Things That Make You Go... WTF?

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And now the Foreign Office, they won't protect you against cat burglars or Polish Vampirellas.

Questions about vampires in Poland and vegetarian sausages are among the most bizarre phone calls made to consular staff, the Foreign Office has said.

It has compiled the strangest calls from Britons abroad in 2018 in a bid to remind people its helpline is meant to be used in an emergency. It received more than 330,000 calls from people asking for help. One person in the Netherlands had just watched the film Braveheart and called to ask questions about the plot. Someone in the Canary Islands requested the Foreign Office persuade his hotel to give him a different room after a stray cat had "broken into" his current one and peed on his bed.

  • A man checking whether there were vampires in Poland because a woman he met online had asked what blood type he was before they met for their first date
  • Another man requesting the Foreign Office speak to a massage parlour in Bangkok on his behalf, as he fell asleep during a massage and felt he shouldn't have to pay for it
  • A caller in New Delhi asking what time the British High Commission opened, as he'd heard it sold vegetarian sausages and he wanted to buy some
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46710432
 

GingerTabby

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I worked in Canada's foreign ministry for a number of years, but thankfully never on the consular assistance line. A colleague who worked in the minister's registry would occasionally receive odd telephone calls from members of the public. She told me a fellow who lived in rural Alberta once phoned her because he was concerned that a patch of land near his home was being used as a UFO landing strip. He wanted to put a stop to it but he wasn't sure who to contact. My colleague said her gut feeling was that this fellow was just a disturbed individual rather than a crank trying to wind her up. She gently explained to him that the ministry's mandate was international affairs, not interstellar ones. She also told him this was a transportation issue that fell under provincial jurisdiction and, after some digging, she provided him with a telephone number in the Alberta Ministry of Transportation. He thanked her for the information and said he would contact them. No doubt staff at the ministry in Edmonton were less than thrilled to receive this referral.
 

Yithian

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I worked in Canada's foreign ministry for a number of years, but thankfully never on the consular assistance line. A colleague who worked in the minister's registry would occasionally receive odd telephone calls from members of the public. She told me a fellow who lived in rural Alberta once phoned her because he was concerned that a patch of land near his home was being used as a UFO landing strip. He wanted to put a stop to it but he wasn't sure who to contact. My colleague said her gut feeling was that this fellow was just a disturbed individual rather than a crank trying to wind her up. She gently explained to him that the ministry's mandate was international affairs, not interstellar ones. She also told him this was a transportation issue that fell under provincial jurisdiction and, after some digging, she provided him with a telephone number in the Alberta Ministry of Transportation. He thanked her for the information and said he would contact them. No doubt staff at the ministry in Edmonton were less than thrilled to receive this referral.
I have mixed feelings about the British consular services overseas. Each experience of passing through their services has been smooth and timely. New passport, registering marriage, registering a birth: all done professionally.

My complaint is that they seem to have reconfigured their offices solely to deal with business/investment and the promotion of UK education. These things are important (I wholly agree), but there are more important services. It used to be the case that long-term overseas residents would register with the embassy to receive important updates; on attempting to update my contact details a number of years back I was told that they no longer retain lists and I should monitor the FCO website and the embassy Twitter account.

I'm a low-demand expat. If I am seeking advice or assistance from the British Embassy, it is perfectly possible that a catastrophe of a sufficient magnititude to threaten Internet access has occurred. I also question the wisdom of relying on a private company with its own political interests for vital government communications.

How about just keep a list of names and numbers in case? Is the bookshelf dangerously overcrowded?

I won't start on passport costs. That's down to the FCO.
 

JamesWhitehead

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escargot

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Xanatic*

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I just saw a clip of the new mayor of Sheffield. In t-shirt and backwards baseball cap, talking about playing the Imperial March at his inauguration. Is that what politics is like now?
 

Kryptonite

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It's named after what happens if you drink it.
It would be great if all alcoholic drinks were named after what happens when you drink them.
"I'll have a pint of Wake Up With A Headache And A Horrible Sense of Dread, please. Oh, and a Shit Yourself On A Night Bus too, thanks".
 

Austin Popper

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It would be great if all alcoholic drinks were named after what happens when you drink them.
"I'll have a pint of Wake Up With A Headache And A Horrible Sense of Dread, please. Oh, and a Shit Yourself On A Night Bus too, thanks".
I'll have an I'll Never Drink Tequila Again, and my friend would like one of those Something Brushes Up Against Your Shoulder And It's The Floor, please.
 

Comfortably Numb

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Lord Lucan

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Another one from History's Dumpster blog. It has also appeared on Reddit and Pinterest.

Trying to verify whether it actually exists in China or anywhere except the internet brings up graphic descriptions of vulva issues!

View attachment 13917

:buck:

To confuse the issue, Yantai is a real Chinese wine-producer but the name has been used fraudulently on toxic whisky, which contains methanol!:puke2:
If I had to drink it, I'd rather a Red Labial over a Green or Blue one. Yikes!
 
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Swifty

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I've been doing an online satisfaction survey - can anyone tell me how I can register for the prize draw without entering any personal information?

View attachment 13945
NAME: Secret Squirrel

EMAIL ADRESS: (a new one you've created and only then from an internet café or library)

?
 
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