Friday, September 08, 2006


Every now and again the BBC Radio 4 6.30 p.m. slot hits magic; a programme so entertaining it was a privilege to be there. Find 'Listen again ' on the BBC web-site and listen (not again) if you missed it to last night's edition of Genius.

Now Dave Gorman is a genius and the programme encourages listeners to write in with their genius ideas to be assessed by Dave and a celebrity guest. Last night's guest was Johnny Vegas a man who places the war with his own inner demons in the public domain.

First up was a man who suggested that people who wanted to go metal detecting without the humiliation and stigma of being seen as metal detectors could have a device located under a small dog such as a dachshund. The lead could double as a er, lead and earpieces would give the impression you were a cool dog walker with an Ipod, not a metal detector.

Dave Gorman, 'I tend to avoid the stigma and humiliation of metal detecting by not metal detecting.'

Johnny Vegas, ''79% of the treasure in Britain remains undiscovered' is the sort of statistic you can make up without argument.'

Next up two guys who, with a scientific, male, systematising attitude to life asked for a new categorisation method for opposites. If you ask someone what the opposite of knife is they will say fork. But that, they say, is only a spacial opposite. In order to find the true opposite you need to analyse function. The function of a knife is to cut, so the true opposite is something that joins. How about glue?

That's only going to work so far, said Dave Gorman, chopping down a whole stag weekend in Milan's research with a single blow. What about a multi-functional thing such as a Swiss army knife.

Johnny Vegas immediately leaped in, suggesting that since a Swiss army knife had many purposes all of which were useful the obvious opposite was himself.

In order to test the theory Dave Gorman separated the two inventors and told them that if their system worked then they would both come up with the same opposites for random items. Thus separated they were asked the opposite of trousers and both came up with ice-filled trousers or ice-pants. The opposite of sausage? One suggested a dog turd and the other a fast-spinning kebab rotisserie.

Dave Gorman, 'Your answers are alarmingly similar again.'

Then a woman who suggested that gig tickets should require applicants to declare their height and this would decide the order in which they could stand.

Finally a guy who suggested that since we had so many heritage towns and villages such as Beamish or Ironbridge why didn't we save ourselves work in the future by deciding whose turn it was next and putting a wall round it, banning all further development and making it a living museum. We could go and gawp at the residents, trapped in a living past and banned from capitalising on any further technological advances. Dave Gorman thought this the best use for Bromsgrove he had ever heard.

Genius. Go listen. Now.


Martin said...

I already did - see my earlier but shorter post. I was tipped off by virtue of being on Dave Gorman's myspace "friend" list. He sent out a bulletin recommending people listened to his own show. I do have to wonder if this will eventually lead to him trying to find a chain of genius ideas and to become obsessed and start travelling round the world again.

Anonymous said...

I want to buy a metal detector but I don't know which is the best. I found a lot of informations about that on http://www.METAL-DETECTOR-REVIEW.COM and I want to know more about which model is ideal for treasure hunting. Any recommendations would be appreciated, make and model, etc)


St said...

I recommend you ask someone who knows about metal detectors.