Frank’s Frivolous Festivities


Sometimes, Christmas and New Year’s Eve just aren’t fun enough, especially for TrendFlux writer Frank Hardee. He has taken it upon himself to devise and/or take part in slightly bizarre games, in order to stop himself from going insane. But by the sounds of things, he already has…


Christmas Present Challenge

Ever wondered who actually buys those ‘Playful kittens’ calendars that they sell in WHSmiths, or John Barrowman’s autobiography in Waterstones? You are talking to him right here!


That's Me.


You may be wondering why I am writing about Crimbo presents now, when we have 363 days (scrap that, 364 days – leap year!) to buy our friends and family a treasured treat. The reason is that one needs to start getting prepared for the Christmas Present Challenge. About 5 years ago, my best friend and I began a tradition that still goes on today. Each January 1st, we set ourselves a genre of item and then have to buy it for each other in the next 12 months. The catch is that it has to be ‘the naffest!’ as determined by my mother on Christmas day. 5 years in and I am 3-2 down, but I did manage to pull one back this year.


Previous winners include Dale Winton’s Autobiography, Mr Motivator’s Calypso Workout DVD, Alan Titchmarsh’s ‘In the Potting Shedâ’ Calendar (with a handy garden hint for every month), and finally this year, in The London 2012 Memorabilia Challenge, I won it with The Wenlock Beefeater snow globe fridge magnet. To give you an idea of just how naff this gift was, just check out the best (/only) picture I could find of it on Google Images:

Yeah, exactly. 2012 is the naffest thing you can buy on a TV Shopping Channel. Ideas are most welcome in the comments section!


The New Year Celebrity Death List!

My dad used to say that every January the 1st he would go down the bookmakers and have a £20 double on the Queen Mother and the Pope to pop it in the next 12 months. Like so many of my dad’s gambles this one never paid off, since he was outlived by the Pope (John Paul II) and only survived the Queen Mum by a couple of years. This was typical behaviour of my father, who was a notorious stand-up comedian, known for his antics and anarchic style!


I had put the celebrity death bets to the back of my mind until just recently, when I was out for a drink with my best mate and the ‘celebrity death game’ came up in conversation. It transpires that it was not only my father who had this obsession but other people did too!


The basic idea is this: everyone puts £5 in the pot and nominates 10 people that they think will die that year. For everyone that does you win a point. Should there be a tie on New Year’s Day, then the money goes to the person who has the youngest death. Twice a year (May and September) the ‘Transplant Window’ opens and players may swap members in or out.


My friend’s mother is winning the 2011 version by virtue of the fact that she had Amy Winehouse at a young 27! Some people wouldn’t touch this game with a barge-pole but others try to make light of the inevitable. So if you’re bored come the New Year, why not have a punt? Zsa Zsa Gabor and Maggie T have got to be up there, right?


Just Sayin’


Want more from this author? Try The Everyman’s Guide To (Not) Getting into the West Bank

Or for a related article, how about The Everyman’s Guide To Christmas

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