Open letter to sweet manufacturers

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dear sweet manufacturers,


No one cuts the top off their bag of sweets in the way that people apparently do in your advertisements.



It’s creepy.


Please stop.


Yours faithfully, 


Le Poulet Noir

Days of Christmas

Monday, August 19, 2013

02 lords not leaping picture owned by ukhouseoflordsThe 12 Days of Christmas is all very well as a song, but why is the narrator so coy about what happened on the 13th day of Christmas? Or, indeed, the days after that? Assuming that the first Christmas was on Christ’s birth (on December 25, 1 AD, obviously), there are a maximum of 734,742 days of Christmas to fill. This may be tricky, but not impossible.

On the 734,742nd day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
734,742 grains of sand
734,741 bits of lint
A la-a-arge bag of rice…

The main issue is that the true love presumably has to keep giving the gifts he has given on previous days. By the end of the 12 days he has given 12 drummers drumming, 22 pipers piping, 30 lords a-leaping, 36 ladies dancing, 40 maids a-milking, 42 swans a-swimming, 42 geese a-laying, 40 gold rings, 36 calling birds, 30 French hens, 22 turtle doves and 12 partridges in 12 pear trees.

If the gift giving carried on long term, which gift would be the limiting factor? Geese do not lay all year round, but usually they only lay in spring anyway, so the true love must already have found a way to overcome that. Without doing calculations for how many hens there are in France, I think it is reasonable to say that the lords are the problem. There are only 798 in Britain at the moment, so excluding foreign lords and people with the surname Lord, you would run out on day 88.

Notes from Seoul

Saturday, May 12, 2012

1. The loo seat in my hotel room is heated.

2. The area around Incheon Airport looks like it was built in Sim City. There are flat islands only as big as the developments on them and vast bridges connecting apparently undeveloped land.

3. There are businessmen in the street on Friday night who are so drunk they can barely stand. One man in a suit sits on a bank’s steps wearing a carpet of vomit.

4. It is apparently okay to ride your moped on a pedestrian crossing.

5. My breakfast, obtained from Paris Bakery, can best be described as a chicken donut. It is delicious.

6. The shopping mall smells of cabbage.

7. The beggar in the subway does not ask for spare change, but kneels with his forehead on the floor.

8. In a sweet shop there is a packet of Muscat Gummy Candy, which features the blurb: “Its translucent color so alluring and taste and aroma so gentle and mellow offer admiring feelings of a graceful lady.”

ET-X trailer, nuclear test graphic, North Korean Top Gun, George Lucas Strikes Back, Help the Police, Mark Ronson at the Electric Proms, Teacher vs student rap battle

Monday, March 12, 2012

It occurs to me that some of the excellent videos I’ve spotted from time to time and put on my Facebook feed are actually rather difficult to find. So, here they are:

One-liner (needs work)

Monday, February 27, 2012

A conference on mannequins? Ugh. Talk about the objectification of women.

Open letter to car manufacturers

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Dear car manufacturers,

We’re not fooled by descriptions of cars as “five-door” when it is really four doors and a boot. All cars have boots. The boot is the vehicular equivalent of general studies A-level. Give it up.

Yours faithfully,

Le Poulet Noir

Top 5 narcissists on Desert Island Discs

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

1. Elisabeth Schwartzkopf is remembered by a handful of opera enthusiasts for her career as a soprano, but whatever singing ability she may have had is almost entirely eclipsed by her appearance in 1958 on Desert Island Discs, a BBC radio programme that requires interviewees to choose eight songs that would be their sole entertainment on a desert island. Seven of her choices featured her own voice, and the eighth was the instrumental prelude to an opera recording in which she was the star.

2. Norman Wisdom chose five of his own songs, including the appropriately titled Narcissus.

3. Rolf Harris, cartoonist, artist, pop singer and a national treasure who recently admitted that he’d never read any Shakespeare, has appeared on Desert Island Discs twice, so he cannot claim not to understand the concept. Nevertheless, for his second outing, in 1999,  he chose three songs of his own.

4. Only two people have ever chosen Gary Glitter records to take with them, and one of them was Gary himself. Paul Gadd, to call him by his real name, was interviewed in 1981, 15 years before he was convicted of abusing two underage girls.

5. And finally, Engelbert Humperdinck, the ham-faced cheese-peddler who, if placed under a metaphor grill, would be a crooning croque monsieur. He only chose one of his own records, but earns his place with his spectacular choice of book to take with him to the island: his own autobiography.

Failed business ideas, number one in an occasional series

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Amish iPhone Store

Spanky Wilson – Sunshine of your love

Thursday, May 5, 2011

If anyone knows where I can buy this track (for reasons unfathomable, I cannot buy it from the MySpace site) then I’ll be as grateful as a cockney pensioner with a cup of tea.

Top 5 proposed front pages for The Independent

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Independent made a courageous decision to stand out from its rivals on the day after the Royal Wedding by using not a photograph of the event, but a drawing by Tracey Emin. The artist is not known for her drawing so much as her installations, but the Indy splashed on the image anyway despite its obvious shortcomings.

Will this become a trend, I wondered. Will Tracey become an artist-in-residence for the newspaper, composing impressionistic works of art in response to every news event? Here is a top 5 of how The Independent might have observed momentous occasions over the last 100 years, from the recent expiry of a certain terrorist mastermind to the sinking of the Titanic.

The killing of Osama bin Laden

September 11, 2001

The Tiananmen Square massacre

The US capture of Iwo Jima

The sinking of the Titanic


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