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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shebangabang's Next Top Model #3

This episode of New Zealand’s Next Top Model is respectfully and sombrely dedicated to all those who were killed during the making of the program.
In random order, this includes:

- The English language
- The last vestige of credibility attributed to the hip hop genre
- My eyes and life
- Eight thousand brave, frizzy chinchillas
- The memory of Jackie Onassis.

Moment of quiet contemplation, please. Thank you.

The Judges.

Sara Tetro

Sara is no longer satisfied with just dressing as if she’s attending a Kennedy funeral. She’s dressing as Jackie Onassis. Come on now, hair and make-up people. You know that if you take your finger off the hair-spray nozzle, the hair-spray stops coming out, right?

Chris Sisarich

Even in a bad hat in a fake snowfield, Chris is hot. You know the kind of hat that rednecks generally wear when it gets cold – kind of a furry thing with flaps? Chris, you may wear mine.*

Colin Mathura-Jeffree

Colin Hyphenated-Surname, you kill my life. If I listed what you were wearing during the “hip hop” (*cough* Blossom-the-prostitute-years *cough*) challenge to someone who doesn’t watch the show, they would assume I was describing the contents of Jennifer Beale’s and Bernard King’s combined suitcases. And your hair during the dance lesson? Wait – I think I have a picture of it somewhere....

However, and I mean this with a heart full of dread and an oesophagus full of sick, the sour icing on the horrifying cake was the look you dragged into the Eliminarium. SHOW ME IN THE BOOK WHERE IT SAYS IT’S OKAY TO MAKE YOUR HAIR INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM YOUR COAT. That... that shit ain’t right. Wait – I think I have a picture of it somewhere...

The Icksint.

• The lesson this week? Densung! The style? Hup Hop! The level of ability? Shut! Even Colin can see that through his coiffure du canine, and describes the girls as looking like “whin you pull spaghitti out of the peckut end drop ut on a plate”. Aah. It’s funny because it’s pasta.

• Just before she gives up on life, Sarah starts small by saying she “hes a bed hidache”. She refuses any offers of Penadowl, though.

• Colin Hyphenated-Surname could not possibly have said the word “dindruff” more frequently in the Eliminarium. And he could not have looked more like he probably had some.

Budgetirry Lumutations.

• As the walking-challenge winner, Teryl-Leigh gets to go on a chartered flight around New Zealand. Lord knows what she’s going to do with the other twenty-three hours and forty-five minutes of the day. Pray, probably.

• For the snowy photo-shoot, the modules are wearing hats that have clearly been sourced from the Tatarariki Women’s Institute Knitting Circle.** It’s good to see the production team supporting local industry, and besides, what are they gonna do – run out of wool?

• No fancy snow-blowing machinery for this show, no sir! We’ll just get Dennis the runner to peg bits of ice at the girls for a sumular affict. DINDRUFF!

Bist Buts.

• I loved every single outfit worn by the modules in the hip-hop challenge, because when I burn things, I like them to burn fast, and I like them to burn bright. By far my favourite, though, was Teryl-Leigh’s shirt, which said ‘WHITE BY BIRTH. TRASH BY CHOICE’. It was. It was choice.

• Also losing at life today: Olivia, who a stylist decides will be wearing an eyepatch down the runway. A stylist I would like to kiss on the lips for making this very decision (unless the stylist is Colin, in which case there’s a brief thank you note in the post). Colin describes her runway performance as being a ‘bit flet’. THAT’S BECAUSE HER DEPTH PERCEPTION IS IMPAIRED, ARSEHOLE.

• Wow. We have racial tension in the house. Let’s spend about fifteen minutes dwelling on it, shall we? I’m not belittling racial tension, I’d just like someone to wake me up when there actually is some. As far as I was concerned, it was a fight between a shiny anorak and a sequinned t-shirt. SEQUINS WIN.

• Was there a reason that, for the photo-shoot, the girls couldn’t have just gone and done it in a nice warm studio, with nice warm fake snow? Or do you think that they did it in sub-zero temperatures because it’s so much more entertaining to see skinny girls’ internal organs crystallizing? I’m just going to leave that question open, really.

Sarah is kicked out because she’s homesuck, instead of Olivia being sent home because she sucks. No, because if you say it with an accent, it sort of sounds the sa – shut up.

E Haere ra, Sarah! You’re still the hottest epileptic ex-junkie single-mother dirty quitter I’ve ever seen, doll. Go buy yourself a rainbow.

* Just in case there’s any doubt, I’m talking about my vagina.

**That’s totally a thing! I looked it up! I may have made up the Knitting Circle bit, though. I was kind of asleep from looking at the website of the Tatarariki Women’s Institute. God, no wonder they take up knitting.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Office Face.

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I like to make up games.
It will come as a surprise to everyone, including my closest family members, that I have an actual job that I work very hard at. I arrive at the office at sparrow's crack, and often don't leave until late at night.

At some point, these two surprising/unsurprising things were bound to cross paths.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my newest game: Office Face.

It all started quite simply, with a cupboard near my desk.

Slowly it escalated to the paper-recycling bin in the hallway.

I then started to think a little bigger in the office kitchen, with questionable results (please add points for unwavering attention to foreshortening and difficult angles).

At this point, I noticed that my desk-neighbour, the awesome and good-eggy Jen, was having what is known in professional circles as A Bugger Of A Day. I suggested to her that perhaps some stress relief may come in the form of a quick round of Office Face. She agreed, making light and brilliant work of both the office trophy cabinet and the kitchen 'fridge.

By this point, we were so full of company-condoned alcoh... er, enthusiasm, that we started seeing faces everywhere, and even paraphrasing Crocodile Dundee.

That's not a fax machine. That's a puppy dog.

Last (for now) but not least (perhaps), I present to you the (so far) pinnacle of excellence in the game of Office Face (up to this point).

That's right. You guessed it. It's the smoking adjacent microwaves.

I seriously, seriously doubt that this is the last round of Office Face. I haven't even explored the office toilet yet. In... in any meaningful way.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Shebangabang's Next Top Model #2

I was seeing this guy once – he was hot, smart, talented and dressed well, and I was smitten as a kitten (New Zealand readers – please say out loud). The relationship lasted a few months, then he moved overseas. I missed him. I wished he’d come back. I started hanging out with his brother. The brother wasn’t as good-looking, a bit on the thick side, had almost no discernable talent, and dressed like he’d picked clothes at random from a blind man’s washing basket. DAMN, he was good in bed, though.

Okay, so that’s not strictly true, but you know what New Zealand’s Next Top Model is? It’s an ex-boyfriend’s brother with a big penis.

The Judges.

Sara Tetro
Moment of silence, please. It seems another Kennedy has died, and Sara is on her way to the funeral as soon as this shoot wraps. She’ll be fine, though – she’s hiding a triple-pack of tissues in her beehive. Woman is incapable of dressing for day.

Chris Sisarich
Whether he’s wearing a close-fitting black t-shirt or a pork-pie hat, I still think he’d look better wearing my legs. You want a pork-pie hat, Chris? I’ll give you a pork-pie hat. Without the pie or the hat. Apparently in this episode he says some stuff, too.

Colin Mathura-Jeffree
Colin Mathura-Jeffree, you are BREAKING MY EYES. When you stand in front of a wind tunnel wearing a cape (and let’s face it, who isn't), you look like an intensely gay bin liner that’s been blown against a tree-branch in a storm. From his Wikipedia page: “His acting debut was as the sword wielding Prince of India in ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’, where he played the reincarnation of Gabrielle into a powerful and handsome warrior willing to sacrifice himself to save his Kingdom“. Right, so he played a reincarnation of a chick who was okay with dying. COINCIDENCE?! PS: I’m okay with you dying too, Colin. And I bet your eyeliner will be the last thing to decompose, and will be found thousands of years into the future by robot archaeologists who I’ve given you more words than you deserve already so now I’m going to stop.

The Icksint.

A few pearlers this week:

• Sara’s voice-over recap of last week’s episode alluded to the girls who didn’t make the cut, saying ‘Before long theer shups hed sailed’. Except by ‘shups’, she means ‘jit boats’.
• Sarah, the ex-junkie epileptic, takes pill-popping to the extreme in the kitchen. Now, let’s just make a bit of a list of words and phrases that sound brilliant in a Kiwi accent:
o ‘ex-junkie epileptic’
o ‘pill-popping’
o ‘kitchen’
o ‘anti-depressants’
She’s not sure that the judges will be impressed with all her ailments, though, adding that “Un theer eyes, ut wull probably be a nigatuv”. I love that pasty, frail, morphine-shooting gal. She’s a hut et parties for difunut.
• Colin Hyphenated-Surname introduces the modules to their weekly challenge by asking them to “guv me your bist top model pose in a suxty-kulometre wind’. Thank you for not making it forty kilometres, producers. Thank you so much.
• Colin tries to make Teryl-Leigh look angry in the wind challenge by shouting “Scream! Someone’s stolen your kuds!”. Um... Colin? That’s kind of a prucky thing to say.Go touch up your kohl.
• I’m calling this week’s aeroplane-themed photo-shoot Chucks On The Wung. Because I’m hilarious, and because taking the piss out of the NZ accent hasn’t gotten old yet.
• Photographer Jackie Meiring uses the word ‘aviatrix’. Clearly Jackie Meiring is now my favourite person in the entire universe.

Budgetirry Lumutations.

One of the weekly challenges is to strike poses in front of a big fan. So basically, this week the production budget can afford air that moves really fast. I believe that is all that really needs to be said.

Bist Buts.

• Teryl-Leigh is goddy as all get-out. From naming one of her kids ‘Zion’ to attributing her self-styling challenge win to god’s intervention, to calling the house’s stripper pole ‘dirty’, she’s like the world’s hottest happy-clappy. I’m a bit concerned about her belief that god is looking after her kids while she’s away, though. I sure hope he knows where they keep the fruit roll-ups.
• In the wind-tunnel, Victoria says that her outfit is a downer, because she can’t move her legs apart. I pour a gin and put my feet up, as this shit clearly just writes itself.
• We get it. Olivia and Lucy are sisters. There’s rivalry. Until there’s some blood spilled or some hair pulled out of someone’s head, can we move on please?
• A word, Rebecca-Rose? I was kind of hoping you’d let us know if you’ve ever had any modelling experience. Oh, you have? In that case, could you please mention it eight or nine thousand times? Also – just something to look out for – I think there’s a chance that your disproportionately large head might actually be getting bigger each week. If you stay in the competition long enough, we may have to convert part of the house into a Ginger Containment Unit. Just a heads up, is all.
• Ho(sanna) is labelled a bit of a try-hard, which I have to at least partially agree with. She’s trying hard to close her lips over her giant boogie-board teeth.
• Rhiannon’s body and Teryl-Leigh’s face make me cry. Like, good, supportive tears. Totally different to they’re-not-tears-my-corneas-are-just-melting-from-looking-at-Colin tears. DIFFERENT.
• Chris, I’ve installed a lounge, pillows, and tea and coffee making facilities for you in my underpants.
• HOT PHOTO SHOOT. Most of the modules scrubbed up decent, the actual photographs were artful and dramatic, and I’m waiting by the ‘phone for you to call and tell me how I can get almost every outfit delivered to my house by the weekend. In my size. Which is.. er.. totally the same as they used in the shoot. Carry on.

Anyway, Tiffany is the last one to have her name called in the Eliminarium, so she can leave Auckland and go back to Awkward. See, because they sort of sound the same, and so it... no, but they’re... I’m talking homophones, peop – forget it. E haere ra, Tuffany! There. I learned a word. I am letting this show educate me. You should too.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Shebangabang's Next Top Model #1

I want to make one thing absolutely and patently clear: I will not, repeat not be making fun of the New Zealand accent in my synopses of New Zealand’s Next Top Model. To do so would be condescending, unkind and rude.

PSYCH! Of course I’m going to make fun of the accent. Without the accent, this show would just be about judges-I-can’t-look-at called Colin, clown-haired-models-I-can’t-look-at called Frankie, morphine-shooting epileptics and racks full of coloured thongs. BORING. I’m going to take an academic (eck-a-dim-uck) approach to this show, carefully analysing the cast and summarising each scenario with the keen acumen of a PhD supervisor, brandishing a sardonic microscope, and listening to Wagner. Plus, I’ll probably hang a bunch of shit on it.

The Judges, In Order From Least To Most Terrifying

Sara Tetro
Pah. A successful businesswoman and ex-module who seems intelligent, articulate and probably likeable. HOW DOES THAT HELP ME, PRODUCERS?! The only thing she seems to do wrong is wear after-five frockage when it’s only a quarter past four. Granted, in the last scene of the show she looked like she was dressed for a Kennedy funeral (and let’s face it, that’s a new frock every couple of years), so maybe there’s hope.

Chris Sisarich
Being an ex-model and a photographer, his career bears a remarkable resemblance to that of America’s Next Top Model’s Nigel Barker (the only difference being that Nigel’s name wouldn’t sound quite so awesome in a rap). Accordingly, I would like to extend the same invitation to Chris as I did to Nigel, that being to live inside my pants.

Colin Mathura-Jeffree
Colin’s Wikipedia page says “Colin has been an model for 15 years”. An model should really see an different hairdresser, use an different eyeliner and stop giving me an aneurism. Whilst he was on screen, my housemate Nat did two things – covered her eyes, and said “PLEASE GOOGLE HIM AND TELL ME WHY HE’S THERE!!”. I did. I can’t.

The Icksint.

Here I’d like to summarise the most eloquent examples of the meandering twists and turns that the Kiwi accent lends to the English language, sufficiently rivalling the bends found in a triple helix. I would also like to hear a New Zealander say that last sentence aloud.

- The voice-over at the start of the episode tells us that Kiwi models are known for a number of things, including their “work ithuck”. At this point I smile, nod, and ecstatically close my eyes, just as I do when I have the first bite of some delicious cheese. This show is delicious cheese. Just in case you didn’t get the whole I-use-metaphors thing.
- When calling a mother-module to tell her she’s made the semis, Sara says “You kuss those kuds, and peck your begs – you’re go-ung to Queenstown!”. Don’t forget to peck some sendwuches for the trup.
- One of the girls has (say it slowly) epilepsy. She’s asked how long it’s been “sunce she hed a fut”. She also used to shoot up morphine, but sadly isn’t asked how long it’s been “sunce she cleaned her kut”. She has a nervous vomit before the photo-shoot, but nobody says “Thet chuck hed a chuck”. More’s the putty.

Budgetirry Lumutations.

Shebangabang’s Next Top Model seems to suffer similar budgetary shortcomings to those of its mainland counterpart, although it takes a keen eye to pick them out. Luckily, I was watching closely:

- Usually, semi-finalists arrive at their lodgings welcomed by a teetering pile of free goodies. Our kiwi modules are greeted with a new ‘phone and a laminated lanyard. What, no Chup-A-Chup?
- The New Zealand Tourism Commission certainly did their bit to try to help out, ensuring that everyone arrives everywhere via either jet boat, go-kart or cable car. If bungee-jumping isn’t mentioned or engaged in during this entire series, I will pluck, skin and eat a Kakapo Parrot.
- The walking challenge is staged in a vineyard, however not a single grape makes it onto camera. I suspect this bit was filmed in a warehouse in South Auckland, staged by the same people who faked that whole moon-landing thing.
- For the first photo-shoot, the modules wear their own swimming costumes. I hope this trend continues, and we see the modules waxing themselves, doing their own make-up and telling themselves that they have to lose weight.
- Jandals. Thongs. Flup-Flops. It doesn’t matter how you say it, none of these words scream ‘expense’. The girls scream a lot, though, when they’re running up a beach towards a rack of thongs with their names on them, to see if they’ve made the cut. Next week, I assume the eliminated contestant will just be the girl left over after a game of musical chairs.

The Bist Buts.

- Rebecca-Rose-Ranga needs to eat, and needs to blink. If she ever looks up to the camera and says “But mummy, I am your daughter”, I. Am. Out. Of. Here. Freaks me out, man. As I said to Nat, “she lecks pugmintation”. I’m fucking hilarious, you see.
- Frankie. Hair. Sideshow Bob. Says “I’ve got a different look”. Spooky is what.
- Ho(sanna) seems to be our resident uppity bee-yarch. After getting almost every other module off-side, she claims that she would do anything to win this competion. START BY NEVER WEARING THOSE JEAN-PRINTED LEGGINGS AGAIN EVER. Yeah. See how that goes.
- One module’s claim to fame is that she won a chilli-eating competition, and she demonstrates her mad asbestos mouth skillz to the judges. This is on my television. That I paid for. I’m tongue-pashing this show as soon as I get the chance.
- I still can’t look at Colin Hyphenated-Surname. Ugh. Ick. No.
- In her audition, Rhiannon brings in a picture she drew. Rhiannon. Honey. It’s a modelling audition. If you don’t bring in a dried pasta collage at the very least, you’re dead to this industry, and to me.
- My new lover Chris tells one of the girls during the photo shoot that she needs to concentrate more on how she uses her mouth. Ladies. This is the most important lesson you can ever learn in modelling. ALWAYS BLOW THE PHOTOGRAPHER.
- Successful finalists are told “Peck your begs, girls – you’re go-ung to AUCKLAND!”. The disappointment is tangible, until they all leave on another fucking jet-boat.

Yep. I’ll be watching this series. I just have to work out a technique whereby I’m not repeating the word “ip-uh-lip-sy” over and over again in my sleep.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Extreme Avocado.

You know what makes me happy? Well yes, there’s that, but I mea… well yes, granted, there’s that too, but what I’m trying to get at is… what? Well technically yes, but that’s more a young person’s ga… LOOK. You know what makes me happy today?

The fact that I will have too many games to play come Summer.

You might remember that I invented Bee Bingo, and you may have also subsequently realised that this is a game that has taken the world by storm in a quiet and unobtrusive way.

WELL. My new housemate Lozzy, of oh errol fame, told me about a game her boyfriend plays, and I want to play it. I need to play it. I want you all to need to play it too. I’m an eddying maelstrom of wants and needs. See paragraph 1.

Lozzy’s squeeze has an avocado tree in his backyard (although this would work well with any tree that bears fruit or other heavy-ish, dropping things. Bats or possums, for example).
When the fruit is ripe, he and his friends crack some (many) beers and sit in the yard wearing custom-built helmets.

Each helmet is a bike helmet with a bowl super-glued to the top of it. Anyone who doesn’t already think this game is awesome even at this unresolved point has no business reading further. Helmet. Bowl. Dreams. Realised.

Whenever game-players hear an avocado dropping through the leaves, they RACE TO CATCH IT IN THEIR CUSTOMISED BOWL-HELMET.
Sometimes it's a long wait, so more beer must be consumed, rendering each subsequent avocado-drop more and more difficult. Also rendering all spleens burst. Because of the hilarity.

If you want me at any time during avocado fruiting season, you know where I’ll be.

Also PS: Please somebody tell me when avocado fruiting season is. ‘Preciate it. Thanks.