Sideswipe: November 22: Lockdown Spud

The pursuit of dullness

Meet the world’s most boring Facebook group – with of more than 10,000 members, the Dull Club shows that a growing number of people are embracing the world of the ordinary. The Guardian explains: “The club’s annual calendar showcases the best boring hobbyists from around the world. This year’s features Steve Silberberg from Massachusetts, who has collected 3161 airsickness bags. ‘I thought it would be interesting to collect something no one else collects,’ he said. But now his website, airsicknessbags.com, has a list of 265 collectors across the world. There’s also Louis Chung, who photographs rubbish bins around his home city, Hong Kong; Ton Merckx from the Netherlands, who has amassed a huge collection of cycling jerseys; and Gianni Bellini from Italy, who has the world’s largest collection of football stickers. But the UK population arguably has a special gift for finding joy in the dull. David Morgan has received a Guinness World Record for the largest collection of traffic cones, and James Brown, from Derbyshire, has the world’s largest collection of vacuum cleaners. Nick West, from Somerset, has moved house twice and built an extension to house his huge collection of quirky beer cans, collected over decades – he has more than 9,000 of them.”

Sheltered school principal

My mother was a primary school teacher. For years the teachers’ “be quiet” signal was holding up one hand in a peace sign. Well, the principal decided that this didn’t have enough meaning and invented her own. At a staff meeting she explained that her new sign stood for “ears Listening, eyes Looking, lips Locked”. She then made an “L” with her index finger and thumb and held it in front of her forehead. This principal didn’t take criticism well, so none of the staff members were willing to tell her that she was making the Loser Sign. And so, the new sign was taught to the children. Most of them made fun of it. Some of the more sensitive ones got upset by it. Overall, it was a disaster and within a few weeks they went back to the peace sign.”

Badly worded sign

Dumb and rhetorical questions

1. “A mate once asked me how a thermos knows when to keep something hot or cold and I think about that question at least once a month.”

2. “Person calls at 3am and when I respond sleepily proceeds to say: ‘Oh sorry, were you sleeping’? No, I was out hunting.”

3. “I just thought about this a full damn day later but I was about eight months’ pregnant and rubbing my very swollen belly. I was at my obstetrician’s office, wearing a ‘You’re kickin me’, tee-shirt. A lady looked me dead in the face and asked, ‘Awww. You’re having a baby’?”

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