Award Of The Week

Is this fat-shaming or a celebration of the fuller figure?

Katmai National Park and Reserve in south-western Alaska has held its fourth annual fattest bear competition. Initially, twelve bears were selected for the contest but over a week or so by process of elimination the field was narrowed, if that is the right word, to just two, Bear 409, described as a “gigantic gal” with a “marvellous muffin top” and Bear 747, a “blimpy boar” whose “belly barely (or should that be bearly?) has clearance with the ground.

The great Alaskan public were invited to vote on the Park’s Facebook page and despite having a slightly smaller frame, the female bear, also known as Beadnose, scooped over twice as many likes as her male rival. Being a single mother who had raised her cubs to maturity may have helped garner the public vote.

Beadnose won’t be resting on her laurels, though. Hibernation and the harshness of the Alaskan winter will see the pounds roll off and, assuming she survives, she will be back next spring and summer stuffing her face with fish to pile on the weight.

We will have to wait to see whether she retains her crown.

It must be that time of year.

The votes have been counted and the winner of New Zealand’s 14th Bird of the Year award, organised by the conservation group, Forest and Bird, has been announced.

Despite allegations of fowl play – some 1,800 votes from Australia were disqualified including 300 for the King Shag from one address (surely, it should have been four) – the Kererū topped the polls with 5,833 votes with the kākāpo getting 3,772 and the black stilt 2,995. New Zealand’s emblematic bird, the kiwi, garnered just 489 votes.

The Kererū, in case you didn’t know, is a large, colourful wood-pigeon, which grows up to around 20 inches in length and has a portly appearance due to its prodigious appetite. Its popularity is down to its predilection for fruit, particularly the Puriri berry, which inevitably ferments in its stomach. This affords mirth and merriment to the local Kiwis as they watch the bird lurch about in a drunken stupor, often falling out of the branches of the tree it is roosting in.

Despite its occasional drunken behaviour, it is one of the few birds native to New Zealand that is thriving. Now there must be a moral in that somewhere.


Rebrand Of The Week

Fortunately, I am of a shape and size that means I don’t have to worry about weight. A good job, too, as there are a bewildering range of diets on offer. Which to choose?

I have always thought Weight Watchers was a rather odd name for a diet company, conjuring up an image of someone sitting on a sofa stuffing their face and watching the avoirdupois pile on. Perhaps I have got it wrong but even the company seem now to have had second thoughts about the name.

In an attempt to get hip (remember those?) and trendy, they have abandoned worrying about weight, like many of their frustrated dieters, and slimmed down to just WW.

At last, a diet that has worked overnight!

It is sobering to think that those who enjoyed the dubious delights of Club 18 – 30 in its prime are now old enough to sign up to be Saga louts on  package holidays retailed to the over-50s.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise then that having failed to find a buyer for what was once marketed as offering sun, sea and sex, Thomas Cook have decided that it no longer fits with its new, responsible image and closed the operation down.

Still, it is good to see that the spirit of 18 – 30 still lives on.

Gadget Of The Week

I’m a fool.

All these years I have pointed Percy at the porcelain, emptied my bladder and flushed the chain, not realising that there is a booming secondary market for pure, unadulterated urine.

With the growing adoption of drug testing by employers here in Blighty, some workers are looking to beat the system. And where there is a need, there is always someone around to satisfy it.

The market leader seems to be The Quick Fix Piss Perfect Synthetic Urine Delivery System, yours for just £106. It comes with a prosthetic fake penis in a variety of colours to match skin pigmentation together with temperature pads, hand warmers and a harness. I assume there are some instructions with it.

If that all seems a bit over the top, you could just visit (great name) who stock a range of frozen and dehydrated urine. Indeed, they boast that their testing processes are so rigid that they have never had a positive test from any sample of urine they have supplied.

Others have taken a more direct approach by contacting a good clean-living neighbour and buying a quantity of their urine off them, bottled, of course. If times get desperate and with the state of my prostate, I could have found a welcome supplement to my income.

Of course, you could just go straight for a while but with all these options now available, what would be the point?

Editor’s note – Frimleyblogger wishes to point out that he does not condone any actions that would endanger the health and safety of the general public or fellow workers.

Social Medium Of The Week

What is it with Facebook?

They are happy to pass on our personal data to third parties and to allow hackers to plunder our information with ease but they seem to have been imbued with the spirit of Thomas Bowdler.

My new book, out on 28th October, is called Fifty Scams and Hoaxes and I thought it would be a good idea to set up a Facebook page to publicise it but the algorithm that controls page titles took exception to it. It must have been the conjunction. So I had to resort to a name that is so obscure no one will ever find it.

Still, my problems are nothing compared with an aspiring Belgian politician who is standing for election to the council in the district of Lobbes. As is the modern way he wanted a social media presence to publicise his campaign but Facebook took exception to his name, deeming it offensive and inappropriate.

A bit of a bummer, you will agree, for Luc Anus, for it is he, who has been forced to drop the s to get his page, despite being one of 49 Anuses in Belgium.

I hope he gets elected so he can join the illustrious roll of politicians with amusing names like the former mayor of Nashville, Bill Boner, the Dutch senator, Tiny Kox, and the erstwhile Liberal peer, Lady Garden.

Talking of Lady Garden, it was my birthday last Sunday and I don’t know whether I was disappointed or not, but none of my relatives or friends felt fit to celebrate this momentous occasion with a card bearing a picture of their genitalia.

But according to Moonpig, one of these online card jobbies, there is a trend, particularly around Valentine’s Day, of people with a particularly warped sense of humour and an inferiority complex, downloading pictures of their todgers and vaginas for insertion on to greetings cards. In desperation, they have had to resort to social media to remind punters that such images are against their terms and conditions.

I wonder what they do with the pics?

It’s a strange world that we live in.

Slap Of The Week

I suppose if you suffer an unfortunate accident, it must be comforting to know that science has benefited from your ordeal.

Kyle Mulinder was minding his own business paddling around the waters off Kaikoura on the South Island of New Zealand. His contemplation of the beauty and peace of his surroundings was rudely interrupted when a seal rose out of the water and slapped poor Kyle around the face with an octopus that it had in its mouth.

Scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research reckon that the seal mistook the kayaker for a rock. It has confirmed their suspicions, though, that seals search for a hard object upon which to dash their prey.

Clearly a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and better than being slapped around the face with a dead fish.

Alas, the octopus was eaten.

Ban Of The Week

Being an Ironman triathlete requires you to eat an enormous amount of tucker to sustain your energy levels, so I’m told. German software engineer, Jaroslav Bobrowski, is an enthusiast and his dietary regime is to fast for 20 hours and then to eat until his full.

His regular sushi restaurant, the Running Sushi, in Landshut in Bavaria offers an all-you-can eat deal for the modest outlay of €15.90 and Jaroslav often visits to fill his metaphorical boots.

But on his latest, and last, visit, I read this week, he proceeded to demolish almost one hundred plates of sushi.

Feeling that he should reward the gaff for its generosity and as a token of appreciation, Jaroslav, on checking out, offered a tip. Imagine his surprise when not only was his offer rebuffed but he was discretely told never to show his face in the place again. The reason given – he’s eating too much.

I have some sympathy for him.

After all, an offer is an offer. The restaurant presumably feared it might have had to change its name to Running out of Sushi.

Balls Of The Week (3)

I stumbled across the World Testicle Cooking Championships a bit late this year but it will definitely be in my diary for next year.

Held in Lipovica, deep in the Serbian countryside at the beginning of September, around twenty teams from around the world compete to produce the tastiest testicle dish, in pursuit of the coveted Balls Cup, now in its 15th year.

All the entries were blind tasted by a panel of three judges, including a plucky Australian woman, Philomena O’Brien, and the winners, retaining the title they won last year, were a local Serbian team featuring Milos Kojanic. Special commendations went to a group of Japanese curry makers and a team of French restauranteurs whose menu included bulls’ testicles with foie gras and chocolate “salty balls”.

Grey in colour and with the texture of kidneys, testicles may not be to everyone’s taste but according to aficionados they have aphrodisiac qualities.

The award ceremony concluded with a display of flares and fireworks and then the party began. I wonder if the testicles got to work!