#MeandMcQueen – Part 1

2 Oct

Lightning McQueen: The man, the myth, the legend. A dedicated follower of fashion. An avid beard fan. A smile that could make an angel weep with joy. A Twitter icon.

I could go on, but I know nothing more about him. So how did Lightning McQueen become such an internet phenomenon?

When @cheekyricardo found McQueen in Oxfam, he couldn’t resist splashing out on what is surely a one-off item. McQueen’s days of gazing out of the Oxfam window, willing for someone to come and take him out of his bottom-of-the-shelf hell were now long gone, and a journey of epic proportions was about to begin. McQueen was about to be catapulted from charity shop wilderness into the big time.

Charity Shop Woe

McQueen's smile hides years of rejection

His first visit was to @JCautomatic’s salon. @cheekyricardo had previously sent JC a text message with an attached photo of McQueen in his Oxfam hell. After commenting on how ‘gruesome’ it was, @JCautomatic thought that would be the last he saw of McQueen. But he was wrong.

To JC’s suprise (and secret delight), @cheekyricardo left McQueen within a Sainsbury’s plastic carrier bag, in the salon after having his hair cut by JC.

McQueen - The legend

The pose of a confident man

@JCautomatic hatched a plan; he would let McQueen enjoy his new found freedom by allowing him to see the world. McQueen would be sent to and from various people on Twitter so he could see new sights, meet new people, and enjoy his final years. That is how I came into possession of Lighting McQueen. After a lonely, dark night, concealed in a jiffy bag which JC had carefully slipped him in, he arrived at my house, 286 miles away. Sadly, I was already at work, but a message from my girlfriend was enough for me to look forward to getting home even more than I already was.

Straight to the point

In part 2, you can see what McQueen and I get up to in our time together.

Classic Game Shows

27 Sep

They don’t make game shows like they used to. The fun factor seems to have been replaced by greed, with huge prizes now on offer in programmes such as Red or Black and Deal or no Deal; without the contestants actually having to have any common sense whatsoever. Here, I take a look back at some of my favourite game shows that I can remember:

 

Eggs and Bacon – Hosted by Richard Bacon and CJ from Eggheads; Eggs and Bacon was a homo-erotic quiz show based on knowledge of cottaging, docking, buggery and denim shorts. Three contestants would compete over five rounds, amassing points depending on how quickly they could answer the questions. At the end of each round, there would be a bonus round, hilariously renamed the ‘Bonar Round’, in which the contestants could try and double their points tally. The Bonar Round was different in that it was down to a physical challenge and contestants were put though tasks such as ‘How many condoms can you slide onto a cucumber?’, ‘Guess the todger by touch’ and ‘The Jack-off Jive’. The contestant with the most points at the end of the show would have the chance to win a holiday in the final round, ‘The Big One’. There were only ever 3 winners.

Eggs and Bacon ran for 2 series from 2010 to 2011, with the BBC refusing to commission any further shows due to the obscene number of complaints sent in to Points Of View. Most of them centred around the incessant flirting between Bacon and CJ, with many viewers calling it ‘uncalled for’ but the questions and physical tasks didn’t escape criticism either. With its lurid pink set and constant innuendo, many saw the 8pm prime time slot as a mistake by the BBC, and as such, was the kiss of death for the show.

The Crystal Catch Maze – When funding was cut for the producers of two of the most popular shows in existence, The Crystal Maze and Catchphrase, they decided to take drastic action. Rather than lose one and keep the other, they decided to merge the shows into one. The result saw the creation of The Crystal Catch Maze. Five contestants, working as a team, would be sent to various zones, where they would have to guess catchphrases acted out in 2D on a projector screen whilst being put off by various swinging objects and obstacles. In some cases, they were made to smoke crystal meth before a round to make it even more difficult. If the selected team member guessed the catchphrase correctly in the allotted time, host Roy Walker (who agreed to wax his head and learn the harmonica for the role), would shout ‘You’re Right!’ and they would win a crystal. The more crystals the team won, the longer time they would have in the final round.

In this final round, the team were put into a huge crystal (later found to be heated well over health and safety regulations) in which silver and gold tickets would flutter around, propelled by a huge fan installed inside it (which also blew hot air). The aim was to collect 100 gold tickets, with any silver ones collected deducting a point from the tally amassed. It was made even more difficult as two crew members would dress up in Mr. Chips costumes and hit the contestants with rubber mallets. The Crystal Catch Maze ran from 2002 to 2005, always attracting a large audience, and so it was a surprise to many when the show was dropped. In fact, it wasn’t until this year that The Crystal Maze was rumoured to be making a comeback, with this plan for the new format leaked on the internet:

Leaked on the Internet, much to the embarassment of channel 4 producers.

(image by @QuantumPirate – follow him on Twitter)

That’s Not Yoghurt! – Contestants on That’s Not Yoghurt! were either brave or stupid. Six contestants would start the show, and once blindfolded, would have to guess if the item that they were tasting was yoghurt or something else. Host Floella Benjamin revelled in her new TV role, revealing a mean streak that she was not able to show on Playdays (apart from the time she gave one toddler a backhand for being lippy). That’s Not Yoghurt! was not as easy as it sounds, with most of the show’s budget spent on creating new and unusual flavours of yoghurt in an attempt to trick contestants, who would shout “THAT’S NOT YOGHURT!” when in fact it was. In particular, the cheddar cheese, the bacon and the semen ‘n’ garlic flavoured yoghurts fooled many contestants. Memorable items fed to contestants in the hope of them thinking that it was in fact yoghurt were lard, chlorine, mouthwash, various out of date soups and in one case, petrol.

At the end of a round, the contestant who had either called the foodstuff correctly or incorrectly as yoghurt the most times would have to drop out, until there was one remaining. The final round was called ‘Now That’s What I Call Yoghurt’. In this, the last remaining contestant would be dunked into a bath of yoghurt, and they had to eat it all within a 6 minute period. Only one person ever achieved this, and they won a life supply of yoghurt. During its later years, the final round was spruced up a bit in a bid to keep it modern. One stand out series included an addition of a ‘Fruit Corner Final’ in which a bidet was placed next to the bath, filled with fruit. The finalist had to scoop this fruit out of the bidet and into the bath, before jumping in and consuming it all. That’s Not Yoghurt aired from 1991 – 1997 but has recently made a comeback in Japan.

Cat, Mouse, Dog, Chicken – Take the mental tests from the Krypton Factor and make them twice as hard, and then take the physical challenge from the same show and sprinkle it with the toughness of the Total Wipeout course, and you are just some of the way towards visioning the fantastic game show that was Cat, Mouse, Dog, Chicken.  The show itself was a complex production, with a colossal 100 contestants competing over 64 rounds on every show, and it was for this reason that it had to be shown over the course of three evenings every week. The show spanned an impressive 15 years, from the first ever screening in 1970, to the last show in October 1985. Les Dawson watched over proceedings, often barking out questions through a loudspeaker to the contestants, who would be gunged for every question that they got wrong.

The ‘buzz’ round was always comical, with all 64 contestants attempting to buzz in first to answer questions and would often lead to Dawson shouting his now famous catchphrase, “One at a time, my little chickens”. Due to the sheer mental and physical strength required to win the show, the prize for winning was often substantial, ranging from speedboats and scooters to top of the range ovens and camping gear. No one actually knew why it was called Cat, Mouse, Dog, Chicken and it remains a closely guarded secret. There have been no plans to bring this show back as a full series, although there have been a few Celebrity Christmas Specials.

The Barking Spider – Hosted by a different member of the public every week, The Barking Spider was a light-hearted game show which did take a lot of inspiration from the Generation Game. Two families would compete over six rounds, aiming to score as many points as possible, with the victorious family winning a holiday of their dreams to anywhere in the north of England. Different rounds included painting, clay modelling, yodelling, go-kart racing as well as good old fashioned question answering.

What made this show stand out was the banter between the two competing families each week, with the selected host often having to step in when things got a bit heated. Sometimes, audience members would also have to step in the help diffuse the situation, and admittedly is was this excitement that helped The Barking Spider hit peak viewing figures of 7.5 million in 1995 when it was on every Saturday evening.

The main event that everyone watching looked forward to was the final round where the family with the most points would face The Barking Spider; a huge robotic spider that would spin round quickly. 8 huge legs aimed to knock the family members off bar stools on which they had to balance, and then jump as the legs approached; and if at least one family member was still on their bar stool after 90 seconds, they would win the prize. There were often serious injuries during this final round; 12 broken arms in total, 4 ruptured spleens and sadly, in 1998, a decapitation.

Things I Found In My Attic Part 2

22 Sep

Part 1 – https://kylejwilkins.wordpress.com/2011/09/21/things-i-found-in-my-attic-today/

I continued to look through the large wooden chest that I discovered in my attic yesterday, and once again I came across some fascinating items:

Leonard Corby’s Pumice Stone – Leonard is an old school friend who would impress us during lunch breaks by performing self-fellatio, which was remarkable to witness. He also had rather bad eczema, in particular around his ring-piece, which he took a great deal of delight in showing us. It was down to one of his friends to help him remove the dry skin that accumulated on his buttocks as Leonard would say it was out of his reach. We made a rule where the last one out into the playground at lunch would have to be the one to rub the pumice on Leonard. One Thursday, I was last out; Peter Barnwinkle had tied my shoelaces together without me realising, and it hampered me when trying to get to the playground. As usual, Leonard was behind the bike sheds waiting for us all to arrive, his cock already out. He handed me the pumice stone, sat down, and took his helmet between his lips. It turned out to be a fateful day. Leonard choked on his cock and we all thought he was taking the piss so neglected to help him. We scarpered when Mr. Davis saw the commotion and came running over. I still had the cold pumice in my hand and I kept it as something to remember Leonard by. He was quite a guy.

 

A Trumpano – This is a very small musical instrument I got given as a gift from the Dhag-hi-hi-hi Tribe on a visit to Gambia. It’s a cross between a trumpet and piano; impossible to play because every time you blow into it, the keys fly off. It is however, the only one of its kind, so I am in no rush to get rid of it. There is a very small message carved into its base saying, ‘Kwadayo Gladdio Beardiet Linzuano’, which translated means ‘Bearded Gladiator Blow My Lizard’. I’m not sure of the relevance of that.

 

A Receipt – I have the first receipt ever issued. It was produced by a London company called Broomsticks, who used to manufacture and sell various witch paraphernalia during the medieval times. Up until the idea of a receipt, an agreement, usually verbal, was kept between the customer and the shop selling an item; meaning an item could be returned and refunded if it did not meet customer’s expectations. Broomsticks found that some of their customers, buying items ranging from hats, cauldrons and broom accessories to black cats, stick-on warts and cans of canned cackled laughter, were returning them after using them for about a year, just to get a new product. They decided to issue some sort of paperwork whereby they could trace the date the item was sold and to whom it was sold. This later became known as a receipt. I have the first one issued, for a bag of mixed snail guts and frogs legs, and sold to a Miss P. Groaner. I’d rather not go into how I came to have this item.

 

A Rhino’s Heart – Picked up by my auntie who used to work in the rhino enclosure at London Zoo; the rhino’s heart means a lot to me because it was given to me as a present on the day I left my virginity. I must stress, I did not lose my virginity to my auntie and it was merely a coincidence that she gave it to me on the same day. An elderly male rhino had passed away, and due to funding cutbacks, the zoo was unable to get the body collected and disposed off, and the ground was far too hard to dig a grave big enough (this occurred during the hosepipe ban of ’86). There was only one other option; cut the rhino up into smaller chunks, and leave in public bins around London. My auntie was part of a 5-strong team that carried out the task. She kept the heart as she thought it was the right thing to do. I get funny feelings, and sometimes erections, looking at the heart, when I think back to what I was getting up to  at the same time that my auntie was slicing and dicing the rhino.

Jimmy Nail’s Cowboy hat – I saw Jimmy Nail on a night out in Newcastle a few years back. He was rather drunk and pushing a girl about, calling her a ‘frigid twat’ and telling her to ‘suck his marvellous penis’. I was quite taken aback by this so went over to see if the girl was ok. As she sobbed, Jimmy asked me what the fuck I thought I was doing. “I have no time for bullies like you”, I replied, and this seemed to tip him over the edge. He went or me, almost spilling my drink, so I thumped him hard in the face. As he dropped to the floor, I put the boot in. Jimmy was shouting all sorts of obscenities at me, so I got him in a half-Nelson and gave him a noogie until he surrendered. After some time, he relaxed so I loosened my grip. The northern bastard tricked me though, and as soon as I had I let him go, he was starting again, spitting at me whilst waving his flaccid cock in the now hysterical girl’s direction.

I gave him a swift boot in the balls, and Nail collapsed again like a sack of shit, but kept kicking out at me. “I’ll take those”, I hissed, removing his footwear.

“Not my crocodile shoes, please man!”, he begged.

I took pity, and took his cowboy hat instead, tossing the shoes back in his general direction. I keep the hat as a reminder not to be horrible to women.

Things I Found In My Attic Today

21 Sep

I’ve just been cleaning out my attic and to my delight I found an old trunk which I had forgotten about for some time.It contains many of my most treasured possessions. Amongst them;

A Stuffed Camel – This was given to me by my Grandfather before he passed away. It was one of his most treasured possessions and the story that goes with how it came into his hands really is quite remarkable; he stole it off of Adolf Hitler’s bed. During the second World War, he was part of a little known squadron that happened to infiltrate one of Hitler’s many hideouts. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to capture the evil tyrant as he was out at the time. Instead he, and the other soldiers with him, feasted on food that they found in Hitler’s cupboards until they were fit to burst. My Grandfather told of the juiciness of Hitler’s grapes and would always add “Not his haemorrhoids you cheeky buggers!” when we stifled our laughter at this part of his story. He would also go into great detail about the ornate decor in the hideout that they had infiltrated, in particular, the naked woman on all of the ceilings that had been hand painted in fascinating detail. My Grandfather would say, “You could make out every pubic hair. That’s how impressive the paintings were. Of course, back then, all the ladies had hairy vaginas”.

It was in Hitler’s bedroom that the stuffed camel was stolen. My Grandfather spotted it sat on one of Hitler’s pillows and couldn’t resist the urge to take it. In its place, he squatted and defecated onto the pillow, then stuck a cigarette in the fresh stool, along with two Smarties for eyes. Giggling, a few of the soldiers then put Hitler’s pants over their trousers and pretended that they were army superheroes, running all over the house and throwing fruit at each other. My Grandfather placed the camel in his backpack and it was there it stayed until his return to English shores. He kept the capture of the camel a secret from his superiors, and it was only once the war was over that he showed the rest of the family just what he had found in Germany. We named the camel, unoriginally, ‘Adolf Humpler’.

 

A Signed Copy of the Bible – I’m not sure how genuine this is, but I refuse to throw it away despite the fact I’m an atheist. It’s quite tatty, and it is now stored inside a smaller wooden box to prevent any further damage to it, and I have been advised by my mother to wear gloves when handling it, (not that I ever read it). On the inside front cover of the copy I own are the words ‘All the best, Jesus Christ’ with a little smiley face which has a beard. I have no reasons to doubt that this could be a fake. It might be worth something in a few years time, so I am trying to take good care of it.

 

Lucky Packet of Chewing Gum – This means a lot to me because it was given to me by my Dad, even though it has bought him so much luck over the years. He came up to me one day with it, pressed it into my hand and told me to keep it. “I’m getting old, son”, he said, “You have this now”. The chewing gum is an unopened packet of Wrigelys Extra; spearmint flavour. My Dad first discovered it was lucky when he was rubbing it in his trouser pocket during the 1966 World Cup Final. He claims it is because of this rubbing action, it was responsible for England winning the World Cup, as well as his substantial win on the Pools, the fact he met my Mum and numerous other fortunate events. Each time something good happened to him, the chewing gum was in his pocket. I took the lucky qualities of the chewing gum with a pinch of salt; I was just grateful to be given something that meant so much to my Dad. However, after he gave it to me, it bought me one stroke of tremendous luck.

I was in town a few years ago with friends, and a mugger came up and tried to steal my wallet. A tussle ensued, but he managed to prise it from my hands. As he attempted to run off, I went for him, and he pulled a gun and took a shot at me. The chewing gum was in the top pocket of my denim jacket I was wearing. Usually, I wouldn’t take the chewing gum out with me, but for some reason I’d decided to take it with me on this particular day. I was so fortunate that day; the bullet missed me and hit one of the friends I was with instead.

 

A Wooden Replica Elephant’s Penis – On my gap year I decided to do a bit of travelling. I ended up, by mistake, in Kenya, having hid inside my own suitcase for a laugh as I wanted to give the baggage handlers a bit of a fright. This backfired somewhat when the movement from me inside the case caused the baggage label to fall off, along with that of a case that was resting alongside the one I was in. The labels were replaced, incorrectly, by the handlers and I ended up in Kenya instead of Prague. I decided to make the most of the mishap and stayed with locals for a few days, playing Frisbee, teaching them English swear words, shooting animals and eating all sorts of exotic meats such as tiger and zebra. They adored me out there, and when it was time for me to leave, they presented me with a huge wooden penis. They explained that the elephant was seen as some sort of God in their country, and that I had reminded them of a God. The penis was carved as a gesture of goodwill, and is supposed to ward off evil spirits.

 

Charlie Chaplin’s Kidney Stone – Stolen from Chaplin’s toilet by my wacky uncle, the kidney stone has the aroma of fame and the texture of success. My uncle was a stagehand back in Chaplin’s heyday. One evening before a live performance, my uncle heard Chaplin in the toilet, shouting loudly and making a great deal of fuss, which was unheard of. He hid and waited for Chaplin to go on stage. Once he had, my uncle rushed to the loo and it was here that he was greeted with one solitary kidney stone that hadn’t been flushed away. He delved into to water to retrieve it (later claiming to have caught syphilis from the toilet seat) and he gave the stone to me on my 18th birthday.

 

Samantha Littleslot’s Goggles – Samantha was a girl with breasts like udders that I used to date in secondary school. One night, we sneaked into the local swimming baths, where she proceeded to give me the most satisfying blow job of my life to date. I had warned her before we started dating that it had been a long time since I had been intimate with a lady, and as such, she took precautions by wearing her swimming goggles whilst my todger was in her mouth. As I ejaculated (I saw stars I may add), my semen gushed forth and Samantha was unable to contain it in her mouth. Her head moved away from my penis, and I covered her face in teenage gooey mess. Fortunately, her goggles saved her eyes from my stinging jism. She gently removed them from her face and left them on the changing room floor. I pocketed them in secret before we left, as a memento of the occasion. They were cleaned as soon as I got them home.

 

A Pickled Finger – When holidaying in the Maldives, I spotted a glass bottle floating in the sea towards the shore. I ran over to it, intrigued, and was surprised to find a severed finger inside, preserved in vinegar. Attached to the neck of the bottle was a message, stitched into parchment. It read ‘To whoever finds my middle finger: Up Yours’. I have done a little research into the owner of the finger but have had no real success in finding out who it belongs to. My local Pirate Museum valued the finger at around £5000 a couple of years back,  so it was a good find.

 

Coleen Nolan’s Tambourine – It’s a little known fact that Coleen Nolan is a tambourine enthusiast. In fact, she used to busk in my local area with a tambourine before she hit the big time with her sisters. It was my young child’s inquisitive nature that blagged me her tambourine when she came back to her old stomping ground for a rare tambourine medley last year. My daughter asked to have a go, and loved bashing Coleen’s tambourine with great vigour, so much so that she didn’t want to give it back. Coleen was good about it though, and agreed to swap in for two Cheese-strings, a Curly-Wurly and an orgasm.  It was all I had on me at the time to offer her in return. I of course obliged, and left her exhausted with a smile on her face, and her tambourine in my hand.

 

A Match Ticket – Not just any match ticket, this is a ticket to the first ever Swan Twatting Championships that was open to the public. In 1974, the Swan Twatting governing body allowed non-ST’s (Swan Twatters) to attend the championships. My father, a big fan, managed to win a ticket to the event. He was disappointed as he had missed out when the tickets had gone on general sale, but to his enormous surprise, he won a golden ticket in a breakfast cereal that was sponsoring the event. More surprising to me, is that he didn’t have his lucky chewing gum at the time.

 

There are still plenty more things to look through, I’ve been pouring over so many objects and remembering so many great stories. I’ll note down the others soon.

The Tadpole Wrenching Phenomenon

20 Sep

About 5 years ago, a late night drunken post on a popular football forum started a new craze. The poster was I, and the subject of the post merely read ‘Tadpole Wrenching World Championships’. Quite why I decided to start such a thread is still unknown to me, but I never expected Tadpole Wrenching to grab the attention of many internet users in the way it did. Anyone who opened the first ever Tadpole Wrenching post would have been greeted with the following text:

Yes, it is that time of year again when the fiercely competitive Tadpole Wrenching Championships start all over again, this year in the inbred town of Mablethorpe. An estimated 25,000 spectators will flock to the quaint sea-side town, where most the shop windows are bi-focal and sea-gulls come as standard, to see 64 contestants aim to become World Champion.
Last year saw 15/1 outsider Bert Tee win, wrenching 6 more tadpoles than his nearest rival, the Spaniard Jose-Jose Tomton Jose, and with 4 gullets left to spare. He goes into this competition as hot favourite, having won the European Championships in Marbella last September.
Winning will not be easy though. 7 wildcards have been chosen for this year’s event, including the first all-woman competitor, Mary Mann. She sneaked through despite only averaging a wrenching total of 4 for the season, as well as a gullet rating of 4.7. She hopes to put in a good performance for the TV cameras at Mablethorpe come Sunday.

“Obviously it was a huge shock to be chosen. My seasonal averages have been far from impressive and my twine-slinger was letting me down. I have been practising for up to 6 hours a day, I feel privileged to be the first all-woman participant”.
The African champion, a Moroccan dwarf named Dave is also expected to feature in the final rounds, as is Mr. Grey, this year’s oldest contestant at a ripe age of 102.
Expect it to be an event of highs and lows, and get your tickets booked and head to Mablethorpe, it’s going to go down in history as one of the greats, I can assure you.

Taken from the Official Tadpole Wrenching Championship site……

The draw has been made for the first round at Mablethorpe this year . 64 competitors will battle it out, the best of 3 sets progressing to the next round. The seeded competitors are all drawn out of pot A (left hand side) and other entrants from pot B.

The draw is as follows

ROUND 1;
Bert Tee v Dave McFarlane
Jose Jose Tomtom Jose v Bill Mates
Lydia Fursappel v Martin Bell
Dave ‘the dwarf’ v Mary Mann[wc]
Mr.Grey v Lombardo Robeiro
Curly Loughlin v Paddy Fence
Julian ‘the minature’ Evans v Lucy Ingram
Mike Spilligan v Zebedy Doodar
Junior Laywood v Harry Henly[wc]
Ruttle O’Toole jnr v Serena Clark
Sandy Stilton v Clark Cooper
Marco Dingalong v David Llewelyn[wc]
Remington Chizwissle v Pete Bingo
Xao Hioc Cock v Bruno Le pippin
Biily deBum v Horace Nelson
Dexter Mendes v Leitish sha
Fred Fridge v Lard Crumpet
Mike Screw v Dean Giles[wc]
James Jameson v Shirley Kingham
Mo Marsh v Damien Brown[wc]
Rory Nish v Damon Sullivan
Lucy Smith v Dwane Carr
Costa de la Apple v Mrs.Goggins
Ash Avery v Tom Roper[wc]
Paul Eacott v Mark Williams
Melon McCoorkel v Lame Regis
Farrison Hord v Trumpet Man[wc]
Gill Fisher v Keith Robbins
Phil Russle v Santiago Lopez
Giles Farmer v C.N JackMan
Mo Kaine v Paddy Tremble
Leroy Lazenby v Katherine Hate

This was followed up by a quick glossary of terms, for authenticity:

For those of you unfamiliar with the sport here’s a glossary of the terms and sayings used:

Taken from Wikipedia, the on-line encyclopaedia – Tadpole Wrenching, the terms and sayings, a brief glossary

Backhand Hook: A technique used by some competitors in hope of achieving a last gasp wrench. This term is used when a competitor first misses a tadpole, but recovers on the backstroke to capture the target
Bamboo Shooter: A device used by competitors, similar to a pea-shooter. The shooter is a hollow device used to shoot small pebbles to stun the target and can only be used twice in one match.
Girdle: Similar to a twine-sling, but more in the shape of tongs. The competitor must use the scoop on the end to aid capture of the target, using one-hand on the device only
Girth Reacher: A long thin device that a competitor can use to prod rocks and coves in the underwater cabins in hope of finding more targets
Gullet Rating: An average from either the season or a single match, based upon tadpoles wrenched, and gullet methods left over from catching them
Pickle Wedge: This is used in turn with the bamboo shooter.A small capsule used to aid the capture of the targets. Together they must not exceed the weight stated in the competition rules. Competitors can only use thumb and a finger when using the pickle wedge.
Tad-Wrench: The main method used for catching the target. Using a twine slinger (see below) the competitor achieves a tad-wrench when a tadpole is caught. A one-off tad-wrench, merely describes a game of three sets.
Triple-Snatch: This is achieved when a competitor achieves capture of tadpoles in three successive turns, one of which must be an underwater capture
Twine-Sling: A device made from two bamboo cane ‘runners’ which act as a sort of chop-stick, held together with twine. The most common method of using this is to hold between thumb and forefinger. It’s the oldest and easiest method in the history of Tadpole Wrenching
Snatch-Off: When the winning wrench is possible and achieved, this is called the snatch-off. A snatch-up described failure to produce the winning move when the chance is there. Many competitors have their own signature snatch-off.
Wrenching: The term used to describe the way in which the tadpole is plucked from the water, a number of methods can be used to do this.

Once the potential audience was captured and showed a vague interest, I began to post updates, as well as other snippets of information. I posted the results of each round, and tried to pull in more potential wrenching fans. (various excerpts below):

The results are in for Round 2 after some cracking matches last night

Highest Gullet Rating – Lame Regis 10.2
Most Exciting Snatch – Junior Laywood with a fantastic double scoop twine sling to complete a triple snatch, snatch-off. Unbelievable.
Triple Snatches – Mr.Grey, Bert Tee, Mo Kaine, Junior Laywood
Game of the Day- Mike Spilligan v Clark Cooper (review later)
Player of the Day – Mr.Grey

Game of the Day– Taken from the BBC sports desk.
Round 2 – Mike Spilligan 2v0 Clark Cooper
This game won’t be remembered for terrific comebacks, or a closely contested battle. This will be remembered for the sheer brilliance that Spilligan showed to win both sets by 3 legs to 0. Cooper had no chance, and no-one could fault the rookie because when Spilligan is in this form, there is no stopping him. His signature snatch-off left the crowd open mouthed, a quick snap-back on the bamboo cane wrenched 3 tadpoles alone and rounded off a flawless display. His average gullet rating for the whole match was 9, a very impressive score, and you felt that if this had have been a 5 set game, Spilligan would have broken the seasons’  best. Cooper was in awe of his opponent. “Wow, what a player. I think I’ve been beaten by a definite contender for the title. Some of the twine slinging used today was awesome. I’m disheartened, but I had little chance today. I’ll go home and think things through, and then get practising for Malmo next month.”

Game of the day – Taken from the BBC sports desk

Round 3 – Bert Tee 2v1 Ruttles O’Toole jnr

Reigning champion Bert Tee had to recover from 1 set down and an average gullet rating of 4.2 to win this match against a spirited O’Toole. The game looked out of his reach as he lost the first set by 2 legs to 1, and his wrenching was seriously off target; he captured three tadpoles in this set alone. However, experience shone through and Tee recovered to show the form that made him World Champion. The second set was won 3-0, and the gullet rating for this set was an impressive 8.6. O’Toole was clearly struggling at witnessing his opponents fightback and was poor in the deciding set. Tee achieved a triple snatch to win the game, his underwater wrench was truly impressive. He will need to be more consistent if he is to repeat last year’s result, but Tee showed glimpses of what he is capable of.

These posts paved way for other forum members to get involved and provide information about various Tadpole Wrenching competitors. It snowballed into something unexpected, with new posts appearing each day about the fictional characters involved in the fictional sport. Some of the posts (now long gone unfortunately) were a great read. A day before the ‘final’; this shocking news broke:

French Tadpole Wrenching Champion Bruno Le Pippin was found dead in a swamp in Rossendale by a man out walking his cat early this morning. Police have confirmed that they are not treating his death as suspicious and pending a post mortem, they can confirm that he drowned. The only other details they would disclose was that he had daubed the words ‘Je vous déteste crapaud’ across his torso, in a foreign language, with raspberry jam. (Thought to be a reference to the sport that he loved)
Le Pippin has been dogged for several years by a minority of supposed Wrench fans who have tried to drive him out of the sport, stating that he has a ‘stupid name’. He has also triumphed over adversity in the sport by having to cope with disability of being French.
Le Pippin, 55, was one of the leading lights on the French Snail Flogging circuit for 20 years before turning his hand to Tadpole Wrenching in 1994, gaining instant success as runner up in the 1995 Barnstaple Invitational.
But he will be remembered for his now infamous run in with a group of spectators at the Corby River Challenge in 1999, when after being tormented by a group of onlookers all week, he snapped and waded into them swinging a thermos flask.
He was the reigning French Champion, having won by default as the only other French competitor died a week before the competition of leptospirosis.

Then, it was time for the final itself:

WORLD TADPOLE WRENCHING CHAMPIONSHIP- THE FINAL

Mo Kaine 5 v 7 Lame Regis

Lame Regis is the new champion after a fantastic display of tadpole wrenching against the rookie Mo Kaine, who put up a spirited battle. Regis showed fantastic use of all his utensils, utilising his girth reacher and pickle wedge throughout the game. He was 4-0 up and cruising before the midway wrench break, after which Kaine fought back bravely. He produced a fabulous back hand scoop in the 7th set to pull it back to 4-3, and at the time looked as if he could cause an upset. Regis recovered though to go 6-3 up and despite losing the following two sets, managed to wrench 12 tadpoles in the final set to take the title.
Regis’ signature snatch-off was used as he wrapped up his first major title and he was obviously delighted at winning. Kaine can take heart from his performance, and Regis also described him as ‘a future world champion’.

Gullet Ratings for the match…….Kaine-9.2 Regis 11.4
Total Tadpoles Wrenched…….Kaine 46 Regis 57
Wrench of the Day……..Regis’ backhand scoop. Great technique.

Quotes of the Day:

“What a way to win and wrap up the wrenching world championships. Wonderful” – Davy O’Graham, radio Lincoln commentator

“I’m delighted, so delighted. Imagine a dog wagging it’s tail after taking speed. That’s how delighted I am” – Lame Regis after winning

“Sicko’s, the whole lot of them” – Animal rights activists outside the venue

“The better man won, but I’ll come back a better wrencher” – Mo Kaine

“The backhand scoop was a thing of sheer beauty- Random spectator

“Oi, Regis, you suck” – An angry spectating Remington Chizwissle, just before Regis completed a triple-snatch.

“My money is on Mo Kaine” – Kevin Keegan when he was trailing 4-0 at the interval.

“I thought this was Amarillo” – Another random spectator

“He’s turned the tadpole wrenching world upside down, via a twirly wirly whirlwind of brilliance” – Again, commentator Davy O’Graham.

Tadpole Wrenching was on the map, and a healthy number of forum posters contributed with news and views on the brilliant, yet entirely fictional, sport. Excerpts from famous Wrenching competitor’s autobiographies appeared, as well as information on the sport, with these being the only ones I can now find online:

There’s a preview show on tonight for anyone interested, on Bravo at 03.15 am.
It’s a look ahead to the World Championships on Sunday, with a portion of the program given over to a profile / tribute to the late, great Ruttles O’Toole.
For any of you too young to remember, O’Toole was a founding father of the sport (Along with other ‘Hall Of Famers’, ‘Castaway’ Phil Pollard, Syd ‘The Dredger’ Dennis, Ptarmigan ‘Paddy’ Flanagan and the first one-legged wrencher Keith Smith), and was the brains behind most of the innovations we see in use today. He was World Champion 11 times spanning 3 decades and won numerous other titles, some too obscure to record.
His battles against some of the other greats in the 70’s are amongst some of the pinnacles of sporting achievement of the decade. In particular, his marathon 9 set match against ‘The Dredger’ on October 4th 1976 at Loch Lach, ranks as probably the best match ever witnessed.
His son, Ruttles O’Toole Junior is a fine wrencher in his own right and is hoping to follow in his father’s footsteps at this Sunday’s final.
(Little known fact: Ruttles O’Toole Junior’s life coach and mentor is 80’s antipodean pop sensation and closet homosexual Jason Donovan, who will be in attendance)

And:

Extract from Bert Tee’s auto-biography, ‘A quick moment to pond-er’

“It was at that moment that I knew i had hit rock bottom. Not only had i been knocked out of the European Championships in the first round, but my drink problem had started to seriously hinder my play. That’s how I got the scar on my left hand. Too much drink had numbed my body, so I didn’t feel it digging into my hand. I knew I had to give up the bottle. I knew I could be the best Tadpole Wrencher if i did this. I knew much more as well. It was to change my life forever.”

Tadpole Wrenching had officially caught on. Indeed, a quick search on Google now turns up results for Tadpole Wrenching – it even has its own Facebook Fan Page. Alongside this, many members of social media sites list Tadpole Wrenching in their hobbies and interests, and the main thread was even linked on other forums (one example:  http://www.taintedmedia.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=77). Tadpole wrenching had caught on (on the Internet at least). I wish the original forum, with all of its post was still there (this would be it: http://www.talklfc.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=18318 but the forum has now been removed). It had hundreds of posts on it and was a great read.

It still amazes me how a random post sparked such a craze – it just shows how things can take off online.

If anyone has heard of Tadpole Wrenching, or indeed has other examples of it from the internet, please let me know; I would love to read back through any posts or people’s comments.

Pointless Sports Part 2

20 Sep

Part 1: https://kylejwilkins.wordpress.com/2011/09/07/pointless-sports/

This is the second instalment of the ten of the most pointless sports in the world. In the first part, I covered polo, water polo, the hammer throw, bowls and curling; all sports which really don’t have any point or substance to them. The next five are as follows:

 6) Pole Vault – I’m not too sure how this sport came to be. All that is involved is running along with a flexible pole, which is then used to fling the competitor as high as possible in the air, over a bar. It’s boring to watch, unless the bar they are vaulting over, or indeed their pole, happens to land on them once they are sprawled on the crash mat. The sport would be much more entertaining if it involved vaulting over Polish people; I’m certain this would attract more spectators. The one thing the pole vault has going for it is the fact the competitors stand on the start line and wait for the slow hand clap from the 10-strong crowd to start up, only starting their run up when the clapping has reached its climax. But that’s it. It’s not exciting in the slightest. In fact, all it really is, is a ‘will they or won’t they make it’ scenario; like a really shit version of Heads or Tails, or a slightly better version of ITV ‘blockbuster’ Red or Black.

 7) Cross-Country – The bane of many school children throughout the country over the last 30-40 years, cross-country is more a form of punishment than it is a sport. Invented by sadistic head teachers from some of the top schools in the UK, cross-country has seen many a child almost die through forced participation. It is an unwritten rule that cross-country can only take place in freezing, windswept conditions, and can only be participated by children under the age of 16. These children are rounded up and shown the course, usually 2 laps around a muddy track, with the most unfortunate competitors having to run in vest and pants as they’ve forgotten their sports kit.  More concerned with their pre-pubescent cocks peeking out from beneath their pants, or the wind and rain messing up their hair and make-up; the kids will then be bellowed at as they struggle around the course. “RUN! DON’T WALK”, the most commonly heard phrase, as the course stewards (teachers, dressed in thermals and waterproof clothing), make sure everyone is giving their all, despite their best efforts to go as slow as physically possible. The end result is always the same; a hundred or so soaking wet kids, cold and exhausted, standing at the finish line waiting for the last competitor to finish. This person is usually, and let’s be brutally honest, fat. There is also a high chance that they will be crying. However, every competitor is united in one thing; the hate of cross-country.

 8) Cricket – A controversial inclusion I know, but cricket just doesn’t do anything for me. Two teams of men, dressed head to toe in white, smashing a really rather hard ball about a field isn’t really my cup of tea. There are a few variations on the game too, in a bid to try and appeal to a wider audience. Test cricket is a longer game, played over a number of days, the result of the game can be decided by the weather (yes, I know!), and the 20/20 game is a rather frantic affair, with each side bowling an agreed amount of balls whilst the other scores as many runs as possible. Both games are still, for me, dull. It doesn’t really have much of a pace to it, and a lot of the time, the result can be foreseen by the halfway point in a game, so it’s rare that there is a huge twist in the game. 10CC famously sang “I don’t like cricket, I love it”. I might do a cover version of it called ‘I don’t like cricket, it’s cricket’.

 9) Skiing – Grown adults put on garish looking shell-suit like clothing, and go speeding down a mountain as fast as possible with small runners on their feet and a pole in each hand for balance. How enthralling! I am of course being sarcastic; quite why anyone would want to speed down a mountain with NO brakes is beyond me.  Again, like cricket, there are variations on the sport. Slalom, sees the competitor speed down the mountain, zig-zagging their way through various flags. I’m not sure why they can’t just go in a straight line. Then there is another version, which I am unsure of the name and can’t be bothered to look for it, where there are various bumps and mounds of snow that the skiers have to go over. They jiggle about like a fat girl on top of a washing machine and that’s about it. Then there is the ski jump, where they slide down a huge platform, jump off the end of it and high into the air, leaning forward with their hands behind their backs in a very nonchalant and quite smug manner. All very different versions, but let’s not kid ourselves: it’s still skiing and it still takes place on cold, hard snow, on a mountain. Mountain are high, people fall off them.

 10) Formula 1 – I think I’ve saved the most pointless sport until last. Formula 1 is THE most pointless sport in existence, but attracts a huge audience. Why? As I see it, 20 or so cars line up on the starting grid, based on how fast they have driven in qualifying (which people actually watch!). Now this itself is down to the actual car and not the driver; I’m certain that any driver that finished last in a previous race, would come at least top 3 if he were to be put in the fastest car. It’s obvious, isn’t it? Once the first corner is out of the way, which sometimes, if you’re lucky enough, will see a few cars spin out or get overtaken. After the first lap, the overtaking is very, very limited, with cars only moving up positions if the one ahead of them goes in for a pit-stop. There is an exception to the rule; a ‘fast’ car may have had to start lower on the grid, and as you’d expect, they soon overtake the other drivers in front of them, regardless of the drivers skill or capabilities. Not very exciting really.

Then there are the spectators, who flock in their droves to watch the cars speed past them in a blur, from a distance of about a mile, as they cheer for a split second every time their favoured team or driver whizz past. What is the point? Formula 1 – you are a terrible sport.

Classifieds

15 Sep

Quiz Team Names Part 2

14 Sep

In the first part of my guide to choosing a decent quiz team name (see here: https://kylejwilkins.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/quiz-team-names/ ) I looked at the Do’s and Dont’s of choosing your team name. If, after reading that guide you are still stuck for inspiration, I have come up with some more names for you, taking into account the rules from the first part of the guide:

 

 

Bin Laden’s Body Bag
Much Ado About Bumming
The Anal Beads
Ian Beale’s Light Sabre Surprise
The Spunking Whelks
Hello, is it me you’re looking for?
Quiz on my face
Here comes the quiz stepper
Inter Spina Bifida
Bestiality Killed The Cat
Salman Rushdie ate my rhubarb
Enter Colin
The Squatting Rhinos
Granddad’s Magic Sausage
The Orange Ostracised Ostriches
The Wonderful And Talented Squad (TWATS)
Strictly Come Mincing
Les Dennis and the Heartbreakers
Terry Nutkins’ Autumnal Balloon Ride
The Spanish In-Quizition
Quiz Me Baby One More Time
Punch Us Up The Sphincter
You Ain’t Half Grot, Mum.
The Defecating Moths of Portugal.
Menstrual Sensations.
Boris Yeltsin and the Birthmark of Doom

There should be enough to keep you going.

As usual, your suggestions are more than welcome, and I will include them in part 3 (unless they even worse than the above).

Take Me Out Part 2

13 Sep

After sending my tongue in cheek application form to the producers of Take Me Out (see here: https://kylejwilkins.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/take-me-out/) I received a number of voicemails asking me if I would still like to go on the show. I think it is up to 5 currently.

 This was then followed up yesterday with the following email: 

From: XXX.XXXXXX@talkbackThames.tv
Sent: 12 September 2011 18:30:32

 Hi there.
Apologies for the ‘out of the blue’ message.
You recently applied to be a contestant on the third series of ITV1’s ‘Take Me Out’ hosted by Paddy Mcguinness.

We have tried to contact you offering you the opportunity to audition for the series and have yet to hear back whether you are interested.
If you are still keen, please email us back as soon as possible with a contact number as the deadline for applicants is fast approaching.

If, since you applied, you have found love or are no longer interested, then feel free to ignore this email.
Feel free to pass the application form on to anyone else you know that would be keen to apply.

All the best

XXX XXXXXXX
Associate Producer
TAKE ME OUT

 

I sent this reply this morning:

 

Hi,

Many thanks for your email. I must admit that I have received a number of voicemails, but as I’m quite tight with my money, I didn’t want to call back; instead hoping that I’d catch your next call at whichever inappropriate time it was that you chose to call me.

I am afraid to say that since applying to be on Take Me Out, I have actually found love. People say love is blind, well in my case, that is spot on, as Jane is actually blind (well, partially sighted anyway). We met, funnily enough, on a blind date as well, which one of my work colleagues set up.

When I first saw Jane, I was mesmerised; completely blown away. She looked stunning and really trendy too; just my type of girl. She looked so cool in her little sunglasses. I already knew that she was hard of sight so this came as no shock, however, quite why she wanted me to wear a red carnation to identify me was a bit strange, as she didn’t even notice me approach her at the table where she was sat!

Since meeting Jane, my life has improved a great deal. I’m excelling at work, I’m constantly happy and it’s great to have someone depend on me as much as Jane does. I am her eyes, she is my plaything. It’s a great relationship. She likes to leave me romantic notes around the house and although her handwriting isn’t the best, it always brightens up my day. In return, I leave little jokes and amusing anecdotes in Braille on the back of door handles so she gets a little giggle when entering a room. We even recreated the Lionel Ritchie ‘Hello’ video the other day when we decided to indulge in a bit of role-play.

So, it is with regret, that I am going to have to decline your offer of a place on the show. I do have one request though. When Paddy Mcguinness says ‘Let the Toffee, see the Apple’, for example; perhaps he should change this on the new series to, ‘Let the Toffee, see, or indeed feel, the Apple’, because not everyone can see.

Many Thanks.

 

I await a reply.

The Coalminer

12 Sep

For a couple of weeks, my brother and I had hatched a plan to pull an extraordinary prank on our mutual friend, James. It came on the back of him getting one over on us with a joke of his own. In private, he had farted into a Pringles tube and quickly sealed it with the lid. Then he found each of us individually and asked if we thought the inside of the tube smelt funny, cue hilarity when we were hit with the fresh pong of his arse hole. We knew we wanted to get him back, but we were undecided about the best way to do it. James often stayed over in the summer holidays for days on end and early suggestions as to how we were going to get him back were quite feeble, including things such as farting in his face whilst he was asleep and putting his hand in water so he pissed himself. What we needed was something that would make James think twice about ever pulling a stunt like his Pringle tube fart ever again, something that would go down in legend amongst our friends. After a lengthy discussion one evening, we came up with an elaborate plan that, if executed well, would get James back twice over. We were going to scare the shit out of him.

James was due to stay the following night and we knew that despite his bravado, he was scared of one thing in particular; ghosts. If we started telling ghost stories, James would put his fingers in his ears and bury his head under his duvet so he could drown out all ghost talk. Like Gary Glitter and small boys, any mention of ghosts put the willies up him. We wrote down our plan of action and then went through a couple of practice runs, ensuring that we could carry out the necessary actions in the time we guessed we’d have available. Once sure that we could, we sat back smugly, looking forward to the events the following evening.

We spent the next day playing football in the local park with James and a couple of other friends. There was no mention to anyone of the plan we had put in place as we didn’t want to put it into jeopardy. The day passed and the evening came and as it was the school holidays we were allowed out late, so we hung around in the local park, doing nothing in particular. Eventually, we decided to call it a night and my brother and I gave each other a knowing look as we made our way home; we were finally going to get our revenge.

The three of us sat in my brother’s room playing his Super Nintendo. All my brother and I had to do was wait for James to give us the prompt we needed to start the prank. We didn’t have to wait long.

“Pause it lads, I need a piss”, said James. This was what I had been waiting for.

“Go on then, be quick” I replied. James stood up and headed for the bedroom door. As he opened it, I put the prank into motion.

“Oh, mate, just to warn you; don’t look out of the small bathroom window that you can see in front of you when you’re having a piss.”

“Err, why?” asked James.

“Because of the coalminer”

“The coalminer?”

“Yeah, I’ve seen him, my brothers seen him. Even my mum has mentioned seeing him”

“Who’s the coalminer?” James looked scared already.

“I’m not sure why he’s started coming here”, I began, “but the last few times I’ve been for a piss late at night and I’ve looked out of the window, I’ve seen the face of a small boy looking back at me. The face is covered in soot and is wearing a coalminer’s helmet. It’s really weird and scary”

“Yeah, whatever”, said James. I could tell he was shaken, that was the main thing, and we’d also planted the seed of doubt in his mind. He made his was slowly out of the bedroom.

No sooner had James left us to cross the landing and go to the bathroom, had my brother sprinted downstairs and to the front door. Here he picked up a torch which we had hidden the previous day and then made his way to the front of the house. Once outside, he climbed on top of the wheelie bin, also positioned strategically the day before. This gave him easy access to the flat garage roof to which the small bathroom window looked out over. The practice runs had been worth it as he was up on the roof in no time at all. I meanwhile, had snuck across the landing and was listening at the bathroom door. I could still here the urine trickling out of James and into the toilet and I braced myself ready for the prank’s finale.

My brother was crouching below the bathroom window. He turned the torch on and held it against the top of his head with one hand. Then he leapt up and pressed his face to the window.

“WAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH” he bellowed as he jumped to his feet. As I heard this I burst through the door.

“FUCK, FUCK, FUCK, FUCK”, screamed James and he collapsed to the floor, covering his head with his hands.

“LEAVE ME ALONE!” he shouted, still not entirely sure as to what was going on.

My brother and I erupted into fits of laughter. I opened the bathroom window and my brother poked his head through.

“Woooo, I’m the scary coalminer boy!” he teased. James looked up from the floor.

“You are fucking bastards! Fuck you!” He was still shaking with fear.

“We got you! We fucking got you!” I replied. My brother had tears rolling down his cheeks.

After a while James got to his feet. What we saw delighted us. Not only had we scared him something silly, but we had forced James to piss all over the front of his trousers. My brother and I were deliriously happy with our achievements.

“I think that makes us about even”, I said to James, once the commotion had died down and we were back in the bedroom playing the computer.

“All I did was a fart…one fart…that was it. A fart” was all that James could muster

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