“Public information films – or PIFs to the aficionado – still exist today. We have seen them recently with regards to Covid; government advice on washing our hands, wearing masks and being careful of hugging our friends.
But next to the PIFs of the heyday of the genre, these touchy-feely, nicey-nicey televised messages are like comparing the Teletubbies with the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.”
“I had seen an alternative reality, another way of being, and knew beyond anything I’d known before that day that life is extraordinary. And in that moment I felt happier, more alive, and more Me than I imagined was possible.”
“But, given the importance of natural pollinators to our food security and the apparent declines of well-recognised pollinators like bees and hover flies, now would be a good time to start taking wasp pollination a bit more seriously.”
“Hairlessness, to put it baldly, was sexy. And a relatively hairless partner would be more likely to produce a less hairy younger generation. Soon the hair was dropping off us at a rate of knots.”
“It’s a very small world, he says, raven-keeping, “and being quirky is part and parcel of it, because it’s so full on”.”
How would he have handled a pandemic? It’s hard to imagine him getting involved in the sort of denialism, laced with conspiracy theory and a dash of anti-Chinese racism, that the Trump administration has fostered.”
Michele Kirsch on working as a cleaner in London, England, and the fascinating, unspoken social rules that keep a cleaner-cleanee relationship “shipshape and Bristol-fashion.”
The Copenhagen-based restaurant Noma is regularly rated as the world’s best; Tokyo is the gourmet capital of the world, with more Michelin stars than any other city. For five overwhelming and intense weeks, Noma came to Tokyo, with a waiting list of 60,000 diners. But could a restaurant renowned for its “local” focus succeed in a foreign city?
Sedaris recalls his time working as a Macy’s elf during the holiday season:
“Today was the official opening day of SantaLand and I worked as a Magic Window Elf, a Santa Elf and an Usher Elf. The Magic Window is located in the adult ‘Quick Peep’ queue. My job was to say, ‘Step on the Magic Star and look through the window, and you can see Santa!’ I was at the Magic Window for 15 minutes before a man approached me and said, ‘You look so fucking stupid.’
“I have to admit that he had a point. But still, I wanted to say that at least I get paid to look stupid, that he gives it away for free. But I can’t say things like that because I’m supposed to be merry.
“So instead I said, ‘Thank you!'”