Sunday, 19 June 2016

Netflix and Children does the #CheerioChallenge with Little Bellies Hoops and Loops

I hate online memes normally. Especially the Harlem Shake and the Running Man Challenge. Usually this is born out of a deep seated cynicism, driven by incessant media coverage and peer pressure guilt-tripping other individuals or groups into partaking in a largely irrelevant, pointless and cringeworthy task. Whilst often harmless, these crazes can have far-reaching consequences, making respected public leaders to look like tools in public, and lead to official government agencies to change the way they answer phones.

(On a slightly tangential note, official Labour Party YouTube video channel, why would you keep that video up and remind us he did that? Do you want him to win the election next year?)

But when I heard about the Cheerio Challenge this morning, I was instantly drawn in. Mostly because I thought it had something to do with delicious red cocktail sausages. I was slightly dissapointed to find it actually referred fathers piling little ring-shaped American cereal pieces on their sleeping infants, but heck, I'd just bought some cheap Australian rip off hoops with half an intention to review them, may as well put them to good use. So tonight, the family sat down to try out the #CheerioChallenge, before John Key kills it by stacking cereal on top of a sleeping Max. In fact, what's in that bowl behind the glass in this photo?

Anyway, it's fair to say our attempts were a disaster. My first mistake was, in my eagerness, not waiting for the kids to fall asleep before starting out. Given the difficulty stacking on a small moving child, we started tying using Dad as a base substrate. Handed a bowl of small banana flavoured hoops, however, the instinct of a toddler seems to be to eat them. No definitive photos exist, but I blindly fumbled my way to about four little circles, before they were snatched and scoffed.

Luke was actually relatively keen to give being a base for a cereal tower a go, and lay still enough for a tower of seven to be erected between his eyes, before getting the giggles. Emily then, in attempt to emulate her brother, actually lay down and starting building upon her own face, but only succeeded in throwing a small snack into her eye socket.

Of course, we were unable to threaten the record of 16!!!!! Cheerios in one stack. My hypothesis, looking at  my packet of Little Bellies Hoops and Loops (banana flavour), is the lack of sugar (0.2g per serving in comparison to a full gram per serving of Cheerios) affects the adhesiveness of each grain-filled miniature donut, both to adjacent loops, but also to the skin of a small child. I'd also question how the connective qualities of organic corn stack up (pun 100% totally intended) against oats.

Anyway, now I've partaken in the Cheerios Challenge, I imagine it will bumble along slowly, gathering momentum until Jono and Ben invite Cher(io) to come and do it on their show (artist's impression below), followed several months later by the Silver Ferns entering the court at the Fast Netball World Cup stacking  fruit loops on top of each other.

As for a review of Little Bellies Hoops and Loops (banana flavour): the kids seem to love them, but in all honestly they taste like stale dust. 2/10.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Balloon animals of New Zealand: the overseas visitor edition

First things first. You'll remember, if you're an avid reader of Netflix and Children, my search for new Zealand's number one historical joke book, despite being unsure of its existence. And I can confirm, that yes, I am one step closer, for Mr Jason Gunn has replied to my correspondence! Indeed, Netflix and Children has the exclusive scoop that (a) Mr Gunn did compile a book of jokes in the early 90s, which was at the pre world-wide-web time, a lucrative earner, and (b) that he is indeed miffed at being incessantly passed over in his attempts to secure a (admittedly well deserved) knighthood for services to the gunge industry.

So, I implore you, please, if any reader should have a copy of this book, please let me know, for potential reviewing purposes.

And now, on to serious business.

Those with adequately functioning mid-term memories may remember a time last year when the more affluent suburbs of central Auckland were struck with a pestilence, one which restricted their travel with fresh fruit stuffs outside the confines of their immediate neighbourhood. How the beautiful people howled at the indignity of having to pre-prepare their organic kale and acai berry smoothies before heading to the crossfit gym. Gradually, restrictions were loosened, and a mango could be carried between Ponsonby and Herne Bay, so long as it bore a thick layer of cling film and Faro Fresh branding. Today, the plague has lifted, and the affluent Jafas are able to take their five plus a day to work, school or play once more. Here is my balloon depiction of the 2015 Grey Lynn fruit fly, laying siege to New Zealand's horticulture industry.

Still, it could have been much worse for the rich and well to do, had it been the Queensland Quinoa Fly, the Fijiian Moet and Chandon Grub or the South American Ferrari Weevil that had been discovered lurking in Remuera.

Monday, 6 June 2016

Double post! Book review: 'The Knock Knock Joke Book', and Balloon Animals of NZ: Low Hanging Fruit Edition

I love joke books! I used to anyway. I had so many growing up, and they were all better than the sorry excuse served up in The Knock Knock Joke Book, at least through my roses spectacled nostalgia. I've a vague recollection that Jase 'the Ace' Gunn even compiled an anthology of his own, presumably as part of intensive therapy to help him get over the trauma of Thingee losing an eye on national television. Unfortunately I'm unable to find evidence of this book of classic gags, so have resorted to a few last ditch measures.

Firstly, I have followed the sage advice of our prime minister, offered in reference to an equally scarce commodity: the Auckland house under $500,000. Unfortunately, going to and googling 'Jason Gunn Joke Book' did not return the 'quite a few' hits promised.

So secondly, I have tweeted the great man himself. I'll keep you updated. I feel my chances of a reply are somewhat higher than when I tweeted Frank Bainamarama about KFC.

Anyway. I bought the Knock Knock Joke Book in the hope I might be able to interest the 3 year old in humour, given his history of publicly rejecting my excellent gags and puns. And he loves the book! That's not necessarily a good thing. Normally I love forced jokes. The contents of this book aren't  forced though, so much as they are rammed down your throat with crudely drawn cartoons to explain exactly why the contrived situation you just read was funny: oh, I see, the person at the door was a carpet salesman, trying to draw maximum drama out of his arrival! How droll!

Granted: a few jokes are tireless classics. In fact, I think this one was even in Jase's anthology:

But too many rely on visuals to appeal to use in any real life situation. Like: why has this man got a seal on his head, and how am I going to convey that when I regale the joke during witty banter with chums down at the pub? Maybe prefaced by, 'hey dudes, wanna hear a gag that would be super chill if you had a seal on your head?'

Still other jokes just don't work at all. WTF is an island doing knocking at someone's door. Especially if it's landing on the roof with a parachute. FFS.

Fittingly, the last entry ends with a young lad running away (Omar goodness!), a strong metaphor for what anyone should do should they encounter this book.


And another thing!!! A week and a bit ago I presented John Key's finest career moment, sculpted in balloons. May I present today, modelled out of inflatable rubber, the climax of Minister of Business and Innovation and loads of other crap I can't be arsed googling Steven Joyce's time in politics. It is, of course, the Waitangi Dildo.

I was going to make some penis jokes at this point, but I think they've all been made already. So here's a picture of another phallus that Steven Joyce has the misfortune to be often associated with.