Victims of Their Own Lack of Success
The LOSER Awards (Lack Of Success in Everything, Really), which has been running since 2008, is an alternative awards ceremony celebrating lack of achievement in many fields of expertise. This year’s event, held in the unprestigious Kings Arms pub in East Croydon will be hosted by fitness Guru, Mr Motivator, and promises to be the smallest and most insignificant LOSER Awards yet.
Highlights of last year’s ceremony included:
Least Successful Egging
When stockbroker Marcus Wallace left his job at Canary Wharf in July, colleagues banded together to organise their company’s long-standing tradition of pelting eggs at departing employees. Between them they purchased no less than 28,000 eggs to hurl at Mr Wallace as he left. Every single one of them missed.
Least Successful Fake Hermit
Prize-winning novelist Heidi Dorgberg of Brussels claims to have not left her house for the past seventeen years. This is clearly a lie, as Ms Dorgberg can often be spotted at carnivals, stadium rock concerts and speed dating events. She even hosts her own chat show on cable TV.
Least Successful Table
A man in Canberra, who wishes to remain nameless, constructed a flatpack dining table in August, an endeavour which took him approximately 6 hours. The resulting table had no legs and no surface.
Least Successful Towel Thief
Mr Samson Dulwich from Manchester has stayed in 627 hotels over the past 2 years as part of his work as an office supplies sales rep. Whenever Mr Dulwich visits a hotel he makes a point of stealing a towel. He has been caught every single time.
Least Successful After Dinner Speaker
Ambitiously modelling himself on Oscar Wilde, professional shoplifter and occasional face on the after dinner circuit, Malcolm Midriff describes himself on his website as “the perfect addition to any meal – breakfast, lunch, dinner – you name it. I’ve even spoken after elevenses.”
Due to his proud claim to be “the master of the epigram” Midriff has been sued under the Trades Descriptions Act no less that 8 times.
Malcolm Midriff’s epigrams include:
“A gentleman who allows his mother to speak on his behalf is a right numpty.”
“A lady who practises transcendental meditation should stop messing about and get back to the ironing.”
“Show me a straight man who likes Dirty Dancing and I’ll show you a closet case.”
The most common complaint against Midriff’s after dinner speeches is his inappropriate behaviour. At a recent banquet attended by Her Majesty the Queen, Midriff began by saying, “Well, I expect this speech will be far less embarrassing than my last one.” Midriff then stuck his hand down the front of his trousers and said “Touch wood.”
Worst Marketing Strategy
Entrepreneur Kenneth Delgado became the laughing stock of the drinks industry when he invested hundreds of thousands of pounds of his own money in his juice brand, “Unpleasant-Tasting Orange Drink”. The slogan on the advertisements said, “You’ll wonder what you did to deserve it.” Delgado described his unconventional approach as “reverse psychology”.
Ironically, since winning the LOSER award, the Unpleasant-Tasting Orange Drink has sold in huge quantities. As a measure of the product’s success, a recent survey of British bakeries revealed that Unpleasant-Tasting Orange Drink has higher sales figures than hot cakes.
As a follow-up, Kenneth Delgado has recently applied for a patent for his invention, the “chocolate teapot”.
Least Successful Awards Ceremony
Since the outset, the judges for the LOSERs have awarded themselves this particular prize. A spokesperson for one of the award’s regular nominees, the Timpsons Watch Battery Awards has described the judges’ decision as “a fix”.
World’s Greatest Calling Cards
A panel of international crime experts recently compiled a list of what they described as “The greatest criminal calling cards of all time.” The reason for the list’s compilation was firstly “to provide an insight into the complexities of the unbalanced criminal psyche” and secondly because the panel had nothing much else to do.
The top ten calling cards appear in no particular order:
The Orchid Arsonist
Brooklyn’s “Orchid Arsonist” – active from 1974 – 1982 – became famous for planting rare orchids on the grounds of every building he torched. The criminal is said to have spent up to $17,000 dollars each on his trademark blooms.
Unfortunately the orchids were impossible to detect as they were always burnt to a crisp by the fire.
The Dick Dastardly and Mutley Mugger
Using an entertaining pun on the word “mug,” professional mugger Melissa McCarthy of Dublin (still active) always replaces the contents of her victims’ pockets with a children’s drinking mug from the early 1980s bearing the image of popular cartoon villains, Dick Dastardly and Mutley. Bizarrely, the mugs are said to be of considerable value to collectors and are much more expensive than any item McCarthy has ever stolen.
The Copycat Killer
In a much weaker pun than that of the above, the “Copycat Killer” leaves a photocopied picture of a cat pinned to the chests of his victims.
Ironically, the Copycat Killer is now such a high profile figure, he has spawned several copycats.
“The Fungal Infection Fraudster”
Former London stockbroker Malcolm Simpson committed many white collar crimes throughout the City of London between 1991 and 1997. At the site of each act of fraud, investigators discovered a small tube of fungal infection cream. As Mr Simpson was known to have suffered from fungal infections during that period, the tubes of cream eventually led to the fraudster being convicted.
Simpson’s inclusion on this “best of” list is a controversial one, as he’s always maintained that the tubes were left there by accident. In a letter to the Financial Times written from his prison cell where he is currently serving four consecutive life sentences, Simpson wrote: “Allow me to state categorically that the tubes of fungal infection cream were not “calling cards”. Believe you me, I’ve made some powerful contacts while I’ve been incarcerated, and from this point on, anyone who refers to me as The Fungal Infection Fraudster will be hunted down and killed.”
Disclaimer: you will notice that we have not specifically referred to Mr Simpson as “The Fungal Infection Fraudster” at any point apart from in the heading above in which the inaccurate accusation is placed firmly within a sturdy set of quotation marks. Please don’t kill us.
The Business Card Bandit
In one of the most embarrassing cases of police incompetence, the “Business Card Bandit” AKA Hanz Striker of Stokholm, consistently escaped arrest during an impressive string of hold-ups committed over 8-year period during the 1930s. Police failed to arrest Mr Striker despite the fact that he handed a business card to each of his victims including his name, telephone number and home address.
A spokesperson for the Swedish police said, “It seemed like a red herring at the time. Surely no one in their right mind would willingly hand over their contact details while carrying out a robbery. Now that it transpires the man was literally leaving a “calling card,” we are rather embarrassed, although we do appreciate the irony of the situation.”
Striker was eventually revealed to be the culprit behind the string of offences 7 years after his death in 1942. As fate would have it, his death was caused by a paper cut administered by one of his own business cards.
The Celebrity Serial Killer
Mass murderer Sharron Kingfisher of Nottingham, UK (active 1995 - 2003) used what she described as “human calling cards” by inviting minor celebrities to attend her brutal slayings. The unwitting celebrities believed they were being invited to high profile award ceremonies.
Jason Orange of Take That, was fooled into thinking he was attending a music awards show having been nominated for “Best Boyband Member Named After a Citrus Fruit,” only to discover he’d been invited to witness one of Kingfisher’s unspeakable acts of violence.
Actor Harrison Ford was invited to witness one of Kingfisher’s murders having been lead to believe he’d been finally won the coveted “Best Actor Named Harrison” award in 2006. Ford was described as being “bitterly disappointed,” particularly as that year’s award was awarded to the late Rex Harrison for the 17th consecutive year.
Appropriately enough, Kingfisher’s notoriety led to her becoming a celebrity in her own right. In 2004 she became the first person to do a photo shoot for Hello magazine from a prison cell.
The Signed Photograph of Buster Merryfield Burglar
Career criminal and Only Fools and Horses enthusiast Hank Birtcham of Houston, Texas was responsible for countless burglaries in the late 1980s during which time he distributed over 100 signed photographs of his idol Buster Merryfield.
Following Birtcham’s arrest in 1989 Merryfield noted, “I’m unhappy about my image and signature being used in this manner, although I have to admit it’s really boosted my American fanbase.”
The Garage Garroter
One of the most impressive calling cards in history was used by unemployed builder Salique Khan who carried out a string of strangulations in his home town of Chelmsford during the 1970s. His killings always took place at midnight. Following the murders, Khan would single-handedly build a garage complete with a slate roof which would be fully completed by sunrise.
Local pharmacist Graham Budd escaped his fate by fleeing his home as soon as he noticed a large stack of bricks had been deposited on his driveway. He recalls, “I’d heard about the Garage Garroter, and I wasn’t going to take any chances. Luckily he only murdered my wife and children.”
None of Khan’s murders were officially proven but he was eventually imprisoned for repeatedly building garages without planning permission.
The Parka Parker
This mysterious figure is wanted for an impressive string of parking offences in the Ipswich area. Believed to be in his late seventies, the gentleman in question dresses the parking meter in a 1980s Parka jacket after failing to purchase a ticket. This rebellious pensioner has gained a cult following among fellow parking offenders. He has been described by motoring enthusiast Jeremy Clarkson as “not just a god, but the God. I believe the Parka Parker to be the physical manifestation of the Divine Creator.”
The Chorizo Smuggler
The Chorizo Smuggler is estimated to have smuggled 6 billion Euros of cocaine across various European borders over the last seven years. The smuggler marks his location by dropping a large chorizo sausage on his way through customs. On numerous occasions border control officers have been severely reprimanded after eating the evidence prior to it being fingerprinted.
As one officer commented, “This guy knows exactly what he’s doing. Who can resist chorizo? The only way to catch this criminal is to exclusively employ vegetarians.”
In fact, the exclusive employment of vegetarians as customs officers has now been introduced in Spain, Portugal and Luxemburg. It is suspected that the mysterious appearance (and indeed disappearance) of corns-on-the-cob at Spanish and Portuguese borders signifies that the Chorizo Smuggler has changed tack to accommodate the dietary requirements of the newly-appointed security staff.
Unlikely Culinary Successes
According to the alternative cookery magazine, Sprout Porridge, the top three most unlikely culinary successes are:
St Stephen’s Hospital, Isle of Skye
Thanks to the extraordinary talents of its eccentric head chef, Bernard McDavey, St Stephen’s is the first ever hospital to receive a Michelin Star. Food lovers from all over the world have relocated to the Isle of Skye and deliberately injured themselves in order to gain access to McDavey’s menu.
In a rather extreme move, the TV personality Ainsley Harriott recently hacked off his own leg. Speaking from his bed in St. Stephen’s Hospital, Harriott stated: “I’ll admit this was drastic action, but the fact of the matter is, the more severe your injury, the longer you get to enjoy Mr McDavey’s exquisite meat and potato pies. I fully intend to hack off my other leg as soon as I’m discharged. Ha! Ha! Ha!”
Due to the Isle of Skye’s relatively tiny population, it was recently estimated that the island is now inhabited almost entirely by injured celebrity chefs.
Poppa Doms Indian Restaurant, Dorset
On its grand opening in 2004, Poppa Doms was described by the food critic Lloyd Grossman as “sickening”. Local newspapers described it as “the worst Indian restaurant on the south coast of England – and possibly the world.” The restaurant would undoubtedly have closed down were it not for its surprise signature dish – egg and chips.
On his return to the restaurant in 2008, Grossman wrote: “Poppa Doms has risen like a Phoenix from the flames. Today I have eaten possibly the greatest portion of egg and chips there has ever been, or ever could be.”
The restaurant has been the recipient of numerous awards, purely on the basis of one dish. On presenting head chef Raj Lucky with his prize at the Asian Excellence Awards, Bollywood superstar Amita Butchen declared, “Congratulations to Poppa Doms! Who’d have thought the simple combination of egg and chips would attract culinary enthusiasts from all over the globe? However, I ought to point out that the rest of your menu is a disgrace to your Indian heritage. You ought to be utterly ashamed.”
Located in a patch of trees on the outskirts of Toronto, Stews is the only restaurant in the world to be built, owned and operated entirely by squirrels. Nicknamed after its owner, Stewie the Squirrel, the restaurant’s menu boasts a wide variety of acorn-based dishes, including acorn salad (ingredients: acorns), acorn pie (ingredients: acorns) and their signature dish, Stew’s Stew (ingredients: acorns). The restaurant is hugely popular, not just among the squirrel community, but with food-lovers from the human world.
TV chef Gordon Ramsay described Stews as “an utter delight. Wonderful food, wonderful atmosphere ... Well worth moving to Canada for.”
Tragically, Stews was recently forced to close after the entire restaurant was eaten by a racoon.