2012 has been and gone and whilst most of the internet may be looking back with rose-tinted spectacles at the successes of the year, we here at Don’t Panic would prefer to take a more perverse reminiscence of the year gone by, and instead look at the strangest moments the year had to offer.
Teacher takes 31 children on school trip in Renault Clio
Don’t be misled by the header – she didn’t take all 31 in one go. That would be ridiculous! No, she simply did two trips and was caught on the second go with 19 children packed into her car. Taking car-pooling to the extreme, primary school teacher Melanie Minnie of Pretoria, South Africa, was pulled over by police in October after she had decided to take an impromptu school-trip to the local mall. Apparently if you want to commit a crime, South Africa is the place to do it, as Minnie was only issued a £110 fine for traffic violations. She commented that after the incident it would be the last time she tried to take the children on a school trip. We suggest that she leaves teaching altogether and pursues her true calling wrangling clowns into cars at the circus.
The 86 year old gymnast
In March at the Cottbus World Cup in Germany, 86 year old Johanna Quaas put pretty much 99% of those younger than her to shame with her non-competition gymnastic performance. Quaas has been a gymnast since her 20s, and was also in the champion-winning East German handball team. Not only that, but she wears a leotard better than half of us too. Quaas is an inspiration, but perhaps also a sad reflection on our own youthful inflexibility.
In March 2012 the government proposed to place VAT on food such as pasties in an attempt to standardise the complex taxation on hot food. The tabloids picked up on the story, claiming it showed how out of touch the government was with everyday people, and in an uninspired choice the debacle was deemed ‘Pastygate’. The issue then developed into a contest of which political party could outdo the other in being more relatable to the pasty-loving public via the art of eating (and claiming to have eaten) takeaway food. Indeed, you could pop down to your local Greggs and see a Labour party front-bencher shuffling in with a camera crew in tow and ordering sausage rolls, a gleeful look on their face as they envisioned all the good PR they thought they were getting . The over baked affair eventually came to a head when David Cameron announced that he had last had a pasty from the West Cornwall Pasty Company when visiting Leeds station, creating a scandal that rocked the cabinet to its mince-filled core when it was found that the PM was telling porky pies as that particular branch had closed in 2007.
Although everyone most likely knows this one, it is just too good to leave off this list. In August Cecelia Giménez took it upon herself to restore a fading fresco of Jesus, named Ecce Homo (Behold the Man). Thanks to her artistic skill the painting took on a new life and became an internet sensation. Gone was the century-old artwork, in was Monkey Jesus (or for the more nerdy of us, Chewbacca Christ). The creation spawned hundreds of memes – as well as some brilliant Halloween costumes – creating a huge amount of publicity for the small Sanctuary of Mercy Church, where around 1,500 visitors can now be expected on the weekends all thanks to Giménez’s work. Giménez is nowasking for some of this extra money as royalties for her work, though it is done with the good intent of being donated to a charity that combats amyotrophy, a muscle-wasting disease which her son suffers from. With such positive results from Monkey Jesus’s creation, maybe we can judge that God had a divine plan to vandalise a portrait of his son all along.
Giant Baby of the Olympic Opening Ceremony
For many the Olympic Opening Ceremony was brilliant. Danny Boyle directed the spectacle with half the money that Olympic hosting predecessors China had and presumably with a lot less forced labour to boot, and with it managed to create something that was offbeat and charming. That is, apart from one part: the giant creepy baby. It loomed large in the middle of a segment meant to honour children’s hospital Great Ormond’s Street where it sat in the middle of the Olympic stadium like… a giant creepy baby. We were left wondering if it was related to that giant creepy floating space baby in 2001: A Space Odyssey, or alternatively, if we were going to sleep that night.
96 Year Old Dad
It was reported in October that India’s Ramjit Raghav became the world’s oldest father at the age of 96 after his 52 year old wife gave birth to a son, something that is no mean feat in itself despite being overshadowed by her much older husband. His fame was soon picked up by animal rights lobbyists PETA, who made Raghav their poster boy, his face appearing above the tagline: ‘Vegetarians Still Got It at age 96’. Whilst we applaud Raghav and his wife for being able to conceive at their age, we here at Don’t Panic think the world record is best left to them, since we can’t think of many people who would want to change nappies and get up in the middle of the night at that age. Though maybe Johanna Quaas would be able to give it a go?
Brangelina becomes embarrassing
Photos: Yahoo and Youtube
Who would have thought that the world’s most famous celebrity couple would become so embarrassing? First off was Angelina’s outing at February’s Oscars, where Angelina the person was outshone by Angelina the right leg. No matter if she was on the stage presenting or out on the carpet, her leg was consistently jutting out from the folds of her dress. We can only assume that it took on a life of its own and wanted to be a celebrity in its own right, free from the constraints of its megastar owner, as we cannot fathom why Jolie thought it was anything but an erroneous look. If that was Angelina’s right leg’s wish then it was granted, gaining 11,000 twitter followers overnight and starting a microcosmic war with Jennifer Aniston’s right leg. The fact that Oscar winner Jim Rash’s imitation of Jolie’s pose on stage was met with a laugh in a room of people who have either worked with Jolie or respect her influence in Hollywood showed just how bad a move her posing was.
Not wanting to be left out, Brad Pitt then made his move in October with his advert for Chanel No.5. In it he peers pretentiously out beyond the camera, ruminative in his soul-searching artiness. He finds his ‘fortune’ apparently, which must be what he was paid to go along with such a toe-curlingly bad advert.
Despite the failure of John McCain to get into office in 2008, the Republicans decided they wanted to stick with the format and put forward another presidential candidate that had a penchant for proclaiming the absurd. After declaring such fantastic statements as, ‘I like being able to fire people’ and ‘I’m not concerned about the very poor’, the potential future President’s obliviousness reached a peak when he proclaimed that it’s a ‘real problem’ that airplane windows don’t open. His statements also seemed to inspire random acts of oddness in his supporters too, such as Clint Eastwood talking to a chair at the Republican National Convention. Although it might be thoroughly odd that Romney was a candidate for the most regarded position of office in the world, we have to be thankful that it led to the creation of one of the best Tumblrs of the year: White People Mourning Romney.
Dog Driving a Car
There’s not much else to be said here that the title doesn’t already say. Just sit back and enjoy the odd brilliance of it.