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Written humour, anecdotal accounts of life.


Altavista Support (on separate page). These guys are busy. At least, I hope they're busy - that would give them some excuse.

Cellphone Calls. How not to call a wrong number (in the middle of the night).

Energizer Public Relations (on separate page), or How NOT to relate to customers. All I wanted was some comparative info on how different battery types perform. What I got was repeated fobbing off.

Microsoft vs Toyota (on separate page). Microsoft is reported to be moving in on Toyota's use of a certain word. (On the Banned Toyota Ad page.)

A Tribute. A sit-vac ad for someone who will be much missed.

Tui Beer Ad. Find out what the blipvert text really was.

When Illustrated Sermons Go Wrong. What happens when an overhead transparency drawing goes horribly wrong.

Cellphone Calls

I get some strange cellphone calls, especially when I leave my phone turned on because it's on the charger. Like at 3:15am Sunday morning, the really loud ring that signifies an unknown number. I let it ring. It diverted to my voicemail after the appropriate number of rings, but after a short silence my cellphone rang again. I turned the thing off - I didn't recognise the number, so why waste the guy's money by answering?

The following Friday evening (at a more reasonable 8:44pm) I got another call from the same person - a guy named James. The conversation went something like this.

I: Ian here.

J: Uh, sorry. Wrong number.

I: Are you the guy who called me recently in the middle of the night?

J: No! [Thinks.] And if I did it was a mistake.

I: What, twice in a row?

J: Get over it. [Click.]

So I phoned him back. Caller ID is a wonderful thing. I left a message in his voicemail (from where I got his name) saying I wasn't upset, just curious.

James can be thanked for his contribution to this story on 021-277-9104.

PS. James called again the next Friday evening. My mouth was fairly full of pizza when I answered. There was just a click then silence from good old James. I called him back and left another message saying I was returning his call because he seemed to have been cut off.

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A Tribute

Referring to my mother, this sit-vac ad appeared in the December issue of The EDGE (Auckland Hospital's Emergency Department Gossip Exchange).

Staff Vacancy - Emergency Physician

A hole has recently developed in the E-zone layer thought to be due to the Jean-house effect. (Or rather, lack of.) This has resulted in a serious vacuum which new staff have been warned could place them into a double blind trial.

Applicants who aspire to fill this vacancy must have a minimum of fifteen years experience in emergency doctoring and a long history of unpaid social work experience. A particular compassion for the underprivileged is essential, coupled with a firmness of expression which will prevent the successful applicant from being challenged. It is desirable, but not essential, that the applicant has a pair of half-frame spectacles to look over.

Although a uniform is supplied, management will guarantee that it will not fit. (Actually, if it does you don't get the job).

A thorough knowledge of every addict, drunk, neurotic, psychotic, difficult or frustrating patient in the Auckland area is required so that they may be instantly recognised and dealt with in a manner that no other doctor has patience with.

An appropriate settling-in period will allow the successful applicant to prepare for doctor's hand-over by saying "Well actually I remember a case where..." This shall be followed by reiteration of an experience suffiently sobering to cause a ten second silence.

Although this is the largest emergency centre in New Zealand, and although it has excellent management, we do require a person who has the firmness to demand decent standards of tidiness and behaviour from other staff, especially from visiting consultants.

There is a roster of hours but the applicant is required to be so dedicated that she [or he] will work far beyond these when necessary. In times of departmental stress sweets must be supplied.

If you think you can fill this vacancy we do not believe there could possibly be another Jean, so please do not bother applying.

Text by Graeme Carlaw.

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The Tui Beer Ad

PLEASE NOTE: The stunts
depicted must be performed
by skilled mice under controlled
conditions. No actors were
harmed in the making of this
commercial for Tui Brewery,
Mangatainoka. Thank you for
your time.

Line feeds as appearing on screen in the Tui beer ad that has screened in New Zealand this year (2000). At the end of the ad the close-up can freezeframe has a blipvert in it. The above is the wording.

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When Illustrated Sermons Go Wrong

At a recent evening service at the local Presbyterian church:

On the overhard projector, the minister drew a stick figure of a man, but he wasn't too accurate - the arms were just a single straight line through the middle of the figure's body. He then drew a wall and Jesus on the other side knocking the wall down with a hammer.

At least, that's what it was supposed to be.

What he actually drew for Jesus was a stick figure with just one arm, and (for some strange reason) it connected with the bottom of the body. The hammer was a funny looking knob on the end of the "arm." Guess what it all looked like. The congregation of 40 or so people were frozen in horror.

The minister then realised it looked really bad but instead of removing the transparency and starting again he drew another arm on the other side in an attempt at a hands on hips posture. Reports have stated it looked like Jesus now had a triangular bottom to balance his...

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