You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Christmas!

Have a very Happy Christmas from all of us at The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas!

Peace on earth, goodwill to men; for unto us a child is born.

Truly an idea that is not unfortunate. May you and yours have a most blessed and happy time.



Thursday, December 21, 2006

DOUI Wins Blog of the Day!

The Dictionary of Unfortunate Ideas has won Blog of the Day for yesterday, December 21, 2006, a day which shall live in infamy, at least as far as "anonymous.aa8c69b126" is concerned. For us, it's turned out to be a lovely day, indeed. Christmas has come early.

Our thanks to Bill and Kathee Austin and the folks at Blog of the Day Awards for the honour, and for the daily work they do in recognising the rest of us bloggers!

Also, Bill passed along the URL of an amusing site called As I (and Stew) have a soft spot for all things Cleese, I couldn't resist mentioning it to you lot. It's all about the interesting adventures of a globetrotting donkey who delivers copies of Fawlty Towers to people. (Clever donkey!) So, rather like Bresson's Au Hasard Balthazar, only with Cleese and without any of the depressing bits.

Harry Potter and the Last Grab for Glory

Well, Pottermaniacs the world over finally have the answer to a secret that has bewitched them for some time now. The title of the seventh and final book in J.K. Rowling's septology about the life and times of the boy wizard will be Harry Potter and the Naughty Nurse from Brixton.

Erm, sorry, scratch that. The actual, REAL title of the book will be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Apologies to Dan Radcliffe for getting your hopes up for the final film.

It stands to reason though that Rowling must have had numerous other possible titles in mind for the book. After rummaging through her rubbish bins in Edinburgh, Scotland*, and reviewing seventeen different videotaped interviews looking for coded language and hints, I've managed to compile a list of rejected titles for the seventh book. Just think that we all might have thrilled to one of these instead.

  • Harry Potter and the Out of Control Miss USA
  • Harry Potter and the Rabid Monkeys
  • Harry Potter and the Crusty Knickers
  • Harry Potter and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir
  • Harry Potter and the Gigantic Skunk
  • Harry Potter and the Annoying Film Producers
  • Harry Potter and the Irritated Scrotum
  • Harry Potter and the Unremarkable Tea Party
  • Harry Potter and the Cast of Ocean's Eleven
  • Harry Potter and the Enormous Bangers
  • Hermione Loves Chachi
  • Harry Potter and the Flying Wallendas
  • Harry Potter and the Flatulent Moose
  • Harry Potter and the Ghost of Richard Nixon
  • Harry Potter and the Ribald Racounteur
  • Harry Potter and the Silk Negligee
  • Harry Potter and the Spotted Dick
  • Harry Potter and the Rabid Britney
  • Harry Potter and the Beatles
  • Harry Potter and the Final Paycheque
*Not me, personally... I have very reliable goblins who perform this sort of work.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

It Had to Be You...

...According to Time Magazine, it is you. You are Time's Person of the Year.

So many people have already commented on the completely absurd laziness of this choice, that it would be difficult to say much more about it without covering ground already well trod upon.

However, I called a few contacts and was able to figure out why Time didn't go with a single individual. Below are exceprts of notes from the Time editorial board meeting, describing why potential candidates didn't cut the mustard.

(Iranian President)Mahmoud Ahmadinejad - "Crazy 'nuke Israel' boy? Yeah, why not just close the Tel Aviv Bureau tomorrow?"

Donald Rumsfeld - "Afraid Rummy might send tanks to bomb Time Headquarters. Sure he's retired, but he could call in some chips."

Hugo Chavez - "Yeah, Time loves anyone who refers to Bush as the devil, but this guy on a magazine cover? Maybe Fangoria."

Jack Abramoff - "That damn hat is not going on the cover. We don't care how many Republicans the guy brought down."

Muqtada al-Sadr - "He looks like the Shiite version of the Pillsbury dough boy. Plus, we don't do enough sales in Bagdad and Tehran."

Kim Jong Il - "Dear Leader, bite us, creep! Sincerely, Time."

Katie Couric - "Sure she's perky. However, CBS is third in the network ratings. That can't translate to good magazine sales. Maybe if she were on The View?"

Borat - "We are still having nightmares about the wrestling scene. Couldn't they have thrown on some jocks or something?"

Fidel Castro - "Maybe dead, maybe not, but put him on a cover and that's circulation death. Can we make Che 'Man of the Year?'"

Al Gore - "It hasn't been the same since he shaved off the beard."

There She Is, Miss Freaky USA!

Well, beauty pageants have changed quite a bit over the years. The reigning Miss USA is entering rehab.

Tara Conner, will be allowed to keep her crown by the Miss USA pageant under the conditions that she enter the Caron Foundation rehab centre and rein in her wild ways, which included wild parties, drug use, making out with Miss Teen USA, Katie Blair, and nude mechanical bull riding.

All right, I did make the last one up, but I wouldn't be surprised.

Only a decade or two ago, such offenses would have seen previous Miss USA contestants put in the stocks, hanged, or pressed beneath stones until they confessed to witchcraft. According to the 1984 Miss USA rules, the offence of making out with Miss Teen USA alone is enough to warrant burning at the stake.

It must be said that Miss Conner's behaviour may simply be a product of association with the wrong sorts of people. For example, the current owner of the Miss USA Pageant is none other than that master of the zany coiffure, Donald Trump. So, given the owner and his potential influence, it's really a bit of a miracle Miss Conner didn't turn up on a video entitled "Miss USA Contestants Gone Wild*" showering with Courtney Love.

However, Miss Love is a former (current? future? regular?) patient of the clinic, so this is still a very real possibility. I mean, honestly, how effective can a rehab clinic be when their star patient is Courtney Love? Next they'll be telling us Robert Downey Jr. is one of her peer counsellors.

* Coming soon to a Target near you.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas is for Lovers?

The Japanese have confused Christmas with Valentine's Day, according to this Telegraph article. Whereas Valentine's Day has apparently been confused with International Platonic Love Day, but that's another post in itself.

According to the Telegraph, Christmas in Japan has become the most romantic holiday of the year. So, instead of walking past scenes of the Baby Jesus lying in a manger or singing Christmas carols about the salvation of mankind, the average Japanese woman spends the Christmas holidays wearing slinky kimonos and trying to hook up with the attractive guy from the office. Only in Japan will you find greetings cards with the tag line, "Merry Christmas, you sexy beast!"

This sort of confusion is apparently common in Japan, where, again according to the Telegraph, a department store once put up a display of Father Christmas crucified on a cross. No word on how the reindeer and elves were dealt with.

A successful Christmas for a Japanese woman is getting taken out to the most expensive restaurant in town. An unsuccessful Christmas is being forced to spend Christmas Eve shopping with girlfriends, which gets one marked as a "loser dog?" I guess all the loser dogs hang out together, then. Well, at least they don't get called "pig dogs".

Japan is only 1% Christian, so I suppose these sorts of misunderstandings are bound to happen, but it does make the commericalisation and secularisation of Christmas in the U.S. and U.K. look positively Franciscan in comparison.

After all, how many British cities and municipalities can make the claim that their streets are simultaneously filled with Christmas decorations, lights, and thousands of young women on the make? I mean besides Soho.

Monday, December 18, 2006


...are in order for the winners of the 2006 Weblog Awards.

Best Humour Blog was won by Sadly, No! (some PG-13 language), with Scrappleface a close second.

Of course, the great advantage to this is that all of the losing nominees can quickly answer the question, "Did your blog win the award?" ("Sadly, no!")