Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Hunger Games in Switzerland #9

I must kill 24 people in a Swiss reality TV show, or they will cut off my supply of pizza, beer, and wine. My name is Andrew Girardin. This is my story.

Previously on The Hunger Games - #1 "It begins" - #2 "Milk" - #3 "Elevators" - #4 "A Guest" - #5 "On Air" - #6 "Funeral" - #7 "Bazooka" - #8 "Cheesecake"

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cecile's Corrections

Being a journalist seems to be easy - faced with a blank page they can simply continue their vendetta against Liverpool fans (the Sun), Michael Barrymore (the Sun), foreigners (the Mail), or write a five-star review of an Apple product (the Guardian).

But I'm assured that it's hard. Journalists tell me that there is a lot of pressure, tight deadlines, angry editors, and eagle-eyed readers who pounce on your every mistake.

And when you make a mistake, the newspaper is obliged to print a correction, the adult equivalent of being told to redo your homework.

In 2011/12, The New Zealand News (New Zealand's most respected broadsheet, circulation 5,000) published an average of 12 corrections per week - very low and a source of legitimate pride. This number has risen sharply, for a month ago, the NZN began printing articles written by a middle-aged French journalism student. Now, corrections to her articles are coming thick and fast, and the paper's "Oopsie!" section has gained a cult following.

Here is a choice selection:

Jan 9th

In yesterday's opinion piece "Action Movies Have Too Much Action," we erroneously called The Incredible Hulk's alter-ego Bruce Wayne. We are happy to clarify that Hulk is David Banner. However, we stand by the author's right to hold the opinion that 'Captain America is too American.'

Jan 12th

In yesterday's Culture section, we attributed the story 'The Tortoise and the Hare' to the French writer La Fontaine. It was, as many readers have pointed out, written by Aesop, some two thousand years before the creation of France. We regret the error.

Jan 14th

In Sunday's 'Cecile Tells Jokes' section, one of the punchlines was wrong. The correct reply to 'What does a Swedish Fred Flintstone say?' is not 'yabba-dabba-do', but 'Abba-dabba-do'.

also Jan 14th

In yesterday's sports article 'Some People Go Swimming; One is Fastest' - for 'aggressivity' read 'aggression', for 'sixteen years old girl' read 'sixteen year old girl', for 'this' read 'that, for 'that' read 'this'. Sorry.

Jan 17th

In yesterday's article 'Homes of the Gnomes', in which a French woman visits locations from Lord of the Rings, there were several mistakes. First, the Dark Lord Sauron is not a metaphor for J.R.R. Tolkein's conjunctivitis. Nor was The Hobbit based on a French fairy tale. Finally, a hobbit is not a kind of 'hairy gnome'. We apologise to all LOTR fans and ask that you stop hacking our website.

Jan 20th

We regret that yesterday's match report about the All-Blacks versus Scotland contained numerous errors. First, Dan Carter does not, and never has, led a team of hackers. Second, one team being bigger, faster, and better at rugby is not 'patently unfair'. Third, it is not the opinion of The News that the scrum, an integral part of rugby since its inception, is 'silly and boring.' Finally, the writer's confusion about the word 'try' led her to discount some points from the score, which she reported as 9-3. The actual result was 51-22. Soz.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

How to Fix Broken Barcelona

Recently I went to Barcelona for the first time and saw Messi score his 89th and 90th goal of 2012. Barcelona is nice but flawed, like a cake with raisins. 

Here are some things they need to fix before I go back.

1. The Hostel

Our hostel was cheap and staffed by attractive young people. But it wasn't all bad - they had free wifi. I sent my chick some photos of cool graffiti I'd found, which, because the connection was a bit iffy, didn't get delivered right away.

She woke up and sent me some sweet WhatsApp messages along the lines of 'I miss you; Sunday mornings aren't the same without you'. The hostel wifi decided that THAT was a good time to send her this:

Don't ruin my relationships, please, Barcelona!

2. La Pubilla
We had lunch here and it was super delicious and the wine was perfect. However, the menus were in Catalan and they didn't have pizza. Also, the name sounds really vaginal.

Proposal: Serve less seafood, have an English menu, and change your name to 'Pizza Hut'.

3. Weird advertising
This incorpora company, whatever it is, has a weird sense of humour.

'Down' with this sort of thing.

4. Overly Cheap Gay Sex
I know the economy is bad, but have some self-respect.

Charge a decent rate for your services, gays of Catalonia!

5. Fashion
Look carefully. This is a dress. What the what?!

Ever heard of touchscreens, Catalan designers? Keyboards are sooo 70s.

6. Flags
Flags add atmosphere to the Nou Camp, but it'd be more fun to make Messi play while carrying a flag. That'd make Barcelona's victories slightly less inevitable.

7. Unfinished
One of the worst things about leaving things unfinished is

8. Please Pay Here
They offer an interesting range of desserts, from gross blobs of hot chocolate to genuinely sublime cheesecake at 'Granja M Viader'. But what's this sign I found on my table? It says 'Please pay here at the table.' It annoyed me a lot. In my opinion, and I'm sure the internet will agree, it should say 'please pay here' OR 'please pay at the table'. There's no reason it should say both, except to mess with my head.

Fix it!

9. Wasted Opportunity
Look at this photo. It is the ceiling of Barcelona's fancy new airport. As you can see, it is bland. Why oh why oh why don't they beam Freddy Mercury and Montserrat CaballĂ© onto it, 24 hours a day? When I go to Barcelona, I want to look at things and hear Freddy Mercury, so that looking at things becomes EPIC.

"The moment that you stepped into my airport you took my breath awa-ha-hay-ha-hay." Or something.

Barcelona, the ball's in your court now. Let me know when you've sorted it out.