Archive for the ‘Dope of the day awards’ Category

South Africa: For the hard of hearing and a great man!

December 15, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog strongly suggests that you check out an earlier post today. The sign language guy. Mandela. Everybody being solemn. Him translating for the hearing impaired. He wasn’t just incredibly inept, he moved the whole concept of translation and explanation into worlds (and inaudible words) beyond comprehension. His explanation for what must be the most entertaining farce in funeral history was that he was being bombarded by angels!

Wow! This guy just doesn’t give up! Most people when doing this sort of thing (has anybody done this sort of thing?) might say “Yes, I can’t actually do my job. I’m a fake and I’ve made South Africa look even more stupid than usual. It’s a fair cop, guv!” Nah! He went with Angel Bombardment excuse!

Some journo raking through the ruins of this man’s career has also revealed that ten years ago he was charged with murder. Not using sign language (boring!) he explained that he had been violent in the past.


Some people might think he deserves a jail term or summary execution. Hugh Paxton’s Blog disagrees! Vehemently! I want him appointed to the UN as chief, sole and unsupervised sign language man. How many millions would actually watch the debates, the speeches, the press conferences if this guy was handling communications?

Lots and lots of millions! I’d be glued to the screen!

Pres Liew Fat Gob, yawning: “It has been a useful exchange of opinions and…”

Our Man on translation: “I’ve got a cigar in my arse horses horses, cover me in horses! fundamental great bif farts. Boring shit from China. Green wobbly thing from Mars doesn’t scare Mummy. Thank you. So sorry. And hello! Cornflakes!”

What do you think? He’d make as much sense as world leaders (or the media) and bring to our troubled globe a sense of shared, mutual joy. We could all watch together and wonder about what’s coming next. Obviously world leaders could carry on with their jobs and why not? That’s what they are there for. But while they did it we could just dispense with pretence. And enjoy genuine, unabashed gibberish.



Real interpreter decodes fake signing on Jimmy Kimmel

December 15, 2013

Dope of the Day Awards: Sleepin on autopilot

May 7, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has an award. I used to bestow it regularly and the recipients were invariably people who exhibited behaviour that was mind-numbingly stupid. No. Even stupider than that.

No cash prizes awarded, but the winners could bask in the glory of sharing the Dope of the Day Awards gallery of fame with people even stupider than they were (are).

Let’s check out today’s award winners. Two Air India pilots decided to take a nap in business class.

Nothing wrong with that obviously. If they were passengers.

But they weren’t.

They were the pilots.

Autopilot fully engaged. Why not take advantage of the restful environment offered to business class passengers? The pilots were not entirely derelict in their duty. They showed a couple of flight  attendants how the cockpit worked. 40 minutes later one of the flight attendants no doubt fiddling with knobs and buttons and levers turned off the auto pilot.

And couldn’t re-engage it.

A rapid and startling descent began from 33,000 feet. The pilots, thankfully hadn’t been into the cocktails before enjoying the comfort of flying Air India business class. They woke, ran like shite and that was the end of in-flight entertainment on that particular flying the friendly skies trip.

Career advancement unlikely.

Incident: April 12. Flight from Bangkok to New Delhi. Source: The Mumbai Mirror.




Leonie’s View: ARAB AIRBUS 340-600………

April 25, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog posted this set of Airbus 340-600 disaster photos last night and this morning inadvertently deleted the post. It’s back up now. My feelings remain the same. If this is a hoax or an April fool’s thing it is very well done. If it’s genuine…a bit more training might be in order.

Over to Leonie and how not to fly an Airbus.

BLOG ED NOTE: The camel comment could be perceived as offensive. But it’s her post and I won’t meddle.



This brand spanking new Airbus 340-600, the largest passenger airplane ever built, sits just outside its hangar in Toulouse, France without a single hour of airtime.

Enter the Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, such as engine run-ups, prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi .

The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area.

Then they took all four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft. Not having read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 really is.

The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had All 4 engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to take off, but it had not been configured properly (flaps/slats, etc.)

Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm. This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air. The computers automatically released all the brakes and set the aircraft rocketing forward.

The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can’t land with the brakes on.

Not one member of the seven-man Arab crew was smart enough to throttle back the engines from their max power setting, so the $200 million brand-new aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totaling it.

The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown due to the news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere. Because……..

Coverage of the story was deemed insulting to Muslim Arabs.

Finally, the photos are starting to leak out.


One French Airbus: $200 million dollars
Untrained Arab Flight Crew: $300,000 Yearly Salary
Unread Operating Manual: $300
Aircraft meets retaining wall and the wall wins.


"And that’s why God gave them camels"!

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Dope of the Day Awards: The crime that went “step-by-step”

January 10, 2013

Hugh Paxton’s Blog occasionally dishes out a Dope of the Day Award. It is a prestigious sort of award and only given to people who display stupidity that goes beyond the call of duty.

Let us begin!

Scene One: Florida. A hotel front desk.

Enter: A woman with an evil, well-rehearsed, plan in her mind.

Action: The woman demands money from the receptionist with menaces and flees with fists full of cash and a mobile.

Scene Two: Florida. The same hotel front desk.

Action: The receptionist’s phone rings. She picks up. Who is on the other end? The robber. And who is she calling? Her sister, who had been sacked from the hotel two days previously.  The robber, who has – Lord knows how – accidentally pressed the dial button of the hotel – she may have sat on it – as well as that of her sister, describes in joyous tones the success of her criminal venture to the delight of her sister.  Everything, she explains went “step-by-step”, and to leave no doubt about the matter the robber then describes each step in meticulous detail.

The receptionist hears all and subsequently makes her own call. To the police.

End: The police explain (step-by-step) to both sisters that they are entitled to one phone call each.

Dope of the Day Awards: Help police! I’ve been short changed by a prostitute! And the drug bust (a sad story)

December 14, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog hands out today’s Dope of the Day awards to a gentleman from Maine. He phoned the police to complain that a prostitute he had hired left ten minutes early. Breach of contract. I’m not going to name names. He must be feeling a bit silly and the police arrested him for engaging with a prostitute.

A rather sadder Dope of the Day Award goes to a lady who stuffed a few (two) kilos of cocaine into her breast implants. The headlines here were obvious. Drugs bust.

What editor could resist?

There’s no question that she was stupid. Her breast operations hadn’t healed and the customs guys noticed that she was leaking blood on her shirt. I don’t like criminals but in this case i feel a pang of pity. In fact I can’t think of anything more degrading. A woman, stuffing her breasts with coke, the surgeon not even finishing the stitching properly, the woman flying halfway around the world presumably in pain and wondering whether her breats were going to function normally again, and then meeting a bunch of solicitous Thai officials concerned about her blood stains. Then arrest.

Again no names. But every cloud has a silver lining. Thailand is thinking about abolishing the death penalty. So maybe she’ll only serve 15 years. A poor, desperate, doomed and stupid woman.

I think this is the saddest post I’ve put up in at least three weeks.

Dope of the Day Awards: Several strong contenders!

November 9, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has been running this prestigious award to human stupidity on an infrequent basis but has built up a substantial portfolio. To win a Dope of the Day Award you have to be not just stupid but amazingly stupid. So stupid that nobody will believe you when you pass the story on. If you haven’t encountered Dope of the Day awards before, I strongly suggest that you check my blog archives in the “Categories of Posts” list on the home page.

They’ll not just raise your eyebrows but will make your hair stand on end.

Over to our contenders for today’s Dope of the Day Award.

Three Japanese men killed a fourth Japanese man for reasons the Japanese police have yet to beat out of them. OK, murder is stupid and shouldn’t deserve an award. But these dunderheads raised the bar by deciding to cook the victim in curry sauce “to hide the smell.” They then rushed aimlessly about throwing curried body parts into places that looked like a good idea at the time.

None of the ideas were good. And a number of people wondered why there was a strong smell of curry in places that normally wouldn’t smell of curry.

Let’s move on to our next potential winner. She’s Thai. But the theme remains the same. Body parts. Pornsuree Deepiew murdered her disabled husband and then went to bed to sleep it off. When she woke up the following morning she got to work with some sharp knives and chopped the chap up and put the bits and pieces into black dustbin bags. Her plan was to drop them into a Bangkok canal. Plan so far OK. But the bags were too heavy for her to manhandle down seven flights of stairs and so she summoned the apartment security guard to help. He arrived and could not but help noticing a severed leg in plain view. He called the police. She is currently claiming that a local deity ordered her to cut her husband’s head off because he was suffering.

What was REALLY stupid about this whole episode? Asking a security guard to dump her dismembered husband in a canal? Blaming a local god for instigating the butchery? No, the woman should have called the police herself, given them 50,000 baht and they’d have shot off with all the bags and disposed of them properly.

Dope of the Day Awards: The world’s largest phone bill and the world’s stupidest telephone company workers

October 21, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has received some bizarre and horrific phone bills in his time but nothing compares to the bill sent to an unemployed child minder in southwest France.

17 digits!

11,721 billion billion Euros.

After “almost having a heart attack” she phoned the telephone company and the dopes started responding in fine style!

One staffer told her there was nothing the company could do about it because the bill had been “calculated automatically.”

More calls ensued.

Another slightly less indifferent, but equally dopey, staffer finally opted for compromise and told her that she would be contacted about paying in installments.

11,721 billion billion Euros? In installments? How many installments did this dope have in mind?

The woman made a few more calls (no doubt racking up several more billion in bills) and finally got through to somebody with a functioning brainstem. He admitted that it looked like a mistake. After a few more phone calls the company suggested waiving the 117.21 Euro bill that should have been sent.

Hugh Paxton’s Blog’s prestigious awards for human stupidity have been handed out to some seriously dumb winners – robbers who forget to take their name tags off while holding up banks, that sort of character – but offering an installment payment option for a bill that would outlast the lifespan of planet Earth (even if paid monthly) really raises the bar!

Cheers from Bangkok!


Thai Days: Dope of the Day Awards – Rolex watches

May 30, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is awarding two of its prestigious Dope of the Day awards in this post. This blog’s acknowledement of human stupidity goes firstly to Lady Gaga. Prior to her arrival in Thailand she twittered witlessly that she was looking forward to buying a fake Rolex in Bangkok. Probably a joke. As somebody who depends on international intellectual Property rights and laws for her income the tweet was rather dumb. She has given the fake Rolex watch vendors a much appreciated publicity boost and while shoppers are there they will no doubt be filling their fake Louis Vuitton bags with Gaga bootlegs. So yes, Gaga is Dope of the Day number one.

Dope number two is the Thai Department of Intellectual Property (DIP). They submitted a letter of protest to the US embassy vis a vis Gaga and fake Rolexes in Bangkok. What the embassy staff are expected to do is unclear. Arrest her? Phone her and say she’s annoyed some people? Inspect her luggage for Rolex watches made in Shanghai?

Obama has yet to announce a policy decision. But the DIP move has made the papers, the scandal rags, the TV and it even earned an editorial in today’s Bangkok Post. The Post notes that if everybody had ignored Gaga’s tweet the thing would have died the 24 hour media interest death and moved on to other issues.

As it is, the thing isn’t dead. And like Gaga the DIP have provided free advertising for every spiv in the city.

The Bangkok Post editorial states “a search on Google for “fake Rolex Thailand” excluding the Lady Gaga mentions finds 598,000 mentions.”
It then goes on to describe how Youtube can help you find a fake Rolex. I guess it’s not just Gaga and the DIP who are helping the fake trade. The media’s doing it, too, by reporting it and come to think of it I’m currently participating in making the problem worse by writing this. But for the record, Gaga started it and the DIP dopes gave it life.

Shaun and Annabel’s Bits: African Scams

May 14, 2012

Further to Shaun’s Nigeria Google post here’s a chapter on scams taken from my book “The Diary of Abbot Buggly.” I serialised a few chapters of the book on this blog last year and then lost momentum. It’s a diary written by my daughter, Annabel, during her first year of life in Namibia. Obviously she needed a little help. The diary starts a couple of days after she was born and ends on her first birthday. All the events described occurred. The book did a few rounds of publishers and all said the same thing “It’s a charming book but we don’t think it will sell/we don’t know what to do with it/what category is it?” The Diary remains unpublished on paper. Bit of a shame. But publishers are hard and have to be hard headed. JRRTolkien was told by one publishing talent spotter that Lord of the Rings was a great story but would never sell. 50 others told him something similar And Beatrix Potter was a complete no-hoper. No potential whatsoever. I think a lot of people might have had some fun with the Diary of Abbot Buggly. Now it’s a bit dated. Annabel’s eight but Namibia hasn’t changed so very much.

Judge for yourselves! And have some fun free of charge!



PS Beloved daughter Annabel, when young, wore an outfit that made her look like a deranged abbot. She also looked, in her earliest days, a bit like a bug. Hence Abbot Buggly.

Subject: Abbot Buggly on Scams


Akiko (our Flat A tenant and my godmother) has a new Owambo boyfriend named Paulo.

For some reason whenever I see him I start screaming. He tries to be friendly but I scream. Oddly no other individual I know has that effect on me. I’ve met Basters who’d give Freddy Kruger nightmares but all I do is smile at them. I’ve been barked at by enraged baboons. No problem. I’ve even seen some of my father’s drinking buddies – not a sight for the faint hearted – but all they do is make me chortle. Paulo turns up, wearing a suit, Mr. Respectable, smiling tenderly, and I just let rip!


It embarrasses my parents but he seems to take it in his stride.

“She just hates me,” he explains.

Paulo is some sort of director at Namdeb, the parastatal that controls Namibia’s diamond mines and the domestic diamond industy. Namibia has a LOT of diamonds.

At one time they were so plentiful that they could be collected by moonlight – lines of poorly paid serfs would shuffle forwards on their hands and knees out in the desert looking for their pale reflective glow.

Its not that easy now. You need to dig for them, or dredge off shore at the river mouths, particularly the Orange river mouth. But there are still a lot of them about.


If you are a diamond dealer and receive an invitation to Namibia to view a diamond that has fallen off the back of a lorry, so to speak, the invitation has in all probability been sent to you by a policeman.

The same rule applies if some chap surreptitiously saunters up to you outside the Hidas Shopping Centre or the Maerua Mall.

Fish are caught by shiny lures and so are diamond smugglers. It’s an expensive business, being hooked, what with the crippling fines and legal costs and whatnot. But it keeps the State coffers stocked.

Inserting diamonds into orifices of one sort or another (but usually the first sort that springs to mind) is also inadvisable. The concept is neither new nor imaginative.

A cleaner at Namdeb made unfortunate headlines by leaving NamDeb’s premises through an X-ray machine weighing a few more carats than he had when he’d entered the building.

His name was – and this is probably why the arrest made the headlines – variously reported as Mr. Sodem or Mr. Sodom.

A lot of people DO smuggle diamonds. The illegal trade comprises anything up to 15% of annual global turnover. But they’re usually Lebanese, Angolans or have their own private armies

And the black market keeps a lot of potentially rich countries perpetually poor as drug crazed warlords rampage and fight and lay waste the land (see my father’s hideous novel, Homunculus, for grisly details).

No, take my advice, go with the nappy ploy (see Chapter Two).

Or leave Namibia, sun-bronzed, happy and about as rich as when you came. Diamonds may be forever (they’re at least 4 billion years old) but a ten stretch is no tick of the clock.

While we’re on the subject of receiving uninvited offers you cannot refuse from Africans you’ve never met and never heard of, take the Abbot Buggly stance. Just say no.

My father and mother regularly receive emails from Nigeria, or Senegal and most recently from Cameroon and Cote D’Ivoire.

The emails come from government officials disgusted with the state of corruption in their respective countries, or from earnest NGO workers appalled by the mismanagement of state funds, or from bankers who want to mobilize public money (that would otherwise be wasted by self-serving politicos) for the benefit of the poor.

Occasionally the mails come from a lawyer who has just discovered that a very distant relative of my parents has died leaving 500,000 acres of oil-rich land to them to apologize for not having kept in touch.

In every case there is a request for funds to be transferred to an account, or a request for the fortunate recipients of the email to provide their own bank account details. So that funds can be transferred to their own account, you understand.

You see, in every case there is the offer of making my lucky parents rich for facilitating the financial procedures.

My father has just been offered ten percent of five million greenbacks if he could only help a human rights activist release the said sum from a Nigerian account held by a dead member of the former military dictatorship. The money would help in promoting democracy.

“Yeah,” my father said, “right.”

Strangely a large number of people actually get suckered in. To quote a recent Nampa-Reuters report, “The so-called 419 scam, named after an article in Nigeria’s penal code outlawing it, has been so successful in the past 20 years that campaigners say it is now the third largest foreign exchange earner in Africa’s most populous nation.”

The third largest!

One wretched German was informed by a “government minister” in Lagos that that old staple, a distant relative, had died leaving an estate worth well over ten million pounds. In order to transfer the property to the German, funds were needed to smooth the procedure.

This is not Europe, the German was regretfully informed, this is Africa and sadly riddled with people whose palms need greasing before things get done.

The amount of grease needed in this case could have kept an armored division rust free for the best part of a decade; several hundred thousand smackers. There was a bit of to-ing and fro-ing. Emails to the German, more money transferred to Lagos fro the German.

The German then received a communication from the Lagos police authorities.

The German was, they regretted to inform him, the victim of a criminal gang specializing in mail fraud.

The good news, however, was that the authorities were on to them. The fiends would be arrested. The money returned.

But this is not Europe, the police told him, this is Africa and sadly in order to get things done funds were needed to facilitate things.

By this stage most people would be entertaining serious doubts when encountering a Lagos government letterhead, no matter how nicely forged it was.

Not the German. No expense was spared to help the law track down the scoundrels who had duped him. Hundreds of thousands. But he was determined to fight to the bitter end.

This came when he finally ran out of money.

And never heard from anyone from Lagos again.

An even more extreme case occurred when a retired Czech doctor was taken for $600,000. Understandably disgruntled, the man stormed the Nigerian embassy in Prague last February, and shot dead the leading consul.

Of course Interpol takes a keen interest in these shenanigans, but more amusing is the phenomenon of scam baiting. Scam-baiters lead the con artists along with a view to humiliating them. One Englishman is building up a large collection of scammers’ photos.

First he gives the scammer his name. It is a false name. Then feigning keen interest in the scammer’s proposals he requests photos of the scammers holding a placard displaying his false name. It’s so he can see who he’s deaing with, he tells them.

One scammer obliged by sending a photo of himself, beaming amiably into the camera and proudly holding aloft a piece of paper reading “Iama Dildo.”

That gets it said.


Back to diamonds. Yesterday there was a robbery . Three men made off with several cases of shiny stones from Namdeb down in Orangemund .

Early evening, Paulo came over with a gift of two large frozen fish (the deal being that my father will cook them and then everyone will gather and eat them). After the fish had been appraised, praised and manhandled into the freezer compartment of the fridge – they weren’t large fish really, they were huge fish – my father asked about the Orangemund incident.

After I’d stopped shrieking at him (it took a long while), Paulo gave a derisive snort.

“We’ll get them. Those guys were SO dumb. So DUMB! Idiots!”

Seems the robbers were wearing overalls and balaclavas to hide their identities. Clever. After making their getaway they changed their clothes, dumped the overalls, but one of them forgot to remove his birth certificate from a pocket.

Why would anybody bring their birth certificate along on an armed robbery ? Shotguns, yes. Balaclavas, yes. But a birth certificate ?

Dumb. Real dumb.


This morning the phone rang unfortunately early. Our caller had seen the advertisement in the window of our Isuzu trooper.

“How does it work ?”

My father launched into his patter. “Well, it’s a smooth runner, has 170,00 kays on the clock give or take..”

“No,” the voice interrupted. “I mean how does the deal work?”

“Well, I guess you come and see the car, we take it for a test drive, if you like it you give me money, I give you the car.”

“So you want money for the car?” The voice was now sounding furtive. Sleazily furtive.

“Uh huh. Yes. ”

“Can we work it differently?”

“What differently? You mean you take the car but don’t give me any money ? “

“There can be ways of doing things. Shall we make a plan?”

“Go away.”

A moment later the phone rang again. A different caller, this man got to the point fast in a strangely offensive “jiveass” pseudo-black-1960s-American pimp accent.

African pronunciation of English is mainly a wonderful thing. It is solemn, considered, structured, sincere; it employs a splendid, entertaining, enthralling vocabulary.

It is possible to listen to a politician making the most outrageous ly deranged statements and find yourself nodding; awed, overwhelmed by the richness of the voice, the syntax, the steadied rhythm. Unless they’re some racist monstrosity like Mugabe.

That man could be singing Grand Opera a la Pavarotti only better. You’d still want to throw eggs.

But this jiveass thing. Yech! Drives my father wild. He was now fully awake. So was I.

“Hey man I need the wheels. Your Land Cruiser.”

“My Land Cruiser is an Isuzu Trooper. And why don’t you go away?”

“S’right, man. Cool. The Trooper. I’ve got to be over the Angolan border by seven tonight. We’ve got to make speed. I’m packing stones.”

“Where are you ?”

“The Tech.”

“Windhoek Polytechnic ?”

“Ya man. The Tech. Can you pick me up ? We got to check this thing out.”

“Go away.”

“Heeyyy! We need to work on this!”

“Go away.”

Catherine is a colleague of my mother. She’s from Kenya but is on a one-year renewable contract with UNDP’s Environment Unit here and she intends to stay in Namibia. Catherine is willowy, elegant and altogether lovely. Fantastic telephone manner. Makes great cakes.

But this is not germaine to my tale.

She advertised that her car was for sale and she got similar telephone calls. Subsequent encounters with the prospective buyers indicated that they were all criminals seeking to convert smuggled diamonds into something more legally sellable than lumps of compacted carbon.

Cars don’t last forever but at least they are useful.

Catherine did sell her car eventually, but not before she and her mother were lured by a smoothly packaged individual into a small room with a Chinese gentleman sitting behind a desk. On the desk was a neat little suitcase.

Pop went the suitcase’s locks.

“Take a look,” said the Chinese gentleman, or words to that effect. They looked. The stones, supremely indifferent to the passage of billennia and their current surge in popularity – a mere nothing in geological time-scale –sat there.

Catherine and her mother got out fast. Then they sold their car to someone who wasn’t waving minerals at them.

Wendy summarized the whole phenomenon perfectly.

“If they want to buy a car why don’t they sell their diamonds and use the money to buy the car?”

Why not indeed?

Akiko coming back with Paulo pointed out that if my father was interested in buying stones and making a huge profit he’d need to know whether the stones were worth anything.

My father admitted that he knew nothing about diamonds.

Akiko gave a gay laugh. “Of course not, you’re not Jewish.”

Good point.

Paulo was equally well informed.

“They sell you glass. Your car crosses the Angolan border. That’s it. Your glass. Their car.”

Then he said, “Hello, Isobel!” and gave me a wide smile.



I screamed at him. He fled.

Speaking from a five month old perspective, if I saw an uncut diamond I’d ignore it. Dull, soapy looking pebble of a thing. Perhaps if someone had cut it so that it reflected light and sparkled, I’d swallow it.

Or choke on it. Or throw it away. Or lose interest in about thirty seconds. My question to the world is this. Why are wars, atrocities, madmen in Sierra Leone/Angola/ Liberia/Congo beating baby’s brains out being funded by these silly little things ? Why don’t the people buy small yellow furry octopi that squeak when you squeeze them instead?

They’re fun.

And I don’t think that anyone has killed anyone over a soft furry yellow octopus that squeaks when you squeeze it.

Or tried to exchange one for a car.

But, heck, I’m young and I’m sure the world has things to teach me.

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