The Best April Fool’s Prank Ever

Today is, of course, April Fool’s Day, and I thought I’d share with you one of the best April Fool’s Day pranks ever: the great Swiss Spaghetti Harvest.

It happened on April 1, 1957, when “the British news show Panorama broadcast a three-minute segment about a bumper spaghetti harvest in southern Switzerland”. Thousands of curious viewers called the BBC to ask about the harvest, and many asked where they could buy their own spaghetti trees!

Read all about it here or here.

Stuff White People Like

Wow – with Fidel Castro stepping down in Cuba, Kosovo declaring independence and the Anglican Communion falling apart, you’d think I’d be posting something “important”.

I guess you’d be wrong, though, because I just wanted to post a quick link to an amusing WordPress blog called Stuff White People Like. I thought the site was pretty pedestrian – “white people like the Toyota Prius? Ummmm… Ha ha???”. But then I saw this little gem about the movie Juno:

As 2007’s indie hit, it is alternative mainstream and white people love it when low budget movies do well, even though the $7 million budget is enough to feed thousands of villages in East Africa for a year. White people, especially ones over 30, also love movies that take them back to a time when there was zero hip hop influence in white high schools.

Sorry, but that bit in boldface made me laugh my ass off! As Homer Simpson would say “it’s funny ‘cos it’s true!” Ahhhh… the “good old days”, when high school kids thought people like Johnny Rotten, Captain Sensible and Joe Strummer were cool!

Anyway, the site’s pretty funny, especially if you’re hopelessly uncool like me. Check it out!

Life at KFC

Towards the end of my high school “career”, I got a job at my local KFC. Contrary to what you might think, the job wasn’t that bad, really. Sure, it was greasy. Sure, I smelt like chicken when I got off work. But all in all, it wasn’t that bad. The people were nice, and I actually enjoyed the pressure of being in a kitchen, even if that kitchen was hardly Gordon Ramsay’s.

About the only thing I didn’t like about the job were weekend mornings, especially in the summer. If the weather was nice, we’d be bombarded with people wanting buckets of chicken to take with them to the lake, or to family reunions, or to work or church picnics… you name it. All I know is that we’d start making chicken at around 9am and we wouldn’t get a break from the rush until around 2pm or so. Once we opened at 11am, I’d usually take over the drive-thru, or rarely, the front counter. Just as I enjoyed the pressure of the job, I especially liked working the drive-thru, since that was often the busiest place in the restaurant. Knowing that I liked it, the management crew always put me on the drive-thru if the schedule permitted.

Now, the actual drive-thru window at “my” KFC was what I called an “air conditioner drive-thru”: instead of a simple window that rolled back and forth like most places, my KFC drive-thru “window” was a small glass and steel box mounted to the side of the building. If you looked at it from the side, it looked something like a window-mounted air conditioner… hence my name for it. Remember this detail, as it’ll be important later.

So anyway… it was one of those crazy Sunday mornings. We’d had tons of customers buying buckets o’ bird. And we were short-staffed, which meant that I hadn’t had a break yet. I was really needing a couple of minutes away from the drive-thru window, but it just wasn’t possible. Even though I was nearing the “breaking point”, I had to soldier on.

And then this poor Korean guy pulled up to the window. I don’t remember exactly what he ordered, but I remember that it wasn’t a bucket or anything. Maybe it was a three-piece dinner or something. Whatever. I gathered everything for his order as he pulled up to the window. I opened the drive-thru window, told him his total, took his money, and gave him his change back. He asked for something – honey, I think – and I turned around, got a couple of packets of honey, and put them in the bag. I opened the window again and handed him his food… and then he said it:

“Sank you…”

Maybe it was his accent, and I just misunderstood. Maybe I wanted to hear those words. I don’t know. The Korean guy was acting completely normal… but I wasn’t. I stuck my hand in the drive-thru window’s “box” and banged my hip against the plunger that opened the drive-thru window. I extended my middle finger and shouted out at the top of my lungs:

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What the hell?!?!

Remember the sentence that Lewis Black overheard at the IHOP that almost made his head explode? You know: “if it hadn’t been for that horse, I wouldn’t have spent that year in college”. Here’s a police report with a similar sentence:

Wacky 911 Call

Wait – what? The guy was drinking liquor in front of the bird… which somehow makes the dog mad? Do I have that right? I ask ‘cos I read the sentence over and over and am still having trouble parsing it.

Crazy Japanese People…

You know “wave pools” – the pools that have a wave generator at one end? This is one such pool, somewhere in Tokyo, Japan. It’s hard to believe that all those people could cram into a pool – had this taken place in Detroit, someone would’ve been shot!

Odd Asian Products

Back in 2002, I decided to take a trip down to Buford Highway. Buford Highway is an area in Atlanta often disparagingly called “Chambodia”, which is a combination of the name of the city part of Buford Highway runs through (Chamblee, pronounced almost like the wine Chablis, only with an m and without the pretentiousness) and (of course) Cambodia. The area used to be populated by mostly middle-class folks that worked in the nearby GM plant. As an aside, the somewhat popular 70s band Atlanta Rhythm Section wrote a song called “Doraville”, about one of Chamblee’s neighboring towns. The song touts the good ol’ boy mentality and the reassuring comforts of the town: “Doraville, touch of country in the city/Doraville, it ain’t much, but it’s home“.

How things change! In the early 1980s, the white folks moved out and the Asians moved in. It’s what passes for a Chinatown in Atlanta, although that’s not entirely accurate. Not only did Asians move in, but so too did Mexicans and other Central and South Americans, which is why this same area is also sometimes called “Little Tijuana”. Go figure! Anyway, I picked up a lot of stuff and here are some pics of the BEST of the lot.

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