A week in mild amusement

Royale with sleaze

The makers of popular video game Fortnite are being sued by the studio behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds for copying their game. With the best will in the world, this did raise my eyebrows slightly. The premise of both games is that a large number of players are dropped into an area and have to kill each other to become the last man standing. Presumably, if this suit is successful, PUBG will then be sued by Suzanne Collins, author of The Hunger Games. Who will, in turn, be sued by the estate of Kinji Fukusaki, director of Battle Royale.

It’s easy to feel sorry for PUBG though. While Fortnite (an infuriating spelling which causes me to continually go back and delete the ‘g’ I instinctively place there) has cartoony graphics and updates to keep players interested, all PUBG has is PewDiePie screaming the n-word. And in my experience that goes down very poorly in promotional material. Unless it’s a trailer for Roseanne, I suppose.

Wineing down

The UK may have reached peak prosecco sales. Sales of sparkling wine rose by their smallest numbers in six years last year, suggesting we’ve had enough. Apparently, the sheer popularity of prosecco means it is no longer seen as aspirational or luxurious. I mean, I’ve literally never considered prosecco luxurious. In fact, I’ve never seen the word prosecco written down without the word ‘free’ before it. All this says to me is that the English calendar must now be completely full of events where you stand awkwardly in a function room talking to strangers. Prosecco has always seemed a bit ridiculous to me, mainly because the glass it’s served in is called a flute. How pretentious would I sound if I decided to start drinking beer from a ‘ale oboe’ or wine from a ‘shiraz saxophone’?

Shop till your sales drop

UK shoppers voted WH Smith as the worst UK high street store. Apparently, their staff are rude, which is fair enough, I mean, if I was working selling Maltesers and post-it notes I’d be miserable too. The products are too expensive, which is fair enough, they’re good post-it notes. And the shops are out of date, which is fair enough, it’s a high street shop in an age where the internet exists.

Top of the survey was cosmetics chain Lush. Which I have a massive problem with. I’ve never actually been in Lush but I’ve been within 800 feet of one and felt like I was experiencing what it’s like for a fly to be blasted by a can of Febreze. Also rated poorly was Clintons cards, which I completely agree with. If primary school kids can make your product, you shouldn’t be able to charge £4 for it. Unless, of course, your product is an iPhone and the kids are losing fingers.

DIN number

London has introduced the world’s first contactless payment scheme for buskers. Passers-by can use card readers to make payments to street performers. At least you know they aren’t using the money to take drugs. It’s far harder to roll up an online bank statement than it is a fiver. Now obviously that’s a lazy stereotype. I’m aware all buskers aren’t drug users and the ones that are, that’s their business. I just wonder how effective a card payment would be for street performers. It’s hard enough to get someone to throw them 20p never mind dig out their American Express card. And what about those old people who haven’t worked out contactless yet? Buskers are gonna lose a lot of custom while Maureen’s hunched over typing out her full PIN 4 times.

Do not bleed on this page

A GCSE student who says he cannot sit his exams after he was stabbed has been refused exemption from the exam board. The 16-year-old may be held back a year as the board will not honour his predicted grades of A*-A. Apparently, the board can only grant certificates in ‘exceptional circumstances’ like illness, injury or by being a victim of a crime.

Is it just me or does anyone else think this exam board must be stocked by people who also have no GCSEs if they fail to realise that stabbing is a crime? Not a good look for those police cuts when being stabbed in London is no longer thought of as an exceptional circumstance. It’s now a part of the tourism trade. ‘See Big Ben! Ride a Routemaster! Get shanked! The London experience’. The boy lost part of his lung when he was stabbed in the chest in a random attack and does not feel ready to take exams yet. Completely fair enough. I didn’t feel mentally ready for mine and all I lost was 4 weeks of revision and a clear pencil case.