Category Archives: News you can’t possibly use

“News You Can’t Possibly Use” – No, we are not related

Not me and my sister Image credit:

Not me and my sister
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I can’t tell you how many times somebody has looked at me and asked – are you related to so-and-so? When I respond in the negative, the person invariably says, “Well, look how some people can look alike”, and I agree, but sometimes I don’t know what the heck they’re looking at.

That’s what I also think when some people ask whether my sister and I are twins. There’s a five year difference between us, and though I will admit that there is a resemblance (because we are siblings after all), I don’t get how they come to the conclusion that we are not fraternal – but identical twins.

Could it possibly be because we have the same eye colour? How about the fact that we are both tall and ( I wish), impossibly thin? Maybe it’s the fact that we have the same parents? Or the fact that we like many of the same foods?

But coming from the same household doesn’t mean that we’re one and the same, and some things are definitely not interchangeable.

In a recent case of mistaken identity, most commonly known as “they all look alike to me”, a British company that was contracted to print memorabilia for the 2014 World Cup, wasn’t able to tell the difference between a British soccer player participating in the matches and the president of the United States.

By the time the error was discovered, some 2,000 cups with Barack Obama’s face had already come off the assembly line.

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The soccer player in question was Chris Smalling who is a defender for England’s national soccer team, and yes he is a black man. I have seen one or two people who can possibly play Mr. Obama in a yet-to-be-produced movie, but I have to say that Mr. Smalling isn’t one of them. But maybe they saw something I didn’t.

Anyway since, as we say locally, every spoil is a style, there is a wholesale clearance company that is trying to make a killing on the souvenir company’s mistake by selling the mugs for the affordable price of just over three thousand US dollars.  Which I hope is the amount for the whole lot, because even though it makes for a good story, a mug is still just a receptacle for tea.

“News You Can’t Possibly Use” – The things some people do for their art

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I don’t know if I told any of you who don’t know me personally that I love to sing, and that when I leave the shower, I’ve been told that I don’t sound half bad.


Anyway, it’s something that I’d love to be able to do professionally, but only if it didn’t come with the knots in the stomach, the bundle of nerves and the numerous bathroom trips prior to a performance.


Not to mention the annoying paparazzi and hangers-on that I’m likely to attract after I got really famous.


But even being a singer comes with its risks, and I don’t mean the crazy fans, the stalkers, the ego strokers, the detractors or the endless comparisons to others.


Now and again we hear of singers having to cancel tour dates in order to rest their voices or recover from damage to their vocal cords, while some singers have had to have surgery to repair them.


As with most major surgeries, the patient is usually knocked out by general anesthesia and the doctor determines the degree of success achieved after the patient wakes up.


But I read of a professional singer who not only was awake for the entire operation to remove a tumor from her throat, but who sang her way through it. Because the pain would obviously be felt since she was awake for the procedure, a hypnotist was required to take her to a place far, far away – from the operating room.


By having the patient sing, the surgeon was able to determine while he was operating just how things were going. And since one slip of the scalpel could have destroyed her singing voice, I dare say she wasn’t afraid to take on board any and all suggestions.


I don’t know which is more amazing, though. The fact that the hypnotist was able to make her “travel” without leaving the building or that she didn’t mind singing for free.


But that’s what you do when you’re a singer. I should know.


“News You Can’t Possibly Use” – Where I’m from it’s called Big-Boned

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Most of us live in image-conscious societies and currently, “thin is in”. Well actually, it’s been “in” for a consecutive number of years.


Down here, some men will tell you that they like a little meat on the bones, and my more generously endowed sisters will get their share of catcalls and whistles – which when I was younger I considered a compliment, but at this age, I consider an annoyance. (I prefer to be called by my name, thank you very much).


Anyway, I was on my way to making the point that although most societies are focused on praising the leaner ones among us, I make a point never to say anything mean or derogatory about larger folks – especially in front of my children. When they express alarm at “getting fat”, I don’t drive the fear of God into them but I tell them what I’m supposed to tell them which is that looks aren’t everything – but please remember to comb your hair.


Even though I’ve never been overweight myself, I have at times been a little heavier than I’ve wanted to be and I know that it’s not easy to lose those last five or thirty pounds. Besides which, I always consider myself two Snickers bars away from “fluffy”, so I don’t judge.


But a Japanese clothing company isn’t quite as accommodating. It’s doing away with the label sizes that we’re accustomed to seeing – you know, small medium and large – and is replacing them with tags that say titch, skinny, fat and jumbo.


What? “Plus size” and “Full-figured” not descriptive enough anymore?


Now I have a little anxiety whenever I discover during a shopping trip that I’ve moved up a size from the last time. So can you imagine if a week of poor dietary choices causes my waist to expand enough to move me from skinny to fat? Or if I couple that with no exercise for two weeks and end up getting bumped from fat to jumbo?


Talk about an incentive to lose some weight – or slit my wrists.


However, this company’s new marketing strategy may be a direct result of Japanese lawmakers setting limits on waist sizes, and citizens being required to have health counseling if there’s some spillage over the belt. Yeah, I didn’t believe it when I read it either. 


It probably works out to be a good preventative measure though, because while at some point all of us may know that we could stand to lose a few pounds, none of us is going to pick up that dress if the label says “fat”.


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Now if it said “big-boned” that would be a whole other story.


“News You Can’t Possibly Use” – It’s Not That Serious

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Image credit:

I think you all know that I love animation, and having children is a good excuse to see almost all of the movies that employ it. But I haven’t seen “Frozen” yet, despite it having been out of the cinemas for months now and actually having the DVD at home.


But I’m going to have to see what the fuss is all about, because for two consecutive days it has popped up in things I’ve been reading about.


The first report had to do with the fact that the movie is deemed to be the fifth highest grossing film of all time, with box office earnings of US1.2 million dollars. As with most things Disney, the fun for the people making the money doesn’t stop there, because merchandising all the movie-related paraphernalia keeps the cash registers ringing.


I was surprised to hear that these items are still in high demand months after the movie came out, but I shouldn’t be surprised because while off-island a few months ago, I went searching for the Elsa doll for a niece of mine.


The section for the merchandise, while clearly marked, was also clearly empty, and I had to resort to the God-awful Monster High dolls instead. Chalk to cheese – but that’s another story.


While I’m happy not to be one of the parents who gets caught up in the “Frozen” frenzy, like calling multiple stores to inquire about availability, booking themed cruises, or spending hours in line at Disney Parks (like I could do that from where I am anyway), I can understand that children can become fascinated with the characters.


What I don’t understand is being so enamored with the story as an adult that you have a falling out with anyone who isn’t similarly captivated by the tale. And by “falling out” I mean kicking that person to the curb.


I know that sometimes you are surprised to know how some people really feel about an issue and you may decide to never broach that particular subject again, or you may tuck it into the back of your head for future reference, or just agree to disagree.


But a woman from Japan decided that divorce was the only option she could pursue when her husband told her that he thought that “Frozen” was “an OK movie”, but he didn’t care for it personally.


He seemed willing to have a conversation about what made the movie good in her opinion, but she apparently didn’t want to entertain any discussion with the failed human being that he had become.


People are wondering whether his perfectly acceptable difference of opinion is not being used as an excuse to end a marriage that she wants to get out of. The husband says that prior to this disagreement, it had been relatively smooth sailing.


Guess he didn’t know her as well as he thought he did.


So he’s been advised to hire a private detective. Others tell him to just sign the papers and run.


I don’t really know what I would tell him, but I know that this story is the perfect start for stories that are news that you can’t possibly use.