The Good, The Weird and The Stupid

Four-and-a-half years ago, Hurricane Katrina swept through New Orleans, leaving only destruction in its wake. It may have happened to the most powerful country in the world, but there were still doubts at whether the region could ever come back from such a disaster. Last night, the New Orleans Saints’ triumphantly won the Superbowl, dedicating their victory to the victims of Katrina and to inspire the region to bounce back. I have to state for the record, I do not understand American Football. There is far too much stopping and starting for me to ever really get into it as a sport. In the football I know, if you picked up the ball and ran with it instead of kicking it, you’d be sent off the field of play.

Regardless, the Americans sure know how to put on a spectacle. And for New Orleans to win the Superbowl, even without me understanding the fundamentals of the game, it is a phenomenal achievement. But I must make one point about the sport. How can one game that consists of four fifteen-minute quarters go on so long? A game that should last an hour is stretched inexplicably to three or four times that amount. But to offer balance, if I actually understood and enjoyed the sport, I’m sure I wouldn’t be complaining. Perhaps somebody could explain the virtues of the game to me and then maybe I could enjoy it alongside our American cousins. But for now, I’ll stick with our version of football. The version where the foot meets the ball throughout the whole game.

Sliding down the scale of human achievement, an Australian performance artist has recently beaten his own world record for swallowing swords. Chayne Hultgren managed to fit eighteen 72cm swords down his throat. I’m not sure about you, but I gag when I use the toothbrush to scrub my tongue. Exactly how you come to realize this talent is so far beyond me, I’ve stopped searching for reason. Maybe one day when eating dinner, he speared a bit of steak on his fork and when putting it in his mouth, he forgot to stop. That’s probably junior sword swallowing. You have to work your way up from forks. When commenting on this stunt, he dismissed the danger of such an act saying, “I have spent many hours training for it”. To me, “many hours” doesn’t quite seem sufficient. I wouldn’t have worried as much if he’d said he’d spent years training for it. Besides, it’s not like I’m jealous of this particularly bizarre achievement. I’ll stick to choking on my toothbrush for now.

And finally, hitting the absolute lowest plateau of achievement, I turn to a Vodafone employee and Twitter. Last Friday this was the message that greeted the 8824 followers of Vodafone, “VodafoneUK is fed up with dirty homo’s and is going after beaver”. At first, it was suspected that Vodafone’s Twitter account had been hacked by an outsider, but it turns out the problem was much closer to home. A customer care employee for Vodafone was found to be guilty for posting the message. This strikes me as a modern, non-violent method of “going postal”. Something clearly snapped in his head and he couldn’t take it anymore. Too many people calling in to complain about David Beckham no longer doing the advertising. Personally, I extremely disappointed that that’s the best he could come up with. If you’re going to lose your job, at least do it in style! I could have thought of a plethora of creative ways to ruin my future job prospects. Vodafone obviously removed the message within minutes of it being posted, but for once, Twitter’s new ReTweet function came in handy spreading the gaffe globally beyond Vodafone’s control. The Vodafone team have been sending out personal apologies to all their followers begging them to keep faith in their service. 8824 personalized apologies, ouch! I somehow doubt the guilty employee will be getting a favorable reference for his next job.

So there you have it, the good and the great, the bizarre, and the downright stupid. A fine balanced way to start your week.

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3 responses to “The Good, The Weird and The Stupid

  1. Vodafone aren’t the only company to have become unstuck by social media. It’s clear that brands need to have a strict vetting policy before letting any old bod broadcast into the ether on their behalf. Who can forget poor old Habitat’s debacle? Mind you, interestingly they have seem to have managed themselves out of the mess pretty well… with a little agency help.
    But like you said, as an employee if you are going to do something as stupid as that, at least do it in style!!

  2. oh Simon, your blogs do make me laugh! I love ur comments about you and your toothbrush – absolutely brilliant and absolutely hilarious! Great story about Vodafone too – keep up the good work!!

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