Saturday, 22 April 2017

Today Is Honesty Day

Foreword:  If you're a liar, then please don't read the following information.

"Come on in!  The water's perfectly safe!"
According to a poll conducted by the London Science Museum, the most common lie told by men is...

'I didn't drink that much'

...and the most common lie told by women is...

'I'm fine. Nothing's wrong.'

Today is officially Honesty Day* so hopefully today there won't be any lies told.  However, here's an account of a falsity themed incident which happened when I travelling on a tour in Africa several years ago.

* Or is it?**

** Update: Actually, it's next week.  Never trust anything you read on the internet!  Apart from on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog of course, where I always own up to my bluffery.

The tour had taken us to the Ssese Islands*** in Uganda, and on one swelteringly hot day, several of us wanted to go for a swim to cool off.  However, the water by the shore was filled with reeds, and the tour guide had warned us that the presence of reeds could potentially mean a possible risk of catching bilharzia.

*** That's not a spelling mistake.  That is actually how you spell it.

For anyone who isn't an expert on horrible tropical diseases, bilharzia is a chronic disease caused by parasitic worms released from infected snails.  I'm no expert, but my non-expert advice would be 'try not to catch it'.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

The Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction

There's a famous saying, "The truth is stranger than fiction," and my own experience would agree with this.  On a number of occasions I've encountered strange conversations and events in real life which would seem ridiculous if an author had included them in a fictional story.

Here are a few of those conversations and to make things a bit more challenging, I've made it into a quiz.  See if you can guess what actually happened in each of the following situations...

"Please note, customers will be charged extra if we get your order wrong."

1) Curry Confusion

While on holiday one year, I went to a restaurant and ordered a chicken curry.  However, unfortunately they messed my order up and mistakenly brought me a prawn curry.

Can you guess what the waitress said when I mentioned this error?

a) "I do apologise. I'll get your correct order brought out straight away."
b) "I do apologise. As a token of apology we'll knock twenty percent off the bill."
c) "Oh, well the prawn curry is more expensive, so do you mind paying a bit extra?"

Saturday, 8 April 2017

April Fools' Day Pranks (2017 Edition)

It's that time of year where I round up a selection of some of the April Fools' Day jokes that were found on the internet to celebrate April Fool's Day last week.

1) Russian hacking services

The award for the most unexpected April Fool's Day prank had to go to the Russian Foreign Ministry who posted their apparently updated answering machine message on their facebook page. The message advises callers:

"You have reached the Russian embassy. Your call is very important to us. To arrange a call from a Russian diplomat to your political opponents, press 1. To use the services of Russian hackers, press 2. To request election interference press 3 and wait until the next election campaign."

For legal purposes, they add:

"Please note that all calls are recorded for quality improvement and training purposes."

You can listen to the prank answering machine message below:

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Silly Job Titles (Part 3)

"Would you like me to facilitate ketchup
on your mobile sustenance?"
I've mentioned before on the Charles Fudgemuffin blog that modern society seems to have an increasing obsession for replacing straight forward traditional job titles with fancy long-winded descriptions.

I was reminded of this the other morning when I noticed a van parked outside our neighbours' house with the slogan...

'Height Safety Solutions'

Or in other words...


On the face of it, 'height safety solutions' would seem a logical, if unnecessarily wordy, way to describe scaffolding.  However, surely the safest way to achieve height safety is to stay on the ground!

Anyway, once again it's time for another quiz based on confusing job titles, so see if you can guess what jobs the following list of jargon actually refers to.  To start you off, the first job title may be familiar*...

Saturday, 25 March 2017

'Many Volcanoes Erupt. Moldy Jam Sandwiches, Unusually Niffy. Phew!' And Other Mnemonics.

The planet dwarf planet Pluto.
Photo courtesy of
Last week I promised to explain what 'mnemonic' means, and any non-word nerds will most likely be disappointed to hear that I'm keeping that promise!

A mnemonic is actually a memory device or technique which helps you remember information.  For example...

'Many Volcanoes Erupt. Moldy Jam Sandwiches, Unusually Niffy, Phew!' a mnemonic I learnt at school to help remember the order of the planets. The first letter of each word corresponds to the first letter of each of the planets, namely...

'Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto.'

Saturday, 18 March 2017

An Alternative Phonetic Alphabet

As a Geordie, when I speak to people on the phone they often confuse my 'A's with my 'E's, so when spelling words verbally I often have to use the phonetic alphabet.  The offical phonetic alphabet is very formal and efficient, but it's also quite boring, so just to confuse people, it's fun to use alternative words that sound like letters themselves, and say things like...

E for Eye  (E for I)
Y for You  (Y for U)
S for See  (S for C)
A for Aye  (A for I)
E for Ewe  (E for U)

It's also fun to confuse people altogether with silent letters and unusual pronunciations such as...

P for Pterodactyl
K for Knowledge
W for Wrinkle
P for Phonetic
G for Gnome

Here's an alternative phonetic alphabet (featuring misleadingly pronounced words) that me and a few work colleagues came up with during one of our breaks (and definitely not when we were supposed to be working).

Saturday, 11 March 2017

Bread Bun, Bap, Cob, Scone, Roll, Barm Or Muffin?

Controversial questions: The bread debate.

On the Charles Fudgemuffin blog we're not afraid to tackle controversial issues, and so this week I take a look at a question which has divided many people and produced a variety of opinions.

It's a straight forward but controversial question.  Take a look at the following photo and then answer a simple poll...  What is it?

Bun, bap, cob, scone, roll, barm or muffin?

Saturday, 4 March 2017

10 Unusual Town Names

This week the Charles Fudgemuffin blog takes a look at towns and villages with weird names.  The towns are from all around the world, and despite their unsual names, they're all real places...

Na na na na na na na na...

1) Batman

As well as being the alter ego of [spoiler alert] Bruce Wayne, Batman is also the name of a town in Turkey.

Amusingly, back in 2008 the mayor of Batman threatened to sue Warner Bros for not asking his permission to use the name Batman in the movie 'The Dark Knight'.  I'm no expert on copyright law, but here are two facts which may explain why the mayor of Batman never actually went through with his legal threat...

* Batman first appeared in Detective Comics 27 published in May 1939.
* The town of Batman was previously called Iluh.  It's name wasn't changed to Batman until the 1950s.

Saturday, 25 February 2017

Random Thoughts (Part 3)

Dentists, double glazing, and the secret to immortality.

Here are a few more random thoughts on a variety of random subjects...

"They're going for a walk without us again..."

1) How a dog sees the world...

When you go to work each morning, your dog probably thinks you're going for a walk on your own for eight hours.

2) Poor counting skills

A survey was recently carried out which asked people, "Who would you most like to run a three-legged race with?'  Top of the list of answers was Holly Willoughby, which is a perfectly understandable choice.  However, at number four on the list was, surprisingly, 'Ant and Dec.'

Ant and Dec?

In a three-legged race?

Maths must be different nowadays from when I was at school because back in my day that would have been a five-legged race.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Coincidental Company Names

Original names for electronic companies are
harder to think of than you might expect.
When writing 'Crime Doesn't Pay' my recently released short story collection, for one of the stories I needed to think of a name for a fictitious electronic company.  I therefore got my thinking cap on and came up with...


However, after a quick Google search it turns out that by coincidence Integrax is already a real company!

I didn't want to get into any legal difficulties over copyright, so I went back to the drawing board and came up with...


Apparently, it turns out Tridox is already the name of a medicine.  It's also the name of  a self curing, non-epoxy plastic adhesive cement.  I have to admit I'm not sure what a self-curing non-epoxy plastic adhesive cement is exactly, but whatever it is, there's already one called Tridox.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Sayings From Around The World (Valentine's Day Special)

A Valentine's Day themed blog post.
When I was first learning Swedish I bought a Swedish phrase book and one of the things which surprised me was the 'Romance section' of the phrase book.

Incredibly, the phrase book included four expressions for how to tell a Swedish woman, 'Sorry, I'm not interested,' and only one phrase to express interest.  I have to say, whoever wrote the guide book must clearly have never have met any Swedish women, as all the Swedish women I've ever met would most definitely not prompt me to say, 'Sorry, I'm not interested.'

Anyway, although I'm not fluent in other languages, I nevertheless still find foreign sayings and expressions interesting, so in honour of Valentine's Day, here are a few romantic phrases from around the world...

Saturday, 4 February 2017

'Guess The Sign' Quiz

Signposts are a part of everyday life.  They're also quite boring, so you may be wondering why I've decided to have a quiz on them!

Well, although the majority of signs are indeed boring, the signs featured in this week's quiz all appealed to my daft sense of humour.

The text from each of the following signposts has been deleted, so see if you can guess what each sign originally said...

1) African Sign

This first sign is an amusing sign from Africa.  I've erased the text, but bearing in mind the antelope silhouette, can you guess what the sign originally said?

Yes, that's right!  As you've probably guessed the sign says...

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Weird Google Searches (Part 4)

A few weeks ago in my 'Things that happen every second' article, I mentioned the weird Google search term...

'Dinosaurs were made up by the CIA to discourage time travel'

...which incredibly, gets 20 searches every month!

There are many more weird Google searches made every month, so here are a few more, starting with one search which makes me agree with Einstein that stupidity has no bounds...

1) "My PC is on fire"

...30 searches per month

Surprisingly, I didn't have a photo of a computer on fire,
so here are two separate photos of a computer and fire.
I can only say .... er, what!?  Presumably the people googling 'My PC is on fire' subsequently searched for...

'How do I treat burnt fingers?'

Being serious, if my laptop was on fire my first thought wouldn't be, 'Hmm, how I can put out the fire?  I know!  I'll google it!  Using my laptop that's on fire!'

If it was then presumably my next thought would be, 'Ow!  Ow!  Ouch!  That's hot!'

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Novelty Bets For 2017

As if the next president would
be someone off the telly!
Last year I featured a selection of novelty bets which were judged less likely than Leicester winning the Premier League.

Here are a few more noteworthy unusual bets...

1) Next US President

You can already bet on the winner of the 2020 US presidential election with some surprising names mentioned...

Leonardo DiCaprio - 80/1
Kanye West - 100/1
George Clooney - 100/1
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson - 100/1
Vince McMahon - 200/1
Kim Kardashian - 275/1

Vince McMahon and Kim Kardashian!  Ha, ha!  I mean, as if the next president is going to be someone off the telly!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Don't Try This At Home!

Apparently, viewers are too stupid to realise how dangerous the following stunts are...

Public Service Announcement:
Necklaces should be worn in the traditional manner, and
not ripped through the neck for entertainment purposes.
Last week I featured a photo of me dancing on top of a flying aeroplane, and I captioned it with the warning...

"Don't try this at home!'

With hindsight, I may perhaps have underestimated the intelligence of my blog readers, as I would guess that most readers probably already realised that dancing on the roof of a aeroplane during a flight was dangerous.

Judging by many TV shows nowadays, it seems that some TV producers also underestimate the intelligence of their viewers, because the legal disclaimer 'Don't try this at home' seems to pop up at even the merest hint of danger.

For a stunt which is unexpectedly risky, you can maybe understand the logic of this warning, but other times you have to really question how stupid they must think we are if we need to be warned not to try some of the most dangerous stunts at home.

Here are a few examples I've noticed while watching TV over the last few months...

1) Ripping a necklace through your throat

Dynamo: Magician Impossible...

Dynamo swallows a polo, then forces a necklace into his throat.  He then rips it back out through his skin with the polo attached.  An impressed David Haye then warns viewers...

"Don't try this at home!"

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Micromorts: The Risk Of Dying

Caution: If you suffer from thanatophobia (fear of death), discretion is advised before reading this article!

Fighting with a light sabre has a rating of 187,500 micromorts.
2016 was a memorable year in many ways; Leicester's incredible Premier League win, a new Star Wars movie, and of course the release of 'Crime Doesn't Pay', my collection of crime themed short stories (available for kindle from Amazon).

However, it was also a scary and sobering year in the way that so many celebrities seemed to die.  It's a morbid thing to think about, but it's also a reminder of how temporary life is, and to take a positive approach, it's a reminder of how we should make the most of every day because you never know how long you've got left.

Believe it or not, there's actually a statistical unit which is a measurement of the risk of dying called the micromort.  A micromort is a one in a million chance of death, so for example if an activity has a rating of 1 micromort that means there's a relatively small one in a million chance of dying, whereas a rating of 1,000,000 micromorts would mean certain death.

Here are some micromort ratings for a variety of activities, from just living your life, to more dangerous pursuits...

About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.