The Ship of Fools

A web page entirely devoted to those with foolish and/or annoying faces or behaviour. Admit it. It's your dream come true.

  • Mary Nightingale lookalike Fido McFadden sent in this marvellously foolish home page from Henrik Teigen. Here's the man himself:

    [ PICTURE: Oh Mummy ]

    Yep. That's not digitally altered. It really is him. If you're still not convinced, take a look at his sister Randi:

    [ PICTURE: Corks! ]

    Henrik's favourite operating system is Windows NT. I think that says it all. In addition, Henrik believes himself to be persecuted by an organisation known as KFUK (which, implausibly, seems to be the Norwegian equivalent of the YMCA. Comic possibilities there surely). These people seem to delight in heaping abuse on him for his homosexuality, which seems astonishingly unimaginative when you think how many better things there are to harrass him about. Like his face. Luckily, the signatories to his guestbook seem to be on the right track.

  • People who think James Bond is real, or who write to Sherlock Holmes, the Abbey National have offices which cover the address 221B Baker Street, and they have someone who answers hundreds of letters a year, yes HUNDREDS.

    Also the sort of people who chase ex-members of Spandau Ballet down the street screaming, that they killed Saskia, and that nice young man is going to prison for it. Or people who go up to actors in the street and call them by their characters name. They're only actors, for christ' sake, they have a normal life, they live in normal houses, it's only a job.

    And as a counterpoint to that, actors who pretend they're nothing like the characters they play, once they're on Richard and Judy (uurgghh), they get all lah-di-dah and pretend to be incredibly posh, when you can hear that rough cockney or scouse accent grating underneath. Just because 17 million people in the rest of the country think you've got an authenic Mancunian accent, there are millions of Mancs who can tell a mile off the closest you ever went to Manchester was watching the Champions league final on the telly.

  • Terry Cooksey gets his regular mention, surely the most multiply-nominated fool in the long and disreputable history of Moose Mansions. Mr Cooksey, presumably a man of private means, appears to dedicate his entire waking life to spewing abuse almost indiscriminately via email and IRC. He writes to one of our correspondents:

    I will punish you for months for your criminal acts against me. Using copyright materials is NOT legal. I will NOT excuse you for it either. YOU will pay with EVERYTHING you and YOUR nazi parents own. I am in the process of filing a complaint in YOUR home town, and criminal charges will follow. YOU like committing your nazi crimes; but YOU keep forgetting about THE CONSEQUENCES.

    and to another:

    I am the GREAT ONE!

    Don't mess with me, this is your only warning!

    You can look forward to a year of nuking, nazi fag boy!

    and on a recent IRC session:

    »»	can you stop flooding me?you are filling up my logfiles.. which 
    	btw I am considering sending to your isp so they can shut you 
    	down
    *Amiga*	Do NOT /msg me again, nazi devil boy
    »»      your behavior is VERY inapprioprate on irc
    *Amiga*	Do NOT /msg me again, nazi devil boy
    *Amiga*	This is why GOD hates YOU
    *Amiga*	YOU will NEVER leave GOD's People alone til HE kills YOU !
    »»	I will keep messaging you
    »»	and I will send my logfile to your isp as evidence of you abusing 
    	my system
    *Amiga*	and I will keep scanning YOUR ports, nazi nut boy
    *Amiga*	np
    »»	I shall also notify my lawyer and take legal action actions 
    	against you
    *Amiga*	That's why I log these unwanted message
    *Amiga*	YOU do that
    *Amiga*	Tell him to chagne YOUR wet diapers too !
    *Amiga*	THere will be NO more responses to YOUR nazi trash talk, devil 
    	boy LOSER !!
    *Amiga*	THere will be NO more responses to YOUR nazi trash talk, devil 
    	boy LOSER !!
    *Amiga*	THere will be NO more responses to YOUR nazi trash talk, devil 
    	boy LOSER !!
    

    (...and so on. See some other entertaining Cooksey IRC transcripts and a thoughtful, balanced article on Jonesboro Arkansas' Pure Criminal Nazi Empire.)

    My own opinion on what spurs Cooksey to such maniacal frenzies is recorded elsewhere; suffice it to say that the Internet would be a much less interesting place without him. Sadly much hilarity has been stripped from www.cooksey.net, as it appears at first glance to have been taken over by a TV production company of the same name [now also defunct - Ed.]. However...

    The COOKSEY Television site is under Construction now, and will be online by May 21, 2000. Come back for info on our satellite systems, video production services, and MORE.......................

    Something about the capitalisation. I just can't put my NAZI-LOVING FAG-BOY finger on it...

    (2010 update: Terry Cooksey is now a musical kingpin in top unsigned band THE LIGHT, which he describes as: "MY MUSIC IS OF THE FUTURE speaks for itself. So much music is patterned in the redundant ruts of the past. But, this sparkling song of Techno-Rock complexity spells out their divorce from the same old rehashed songs that continue to congest the music scene. Their music is not of the past, their music is of the future, capturing us in the present, and taking us on a musical journey into the future.")

  • People who actually take pride in being 'no good with computers', and think that their inability to master even the simplest operations is 'endearing'. In the back of their minds they regard being good with machines as somehow connected with 'trade', and decidedly beneath them.

    If I were a welder, I'd be pretty embarrassed not to be able to work my welding equipment properly. You don't meet many doctors who charmingly admit they really are 'an absolute duffer' about using a stethoscope. Most people in offices nowadays use a PC as the main tool of their job, combined with a telephone. Nobody would admit to not being able to work a telephone, so why are these gits so proud of being unable to use the computer?

    Don't get me wrong. Ignorance by itself is not a sin. None of us are born knowing much except how to expel air and fluid from both ends of our digestive tract. What winds me up is the people who won't learn, because they think there'll always be someone around to shout at until a problem gets sorted.

    I'm not talking about being able to troubleshoot Ethernet segments by watching the pattern of flashing LEDs on the network hub, or writing device drivers by hand in assembler. Just the things you need to know, like how to copy a file onto a floppy disk, or how to deal with an application crashing on you. Or why you should save your work, or that if a message comes up telling you it's time to change your password, it doesn't mean the network has crashed.

    Sorry about the rant but I expect you have one or two of these too. They seem to infest all offices, and even worse, they won't actually take advice from someone who does know what they're talking about. They invariably have a 'friend' who 'knows about computers' who they have to phone up - and then when they discover their friend's advice has irrevocably screwed up their machine, they come to me at 5 o'clock and say 'It's not working. I don't know why. I didn't do anything to it. Can you have it fixed for tomorrow please, or I'll lodge a complaint with your boss, who knows even less about the issue than me.'

    by kind permission of Ruth

  • US Presidential wannabe George W. Bush who, when asked to name the military dictator of Pakistan, could only reply "General... something. He's a general. I don't know the name. He's just known as 'General', I think."

    Bush could, however, confidently name the current President of the United States. "It's Daddy. I'm almost sure of it. Isn't it?"

  • People who think that chocolate beer and chilli vodka and so forth are a good idea, rather than a revolting, and expensive, emetic. What next? Gravy-flavoured wine? Martini bolognese?

  • Ming the Merciless writes:

    This is a fool from my youth. Brian McCaffery was in my class at school, and it was well known there was a bit of a lack in him. We had a test where you had to convert singulars to plural. 'Ruth!' hissed he 'What's the plural for sheep?' 'Sheep' said I 'Ah c'mon now, what's the plural for sheep' 'Sheep!' I replied impatiently 'Ah, don't answer me then' he said churlishly. And then a little lightbulb seemed to click over his head 'Is it flocks?'

    Oh Brian, you thundering eegit.

  • rduggan writes:

    Why do people have to invent new ways of pronouncing common words just to impress others? The Himalayas suddenly became the 'Himarlyers'. Then there was 'envoy' which is now 'onvoy', and now 'consortium' (which has been OK since the Romans had it) is suddenly "consorshum". Who starts them off?

    Good old doughnuts are now called, cringingly, 'donuts'. Also, perfectly serviceable words are replaced by whizzy new ones which have more social thwack. Have you noticed that the word 'affect' is now dying out and one must say 'impact' instead? As in, "the rain today impacted the sports arrangements".

    In other news, congratulations to the Yanks who printed 1,000,000 stamps with "Grand Canyon Colorado" on 'em, until someone noticed it was actually in Arizona.

    Another tale of life in the wunnerful US of A. I was in Safeway doing me weekend food shop, and heard this loud rumbling noise. Fearing earthquake or aircraft danger I looked up, it was a recording of a tropical thunderstorm to warn shoppers that the water sprays were coming on over the fruit and veg displays!

    Americans love these countries: Scadlund, Idderlee.

  • The manufacturers who thought that this plastic toast-slicing gadget:

    [ PICTURE: Y2K-compliant toast slicer ]

    required testing and certification against Year 2000-related problems.

  • 'O' writes:

    To add to your grammar-related fools, how about: people who write 'would of' instead of 'would have', and people who write 'should of' instead of 'should have'. That these people are too stupid to realise that they are trying to write phonetically 'would've' or 'should've', which come from 'would have' and 'should have' is a constant source of irratation to me. Because, obviously, I am a small-minded pedant with an inferiority complex.

    I couldn't put it better myself.

  • And worst of all:

    Anyone who uses capital letters for words that they think are acronyms, but aren't. For example, MENSA. It's a word, Mensa, not an acronym. And FAX. I mean what do they think the initials F.A.X. stand for, for goodness' sake? And while I'm on the subject, what about people who give organisations really silly names just so they can have an existing word as their acronym. Like FOREST - the Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking Tobacco. Who cares if that spells 'forest'? What's 'forest' got to do with smoking? And CAMRA - do drinkers of real ale want to be photographed or something? I'm surprised they didn't rack their brains for something beginning with E just so they could have the word 'camera' spelt correctly. Sheesh.

  • Whoever thought it was necessary to put "open by hand" on the top of Coke bottles. Thanks for that, as I'd already sprained both my cocking ears before you pointed out my juvenile error. (thanks to Mr Fisty for that executionee

  • "Doctor" Fox from Crapital FM. In fact, the whole of Crapital. For forced jollity, playing the same 20 songs again and again and again on a loop tape 24 hours a day, and, most of all, for saying "and you can e-mail me at capitalfm.com". THAT'S NOT AN EFFING VALID E-MAIL ADDRESS!! (courtesy of 'Arse')

  • Whoever invented clear mascara. The people who write instructions on the backs of packets of peanuts. People who trawl up and down the lanes in the swimming baths drowning everyone with their bow wave and splashing tiny children's eyes with chlorine, and crashing into you. People who get their opinions from the Daily Express. And people who refer to pieces of music by the advert they've been used in, as in Dvorak's 9th Hovis Theme, Tchaikovsky's Levis jeans music, or Offenbach's 'Tales of Baileys'.

  • The marketeer who came up with Wash & Go Solo. The whole concept of the original Wash & Go was based on the fact that it included shampoo AND conditioner in one bottle - to avoid the testicle-clenching terror of having to take two bottles into the shower. Now, Wash & Go has been updated for the millenium - by removing the damn conditioner.

    So what they're now basically saying is, "It's just shampoo."

    Do you ever sometimes wonder if you've missed the bus back to your home planet?

  • Whoever decided to change the name of the Co-Op from the Co-Op (a perfectly good name) to 'Living'. In fact the chain of department stores was briefly called It's About Living, but this was changed after intensive market research discovered that it was shite.

    What must the internal memos be like? "To all Living staff...." doesn't hit quite the required morale-boosting note. The person responsible should be hunted like a stag over the Essex moors and finally brought down with a gas-powered rifle from eighty yards, while cheering crowds of 'Living' employees throw confetti and overpriced Norwegian cafetieres.

  • [ PICTURE: Alex Chiu ]

    Alex Chiu is not this week's fool. It's anyone who gives him money.

    'Inventor' of what he calls the Eternal Life Device, Mr Chiu specialises in devising unlikely gadgets such as teleportation machines, space stations, and other wonders. Remarkably for one so busy, he also claims to have cracked the Bible Code.

    As those of you with slightly too much spare time will know, the so-called Bible Code consists of taking the Word of God and twiddling with it to see if he might have left any hidden messages for crossword fans. Whichever strategy you use for selecting words or letters, you're bound to get something out, and this genuinely is Alex Chiu's version of God's ultimate message to his creation:

    "all of best actors did the best aquire tents i think basic codes do thread of a mormons oi create all actors decide the offer i got for inside the box of radical men deaf and aggrah"

    Well, I don't know about you, but I'm convinced. If you liked that you might also enjoy some equally plausible decryptions.

  • This week's object of ridicule is Larry Phillips. Who, when the bailiffs arrived to evict him from his flat, doused himself and the flat in petrol... and then threatened to slit his throat. No doubt this seems perfectly logical if you've been breathing enough petrol fumes.

    Furthermore, he gave himself up after an appeal on London Tonight. He had, said police, been watching London Today/Tonight throught the 31 hour siege.

    Now, I don't know about you, but if I was setting up for my last few hours on Earth, I wouldn't be watching a piss-poor regional news programme whose lead story a week ago was the re-release of "Agadoo." I'd crack a few beers, raid my stash of hardcore Dutch porn and wank myself into oblivion. And a post-onanal cigarette would finish it up nicely.

  • People who automatically take up a contrary position to everything you say, simply for the sake of argument, a bit like John Cleese in that Monty Python sketch.

  • People who are infuriatingly good at everything.

  • People who have just enough wit to be eloquently unpleasant, but no more.

  • People who use foreign words for things which there are perfectly good English words for, like 'voiture', said in a very heavy plonking jocular French accent, as in 'I'll give you a lift in my voiture.'.

  • People who hold and express violent, ill-informed and mostly inaccurate opinions on things they are not qualified to comment on, like the composition of the England World Cup squad, evolutionary biology, or Esperanto. A hint: making a statement at high volume does not increase its plausibility. There is only one group of people more foolish than such opiniated idiots, and that's the people who sit listening and nodding, occasionally interjecting, 'You're right there Bob,' or 'Public hanging, yes. That's the only way to get through to that bastard Hoddle.'

  • Drunks who become aggressive in kebab shops. I mean really. What a marvellous exhibition of your manly qualities it is to shout at a small swarthy man with a moustache and greasy apron. I'm sure we all think it's terribly impressive to chuck chips about and sing football songs at old ladies waiting for the bus outside. Oh yes, Grant out of EastEnders would be proud of that.

  • Whoever thought it necessary to print the warning on the side of microwave food, e.g: "Warning - when you have heated this food it will be hot." I'm waiting for the one that says: "Warning - when you have eaten this food it won't be there anymore." (Dave O'Malley)

  • The complete fool in the Direct Line car insurance advert who's so busy umm-ing and ahh-ing about whether to choose between Direct Line and his insurance broker that he can't even remember to put his handbrake on when he parks his car. Watch as it merrily trundles into another car when someone shunts it up the back end, doubling the damange to his car and pranging another one in the process. Does anyone really believe that Direct Line are going to pay out to this kind of idiot when they wouldn't pay to fix my roof when it started leaking? Do they insure cars against 'act of fool'? I think not! (David Thornber)

  • Whoever wrote the signs that you see on supermarket checkouts that say "Please lay bottles on their side". Chickens lay eggs; I doubt very much whether I'll ever lay a bottle. And anyway laying them on their sides sounds pointlessly painful. While I'm writing, can I also nominate anyone who used the word "teenaged", as in "he had a teenaged daughter". The word is "teenage". Please. It makes it sound as if someone has crept up behind them and teenaged them unawares. On the other hand, perhaps that's what puberty is all about? (Jill)

  • Tim Kolar writes in comp.risks:

    The Centraal Corporation, of Palo Alto, recently introduced a new scheme for entering WWW host addresses into Web browsers. According to the marketing literature, you could replace all of that nasty http://host/directory nonsense with a single word.

    They presented this with a gentle, heartwarming Disney example. Who wants to think of their toddler son having to type in all those dots and slashes to read about their favorite fawn, when they could just use the new scheme and type in "bambi"?

    Well, it turns out Junior had better stick with the punctuation. Following their press release, thousands of users went directly to their browsers and typed in "bambi". Normal browser auto-expansion dropped them on "www.bambi.com", a decidely non-Disney site where children can learn about a side of wildlife not fully depicted in the movie.

    The president of the company was "surprised" that browsers would jump to a site given an incomplete address. And so I nominate Centraal and its idiot president as this week's corporate fools. (thanks Ian)

  • In addition, Pam nominates the BBC as Broadcasting Fool of the Week for cutting a sequence from a repeated 'Men Behaving Badly' because it mentioned Princess Di. Perhaps they were afeared that the mere mention of her name would cause everyone to break down and weep. What a sentimental bunch of twats we really are. Well, you are, anyway. I'm a double hard bastard.

  • This week's fool, reported to us by a staggering four separate people, is the nightmarish

    [ PICTURE: The scariest man on the Net ]

    Terry Cooksey. Not content with maintaining a web site that looks like it was designed by a wazzock, Mr Cooksey responds ill to criticism. Reader Martin Brooks wrote to him pointing out a problem with his site. The reply?

    "Any email about our web sites MUST contain YOUR URL at the TOP, or we do NOT read them. SHOW us YOUR work that is better. Otherwise, YOU are just a nazi bigot with NO LIFE !"

    Another Moose Mansions correspondent, known inexplicably as 'The Inedible Buddhas', fared even worse in his correspondence with Cooksey.

    "Get a life, PC dummy. YOUR jealousy is quite pathetic. Get to work and SHOW me how, NOT tell me. Show me YOUR work that is better, or continue to wear your bozo costume.... hehehehe. Your next nazi email gets bounced back to U without being looked at. The problem is YOUR antique PC. We Amiga owners are not impressed with fools that buy 15-year-old technology as NEW - WinDoze. I didn't read this because we don't read email from devil-incarnates. Christians are anti-Christs.

    See a pattern emerging? He has a certain style all his own, doesn't he?

    If you've clashed with Cooksey, why not write and tell us, so that we can ridicule him further.

  • The peerlessly-named 'The Inedible Buddhas' and the comparatively prosaically-named Martin Brooks both write with further denigration of the Internet's angriest man, Terry Cooksey.

    In the aftershock of your small, but perfectly formed ridicule-fest re: Terry "Red Rum! Red Rum!" Cooksey, I discovered a delightful thing which I feel you need to see. It's not linked from anywhere that I can see, but it's as good a litany of unsuitability to own sharp objects as you will ever see.

    http://www.cooksey.net/traitors.htm is the URL that's stuck onto the fridge by a bright orange letter "N".

    I think every responsible citizen should see it as his or her right to be on this list :)

    So writes The Inedible Buddhas, and right indeed he, or they, is, or are. Here's an extract from the page, which should serve only to whet your appetite for running as far away in the opposite direction from Mr Cooksey as possible:

    Exposing Enemies of the Amiga, and Amiga Community

    If any of these groups or individuals wish to apologize for their repeated hateful activities against me or the amiga community, and, right YOUR wrong.... I will remove your entry from this page. Otherwise, you will be here til my death, and after.

    • 2-Faced DC - Digital Corruption Fellow Amigans. Start emailing software companies with names of DC ftp, web & Telnet sites. Send the software company the login AND Password, if you have it. DC is a bunch of powerless fags, perverts, child molestors and thieves. They are stealing files off many amiga computers. Understand that people who stoop as low as DC, can be wiped off the planet in the blink of an eye. I am one man who terrifies the whole DC nazi fag group.

    I don't need to comment on that, except perhaps to say that anyone capable of starting sentences with the imperative 'Understand...' is to be feared and shunned.

  • And will you please welcome... Terry Cooksey again, for the following:

    Cookseys Sue Jonesboro Police for $15 million

    Yes, Terry's been up to his tricks again, this time filing a complaint against his local police in the style we've come to recognise and love:

    13. The City of Jonesboro operates an auto-theft ring, that it has tried to hide under an un-Constitutional city ordinance. If a poor persons' car breaks down, the Police call in a tow truck to haul your car in to a lock-up. Cars remain there until at least a $100 ransom is paid. These cars are seized in direct Violation to the Law, Article IV-Bill of Rights. There is absolutely no due process involved in any of these seizures at any time; not to mention the fact that these cars display the special license required to be on the road, that without, you would get a ticket for not having valid state tags. MY WIFE IS AMONG THE VICTIMS WHO HAVE HAD THEIR CARS STOLEN. SHE NEVER GOT HER CAR BACK.

    More hilarious Cooksey rants can be found in his very own newspaper:

    The Town Herald

    As the editor (a Mr Cooksey) himself comments:

    This local paper will not give you made up happenings, or twist things just to 'make' a story. There are important facts that you don't know, because the media conveniently leaves them out.

    I don't think there's anything I can add to that.

  • Our favourite correspondent David Thornber writes:

    I would dearly love to nominate "Domino's Pizza" for a fool award. Currently, said pizza company is sponsoring The Simpsons on Sky One. Nightly, before each episode begins, their little blipvert appears, announcing "Domino's Pizza, delivering a *fresh* slice of family life in 30 minutes." At this point, they show an episode that you've seen so many times that you fall into a coma.

    So, if this is Domino's idea of freshness, I can only assume that they marinate all their ingredients in a sweaty sock for at least a fortnight and, once a pizza is cooked, each member of staff ceremoniously wipes their arse on a slice.

  • Whoever came up with the advertising idea that a packet of biscuits can somehow unite our fundamentally divided society, end all conflict and spread love throughout the world. You know who you are. You twat.

  • The designer who put the off switch on my computer right next to the floppy disk eject button. Nnnnrrrrggghhhh.

  • Any mum who comes home all happy and excited from the shops and calls out to the kids, "Guess what's for tea tonight, kiddies? A special treat! It's goat!"

  • People who wear clogs without a hint of shame

  • People who use the phrase "wash and brush up"

  • People who come over all smug and superior because they like/play rugby instead of football. And call it "rugger". And call themselves "rugger buggers". Indeed.

  • The fat git on the sofa off the old Midland bank ad who just wants to rave all night.

  • Cyclists who make themselves out to be some sort of martyr to the environment because they choose to risk life and lung on the crowded streets of our cities, and then get all uppity when they are asked to get off the pavement.

  • The person responsible for the following instructions, found on tubes of Safeways lipsalve:

    Instructions: Apply to lips.

  • Julian writes:

    The stupid stupid ugly Australian tourist stupid woman this morning who went on and on and on about how quiet it is on the tube and how if she took a picture of all those dull people they'd never reach her to hit her or anything yap yap yap yap. I kept my dignity and did not say "They're all struck dumb by how stupid you look", nor did I say "British people can think without speaking", nor did I even venture to suggest that most people don't have to accost strangers on trains because they have no friends.

  • A correspondent writes:

    The writers of Rainbow. (I apologise if you've heard this one before) Why, during the day did Zippy, George and Bungle not wear any clothes, and yet at night they wore pyjamas- as if they might be cold or embarassed in the nude. If I was Geoffrey, I would be more worried about sharing a double bed with a six-foot teddy bear, a loudmouth with a head shaped like a football, and a slightly effeminate pink hippo (was anybody sure of George's sex?).

  • Anyone who buys Bird Eye microwave meals 'for one' who isn't an anorexic dwarf. (from Pam)

  • I took my TV into the shop for repair because it wouldn't switch on. To my surprise, the engineer phoned a few days later to ask me what the fault was. I mean really. "Did you try switching it on?" I asked him acerbically. What do they teach these people in TV repair college, I wonder.

  • Anyone who buys bags of pre-grated cheese from the supermarket. How difficult is it to grate cheese, for fuck's sake?

  • Anyone who buys bags of ice cubes from the supermarket. It's ice! How much are you willing to pay someone to freeze some water for you?

  • Anyone who buys those little microwave meals where the food is on a plastic plate inside the box so you don't even need to open the frigging box before plonking it in the microwave. And there's a little plastic knife and fork already on the plate.

  • Somebody whose name I've forgotten writes:

    Tara Palmer Tompkinson, wanna-be journalist, obnoxious Chelsea socalite and rich bitch is worthy of a sub heading on your moose page. Believe me, I'm not the only one who finds her exceptionally offensive. If youre not convinced open up the 'Style' section of the Sunday Times and feel the disgust overcome you - if you dare...

    1. Tara Palmer Tompkinson (or T P-T to her friends) was recently quoted as saying in an interview that when looking for a husband she would not 'turn right when entering an airplane'...

    2. On a recent BBC television show called 'Dinner Dates' T P-T was taken to a restaurant, The Arkansas Cafe (a bbq restaurant) in Spitalfields Market. Her opinion of the food was 10 out of 10 but she had to mark the restaurant down because 'it was not in chelsea'. Her slanderous remarks about the east end offended so many that one local newspaper hounded her for weeks for an appology. The frightening thing about this woman is that is is famous for doing nothing and having no particular talents - she is rich and ostentatious, therefore she is a celeb. Although she has no intellect (she is know as 'the plank' in certain circles of her acquainatance) she has been given a column in the times on Sundays where she talks about her lavish living. It is even more scary that this woman is 26 - not some dried up old conservative supporting bag. I believe she is truly worthy of two rather large bullets (make that three) in the back of the head!

  • The person who designed the logo for Brixton Recreation Centre. It looks like three small fat men doing star jumps. Which I suppose must be a true and accurate picture of their clientele.

  • The journalists who reported that the Internet "crashed" when Judge Hiller "Unfeasibly Lenient" Zobel released his verdict in the Louise Woodward case. The Internet can't crash, you idiots, it's a network. That's like saying the Underground crashed because of a signal failure at Whitechapel. Actually, maybe you're right...

  • People who say 'Trivial Pursuits'.

  • People who say 'it's' when they mean 'its'.

  • People who say 'its' when they mean 'it's'.

  • People who put things on menus in quotation marks for no reason: 'Soft drinks - Milk - "Tea" - "Coffee"'.

  • People who put in apostrophes which aren't required: "Thursday night is Jazz & Blue's night".

  • People who use the word ''n'' when they mean 'and', as in 'Fish 'n' Chips'.

  • People who capitalise words that don't need it, as in 'We can supply All your Shelving requirements.'

  • Signs that thank you for things you haven't done yet, as in 'Thank you for not smoking'. I haven't not smoked yet! Why are you thanking me?

  • People who criticise 'Teletubbies' for using baby-like language. Remember this programme is for babies. They're hardly going to go 'Actually, I thought the dialogue was trite and over-stylised, reminiscent of sub-Austen experiental novels.'

  • People who shake your hand too warmly when introduced to you, gaze into your eyes with an assumed expression of interest, and pump you with questions designed to show how sincerely interested in you they are. "Really? That's fascinating. Tell me some more about you." Then two minutes later they look over your shoulder to see someone else fractionally more worth cultivating and rush off towards them, clammy hand already extended.

    These people are usually in Marketing.

  • People who have just enough wit to think of a funny remark about someone's name when they meet them, but not enough to realise that they must have heard that same remark over 13,000 times during their life.

  • Anyone who regularly buys and reads a tabloid newspaper when they know that real newspapers are available without prescription from virtually all High Street newsagents (except mine). Especially if they then spend hours puzzling over the '2-Minute Crossword'.

    By the way, this only applies to people who ostensibly buy tabloids 'for the news coverage'. If they're openly buying them just for the tits, for example, that's fair enough.

  • People, especially corporate managers, who think Dilbert is hilarious but don't realise that it is actually satirising their own behaviour. Their attitude seems to be 'Oh yeah, I know someone just like that pointy-haired boss.' Yes! It's you!

  • People who queue up for things by sleeping on the pavement for at least one night before whatever it is is going to happen. E.g. the January sales, royal funerals, buying the latest Oasis album, etc.

  • Anyone who "does brunch", gives you his mobile number and says things like "Yah, action me with those issues. We'll get together over some sushi and architect a solution package, OK?"

  • A fellow called Michael Aita for his movie reviews which run the gamut of literary excellence from A to B. Enjoy Michael's incisive opinions on films from An American Tail ("worth seeing"), via Blue Velvet("Huh? Stupid and boring"), to The Breakfast Club ("probably the most important high-school picture of the 80's so far").

    I can't decide whether it's his elegant, economical style or the way he doggedly misses the point of every single movie he ever watched. Try and pin it down yourself.

    Just one more quote: "What would The Empire Strikes Back have been without Yoda? It would have still been a good science fiction movie." Michael will be the Fool for the next two or three whiles because I've still got his alleged plays and comedy sketches to rip the piss out of.

  • Michael Aita again, for his alleged comedy skits. They are quite amusing in fact, but in a more unintentional kind of way.

  • [ PICTURE: Tim Tyrrell's cornish, 'Aaaah'-esque face ]

    The appallingly foolish Tim 'Hollywood' Tyrrell. I wonder if people really call him 'Hollywood', or whether they call him something else. You decide.

    Incidentally I notice that Tim's hit count has gone up considerably since he first featured in the Mansions. Make of that what you will.

  • Michael Jackson (a bit out of date this, I know) for accusing Jarvis Cocker of mistreating children. There's a phrase about kitchen utensils which is appropriate here, but I can't quite think of it.

  • Idiot journalist David Hewson, for his article entitled "Linux: the PC program from hell".

  • Anyone who thinks Birds Eye frozen fish fingers actually contain fish.

  • Elicia Slate of Charleston, Illinois, who sent this fact into Deb & Jen's Land o' Useless Facts:

    Anne Boleyn had six fingernails on one hand.

    I think you'll find, Elicia, that that was because Anne Boleyn also had six fingers on one hand. A not entirely astonishing connection exists between the two facts.

  • The European war crimes tribunal which attempted to prosecute Marcus Wolf, head of the East German intelligence service for thirty years, for espionage. What did they expect him to be doing for thirty years? Rearranging his desk toys?

  • From our own correspondent:

    I'll tell you who's the biggest fool on TV currently - that idiot on the Renault Megane advert, that's who. Using the freeze frame buttton on your VCR check out his idiotic expression when he introduces his car (his CAR, for crying out loud!) to Catherine or whatever his bandy-legged girlfriend's name is. As another of your correspondents exhorted, LOOK AT HIS FOOLISH FACE. LOOK AT IT.

  • Anyone who rings up and buys one of those albums advertised on late-night TV which mysteriously 'aren't available in any shops' (big surprise).

  • The Family Jewels - a 'uniquely talented' mother and son comedy duo who appear to be unaware that 'family jewels' is slang for testicles.

  • The five men accused by the Daily Mail of Stephen Lawrence's murder. The 'secret' surveillance tapes show them running around their flat practising a peculiar sort of overarm stabbing motion. Allegedly, Lawrence was stabbed with this overarm motion. Tsk. Everyone knows you don't stab people like that. You want to slip the knife in underarm, between the ribs. If you stab overarm you'll just hit the collar bone. Even a tiny child knows that.

  • A correspondent writes:

    I'd like to nominate Netscape as fools for the archive. I'm a system administrator at the University of (mumble). Someone asked me a tech question about the format of the binary file format that Netscape stores it's news history in. I sent netscape support this request:

    Hi,

    I'm part of sysadmin here at the University of (mumble) (UK) Computer Science Department. I wondered if you could supply me with or point me towards some information on the format of the binary news history file used in Netscape 2.02S to store the list of newsgroups, which articles are read etc.

    [snip]

    Obviously, we're using Netscape 2.02S under the free educational license, so I could not supply the full information needed in your direct contact form.

    Netscape support sent me this reply:

    From: nav-support@netscape.com (Netscape Support)
    To: (mumble)
    Subject: Info Request (Netscape 2.02S)
    Status: OR
    Thank you for using Netscape e-mail technical support. Because of site licensing, your network system administrator is required to provide all technical support. You will need to contact your system administrator for further assistance on this issue.

    nav-support@netscape.com

    Most helpful.

  • That STUPID bird on How Do They Do That with her STUPID mouth and way of talking like Graham Taylor with a speech impediment. "Buphft how dphfo thpfhey dpfho thfphat?" Then there's Eammon Holmes going "bot hoy doy thehh doy that?" And anyone who watches How Do They Do That (except to shout abuse at the presenters) is a fool.

  • Mike Wise writes:

    The funniest thing I heard this week was on Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday morning about 7.30 am. Jim Naughtie was foaming with frustration at the lack of news of the Wilmslow Station bombing and his denial of being able to relay the full horror ("Tell us what's it like to be horribly mutilated/dead/ can you count the bodies?) but managed to get through to the Assistant Fire Chief or equivalent who was actually driving to the incident and talking on his phone at the same time; presumably knocking over pedestrians in his rush to get there. He obviously had bugger all information to give in reply to Naughtie's inane questions, but had the stunning presence of mind to correct Naughtie's introductory statement: "by the way,Jim, Wilmslow isn't in Greater Manchester it's in Cheshire".

    Makes you proud to be British.

  • Cilla Black of Blind Date. Cause of the stupid laugh she has and the moxy red hair, and the stupid way she dips at the end of the title music every week and the depressing fact that every body seems to love her crap show.

  • The person from Greenwich Local History Library who wrote in to the Daily Express' questions & answers section replying to a query about how Blackheath in South London got its name. Their reply was this:

    Blackheath got its name in the 12th century. It's [sic] name is derived from the Anglo Saxon words 'black' and 'heath', although no one is quite sure why.

    Helpful in the extreme.

  • George Goble, a fool of the first water. Check out his almost unbearably foolish and annoying home page if you disbelieve my words. (Thanks to Warren for suggesting this one.

  • Midland Bank plc. They sent me a change of address form, requesting me to fill in a form telling them my new address. Woah! Let's just backtrack a moment. They sent this form to my house. With my address written on the front of it. Ever get the feeling you've slipped into the Twilight Zone?

  • That girl out of the BT advert who's supposed to be a student phoning home. Watch for the bit where she's talking to her father (shock!) and she says, "Boyfriend!??', and giggles inanely. Freeze the video. Look at her foolish face. Look at it.

    (PS: Kath Gibson notes that there is no phone card in the phone she's using. Since this was before BT had the brilliant idea of letting you use coins in card phones as well (good one, lads), we can only conclude that there is no-one on the other end of that phone call. Therefore her doting father is merely a figment of her presumably drug-crazed imagination, and the message of the advert is that if you don't have any Friends or Family, take loads of mind-bending substances until you find yourself talking inanely to the dialling tone.)

Comments

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