Competitions and Getting Even With Your Brother.

I’ve always been one for competitions and in my younger days I was always clipping a coupon from a newspaper or magazine and trying to win something or other. I once won a Thunderbirds water pistol from the 1970’s comic TV21, which my brother then broke, thus commencing a lifetime of sibling squabbles and differences.

competitions and getting even with your brother

image courtesy MorgueFile.

I noticed in my inbox today an email from the Daily Express inviting me to compete for a brand new Fiat. Now a Fiat isn’t my favourite car or even on my want list but hey, I’m not going to turn down a free one!

When I clicked on the link a box appeared telling me I so far had nil entries but to in order to build up entries I had to ‘like’ various options. The first link offered me a new iPhone. Fair enough I thought, I can like that easily, but as I progressed further, sucked in, in the way some web sites suck you in, I saw that they wanted my name, address, mobile phone number, email address, gender, marital status, inside leg measurement and so on. Competitions just aren’t what they used to be are they? I used to enter a whole lot of motor racing competitions because not only do I know my motor racing onions but I also used to have a big stack of racing annuals and reference books in order to look up the answers.

Answer this simple question to win a trip to next year’s Monaco Grand Prix! Who won the Monaco grand Prix in 1955? Easy peasy, run upstairs, get out my F1 statistics book and look it up-  yes it was Maurice Trintignant driving a Ferrari! How long did that take? Well, running upstairs, -say, one minute. Finding the right book -five minutes. Skimming through to the appropriate page -one minute. Running back down stairs -one minute, total time elapsed; eight minutes! Then complete the caption, there was always a caption, I always use shell petrol because . . .and then it’s off to the post box and sit and wait for my tickets, which incidentally went, most unfairly, to some other lucky person who usually resided in Kent, or Luton, or somewhere else down south!

The fact is that to answer the question above (which, until I looked it up, I actually thought was Juan Manuel Fangio) I did what everybody else does these days, I clicked onto google and I had the answer in 0.38 seconds.( Incidentally, Fangio took pole position but retired from the race.) Yes, competitions these days are more like a lottery. Sometimes they don’t even ask a question they just ask for your e-mail address, then condemn you to an inbox full of spam for the next ten years, all in return for the remote possibility of winning a new car or an iPad or some other delectable delight that you have set your heart on but is just too expensive.

Anyway, going back to the Fiat competition, I ‘liked’ the iPhone link, filled out my life story and so got five entries into the Fiat competition. I hope I won’t get too many nuisance calls about the iPhone. Well, come to think of it, I doubt if I will actually get any as I entered my brother’s mobile phone number into the box! Well, serves him right if he thinks I’ve forgotten about that water pistol!

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Marlon Brando, Texts, and Extraordinary Behaviour

quotescover-JPG-83My brother sent me a text a few days ago, it read simply ‘You don’t remember me do you?’ Probably a little confusing to the man on the street but I knew exactly what he meant. I responded with; ‘I remembered you the moment I saw you!’ My brother texted  back straight away; ‘By the nose huh?’ The thing is, my brother and I are movie buffs, or to be more accurate, classic movie buffs and we sometimes text in movie dialogue.

Here’s another text; ‘Meatballs!’

I replied with ‘Definitely!’

Picked up on the movie yet? Well that it’s one of the great motion pictures of all time. It starred Marlon Brando in an Oscar winning performance, much better, much more exciting and above all, much more human than his other Oscar winning role in the Godfather. Here are  some more text clues;

My Brother: ‘What did that man mean just now?’

Me: ‘Oh don’t pay no attention, he’s drunk, falling down . .’

My Brother: ‘He’s just a juice head that’s hangs round the neighbourhood, don’t pay no attention.’

Another text read ‘Some people have faces that stick in your mind.’ And some movies have dialogue that can stick in your mind too, especially if you like your movies in black and white and served with a large helping of classic.

image courtesy wikipedia

image courtesy wikipedia

The movie was ‘On the Waterfront’ and it’s probably famous for the double act of Marlon Brando and Rod Steiger playing brothers but there are plenty of other wonderful performances and scenes. My personal favourite is when Brando and Eva Marie Saint walk together in the park and Eva drops a glove which Brando picks up but keeps hold of and eventually pulls onto his own hand and we know that Eva wants it back but, well watch the movie, believe me it’s a great scene.

My brother and I do text each other a lot but we also chat on the phone too. The thing is though; we tend to talk on the phone with East European accents. We starting doing it one day then began a sort of unspoken contract to carry it on. Sometimes I’ll get a call and he might say, in his best Hungarian accent ‘ Gut Evenink my friend.’

‘Gut evenink to you also my friend’ I tend to replyIt’s fun but sometimes I get odd looks, especially if I’m in Sainsburys or at the bar of my local pub. Which brings me finally to another text he sometimes sends; ‘Extraordinary behaviour!’

(In case you didn’t get that one, remember the 1955 movie ‘The Colditz Story’ ? Eric Portman says the line towards the end of the film!)

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