Funny Man

Another long day, another tired me, another late post. In filling my weekends with housework and family time, I not only miss the opportunity to blog, but also the opportunity to keep up with what’s going on in the world – and the blog fodder that the news provides. This is an issue, so I had to go a couple of days back.

One thing we did catch this weekend was Nik Rabinowitz’s You Can’t Be Serious stand-up show at the Baxter. Very funny guy, with a keen eye for observing and finding the funny in South Africa and South Africanisms. It’s humour I wouldn’t have understood if I hadn’t been here observing the same stuff for seven years.

Here he is on the BBC’s Mock The Week in June last year:

The thing is, though he does the languages thing very well (although the knock knock joke is wearing a little thin now), all he is actually doing in this sketch is repeating the local football commentary. Because yes, that’s exactly what you will hear on a Xhosa radio station when the football in on. And yes, I suppose it’s quite amusing if you’re not used to it.

I can’t help but think, however, that my UK stand-up act would fall flat were I to bring my rendition of some English football commentary and a knock knock joke to South African television.

Flying news

Another two parter – this time with airlines doing nice some altruistic (sort of) things for people.

I like KLM’s surprise for social media users (spotted via @tara_lawson). And though it was just a bit of an experiment, it worked for them, with over a million mentions on twitter alone. Someone, somewhere will be able to tell me how much that is worth to a brand.
(And someone is going to pull me up on the meaning of the word “altruistic” too, aren’t they?)

The best bits for me were that they were taking ordinary people in an ordinary situation and making their lives just a bit better and then they were not just giving gifts out, but that those gifts were considered and tailor made for each of the recipients. That shows real thoughtfulness because those are the gifts that mean the most – even to a “stranger”.

And they’re right: “Doing something that creates a real smile on somebody’s face is much cooler than attaching a smiley face”.

Nice work, Ogilvy.

Meanwhile, er… Ogilvy have created a brilliant campaign for KLM’s rivals, British Airways, on the back of the Ashes tour to Australia.
With England set to win the final match (and the series and the Ashes with it) tomorrow, BA have launched an online promotion for flights from Sydney to London, offering to discount flights by the largest amount of runs England scores in a single Ashes innings.
Apparently:

The tongue-in-cheek campaign is running on Australian sites only, such as the Sydney Morning Herald, and uses the strapline “Do something you never thought you would do. Cheer on England”.
Andrew Boggs, business director for the British Airways account at Ogilvy London, said: “The idea was to offer Australian cricket fans some consolation in defeat – without resorting to triumphalism or condescension.”

Right, Andrew. I’m sure the Aussies don’t see it as triumphalism or condescension. *cough*

Because they have been so very dominant in the series, England haven’t actually had to have too many innings’. However, I think I’m right in saying that their knock in the current match in Sydney was their best at 644 (A$644 = £415) – knocking about a third off the cheapest flights to London.

Throw in some cricket lessons for them as well and I think that’s a pretty good deal.

Next year

I think we’ll go for the post a day thing again in 2011. It went well last time I did it, although it was sometimes a little tough to get something down every day. My home life suffered a little.
On that note,  I haven’t told my wife yet, but maybe she’ll read this and then she’ll know.

I think I’ll know when she’s found out, anyway.

We’ll start bright and early (well, bright anyway) (possibly) tomorrow with a review of some of the Cape Town tourist attractions on offer for the remainder of this summer holiday.

Until then – Happy New Year to you all from Chez 6000. We look forward to having you on-board for another roller coaster year of ups, downs, regular screaming and concerns over potential metal fatigue and insufficient maintenance.

SA Xmas

While many may say that there’s nothing like a traditional UK Christmas – dark nights, snow on the ground, roasted chestnuts and a local pub or seven – I’m very much getting used to Christmas in summer. We spent most of yesterday sitting around the pool, braaiing crayfish and drinking beer. And as today seems to be turning into an absolute scorcher as well, I would imagine that more of the same is in order.

Christmas means many things to many people, but since becoming a dad, it’s really all about the kids for me. Not that that means I don’t enjoy giving and receiving gifts as well. After last year’s amazing present from my wife (and even though it all ended in tears), I had high hopes for something extraordinary and had been dropping hints about viticulture for the past few months: I have always dreamed of owning my own vineyard. Things seemed to be going well, as Mrs 6000 kept dropping hints about my dropping hints – a sure sign that my hint droppage had not gone unnoticed.

It was only when I opened the gifts on Christmas morning that I realised that there had been a breakdown in communication somewhere along the line. I had said “viticulture”, she had heard “vermiculture”. And as those of you well versed in Latin will already have realised, that means that I now own my own little worm farm. It does produce a liquid product, but you really don’t want to be drinking it. However, my veggies will love it and I can always get a wine farm next year, can’t I darling? Darling?

Hello?

Anyway, the kids loved their presents – a motorised crane for the boy, a stereotypically intricate German doll’s house for the girl – and the wife will be running and gymming to her new mp3 player.
While I’m not tending to my worms, I will be mostly reading this gift from my parents. Bittersweet stuff.

But for now, it’s back to the original plan: pool, beer, braai.

Woodland Trio

I keep seeing these animations between programmes on Nickelodeon and I think they’re great.

They’re the work of Hungarian animator Alexeev Alexey.
Implausible name, great work.