Archive for the Fun Category

My Guardian Angel Wants a Word

Posted in Fun on February 2, 2011 by timlafferty

On 1-1-11 I blogged that I’ve been a little obsessed by that number pattern, seeming to see 11:11 on digital clocks very regularly since my teenage years and vaguely wondering what might happen to me on 11-11-11 this year. Yesterday evening my wife was watching the hospital soap Holby City, and for the first time ever I watched some of it. One of the characters made all her decisions based on signs sent by her guardian angel, including not going for vital surgery because it wasn’t one o’clock. She seemed to be a member of some sort of movement called ’11:11 Light Guardians’. Surely it must be a sign; the first time I see the show it has an 11:11 message. But a sign of what?

Today I typed ’11:11 Light Angels’ into Google and got 1.3 million results. There are 131 videos in Google Videos on the subject.

Imagine my surprise to discover that, apparently, if you see the numbers 11:11 regularly it’s because angels want to communicate with you. There are, conveniently, 1,111 spirit guardians, and they asked for 11:11 to be their sign when we developed digital clocks.

One site, Angel of Light Center has a message from Mary “The Magdalene” about January 11th, 2011 (1-11-11 in American). I guess Mary doesn’t have internet access because her message is “channelled” by Anna Beatrice.

At Universal Life Tools they reckon that 2009 was a rare 11 Universal vibration year (2+0+0+9 = 11). “Thus the 11 Universal vibration year will bring about a planetary rLOVEution of grand proportions and connect EARTH back to the HEART (just move the H from the end to the beginning) of LOVE (Live, One, Vibrational, Energy).” Is it me, or are they taking these patterns a little too far – they’ve even dragged poor old words into it?

Now, I’m probably above-averagely open to things that many people (if not angels) would consider alternative, even whacko. I meditate, do yoga and have been to many sessions at the eRejuvenation center in London where they specialise in channelling positive energy, all of which I’ve found beneficial. Out of curiosity I once even spent a weekend on a course run by Psychic Sue which was interesting (although I wasn’t sure about her claim that she could “read” bare buttocks). But, comforting as it is to think I might have a guardian angel, even I can’t stretch to thinking that he/she is communicating with me through the digital clock of my Ford Fiesta.

I thought it was only me that had this interest in 11:11; it’s even, coincidentally, the date of my wedding. So it’s with some disappointment that I learn that 75m other people also notice this number pattern. Perhaps I’m not so special; it’s just that, as I suspected, 11:11 is a noticeable number. On the other hand, maybe Holby did contain a message from my guardian angel: “Go forth and write a blog about this.”

If you’ve got nothing better to do than watch that episode of Holby City (but I’m sure you have) you can see it here, preferably at 11:11 p.m.

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Writer Jokes

Posted in Fun on January 25, 2011 by timlafferty

The Queen was touring a Scottish hospital. She approached the bed of a patient who shouted out “Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!”. Another patient staggered up to her and sang “Should auld acquaintance be forgot.” Turning to a doctor she asked if she was in a ward for mental patients. “No ma’am,” was the reply “This is the Burns Unit”.

Groan. But my excuse is that tonight is Burns night. For those indulging in haggis and whiskey this evening, cheers!

Here are a few other writer jokes, for which I have no excuses:

Shakespeare wasn’t allowed into his local pub. He was Bard.

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How many mystery writers does it take to change a lightbulb? Two – one to do most of the turning and the other to give it a final twist at the end.

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A screenwriter comes home to a burned down house. His sobbing and slightly-charred wife is standing outside. “What happened, honey?” the man asks.

“Oh, John, it was terrible,” she weeps. “I was cooking, the phone rang. It was your agent. Because I was on the phone, I didn’t notice the cooker was on fire. It went up in seconds. Everything is gone. I nearly didn’t make it out of the house. Poor Moggie is…”

“Wait, wait. Back up a minute,” the man says. “My agent called?”

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Have you heard about the two literary agents who saw one of their writers on the other side of the street? One of them said “There’s the bastard who gets 75% of our earnings”.

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A linguistics professor was lecturing to his English class one day. “In English,” he said, “a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However, there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative.”

A voice from the back of the room piped up, “Yeah, right.”

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Bulwer-Lytton

Posted in Fun on July 18, 2010 by timlafferty

The results of the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest have been published. This is a competition to decide who can write the worst opening line of a novel. Here’s the 2010 winner, written by Molly Ringle of Seattle, WA:

‘For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss–a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.’

Many people seem to think the organisers of the competition (the English department of the San Jose State University, USA) trawl thousands of novels to find the worst examples. But no, every year up to 10,000 writers deliberately set out to write their worst sentences, and then submit them. I didn’t enter in 2010 but the last time I did, in 2008, I won the Adventure category with this:

‘As the hippo’s jaws clamped on Henry’s body he noted the four huge teeth badly in need of a clean, preferably with one of those electric sonic toothbrushes, and he reflected that his name would be immortalized by his unusual death, since hippo killings are not a daily occurrence, at least not in the high street of Chipping Sodbury’.

They published that one in a collection a couple of years ago. I also received a “Dishonorable Mention” in 2004 for this one:

‘As Amy reached for the envelope her heart fluttered in anticipation like the wings of a fruit bat that has eaten a fermented peach, and even though she knew the statistic that you are more likely to be hit by a meteorite than to win the lottery, she was still quite surprised when opening the envelope to be hit by a meteorite.’

When you submit an entry, Professor Scott Rice sends an email which says something like “Thank you for your submission. It will get the treatment it deserves.” Brilliant. The rules of the competition state that the winner shall receive a pittance.

The competition is a tribute to novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton who in 1830 started his novel  Paul Clifford with this rambling sentence:

‘It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents–except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.’

To see the other winners of 2010, and perhaps to submit an entry of your own for next year’s competition, visit http://www.bulwer-lytton.com

You’ll see that right at the top of the site it says “Where “WWW” stands for “Wretched Writers Welcome””.


Funny Newspaper Headlines

Posted in Fun on July 18, 2010 by timlafferty

I enjoy clever or unintentionally funny newspaper headlines. Stephen Fry pointed out a couple on his Twitter page so here they are, plus a few favourites of my own.

Tired Gay Succumbs to Dix in 200 meters.

Reuters 2010 http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6622I420100703

No surprise that Stephen likes this one. It reminds me of the famous cricket commentary “The batsman’s Holding the bowler’s Willey”.

Butler Handjob Gives Wheatley Semi

Getreading.com 2010 http://www.getreading.co.uk/sport/football/goalpost/s/2065435_butler_handjob_gives_wheatley_sem

Super Caley Go Ballistic, Celtic are Atrocious

The Sun

Scottish football team Caledonian Thistle (nicknamed Caley) unexpectedly beat favourites Celtic. There’s an article about this and other football headlines on the Guardian’s website

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2008/dec/12/joy-of-six-headlines

Mile High Mandy Gets Randy on Brandy

The Sun, 2000

Amanda Holt had too much to drink in business class on an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Manchester. A fellow passenger, David Machin, (who was a complete stranger) and Amanda, had a sexual encounter in front of outraged passengers and staff. They were both fined at Manchester Crown Court and lost their jobs. Quite a sad story but a great headline. How come I never sit next to anyone like that?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/apr/06/davidward.simonbowers

Federal Agents Raid Gun Store, Find Weapons

I’m not sure which newspaper published this headline but it is one of a several funny ones on oddee.com.

http://www.oddee.com/item_96156.aspx

Police: Crack Found in Man’s Buttocks

More of those here: http://open.salon.com/blog/del_stone/2009/11/23/newspaper_screwups_-_a_vanishing_species

Please send me your favourites.