Hull falls victim to elaborate prank

The venerable city of Hull is tonight celebrating being named UK Capital of Culture for 2017, unaware that the whole competition is a cruel joke by London.

London, Bristol, Manchester and a host of pretty, popular cities have secretly engineered the whole event with money they borrowed from Daddy’s credit card in order to teach Hull not to be so ugly and northern and poor.

The whole episode is being filmed as part of a new reality TV show where vain, wealth- and image-obsessed cities play nasty tricks on unsuspecting towns and regions, which will also feature the event several weeks ago where Yorkshire was named as the one of best places to visit in the world in by Lonely Planet. Originally the stage was set for Leeds to be named as the 8th wonder of the world, but it was feared that such an obvious windup might have given the game away.

In Hull, blissfully unaware of the impending embarrassment, a spokesperson was delighted by the achievement. He said:

“We’ve worked so hard for this. We’ve invested a hell of a lot of public money and resource into the bid, and we had some serious competition in Swansea, Leicester and Dundee. All the best to those cities, but from here on in the only way is up for Hull. This could be huge for us – look how much it has put this year’s winner on the map.

“Who is this year’s winner by the way?

“Oh, Londonderry. It’s Londonderry. Apparently.”

London, who came up with the idea whilst in a casino with Milan a few weeks ago, had little remorse for building Hull up before inevitably crushing it like a rice cake under a pneumatic drill. “It should have realised this was piss-take when it saw the words ‘Dundee’ and ‘culture’ in the same sentence.”

Quite how Swansea, Dundee and Leicester became embroiled in this scheme is unclear, although internet rumours suggest that London is in possession of a video of the three cities in a particularly bleak threesome filmed on an iPhone 3.

Even the BBC is in on the joke, writing a lengthy article on Hull’s victory which is only given away by the fact that it can’t find anything notable about the city, save for the fact it has a bridge which is the seventh longest of its type in the world.

Only 6 longer than it in the entire world. Of that type.

Only 6 longer than it in the entire world. Of that type.

The reason behind London’s decision to waste considerable time and money on such an elaborate, cruel trick is partly due to its secret fear that it itself is not a nice, cultural city but a menacing, stinking calamity, and partly due to its new fixation with obscure Youtube videos.

“I saw this video about Eric the Eel the other day.

“And I wondered, how can I get Adrian Moorhouse to say exactly the same thing about Hull as he does about Eric Moussambani?

“Then I watched the trailer for the 1976 film Carrie.

“And a plan was formed. I’ll make Hull into the prom queen, make it think that it’s amazing, and then I’ll pour a mixture of pigs’ blood and entrails on its head by tugging on a poorly-concealed rope.”

“Nothing can go wrong, unless Hull has telekinesis and a thirst for blood, like Carrie does. But I think that’s unlikely.”

It remains to be seen how Hull will react when London finally decides to reveal the joke, probably by text, but it is understood that London really ought to watching its back as a lot of people actually quite like Hull and secretly think London is a bit of a dick.

‘Anyone throwing American footballs will be ejected from the cinema’ – The Room, Prince Charles Cinema

You just know it’s going to be a good night when that’s up on the screen don’t you? And it was.

This is part recommendation, part review, part attempt to make sense of one of the most bizarre and entertaining evenings of film I have ever witnessed.

First the basics. There’s this film called The Room. It’s hands down the worst film I have ever seen. Ostensibly a romantic drama, it’s so poorly executed it has been retrospectively labelled as a black comedy by writer, director and ‘star’ Tommy Wiseau, even though that’s clearly bollocks.

Words can’t describe how bad this film actually is as a film, so here’s the actual official trailer:

There are more gems like that all over Youtube, check them out.

Even this brief glimpse of the film gives you a fairly strong idea of the level of acting, dialogue, plot and set design you’re in for with this.

There are so many, many faults with The Room that it would be a fool’s errand to list them all here, and other sites do a pretty comprehensive guide. As a taster, some of the key themes are:

– Characters who turn up in the film and are never introduced

– Throwing American footballs around in cramped and unsuitable spaces

– The above but in tuxedos

– Eye-wateringly bad sex scenes. There are three; the first two are the same scene re-hashed because the actress involved allegedly wouldn’t do two takes. The third is so long you can comfortably get a beer and go for a wee while it’s on

– Spoons

– People not shutting the fucking door

Bring lots.

Bring lots.

Why would anybody give this flick a chance?

Well, it turns out that the good folk at the Prince Charles in Leicester Square do, and so should you.

They show it about once a month, and it seems to be a sellout (300 people or so) quite regularly. The film has gained such a cult following that people show up in Tommy Wiseau fancy dress toting footballs, and the supply of plastic spoons in London must be put under severe strain as people turn up with bags of them.

Why plastic spoons and American footballs? To hurl at the screen of course.

What results is pure, unbridled hilarity for 99 minutes of cripplingly awful cinema with a long list of ‘rules’ and a properly devoted fan base. One bloke even dressed up as main love interest Lisa, which seemed extreme.

The rules are various and almost always involve shouting. When the picture of a spoon, clearly a stock photo that cam with the frame, is on screen, shout ‘Spooooooooooooooon’ and hurl your plastic cutlery. You have not lived until you’ve seen 500 spoons gracefully arcing towards a cinema screen.

When nobody closes the fucking door in the film, scream at them to close the fucking door.

When another random character comes in and isn’t introduced, enquire as to who the fuck they are.

When the two random characters who aren’t introduced come in and start making out, tell the man to do the face. He’ll do the face. You’ll wish he hadn’t done the face.

When another framing shot of San Francisco comes up to remind us that we’re still in San Francisco, remark on the fact that we’re still in San Francisco.

When the camera pans across the Golden Gate bridge, shout encouragement. Celebrate wildly if it makes it all the way across.

When the camera unfocuses, as it does regularly, shout ‘Focus!’.

When the sex scenes kick off, scream ‘Unfocus!’.

Observe a hushed reverence for the flower shop scene, as this is the acting zenith of the film and also one of the best things you will ever see.

Be prepared to scream ‘You’re tearing me apart Lisa!’

Be prepared to have a game of American football outside the cinema afterwards.

Be prepared for the football to be confiscated after your gangly flatmate overcooks his throw again and almost puts it through a restaurant window.

Be prepared to get significantly drunk beforehand.

Have a celebratory scothka afterwards.

These are only a very few of the rules. A more comprehensive beginner’s guide can be found here.

If you’re a complete newbie, don’t worry – about 75% of the audience seem not only to know the film but to know every chant, callout and spoon-throwing moment therein. You’re in safe hands.

So, yeah, basically, go see it, you won’t have more fun in a dark room.

Women resigned to long, tough month

5 days into Movember, the harsh reality of half the country toting moustaches has crept up on the nation’s women like poorly thought out facial hair on a man’s face.

Otherwise normal, well-adjusted men are sprouting itchy, disturbing mouth toupees, partly to raise money to fight prostate cancer and to highlight men’s health issues, but mostly because they think that moustaches are ace.

Men across the world are paying undue attention to the mirror, convincing themselves that ‘it’s really coming through well this year’, while their wives and girlfriends roll their eyes and reach for the nearest wine or absinthe, only pausing between gulps to say ‘Yes darling, it looks great’ through gritted teeth.

When asked to describe their efforts, most men will describe their ‘taches, which they will invariably have named, as ‘cultured’, ‘refined’, ‘vigorous’ or ‘dapper’. When posed with the same question, women will respond with ‘creepy’,’creepy’,’creepy’ or ‘oh god, so creepy’.

It's coming through really well this year. I look like a dashing RAF pilot.

It’s coming through really well this year. I look like a dashing RAF pilot.

The Movember phenomenon has been a huge success in recent years, and experts believe that it is due to the unfathomable depths of self-delusion exhibited by all men. When you cut open any man’s brain, the part of his body responsible for emotions about facial hair and attempting to source chips, you will find only a small scroll, bearing three telling sentences:

  1. I look excellent with a moustache
  2. All women love men with moustaches
  3. Where are the chips?

Whilst the third line is what truly separates us from the animals, the first two are cruel evolutionary tricks designed to dupe the unsuspecting male into changing his appearance to resemble a rampaging sex criminal.

Studies estimate that the number of men in the UK who can actually grow a moustache worthy of the name is somewhere between four and seven, leaving 20-odd million deluded fantasists wandering the streets and creeping up the joint and wholeheartedly believing that they look like a dashing RAF pilot.

Other research indicates that the proportion of women who don’t mind moustaches is roughly equivalent to the proportion of women who are sexually attracted to cheese.

It’s not all bad news for ladies though – the end of November heralds the end of the ‘tache – usually after a relationship-threatening row after we become slightly too attached to our efforts – and then it’s into Christmas jumper and ‘putting on the winter weight’ season, where every man looks his plump, festive best.

P.S. I’ve definitely taken a slight run-up to Movember this year – it doesn’t usually look this good (and it still looks horrifying)

P.P.S. I might even provide regular updates and detailed, up close pictures.

P.P.P.S. You lucky things.

P.P.P.P.S. What does this link do I wonder?