In this blogposting….
* The Olympic Games
* A French Joke
* Another French Joke
* A German Joke
* How To Write Good English
* Armenia
On your marks...

If you’re anything like me (God forbid) you will have been transfixed with joy and wonder at the Olympics in London.  I’ve been virtually housebound for over a week now and, on several momentous occasions, have found myself chucking rose-petals at the screen and pouring another glass of wine - both at the same time.

And haven’t the crowds been wonderfully noisy?  And doesn’t London look terrific - all scrubbed-up in its Olympic best?

Not all of the events are of equal fascination, of course.  So, during the 5 hours of synchronised volleyball that the BBC made us sit through early one morning - when I noticed that a member of the US team was called something grotesque like LaDurana Macfee - I decided to waste a couple of hours trying to find the American Olympian with the silliest name.

It’s been a couple of decades now since American parents, under what seems like collective drug-induced hysteria, started giving their babies - usually their daughters - names that made them sound like infant lavatory-cleaning products. 

Here are some that I found hidden amongst the Erins, Laurens and Courtneys before the pain in my sides forced me to stop.

Jozy, Kelci, Kobi, Treniere, LaShinda, Torri, Zoila, Breaux, Novlene, Kara Lynn, Jevona, DeeDee, Muna, Beezie, Missy, Ogonna, Darvise, Tayshauna, Keli, Loree, Deontay, Mclain, and Rau’shee.

Amongst the medal contenders, though, were Cappie Pondextre (a basket ball player), Hope Solo (who plays soccer), Sam Stitt (a rower), Misty May-Treanor (beach volleyball) and Terri Tiffee (who plays baseball).

But the Gold Medal goes to the lovely Tamika Catchings, above, who is also a baseball player.


Two men were discussing what they would do if the world was going to end in 15 minutes.
‘I would make love to everything that moved.  What would you do?’
‘I would stand perfectly still.’


Jean-Pierre was saying his prayers as his father passed by his bedroom door.

'God bless Maman, and God bless Papa - and please make Lyon the capital of France.'

'Jean-Pierre,' said his father, 'why do you want Lyon to be the capital of France?'

'Because that's what I wrote in my geography exam.'


One day Hitler decided to go to a clairvoyant to find out what day he would die on.

After looking though her crystal ball, the clairvoyant replied, ‘Mein Führer, you will die on a Jewish holiday.’

Hitler - deeply shocked - asked ‘Which Jewish holiday?’

The clairvoyant replied ‘Mein Führer, the day that you die will always be a Jewish holiday.’


I received this useful list from Kev.  I’m very well aware that I haven’t been able to stick to it .  But it’s still a very funny list...

* Avoid alliteration. Always.

* Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

* Avoid clichés like the plague. (They're old hat.)
Employ the vernacular.

* Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

* Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

* It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

* Contractions aren't necessary.

* Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

* One should never generalize.

* Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."
Comparisons are as bad as clichés.

* Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous.

* Be more or less specific.

* Understatement is always best.

* One-word sentences? Eliminate.

* Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

* The passive voice is to be avoided.

* Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

* Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

* Who needs rhetorical questions?

* Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.
* No negative statements allowed

Thanks Kev.


A big thankyou to those dogged truckshunters - specially Martin in Sydney - who have already started their offbeat research into the next country on our list.  I’m already staggered by the things I didn’t know I didn’t know about Armenia.  Even some Armenians are going to be surprised…

Keep the info coming, please - by email.


Post comments on this blog or email me:  truckshunters@googlemail.com

1 comment:

Val said...

Right on cue - here's one truckshunter who's just come home today from an amazing Olympic experience. No funny names I can remember though!
30 odd years of going to see Athletics at Crystal Palace and Gateshead counted for nothing in the Olympic ticket bidding war. We weren't allowed to bid in the second round of tickets as my husband got tickets in the first chance for a couple of matches at St James Park. Volleyball [not the much ogled beach variety] was about the only thing left for the time we planned to go - to coincide with seeing some of the Women's Marathon for free.

We were soaked through in heavy rain on Sunday morning waiting for the women's marathon to come past next to St Paul's Cathedral. They did a few circuits in the City, so we walked around to get a better view and saw them several times.
After the leaders passed for the last time we ended up in a little pub on the route. They'd had a steel band then a trad jazz band outside. Brilliant atmosphere. Inside the tv was showing the finish in the Mall, the winner cheered on by the international crowd in the pub.
The sun came out and we got dried out sat on the embankment opposite Tate Modern.

We knew little about volleyball, swotted up on the basics and saw 2 women's and 2 men's matches over 2 nights. It was a fantastic unforgettable experience! Fast and exciting, lots of noise, music, Mexican waves. Fans from all over the world passionately supporting their teams wearing some amazing and hilarious outfits. It was at Earls Court so we never even got to the Olympic Park.
Despite our concerns the transport was excellent. It was all booked almost a year ago and definitely worth the wait. Unforgettable.