Weeks 41 & 42

A fortnight is a long while.

We ate some pheasant and some potatoes and things, and we hosted a good doggo. Super.

More recently, I spent an afternoon feeling like how I imagine a chicken feels after greedily eating a frog. Then I was a bit disappointed that, upon feeling normal again, I didn’t feel tremendously uplifted by the recovery.

I clicked on an toenail fungus related programmatic advert on Andrew Collings’s blog. This might justify a content warning, but the phrase “toenail fungus” is the worst of the content, so how would that help? – like lots of the content warnings I see on Twitter where a fast reader has read the rest of the tweet or seen the picture almost as soon as they’ve read the warning.

It led to an engrossing video – just a disembodied voice speaking over some stark typography. The disembodied voice tells their story, of which there are a few different versions – My Wife’s Nail Fungus Almost Killed Her, My Father’s Nail Fungus Nearly Killed Him – culminating in a plea to buy some expensive and dodgy pills, ideally six bottles full. I reckon they do multivariate testing with different videos and different pill names (Clear Nails Plus, Pure Nails Pro) and so on, which is probably more rigorous than the science behind the pills themselves.

Anyway, I quite admire the plucky entrepreneurialism. I do have a benign fungus, like Cousin Greg from Succession, but “this product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease” is quite a disclaimer.

Of course I dislike Jere-May Hammond’s The Grand Tour and everything it stands for, but it’s sometimes entertaining, especially if you think the characters – characters, not presenters – are parodies of offensive dickheads. And you can enjoy the high production values, and learn about all different parts of the world.

There’s a bit in the fourteenth episode of the third serie where a character recounts a scene from his childhood, seeing his father’s new Ford Cortina for the first time, which is illustrated by him standing on a street where some relevant cars are parked. And in the background a double-decker bus drives past – I’m quite sure it’s First South Yorkshire’s 37231/YN08 LCL, a Wright bodied Volvo B9TL painted in Rotherham Corporation “heritage” livery (part of the odd trend of private companies drumming up nostalgia for their state owned forebears), and I’ve added a picture to the Internet Movie Cars Database (content warning: Clarkson’s face). But did the programme’s producers go to the trouble of getting a bus in a historically accurate livery to drive past, or is it happy accident? I wonder.

Also, there’s a chilling bit where the characters say how great police brutality – specifically, the practice of pigs using their motor cars to maim motorcycling motorcyclists, in case they are mobile phone thieves – is, and the studio audience cheer along with the sentiment.