Tag Archives: humour

Join Me in More Parental Confessions

Sign that says "Confessions Booth"

While browsing through some of my past posts I came across one I had written in 2012 – Three Parental Confessions. In there I confessed to three times where I felt I had fallen a bit short of being the perfect mother. I now need to unburden myself of a couple more such incidents, and give you the opportunity to confess too.

French Lessons

When my son started secondary school three years ago, he was doing just fine in all of his lessons except French, where he really struggled. I spent a lot of time trying to help him with his French homework, but he just couldn’t grasp any of it. In the end I was just doing the homework for him and he would copy it into his book. I told him that at the parents’ evening, I would speak to his French teacher, and see if there was any extra help they could give him. He didn’t really want me to do that; he said that he had already decided he was going to drop French after Year 9 when he picked his options, so there was no point. I insisted that there was a point because he still had to do French for two and a half more years until he could drop it.

When the parents’ evening arrived, my son and I walked over to the French teacher’s table. As we approached, she had a huge smile. Before I had a chance to tell her about his struggles, she said “I’m SO pleased you’ve come to see me because I want to tell you how well your son is doing in French!”

Toy of teacher at desk

“Really?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said, and went on to tell me how he was grasping concepts that the rest of the class weren’t, and how he was much more advanced that she would expect from a year 7 student. I sat there lapping it up, a little confused, but delighted.

Finally she pulled out a book. “I’ll show you what I mean,” she said. It was his homework book. She began leafing through it, showing me all the pieces of homework I had done, saying things like “Look at this! 10 out of 10! Nobody ever gets 10 out of 10 for this,” “And look at this, I didn’t expect anyone to understand this so quickly!”

After the discussion we had just had I felt far too awkward to say “Oh I see, no, I did all that.” So I just sat there smiling, saying things like, “Wow, that’s great! I’m so pleased!” and “Wait, why is that one only 9/10? Let me see that.”

As we walked away my son said “Good job mum, telling her how much I’m struggling with it.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I told him. “You’re dropping French after Year 9.”

Raffle Prize

On one occasion when my kids were at primary school, we went to a quiz evening at their school. My son was 8 and my daughter 11. They were also doing a raffle. The raffle tickets were sold at the start of the evening and the draw was at the end of the evening. Those who won were able to go and choose whatever prize they wanted from the prize table.

I bought three strips of tickets, one each for me, my son, and my daughter. When it came to the draw, one of my son’s numbers was drawn. “Ooh, what are you going to pick?” I asked him.

Used raffle tickets

“I’m going to pick the travel game!” he said, and began walking up to the prize table while people applauded him. I tried to let it go, I really did. But I had seen the travel game earlier and it was one of those rubbishy little sets that quite clearly came from the £1 shop. He almost made it to the table when I couldn’t take it any more, I leaped out of my seat, ran up, practically shoved him out of the way and grabbed the case of beer instead. I’m pretty sure there were a few shocked gasps from the other parents who had all witnessed my behaviour.

As we did the walk of shame back to our seats I muttered to my son “I’ll buy you a travel game, it’s just that this is worth much more.” I like to think I was teaching him something about value. In case you’re wondering, yes I did buy him a travel game, and no I didn’t enjoy the beer; it was too tainted with my guilt.

So come on, fess up, what parenting mistakes are you ashamed of? You’ll feel better if you share.

—————
Photo credits:
Confession booth sign
Toy teacher at desk
Raffle tickets

My Daughter’s Cake on TV, Plus, What the?…Ewwww!!!!

Ewww gif

The reaction GIF relates to the second item on my post today. You’ll see.

Couple of things for you today. First up, last Friday, a cake my daughter made appeared on the BBC’s “The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice”, in their failed bakes section. Yep, our motto is – if you fail at something, don’t hide it away, put it up for public ridicule! We’re highly delighted by the appearance of her cake on the show, as I’m sure you will be too when you watch it. Here’s the clip:

Next up, and let me make it perfectly clear that is second thing is in no way whatsoever, whichsoever, or howsoever, related to the first thing. Have you heard of the UroClub? It’s been around for a few years apparently but I hadn’t heard of it until I was unfortunate enough to encounter it on my Facebook timeline. At first I thought it was a joke, actually I’m still hoping that it is, but I have a horrible feeling it isn’t…

Apparently, not having anywhere to pee while you’re on the golf course is a big problem. It turns out that running off to pee in the woods is frowned upon (well I wish someone had told me sooner, not that I play golf, but I mean in general). And so some bright spark has invented a golf club that you can pee into. Yes really. Or that men can pee into at least, so far there thankfully isn’t a female version. The top half of the club is a hollow tube with a screw cap on the end. It even comes with a handy clip-on privacy towel to cover over your crotch area. They describe it as discreet. Discreet? I don’t think so, it’s bordering on obscene. Here it is in action:

Uroclub being usedAnd here are the instructions from the website:

Uroclub instructions

I can’t help noticing they’ve missed out quite a vital stage in the instructions, the stage that would go in between step 2, and step 3. I’d like to see a golfer doing that part discretely; hands fumbling around under the towel. Well I wouldn’t ACTUALLY like to see it, but you know what I mean.

The website tells us “The UroClub™ is intended to eliminate anxiety and any feeling of uneasiness on the course” Right, because peeing into a tube while people are standing around watching, waiting for you to take your shot and wondering why you’ve just clipped a towel over your crotch, is totally going to make you feel at ease. The website also says “Imagine, giving the appearance of taking a practice swing, while both privately and confidentially, you are able to relieve yourself without any embarrassment” Wait, so now they expect you to be swinging it while you’re peeing too. Really, I would rather see someone go off into the woods to pee than this. To clarify again, I wouldn’t ACTUALLY like to see it.

And here is the link to the website itself in case you can’t quite believe it and want to see it for yourself https://www.uroclub.com/ and if you really want to see more, you can seek out the commercial for it too on YouTube. I did.

Have you seen any surprising inventions lately? Or have you tried to bake a cactus cake that didn’t go to plan and was subsequently shown on national television?

RIP Victoria Wood

One week ago today I posted my Victoria Wood challenge skit on here, and today she died. A mere 62 years old. Obviously I’d been thinking a lot about her lately, so I felt more personally affected by the news than I might otherwise have done. I’d been watching a lot of her old sketches over the last few weeks and remembering what a big part of my comedy-appreciation formative years she was!

As a little tribute, I will share this skit of hers from 1988. How many celebs can you spot in the audience?

So long Victoria, thanks for all the laughs…

Is Your Attention Span in Need of Attention?

I was commenting to someone recently about how short my attention span is, and how consequently I often have trouble following the plot of movies if they’re any more complicated than a rom-com. My mind wanders off somewhere else, and then…er…then…what was I saying? Something about cats was it? Or milk, yes I need to buy some milk. No, movies! Anyway, I decided to create a little comic strip to illustrate what it’s like to watch a movie with me, so that you can see what poor Neil has to put up with (you’ll probably need to click on the picture to make it bigger so that you can read it) –

Vanessa comic strip

Anyone else have this same trouble?

By contrast, here is a really cool video of somebody who has a super long attention span. In 1977, At the age of 18, this guy video’d himself interviewing his older future self, and then waited 38 years to film his older self replying. It’s really worth watching, very poignant in places. It’s 3mins 58secs long.

How’s your attention span? …Hello? You still there?

The Worst Poem in the History of the World Ever Ever Ever…for Jilanne!

A long time ago, some of you may vaguely recall we played the Five Truths and One Lie game. As with the previous time I did this, I offered a prize of a poem written and read out by me for the winner. Boy did I end up regretting that. After the deadline passed, I randomly drew one of the names from those who guessed correctly, and the winner was…wait for it…wait for it…oh right, I’ve already told you in the title, Jilanne Hoffman! Congrats Jilanne!

And that’s when the trouble started…

I felt totally uninspired to write any kind of poem. That’s ok, I thought, I’ll leave it for a bit and come back to it. So I left it for a bit, came back, still no inspiration. I wrote a blog post about something else instead. As the weeks passed, I kept thinking about it and worrying about it, I kept telling myself to stop being silly, I’m not a poet, I’ve never claimed to be, nobody is expecting some incredible work of genius poetry. Just do SOMETHING Vanessa!

But the more time passed, the more I felt that the poem had to be really good to justify taking so long, and I therefore felt more and more stifled in my ability to write it. I put up two more blog posts, I apologised for not having done the poem yet. I stressed some more about it.

A few weeks ago I decided it was getting embarrassing, I couldn’t write any more blog posts until I did the poem one, and I didn’t, and weeks passed, and I didn’t do any blog posts. I barely showed my face around anyone else’s blogs for fear of being asked about the winner’s poem. And then this past weekend, it suddenly struck me – nobody cares! I was getting myself into a state over something that was just meant to be a bit of trivial fun. Anybody who may have cared a bit at first, has long since moved on.

So I forced myself to just throw something down on paper yesterday (or actually on screen), thrust my phone at Neil, and said…

“Neil, video me now, we’re doing this in one take, it’s terrible, but let’s just do it!”

“Sure. Is that what you’re wearing?” (For the record, men, nothing good ever came from that question).

“Yes, I’m wearing my squirrel onesie, ok? I will add a string of daisies round my head to make you happy though. Is that better? Does that make you happy?!”

“Um…yes…you look er…great Vanessa…I’m just wondering though, and this is only a suggestion, but-“

“JUST FILM IT!”

And he did. It’s not pretty, it’s not funny, it’s not clever, but it is finished!

Sorry Jilanne to have given you such a lousy prize, and for it to have taken so long. Now can we all just move on and pretend this never happened?

Oh you might still want to know which one was the lie. This one was the lie:

2. When I was about 22/23 I went out shopping with my slippers on, and didn’t notice until I was in the shopping mall, and so quickly popped into a shoe shop to buy an emergency pair. I spent rather too long browsing, and after a while was approached by two policemen who spoke to me in kind tones, smiling and glancing at my slippers, telling me it was time to go back to the centre. I wasn’t quite sure what centre they were talking about, but I eventually managed to persuade them that I didn’t need to go back to any centre, and had simply made a footwear error!LIE!

If you want a reminder of what the other, true ones, were then you’ll have to go back to the original post.

Do you write poetry? Have you ever got yourself into a disproportionate state over something silly? Have you ever thought that a squirrel onesie and a daisy headband was a good fashion choice?

“Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife.” — Tom, age 5

Kids kiss on nose

This is another of those sharing-something-funny-I-found-on-the-internet-rather-than-writing-my-own-stuff posts, and also, stringing-the-words-of-a-sentence-together-with-hyphens-to-make-it-seem-like-a-thing. Sourced from here, we have thoughts on love from kids. Take note, we could learn a lot from these kids…

  • “Spend most of your time loving instead of going to work.” — Dick, age 7
  • “Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.” — Lynnette, age 8
  • “Tell your wife that she looks pretty even if she looks like a truck!” — Ricky, age 7
  • “Don’t forget your wife’s name. That will mess up the love.” — Erin, age 8
  • “Sensitivity don’t hurt.” — Robbie, age 8
  • “Be a good kisser. It might make your wife forget that you never take out the trash.” — Erin, age 8
  • “Don’t say you love somebody and then change your mind. Love isn’t like picking what movie you want to watch.” — Natalie, age 9
  • “If falling in love is anything like learning how to spell, I don’t want to do it. It takes too long.” — Glenn, age 7
  • “Love is like an avalanche where you have to run for your life.” — John, age 9
  • “I think you’re supposed to get shot with an arrow or something, but the rest of it isn’t supposed to be so painful.” — Manuel, age 8
  • “No one is sure why it happens, but I heard it has something to do with how you smell. That’s why perfume and deodorant are so popular.” — Mae, age 9
  • “Love is the most important thing in the world, but baseball is pretty good too.” — Greg, age 8

Kitten hugging dog

  • “Once I’m done with kindergarten, I’m going to find me a wife.” — Tom, age 5
  • “On the first date, they just tell each other lies, and that usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.” — Mike, 10
  • “I’m in favor of love as long as it doesn’t happen when Dinosaurs is on television.” — Jill, age 6
  • “One of the people has freckles, and so he finds somebody else who has freckles too.” — Andrew, age 6
  • “My mother says to look for a man who is kind. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll find somebody who’s kinda tall and handsome.” — Carolyn, age 8
  • “It gives me a headache to think about that stuff. I’m just a kid. I don’t need that kind of trouble.” — Kenny, age 7
  • “One of you should know how to write a check. Because, even if you have tons of love, there is still going to be a lot of bills.” — Ava, age 8
  • “When somebody’s been dating for a while, the boy might propose to the girl. He says to her, ‘I’ll take you for a whole life, or at least until we have kids and get divorced.’” — Anita, 9
  • “I’m not rushing into being in love. I’m finding fourth grade hard enough.” — Regina, age 10
  • “Most men are brainless, so you might have to try more than once to find a live one.” — Angie, age 10
  • “A man and a woman promise to go through sickness and illness and diseases together.” — Marlon, age 10
  • “[Being] single is better . . . for the simple reason that I wouldn’t want to change no diapers. Of course, if I did get married, I’d figure something out. I’d just phone my mother and have her come over for some coffee and diaper-changing.” — Kirsten, age 10
  • “Love is foolish…but I still might try it sometime.” — Floyd, age 9
  • “Love will find you, even if you are trying to hide from it. I been trying to hide from it since I was five, but the girls keep finding me.” — Dave, age 8

Can you remember what you thought about love when you were a kid?

Four Things An Introvert has Trouble Dealing With

Introvert hiding in a sweater

I’ll be fine just here, thank you.

Many of us in the land of blog have declared ourselves to be introverts. These are a few of the ways that my own introversion manifests itself in my day-to-day life. Can you relate to any of these?

1) You’re in a small group situation. Finally you’ve not only managed to think of something to say (a feat in itself), but plucked up the courage to actually say it. You wait for a pause, start, and one of the following things happens:

  • Someone else starts talking at the exact same second that you start. You immediately stop talking and berate yourself severely for getting it wrong.
  •  You’re mid sentence and someone else in the group interrupts you. At this stage it’s not so easy for you to stop talking. You’d given yourself the pep talk – Come on, you can do it, just start talking, stop being silly, just do it!, you’d launched into it, and now you’re into the home straight; it actually takes a different kind of confidence to stop at this stage, and you don’t have that, so you just keep going, desperately hoping for a freak lightening storm to arrive and throw the power out.
  • You’re half way through your story when a couple of others in the group start up their own separate conversation. You’re faced with the harsh reality that you just weren’t interesting enough to hold the whole group’s attention (but you knew that anyway). There is now only one person listening to you, and clearly they’re only being polite. All you can do is stare intently at that one person, trying your hardest to act like you were only talking to that one person anyway, whilst racing through as fast as you can to get to the end of what you want to say.
Girl hiding her face in her hands

You can’t see me right?

2) You tell someone that you will email or text them, and they say “Or just give me a call”. Just? Just?! No no no no, emailing is a “just”, texting is a “just”, giving someone a call isn’t anywhere close to being a “just”.

3) Someone is blocking the way that you want to walk. You say “Excuse me”, but horror of horrors, they don’t hear you! You’re pretty convinced however that everyone else in a 5 mile radius DID hear you and they’re all wondering why you don’t just say “Excuse me” again, a bit louder (Ha, as if THAT’S an option). There’s only one thing for it, you must pull out your phone, tap the screen a few times while looking slightly concerned, and make a little “ooh” noise. This indicates that there is something on your phone alerting you to the fact that you no longer need to go in that direction, but instead need to turn back and go in a completely different direction. Keep looking at your phone while you execute the manoeuvre. No one will suspect a thing.

4) You’re in a large group situation, maybe a party, or the dreaded “Refreshments and networking” section of a conference, or as I like to call it, the “Refreshments and stand there awkwardly wondering how soon is too soon to go back and sit in the conference room ready for the next talk” section. You’re pleased that someone you’re reasonably comfortable with is talking to you. And then from nowhere they decide to throw you to the lions by doing one of the following things:

  • They say “Anyway, I’m just going to go and say hi to a couple of people”, and off they go, leaving you standing there wishing you possessed that superpower of being able to just go and say hi to a couple of people. If you’re at a conference, you’re lucky, you will probably have been given some papers, these papers are your new best friend; there is no limit to the number of times they can be read.
  • They say “Come on, I’m going to introduce you to a couple of people.” This has the exact same effect on you as if they’d said, “Come on, I’m going to take all your clothes off you and parade you around naked for a while.”

Introverts unite

Seriously, how do we get through the day?

———————————–

Image credits:
Girl in sweater –  Nguyen Hung Vu
Girl hiding face – Matthew Loberg
Introverts unite – Kappy V11

An SEO Expert Walks into a Bar, Bars, Pub, Tavern…

Cortana and SiriThe SEO joke was told to me by Cortana, it’s not a joke she made up herself, she’s not THAT good, it’s not a new joke either, you may already have heard it in fact.

Before I carry on, I should first say that this post was inspired by one on Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride, she had a quite a scoop, an ACTUAL interview with the ACTUAL real person who provided the voice for the ACTUAL Siri. Oh yes! If you didn’t see it, you must hop on over and read it, but not yet, read my post first, ok?

Well, it got me wondering. There is much fun to be had interacting with Siri or Cortana, but which one of them is funnier? We have both Cortana and Siri in our house so I wanted to find out which one would be funnier if I put them to the test.

I started off by asking Cortana to tell me a joke, and you’ve seen the result of that, so what did Siri come up with when I asked her for a joke?

SIRI: What did one iPhone say to the other…hmm, I used to know this one.

Ok, I’m not sure if it’s a very funny joke that I don’t really get, or if the joke is that Siri can’t remember the joke? Or if she just really can’t remember. I went for another round and asked them each for another joke:

CORTANA: What kind of underwear do clouds wear? Thunderpants.

SIRI: If I told you a joke in my language, I’d have to explain it.

So again, Cortana told an actual joke, whereas Siri didn’t, unless what she said is meant to be funny, in which case, well, humour is in the eye of the beholder, or something like that right?

I tried again, tell me a joke!

CORTANA: Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

SIRI: The past, present and future walk into a bar. It was tense.

Well that round goes to Siri. Sorry Cortana but it’s really stretching things to call that a joke. Siri, you gave us a chuckle – I have heard that joke before, but that didn’t stop me chuckling again.

I tried for some more jokes, Siri decided she didn’t want to play anymore and kept saying that she didn’t know any jokes, personally I think she just feels that joke telling is beneath her, she has a point. Cortana was happy to oblige though with a couple more…

CORTANA: What did the zero say to the eight? Nice belt.

CORTANA: The barman says, “We don’t serve time travelers in here.” A time traveler walks into a bar.

Those aren’t bad, but really, I was hoping for more. I then rephrased things, rather than asking for a joke, I said “Tell me something funny.”

CORTANA: What do we want? Time Travel! When do we want it? It’s irrelevant…

SIRI: Siri, get Siri-ous. Ha ha!

Cortana clearly likes time travel humour. Siri, well, I expect she was just being ironic.

Then finally I went in with the ultimate question. I asked Cortana if she was funnier than Siri, and I asked Siri if she was funnier than Cortana…

CORTANA: I suppose the answer’s yes in at least one parallel universe.

SIRI: I’m afraid I can’t answer that.

Sorry Siri, but Cortana’s answer was way better than yours there.

Well there we have it folks. My sophisticated piece of research concludes that overall Cortana wins when it comes to being funnier. Or at least when it comes to being specifically asked to be funny, which is not necessarily the same thing.

Do you use Siri/Cortana or any other similar voice assistant? If so, do you actually use it for useful things, or just for entertainment?

More Stuff I Do That I’m Hoping You Do Too

Following on from Five things I do that I wonder if you do too, and Using my knife as a mirror and seven other quirky things I do, I bring you – More stuff I do that I I’m hoping you do too

1) Have you ever thrown away a food wrapper into a colleague’s bin at work rather than your own because you’re kind of embarrassed about the number of food wrappers already in your bin, and you don’t want the cleaning staff to judge you?

Man denying knowledge of chocolate wrapper

Meme created by Vanessa-Jane Chapman using memegenerator.

2) Do you ever sit and imagine what fun you could have if you were someone’s pet cat or dog, but with the brain you have now? The tricks you could do to impress them, the cute stuff… and similarly, how much fun you could have if you were a baby with an adult brain, do you ever think about that?

3) At least three times per day, do you go to your phone/computer/device with a specific purpose of something you need to do, but instead get distracted by the first thing you see on there, and forget to do the thing you went to do in the first place? Three times a day? Who am I kidding? More like every hour right?

Distracted on computer

Meme created by Vanessa-Jane Chapman using memegenerator.

4) When on public transport, do you ever get up and walk towards the exit, but then realise you’ve made a mistake and it’s not your stop yet. Rather than going back to your seat though, you get off anyway because you would look a fool to go back and sit down right? Far better to have to wait half an hour for the next bus/train, or walk in the dark and rain to get to where you really wanted to get off? At least this way you’re the only one who knows you’re a fool rather than a bunch of strangers you’ll never see again.

5) Do you find yourself questioning everything you’ve ever known about life when you come across someone who doesn’t like either tea or coffee. What, neither? But surely tea? But surely coffee then? No? NEITHER one?!

No Way

Meme created by Vanessa-Jane Chapman using this other memegenerator.

Any things you do that you secretly wonder if everyone else does too?

Fun and Frolics with Food

I wanted to be sure that those of you who don’t follow my Sugarness food blog wouldn’t miss out on seeing the fun I had with this five-minute cooking video I made with my film-making friend, Stacey Morgan, from Morganic Films, and my partner Neil. You’re welcome. Do you think someone will give me my own cookery show after this? They’re bound to, right? RIGHT?!