Tuesday, 30 October 2007


My son Andrew is a big fan of "My name is Earl". We watch it together. Father son bonding stuff. It's funny and it has a list.

By accident, we once paused on Earl's list. (Those who haven't seen the programme will just have to bear with me. The important thing is the list. Not Earl.) Two hundred and sixty three entries his list has. Or something like that. I would ask Andrew, but he's upstairs. He would remember the exact number. He has a fresh young brain. He's observant, too. He can recognise the individual wood pigeons in our garden. It's something to do with the colouring of the neck.

Back to Earl's list. Each episode is based around one entry on the list. Whilst paused, you could read what was on the list. Sure enough, each has been the basis of an episode.

I know how American series work. A network show will air (notice how au fait I am with American telly terminology) twenty-something episodes a year. The makers of "My name is Earl" must be hoping for at least a ten-year run. Andrew would be happy. Though, being eleven, his tastes are likely to change alarmingly in two years' time. I may have to watch series 6 alone.

When I saw the freeze-framed list I thought "What a great idea it would be if the makers showed all 200-odd entries now". Why? Because it would be great fun (I try to avoid the word "challenge", excepting job interviews and chats with my boss) to set writers the challenge of thinking up a story around a pre-defined title.

It got me thinking. There's no reason why I couldn't set myself a fun. I could pick some random number - three, say - of titles to put on a list of my own. And then concoct a post around them. Or do you think three is too big a number for me to commit to? What about 19 then? or 53?

You can decide. Unless you come up with something stupid, then I'll revert to Stalin mode. You pick how long my list is and come up with the titles.

In a perfect world, I wouldn't bother limiting your imagination. In our world, AB Budweiser is the biggest-selling beer. (At least I think that's true. Or is it Bud Light? You know what I was getting at, something uninspiring.) Until the Bud keg runs dry, I'll insist on rules:

- nothing obscene
- nothing libelous
- no more than ten words long (unless I think it's funny)
- the words "orange", "Marlon" and "something" are not allowed

I always worry if I'm making myself understood. Send me titles for my blog posts. We'll know how many lucky winners there will be after the close of the poll. Which, for no good reason except confusion, I'll open before I post this explanation.


The Beer Nut said...

Brettanomyces: The Musical
It Was Like That When I Found It
Floaters (The Good Kind)
Floaters (The Bad Kind)
Debbie Does Den Haag

Ron Pattinson said...

beer nut, that looks like the first six list entries. There are a couple of challenges, sorry, funs, in there. It's a start.

Lew Bryson said...

A Day Without Details.
Average Maltsack Corn Counts, 1857-1913.
Going to America. (if I can be 40% of the help you were for me on my recent trip to D-dorf and Cologne, you'll have a great time, and the Euro goes SO far these days)
Double IPA: say it one last time.

Elektrolurch said...

Brilliant idea, i personally like the first two seasons of my name is earl but the actually running third season goes way to faar away from the original concept imho.
anyway, here are my suggestions:
Alternative grains
Why Grimbergen blonde is a good beer;)
out of the can
warm piss

Stephen Lacey said...

1) Base malts now and then
2) The Reinheitsgebot is a joke
3) Things I like about the BJCP style guidelines
4) Parenting tips for beer obsessives
5) Belgian Brewing Logs, pre & post WWI

Knut Albert said...

Fruit and vegs that should not be used in beer
Beer ads 1910-1920
Bubbles in my Beer

If you get too many, you can challenge the rest of us!

Stonch said...

I must be honest I have failed to extract any amusement from that programme. Curb Your Enthusiasm is just about the only US TV I'e enjoyed for some time. I am a very parochial television watcher.

Ron Pattinson said...

stonch, but it has a numbered list. You have to love anything with a numbered list. Even an unnumbered list is pretty adorable.

Stonch said...

Have you read any Nick Hornby? If not get High Fidelity now. Or you could watch the movie. If you don't mind the fact that a story the author described as being "a novel about London" was transplanted to Seattle.

Alan said...

My late suggestions are a bit pedestrian:

Ron's Favorite Crap Jokes (continuing series)
Dutch Bar Snacks (the "bitterballs" question)
Dutch v. Belgian Oud Brun
How To Shop For Beer In Holland
Archeological Evidence of Long Term Beer Aging Pre-1850.

Ron Pattinson said...

Thanks for the suggestions, everyone. It currently looks like 53 could win the poll. So just about half way there. Keep them coming.

It will be a fun to write the posts, but that's what I love - a fun.