Monday, 11 August 2008

Happyslapped by a Jellyfish

Happyslapped by a Jellyfish by Karl Pilkington is not exactly what you would normally expect from a travel guide. It's not really close to what you would expect from a series of humourous anecdotes either, mainly because all Karl does is moan about his previous holiday experiences.

That first paragraph probably sounded harsh, let me put this another way: despite being unlike any humourous travelogue you've probably ever read (or any other you ever will read) Happyslapped by a Jellyfish is brilliant. From the opening introduction (wherein Karl discusses why he has stopped buying lottery tickets - because if he won his girlfriend would always want to go on holiday) through to the final handwritten page (which is the end, unless you're a Chinese person who 'reads books back-to-front') it's a fascinating insight into the mind of a person who just doesn't view the world in the same way as other people.

For those not in the know, Karl Pilkington is one of the stars of the world's number one podcast, The Ricky Gervais Show. The other stars, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (creators of The Office), once did some radio work and Karl was their producer on that show. The podcast started in late 2005 and has had several series since then; the format of the show is quite simple all in all, with Ricky and Steve basically just finding out what Karl thinks about various subjects.

I think the only way I can really give you some insight into the mind of Karl is to leave you with a few quotations (from his quotations page on the Pilkipedia - a Ricky Gervais Show fansite):

On Life:
"I look at life like a big book and sometimes you get half way through it and go 'Even though I've been enjoying it, I've had enough. Give us another book.'"

On Ugly Babies:
"You can be an ugly baby and everyone goes 'awww innit nice?' There was some women in a cafe the other week that I was sat in, and she came up and she sat down with her mate and she was talkin' loudly goin' on about 'oh the baby's lovely.' They said 'it's got, er, lovely big eyes, er, really big hands and feet.' Now that doesn't sound like a nice baby to me. I felt like sayin' it sounds like a frog. But I thought I dont know her, there's only so much you can say to a stranger. I dont know what kept me from sayin' it."

On Jellyfish:
"They are 97% water or something, so how much are they doing? Just give them another 3% and make them water. It's more useful."

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