where Alyson Hanigan is supposedly fellating the lead character (I forget his name) under a table while he has a conversation. A perfect opportunity for a plethora of well-honed double entendres, but through pacing and delivery, these all fall flat. When Hanigan re-emerges, there are ample opportunities for a legion of spunk jokes, but none come forth. Oh well, one swallow does not a summer blockbuster make, but it would have helped. In fact, Hanigan doesn't seem to be trying very hard. She plays her character with a bored insouciance, identically to the radically different character of Willow. So much for range.

There are a couple of other characters. There's a guy called Stifler, played by someone who seems to think he's Jim Carey. Quite why is unclear, since Jim Carey is incredibly annoying, and a twentysomething Jim Carey wannabe is even more so. There's Finch, who is about the only character in the movie you don't end up despising, and then a third friend who doesn't actually seem to have any lines or role, which leaves you wondering why they bothered.

Here's a quick test: do the concepts of sex, shit, private parts and bestiality make you roll around on the floor gurgling in amusement as you lose bladder control without any need for context, purpose or reason? If so, then you might think that this film is all right. But I'm never going to the movies with you even if you are wearing the rubber pants.

Three thumbs, way down.


Lyrics corner

Maggie May by Rod Stewart

I suppose I could collect my books and go on back to school
Or steal my daddy's cue and make a living at playing pool

I wonder if the second line is supposed to be a pun -- "I took my father's cue, and became a pool player"

Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney

For some reason, I always hear one of the lines as "And in this ever changing world in which we live in". Which seems to have about three times as many 'in's in it as it needs 'in's in it.


I've just figured out what it is that's been bugging me for all these years. "Jack and Jill / Went up the hill / To fetch a pail of water".

Why did they go up the hill? Who builds a well at the top of a hill? Given that water is being drawn from the underlying water table, don't you want to build your well as low down as possible? Explanations, please...


Because I can't be bothered sending this in to ntk -- go to this radio one page and have a look at "The Exam".

Good thing it wasn't an English exam, eh? (supresses incredibly smug snort of derision)
Another neologism:

shadenblog: to gain gleeful pleasure from reading someone else's blog and feeling smug that your life doesn't suck so much as that of the person whose blog it is, or that you are not as big an idiot as the author.

[By the way, I have one particular blog in mind that I read, and it doesn't belong to anyone I know or have ever met, so don't think this is about you. Unless you happen to be... oh, but that would be cruel]


Spotted on a discussion website:

"Is Kobe guilty? Will he have a fair trial?"

You think about it.
From a New Yorker report on hydrogen powered cars:

"(In the case of hydrogen obtained from water, the energy consumed by the electrolysis is actually greater than the energy produced by a fuel cell)"

No, really?


Dead End

Well, you'll be glad to hear that following my voluble complaints about the geeky obsessive friend in Tru Calling, news reaches my ears through a webpage that the character, Cameron, has been written out of the show. Isn't the power of blogs wonderful. A rather bizarre phenomenon is the sheer number of web sites that are already devoted to this show -- a quick trawl brings up Tru Calling.net, Tru Calling Fans TruHeroine and TruCalling.com. The more cynical might claim that these are mostly promotional sites set up by the production company to create an instant fan base from nothing. And who am I to doubt these cynics?

My regular correspondant corresponds on this subject with the title "Dead Airtime", which reminds me of Iain Banks'''s recent paperback, 'Dead Air'. The audacity of this man knows no bounds. He recently switched schedules from spending six months of the year writing a book and the rest on holiday, to only writing a book once every two years. When this book was published last year, he seemed especially smug that it had only taken him a month or so to write, leaving him even more time to roll in the riches of the royalties of his previous books, which seem to keep coming in.

Certainly, the book gives the impression of having been written in a hurry. There isn't really anything much of a plot. Instead, the book is mostly a venue for Banks to trot out some well-rehearsed rants on life and society in the 21st Century. These all read like essays from an extrovert university student who wants to get attention by ridiculously over-the-top views with spurious arguments and just enough occasional glimpses of a genuine point, that you can't completely write him off as an idiot. Why this particularly fails to work is that Banks puts these rants into the mouth of his narrator, the implausible Ken Nott, a 'shock jock' (he's scottish - d'ya geddit? d'ya geddit? Well, don't worry if you don't, since Banks will use this same gag about three times in the book in case you missed it the first few times), overlooking the fact that this kind of character simply doesn't exist in Britain. These carefully written rants, which are probably about the only parts of the book that got drafted more than once, albeit drafted by Banks at various dinner and cocktail parties at which he is not yet persona non grata. The thing is, it's completely implausible that anyone could come out with all this stuff in the seamless fashion that the narrator manages to. When he's being interviewed on a news programme, he still manages to produce these long paragraphs of rant, without ever being interrupted by the interviewer or other guests. Something of a feat, I'd have to say.

Although Banks tries to show his street cred by namechecking, of all people, 'Mark and Lard' and Zadie Smith, it's clear that his real influences here are Chris Moyles and Julie Birchill. But he pours so much of himself into Nott, that you can just hear him screaming "I might come across as rough and lairy, but you love me really! Don't you love me?". Um, sorry Iain, no. We liked you charming story of self-discovery and family history in "The Crow Road"; we warmed to you implausible ex-rock star in "Espedair Street"; we got a thrill out of the revenge fantasies in "Complicity", and smiled warmly on the attention-seeking shocks in "The Wasp Factory". But we rather lost interest in the tedious drivel of "Song of Stone" and the only slightly better "The Business". Perhaps it's time that you stopped altogether.

No such luck. Apparently Banks is writing another book. This time, he's not even bothering to dress himself up in the clothes of a fictional character. Instead, it's to be a self-indulgent account of his travels to various Scottish distillieries. Make up your own jokes here, preferably involving the words "brewery", "piss-up" and "awful, lazy excuse to pump more money out of the book-buying public".

Coming soon... some more stuff. Probably


Well, my stats page seems to be broken, so I can't reports some of the frankly bizarre search terms people have been using to get here lately (more hits for "sex bloggs", though, which is possibly a good thing. But probably not). In fact, I'm number one in google for this phrase. Whoopee! I'm number one! So, in lieu of another tedious dissection of idiot net users search terms, something else instead.

Death and Television

For some reason, death has suddenly become very popular on US TV. No idea why. The obvious but wrong suggestion would be the wild success of "Six Feet Under", but let's face it, Six Feet Under might be a hit with a critics, but no one actually watches it. It's on HBO, which means that the potential audience is pretty small, and anyone who can get HBO also has about another 150 channels to choose from. But anyway. Now there's a whole host of death themed shows fo you to pick from.

First up is the rather obvious Dead Like Me. It's a high concept show, the concept being that a bored and boring teen with nothing to say for herself dies suddenly. But, rather than letting that be the end of it, instead she becomes a "grim reaper", and has to collect the souls of people who are about to die, for no adequately explained reason. It's a moderately entertaining concept, and the first episode sets this up quite nicely, and introduces the quirky other reapers. But, as with all things high concept, it rather flounders with the switch to having regular episodes. The second episode is incredibly tedious: it spends far too long recapping the first, and then meanders about with no story and no character development and pretty much nothing to show for itself. Perhaps things will improve with time.

Another supernatural / dead people program is the abysmally titled "Tru Calling". Eliza Dushku gave up the opportunity to appear in one or more of the inevitably-going-to-be-awful Buffy spin offs to take a chance on this Fox drama. Hmm, that really ought to be your warning sign already: "Fox Drama". The concept here is a mix of several other shows and movies: take a pinch of "Quantum Leap", a dash of "Early Edition (where a guy gets tomorrow's paper, today -- which is a whole other rant about shows which sound really bad when you summarize them in one line, but when you actually watch them, they're only quite bad), a slap of "Sixth Sense", and a tickle of, well, "Six Feet Under", I guess. Oh, and Angel, too, now I think about it. Have I whet your appetite yet? Or possibly destroyed it completely? Anyway, the idea is, get this, that Tru works in a morgue (natch), where the fresh corpses talk to her. You know, "How's your day been? You wouldn't believe what happened to me...". Tru then falls unconscious, and wakes up back at home the day before, where she gets to run around a lot (why the girl doesn't invest in a bike, or at least a decent bra, if she's going to do all that running, I don't know) and try to stop the person dying, and thus, I don't know, save her from endless Groundhog Day-style repetitions.

The show hasn't actually aired yet -- it's currently scheduled for October/November time, but thanks to internet geeks with too much time on their hands, I watched a copy of the pilot. It is incredibly bad for several reasons. Let's just list a few, shall we?

a) Tru displays evidence of "Incredibly Slow on the Uptake" Syndrome. When you wake up to exactly the same song on the radio as you heard yesterday, when your boyfriend makes exactly the same comments about what he's going to do today, when the date doesn't appear to have changed since yesterday, and when you switch on TV and see exactly the same numbers being picked out on the lottery as yesterday then, chances are, you've somehow slipped back in time a day. If you've watched pretty much any naff sci-fi show or movie ever, then you should be able to work it out.

b) When you call your best buddy who happens to be a computer geek who sits by the phone all day writing computer games singlehanded and who is obviously obsessed with you, it is still considered unusal to immediately launch into a conversation about exit wounds. In real life, people usually ask a few questions about why you want to find someone's address before hacking into the telephone records.

c) The crass and fairly heavy handed references to Dushku's past TV appearances. Either that, or the lines "Well, you've got to have a little Faith" and "You're my Angel" really haven't been thought through properly.

d) To point the finger at the wrong murderer once might be considered unfortunate; to point the finger at two innocent people looks like carelessness. Honestly, how many false leads do you need in one forty minute show?

Maybe they can sort this out before the show finishes shooting. Maybe they'll have the good sense to sort out the more awful characters, like the computer geek hacker... and Tru's boyfriend... and her sister... and brother... in fact pretty much all of the secondary characters are quite losable. But, perhaps the only real fix for this show is to can it completely, and stop it being made at all. If only there was some way to go back in time and prevent it from ever happening...


I'm still working on ideas for my new computer game, which is going to counteract all the sex and violence in those nasty games that you buy in shops. My game is based on another one, but with a few twists. It's going to be called GTA: Nice City. In it, you can go around doing a series of missions, such as:

Running little old ladies down (to the shops)
Picking up hookers (and giving them a ride home and a lecture about public decency)
Shooting drug dealers (with a camera and giving the evidence to the police)
Finding unlocked cars (and leaving a little note on them warning the owner of their silliness)

And so on. It's gonna be great!


I was listening to the new Eminem song for ages, and I wondered why he kept going on about how ace Usher was in the backing track. I thought he didn't like Usher. Is he trying to be ironic? Then, on closer listening, I realised that he was actually going on about "Marshall" (ie himself). Well, they sound the same...

Lately I have been watching The Severn Samurai: a classic movie about a bunch of fearless warriors from the West Country.


Hazardous logic

I've always been curious about what really happened in Hazard all those years ago. The only real evidence we have to go on is the rambling, repetitive and surprisingly lacking in detail account from Richard Marx, claiming that he left her by the river. It wasn't even clear what happened to Mary, except that, chances are, she probably won't be wandering around that old Nebraska town any more. What could have happened to her?

I was thinking about this recently, and I remebered something else. What could have happened that night when she went out walking all alone? Well, it would have been dark, and the only place to walk would have been those twisting, treacherous country roads. It seems quite possible that a pair of good ol' boys, liquored up to the hilt, haring round the corner on the run from Boss Hogg could have misjudged the bend and ploughed into the walking Mary. Anxious to cover up their crime, they most likely then tossed her corpse into the fast flowing river, before jumping back into their car through the windows and screaming off again.

So there you go. Next time you hear 'Hazard' played on an oldies station, and you think "I wonder what really happened?", well, now you know. It was the Dukes of Hazard wot done it. Case closed.
Goodbye Hope

Bob Hope is dead, finally, and so it's a good time to reflect on bizarre messages seen in supermarkets. Fans of Sainsbury's may recall that for a very long time, the deeply sinister message "Goodbye Hope" would scroll across the till displays. It continues "to see you again soon", but it's still pretty disturbing.

Anyway, last time I was in a Sainsbury's, which was about two weeks ago, they had a new and equally bizarre message. This one was painted in giant letters above the exit. It read:
"Goodbye Come"
which I thought was pretty weird.
Then, as if the signwriter was just popping out to lunch and annoucning his intention to return sharpish, it adds
"Back Soon".
Still, you know...

Back here, and I struggled through Newark airport last week. Now there's an anagram to ponder upon.