We Got 20 Strangers Who Aren’t Models to Kiss Each Other
Earlier this week, an “arty” black and white video in which polite Americans kiss each other on the mouth made the internet squeal with excitement. The twist was, you see, that these people were all strangers, so this was footage of ten first kisses—gross saliva sounds fully audible over the sort of song that a depressed person might put on during sex.
It was really awkward and sweet, and so far it’s had over 47 million YouTube views. Many bloggers called it “beautiful,” but it was mostly beautiful because all the people that director Tatia Pilieva cast were models, actors, and musicians—that is, professional performers. Oh, and also it was a commercial for clothes, because everything that goes viral on the internet is a lie or an ad.
So our London colleagues went out into the street and found 20 strangers who aren’t models of any description to stick their stiff British upper lips together for £20 (about $33) a pop. This is how strangers really kiss.
These things get so big that some of them can’t walk. Watch as they explain that making these gigantic beasts is a hobby with a lot of luck involved. Almost every moment of this video is worth screen-grabbing, but the shots of the boar with green mulch all over its nose and the beauty pageant winner posing behind him are incredible.
Any time food gets too big to eat, it becomes entertaining. One curiosity for me is looking at abnormally large fruits, vegetables, or animals. When you start to explore this universe, you’ll find that it’s a place filled with record-breaking pizzas, lasagnas, burgers, and other foods that would taste better if they were proportionally sized to your mouth. The process of making and growing these overweight items is a waste of time, a waste of food, and a waste of everything but your attention. But there’s an endless supply of videos on this theme, and this small selection is an attempt at singling out the pointlessness of it all. Enjoy.
Picking the World’s Largest Watermelon
It’s been almost three years since I found this video, and it’s still one of my absolute favorites on YouTube. It’s the kind of thing I look for all the time and almost never find. If you really want to be transported to a hot summer day in Hope, Arkansas, you should watch this at home, on the big screen, with the volume turned all the way up. The best moment comes when they drop the first watermelon they try to pick and it cracks wide open—without hesitation, everyone in the picking party begins feasting on the wreckage. Stay tuned until the end, when they drive the watermelon to some nondescript loading dock and the entire town arrives to weigh the beast.
World’s Largest Fried Egg!
I don’t think that I have to convince anyone that this video is disgusting. Before watching this, I didn’t think that you were supposed to fry an ostrich egg, but as soon as she actually started frying it, I knew for a fucking fact that you’re not supposed to. Even though I am fighting the urge to throw up, I appreciate the effort behind someone thinking, Oh, that’s something you can do, and just doing it.
After my hours spent in Gilbertsville, PA, a small town located on the outskirts of Philadelphia, this seems undeniable. It was evident as I walked from the parking lot full of minivans clad in ferret bumper stickers, strolled through the firehouse doors, and entered the judging ring. Here was a safe haven for people who owned not just one but, in some cases, upwards of 20 ferrets. Ferrents (ahem, ferret parents to common folk) gathered from various parts of the country, some driving as much as seven hours for the chance to show off their furry friends. You won’t find ferrets sauntering in dresses or ferrets jumping through hoops here—instead, nearly 100 ferrets and a strong, genuine community who have been coming together for more than 20 years. Yet somehow this is completely under the radar in comparison to cat shows and dog shows. Why? “I think it’s because a lot of people don’t realize how many ferret owners are out there,” explains Suzy Hahn, an attendee.
It wasn’t quite the Westminster for ferrets—that’s actually in August, at the Buckeye Bash in Ohio—but it was pretty damn close. Here is an inside look at the ferrets, festivities, and what the ferrents had to say at the 2014 Winter Ferret Fandango.
What brought you here today?
Suzy Hahn: We’ve been showing ferrets since 1996. We’re breeders—we’re the Four Paws Wrecking Crew, from Columbus, Ohio. We also do the photography—we’re Digital by Joe & Suzy—so we do the photography at the ferret shows. We’ve been doing this for quite a few years and really enjoy it. Enjoy meeting a lot of great people, enjoy seeing all the pretty ferrets. Oh, there are some really gorgeous ferrets around.
How many do you have?
We currently have 43 at the house.
How do you manage that?
They have their own two rooms of the house. They have their play areas, and you get them out and have to clean frequently. They are like any animal. You have to keep them clean, or they are going to smell. They do have a musky odor to them that fades if you get them fixed.
What drew you to ferrets?
Their personalities. Each one is so different. They are so individual. They will make you laugh and just constantly play. You could have a bad day at work, and they will just perk you up.
There has been lots of talk on the internet lately about Haribo sugarfree gummy bears and how they make you make shit like a madman. According to these detailed Amazon reviews, just a handful of the bears can cause an immediate evacuation of the gastrointestinal tract. There are 53 pages of reviews on Amazon, each one topping the last with a story of gummy-fueled diarrhea nightmares. “Gastric exorcism at 30,000 feet,” a reviewer named I Like Cheese wrote. “Don’t use the bathroom on a Delta flight. That stench is from me, seven years ago.”
I’m no avid Amazon shopper or reader of online reviews, but I’ve scanned my share and have never seen anything close to the kind of in-depth reporting that’s found on the Haribo sugarfree gummy bear Amazon reviews page. The metaphors are akin to something the poet John Donne would have written with after a particularly stinging shit.
"Gastric exorcism?" "Liquid razorblades?" I wasn’t buying it. This whole thing seemed like a stupid internet hoax—an excuse for people to pen elaborate fictions about their somewhat irregular but ultimately harmless gummy bear-induced shits. The reporter in me knew what had to be done. I bought a few pounds of the day-glo bears at a candy store in Manhattan and found myself in the VICE offices late last Saturday night, shoving handfuls in my mouth, determined to find out the truth.
Like many people over a certain age, vomiting no longer disgusts me. I’m not proud to admit it, but on occasion, I throw up after poisoning my body with too much alcohol. As a result, I’ve developed a handful of techniques that take me from retching to flushing without too much discomfort. Sometimes, when the first pangs of rusty saliva leak down my throat, I like to pretend that I’m an angry dragon, hurriedly flapping my wings to spray an unsuspecting porcelain city with waves of bilious puke-fire. It’s pretty awesome.
“Nausea and vomiting can be at the end of a whole buildup of things,” said Charles Horn, a neuroscientist who specializes in emesis, the clinical term for blowing chunks. “But the truth is, when you vomit, you feel better, almost every time.”
In fact, vomiting makes some people feel so good that they’ve devoted their lives to studying it. This year, along with another neuroscientist named Bill Yates, Charles co-hosted a two-day, single-track academic conference at the University of Pittsburgh, officially known as Biology and Control of Nausea and Vomiting 2013—the International Vomiting Conference for short. In attendance were 62 prominent doctors who share the goal of advancing research on the biological mechanisms that cause nausea and vomiting. Their ultimate goal is to answer the questions: Why do people blow their grits, and what are we to do about it? The answers are more complicated than one might think.