Tag Archives: endurance

Mr Methane meets The Burper King on Japanese TV again & plays toilet videos

The Burper King and Mr Methane preparing at Westminster

Last October, I blogged about the occasion when my chum Mr Methane, the world’s only professional farter, met Guinness world record holder Paul Hunn, ‘The Burper King’.

They were appearing on a Japanese TV show called Sekai no Hate Made Itteq! (Let’s Go to the Ends of the World!) hosted by Japanese comedian Ayako Imoto.

The Japanese were back again for more last month and, at the weekend, they transmitted their piece on Japanese TV (there was an embargo on what was in it until today). Last week, Mr Methane and Paul Hunn told me what happened during the filming. They met at about 10.30 one sunny morning near Westminster Bridge in London…

“Basically,” Paul told me, “we had the chance to ad lib a few. There were lots of people around so there were various looks of disgust and horror apart from the Japanese tourists, who instantly recognised Imoto and seemed very impressed.”

Filming for Japanese TV in a gondola on the London Eye

“Then, obviously,” said Mr Methane, “we did lots of farting and carrying on up in a gondola of the London Eye and then we did a scene where we’re farting and belching in the car going between the different attractions.

“We tried to get into the British Museum but were not allowed. You have to have a Media Pass and they couldn’t get it until the next day – they only allow so many in on each day… At least, that’s what we were told. Maybe they just didn’t like the idea of a man dressed in green farting and a guy belching.

“Then we went to a pub near the Oval and, because Paul’s a world record holder for belching, Imoto looked through a book and found a world record we could all do, which was sorting socks. The record was 17 pairs of socks in a minute into a box and, if we didn’t beat it, we had to eat a raw chilli.”

Paul explained: “I think the record used to be held by a Japanese guy, but he was beaten a while ago. You get 30 pairs of socks, separated and jumbled-up and you have to sort as many as you can into pairs inside a minute.”

Mr Methane went first.

“I only managed 8 pairs,” he told me, “so I had to eat this raw chilli. They were very delighted when I was giving it plenty of like… y’know…  Whooaaa! I’m burning up! and so on… and drinking milk.”

“I managed to sort 9 pairs,” said Paul. “So then I had to eat the chilli. I bit round the edge to avoid the seeds, but I made the fatal error of touching my eyes. As you know, after you eat chillies, you don’t touch your eyes or ‘touch downstairs’. I couldn’t see for about 15 minutes afterwards and I instantly had hiccups as well. I can only think that’s what CS gas feels like – but without the hiccups.”

“How did the Japanese react?” I asked.

“Oh! They loved seeing me in agony!” he said.

After that, our dynamic audio duo went to The Exhibit pub in Balham which has a video game in the urinals.

“There are only two or three of these in this country,” says Paul. “and ten in the world. The guy who runs the pub is the guy who invented it. He was on Dragon’s Den and didn’t get very far with it, but he says the idea has really taken off since the programme.”

“They probably thought he was taking the piss,” I suggested.

Paul did not react.

“There’s a screen above the urinal,” explained Paul, “and a sensor underneath and you pee to operate the game. There are three or four different urinals. There was talk of us using water bottles and pretending to pee, if we couldn’t rise to the occasion with all the film crew around us. But we managed.

“One of the games was a quiz which involved a Yes/No answer, so you aimed either right or left to give your answer.

“Another involved painting a picture. There was a picture and you just aimed your pee all over the place to colour it in…”

“Like water colours?” I asked.

Paul continued doggedly:

“There was another game where penguins came down a ski slope and you had to keep trying to hit them.”

“This is all free?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said. “Obviously, it was quite crowded with all the Japanese film crew in there with the two of us and she’s standing there shouting at us and commentating over the top of it.”

“And these games are in the pub the whole time?” I asked.

“Oh yes,” said Paul.

“So it’s all up and running.” I said.

Paul did not react.

He and Mr Methane are true professionals. Here they are on the previous episode of Sekai no Hate Made Itteq!

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Filed under Comedy, Eccentrics, Japan, Television

The British have always been a violent race

Once upon a time, an Italian historian told me this…

The British are a restless, disorderly race. They are not the cold people their stereotype implies. You rarely get anything as social as British pubs anywhere else.  German beer cellars are not the same.

The British like to fight.

If two Italians have an argument, there is a long period in which they just stand and insult each other – “You bastard! – You asshole! – Are you an idiot? – You son of a bitch!” – They shout a long string of verbal abuse at each other, but there is no physical violence. The shouting usually draws a group of people round them and, slowly, the two men get closer to each other and the insults get louder. Only at a very late stage might one try to physically attack the other and – immediately – the onlookers will separate them and hold them back. Real fights are rare. There is a saying in Italy – The one who strikes the first blow wins – because there is rarely a second blow – The fight is stopped.

The British fight in a totally different way.

If someone is offended, he turns suddenly and the most he says is “Fuck you!” then he immediately hits the other guy in the face with his fist. No-one has time to separate the two because, by the time they get there, a full fight has started. I saw it happen in a pub the second day I was in England and I have seen it many times since. Very few Italians have broken noses, but lots of English and Scots do because, with their sudden fights, there is no time to protect your face from the first punch.

The other facet which confuses foreigners is that so many British look like losers. They dress casually and shabbily, they don’t repair the legs of their spectacles for years and they look like they are past caring but, at some point, this apparently laid-back loser will turn round and break your nose. It is not a country where you insult someone lightly.

I was in a pub standing next to a stranger and he muttered something to this other guy who looked like a real loser, a real meek man. There was the tiniest of pauses and the meek guy just hit the stranger full-force in the middle of his face. His nose exploded. The stranger went straight down onto the floor and never got up and the meek guy turned quietly back to his pint of beer.

The Romans had twelve legions to control their entire Empire, stretching from the Atlantic to Mesopotamia. They had to keep two of those legions – two whole legions! – garrisoned permanently in Britain, because it was such a very difficult country to rule. The Germans, the Persians and the Arabs were all difficult too – dangerous frontier people – but the real problem the Romans faced in their empire was the Britons. In the 16th century, Cellini called the English “wild beasts”. Hippolyte Taine’s Notes on England, based on his impressions in the 1860s, said: “Friends and enemies alike described them as the most bellicose and redoubtable race in Europe.”

The British have always had a violent culture. And they have always displayed enormous tendencies to individuality. The British will walk miles to prove their fitness. They want to go to the North and South Poles and it’s the only country in the world where explorers’ biographies are enormously popular. The British are obsessed by Enduring and Surviving. They are fascinated – obsessed – by individuals. The British see the family as a collection of single individuals. In Italy, the family unit is everything. You have to be with the family. That is not the case in Britain. Individuality is everything.

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Filed under Crime, History, Politics, Travel