Obscure titles: A reference guide



I bloody love writing this blog. I devote much more time, care and attention to it than to anything I get paid to write, and keep more back-ups than are strictly necessary in the event that Blogger decides to screw around with it or delete the whole thing, like it's done with me in the past. It would be like losing a child.

I don't have any commercial aspirations for this blog, which serves a few important functions for me: it's a useful diary to help me keep track of what I've been doing, a place to upload my photos, a vent for extremely minor creativity so I don't have to write stories or anything, and a way I can let anyone who's interested enough to check know what I'm getting up to, as I'm too antisocial for social networks or catch-up emails.

But this blog is mostly written for me, which is why I don't hold back when it comes to making off-putting and obscure references, or using the first terrible pun title that comes to mind for each entry. Sometimes, I even take strange delight in some of my near-impenetrably cryptic choices, though I can never tell if I cross the line into genuine engima, or if it's still possible to get the reference if you were also born in 1985, had the same upbringing I did and were exposed to all the exact same sensory inputs I've experienced. Is that too much to ask?

But just in case some of them passed you by (and while I still have lots of paid work I should really be doing instead of writing this beloved rubbish), here's a time-wastingly comprehensive compendium of all the references, homages and really bad puns in my blog titles. I might forget or not bother to keep it updated regularly though - you'll just have to raise your game.



Note: This list does not include weak and obvious pun titles based on place names that work on just one level. The ones here are similarly weak, but work on literally two levels.


I. Obvious/obscure references (in chronological order)


Down and Out in...: George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris and London (1933)

Up VesuviusUp Pompeii! (1969-70)

Don't judge a man by the quality of his footwear: Judging someone by their shoes seems like one of those commonly heard things, but this was specifically a misremembered REM lyric that turns out not to be about that

And did those feetUnnamed poem by William Blake (1808)

Cheap as Cheops: Cheops is the Greek name of Egyptian pharaoh Khufu, who 'built' the Great Pyramid of Giza. 'Cheap as chips' is best known as a catchphrase of orange eccentric David Dickenson

It's always sunny in PhilaeIt's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (2005-)

Well, that about wraps it up for Egypt/Taiwan/Cambodia/Peninsular Malaysia/Brunei: Oolon Colluphid, Well, That About Wraps It Up For God (fictional book in Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, 1978/9)

Get your ass to MarsThis scene from Total Recall (1990 - what, that wasn't an 80s film? I guess it would have at least been made in the 80s, so that makes sense)

Master of the UniverseMasters of the Universe toy, cartoon and one rubbish film franchise (mostly 80s)

The American Adventure of KaohsiungThe American Adventure theme park in Derbyshire, England (1987-2007)

Don't have a Kaohsiung, man/Don't have a Khaosan, manBart Simpson catchphrase not heard much beyond 1992

Dulan, where's Ami car?Dude, Where's My Car? (2000 - rubbish film, but particularly pleased with this one)

There's a Rattanakosin, what am I gonna do?: UB40, 'Rat in Mi Kitchen' (1987)

Rellling in Thailand: Alternative to 'chillaxing' coined by Richard Herring

Turtle power: Catchphrase from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-96)

Don't make me Ang Thong.../You wouldn't like me when I'm Ang Thong/You Wat-n't like me when I'm Angkor/Batu wouldn't Kek Lok Si when I'm Penangry: Catch-phrase of the Incredible Hulk in the 1977-82 TV series that I never saw, via a Stewart Lee routine

The Secret of Monkey BeachThe Secret of Monkey Island (1990)

Highlander/II/III/IV/IslanderHighlander film series (1986-)

Highlander III: The Skunk Hunters of Gliese 581 g: Hypothetical exoplanet Gliese 581 g

T.A.I. Friday: A saying, a restaurant chain and specifically this TV show (1996-2000)

Malaysia's Got SingersThis (2006-)

Ner ner ner ner, ner ner ner ner, Batu CavesBatman TV series theme song (1966-68)

Malacca - A study in scarlet: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet (1887)

Tea for the Tioman: Cat Stevens, 'Tea for the Tillerman' (1970)

Tioman kangaroo down, sport: Rolf Harris, 'Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport' (1957)

Raymond Luxury YachtThis sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-74)

Mandarin WednesdaysOrange Wednesdays promotion (2003-)

We came, we saw, we opened a bankJulius Caesar (47 BCE)

See you in hell: A common saying, but specifically this song by Grim Reaper (1984)

Ridged for her pleasureThis scene from Wayne's World (1992)

The lunatics are in the hall: Pink Floyd, 'Brain Damage' (1973)

Due southDue South (1994-99)

Paradise effing lost: John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667)

Paradise regain'd: John Milton, Paradise Regained (1671)

Into the lungs of hell: Megadeth, 'Into the Lungs of Hell' (1988)

Malang and winding road: The Beatles, 'The Long and Winding Road' (1970)

Twelve monkeys12 Monkeys (1995)

Big momma's templeBig Momma's House (2000)

Fortune favours the feckless: Virgil, Aeneid (19 BCE)

Tears in rainThis scene from Blade Runner (1982)

Mamma miaSuper Mario 64 (1996 - not ABBA)

Cruise for a conkCruise for a Corpse (1991)

Curious orangThis weekly segment from This Morning With Richard Not Judy (1998-99)

All work and no playThis scene from The Shining (1980)

Bignose strikes again: The Smiths, 'Bigmouth Strikes Again' (1986)

They're grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-goodKellogg's Frosties TV adverts (mostly 90s - I like how they bothered to dub the voice-over for the UK, even though they're still playing an American sport no one plays in the UK)

Crime and gunishmentThis scene from Brass Eye (2001)

Sufferin' Sukhothai: Catchphrase of Sylvester (Looney Tunes) (1945-)

Preah KhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanThis scene from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chang is: David Bowie, 'Changes' (1971)

We'll tear your Seoul apartThis scene from Hellraiser (1987)

Now I know my DMZ, won't you come and infiltrate me: Charles Bradlee, 'The A.B.C.' (1835)

Taejongdae is a good day to die: This scene from Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

You're snow fun anymore: This sketch from Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969)

The time traveller's strife: Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife (2003)

Never mind the Bulguksa: This TV series or this album (1977)

Whoa-oah, we're halfway... where?: Bon Jovi, 'Livin' on a Prayer' (1986)

Seoul long and thanks for all the kimchi / Chalong and thanks for all the honey: Douglas Adams, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish (1984)

Macaques all, folks!: Looney Tunes (1930-69)

Learning Japanese I think I'm learning Japanese I really think so (I am): This song by The Vapors (1980)

The machines rose from the ashes of the nuclear fire: This scene from The Terminator (1984)

Where dreams come true: Disney Parks slogan

Hey ma look, it's me!: Lyric from Metallica, 'Prince Charming' (1997)

Bye bye baby: Bay City Rollers, 'Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye)' (1975)

My wife loves your city: Catch-phrase of Columbo (1968-2003)

The fresh prince of bell stupas: The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (1990-96)

Into the lion's den: A common analogy, but specifically a pair of Farscape episodes (2002)

We fort them hard, we fort them well: Lyric from Iron Maiden, 'Run to the Hills' (1982)

I (don't) have the powerrrrrr: Catchphrase of He-Man (1983-85)

The longest month: Iron Maiden, 'The Longest Day' (2006 - I must have been going through a Maiden phase)

Maid in Japan: Deep Purple, Made in Japan (1972)

Kyoto-tal Recall: I think I've referenced Total Recall a few times already. Not quite as much as the Ninja Turtles and Postman Pat, but it's getting there

Just as sloshed as Schlegel: 'The Philosophers Song,' The Monty Python Matching Tie and Handkerchief (1973)

Bukhansan and Gretel: Oh come on

The Hwaseong remains the same: Led Zeppelin, 'The Song Remains the Same,' Houses of the Holy (1973)

Down with this sort of thing!: This scene from Father Ted (1995-98)

Oh, Yuexiu sir!: This sketch from The Fast Show (1994-2000)

Paradise Laost: John Milton, Paradise Lost (1667)

Hello there Vietnam, how are you this morning? Good.: Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

The tortoise hunter: The Deer Hunter (1978)

Mm, that's nice too / Mm, look what's nice now: Look Who's Talking Too / Look Who's Talking Now (1990/1993)

Say Hoa Lo to my little friend: This scene from Scarface (1983 - alright, so it's not a Vietnam film)

The Conquest of Monkey Island™: The Monkey Island adventure game franchise (1990-)

Burmese days: George Orwell, Burmese Days (1934)

A Buddhist trilogy (of five): Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy 'trilogy' of five (1979-1992). Yes, it's five, not six. Philistines.

Mandalay me down to sleep: Joseph Addison, 'Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep' (1711)

Here's what you could have lived: Based on the catchphrase from Bullseye (1982-95)

I don't want Si Chang the world: Billy Bragg, 'A New England,' Life's a Riot with Spy Vs Spy (1983)

In-between days: The Cure, 'In Between Days,' The Head on the Door (1985)

Rockin' the suburbs: Ben Folds, 'Rockin' the Suburbs,' Rockin' the Suburbs (2001)

Kind of blue / red / green / grey / Black(heath): Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (1959)

A nightmare to remember / A nicemare to remember: Walter Lord, A Night to Remember (1955)

Can't get me out of my head: Kylie Minogue, 'Can't Get You Out of My Head,' Fever (2001)

I'm blue, da ba dee, almost died: Eiffel 65, 'Blue (Da Ba Dee),' Europop (1999)

On the buses: On the Buses (1969-73), obviously

Going underground: The Jam, 'Going Underground' (1980)

Rama IX is watching you: George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

Faking it: Simon and Garfunkel, 'Fakin' It' (1967, as opposed to the TV show)

Hello me, it's me again: Lyric from Megadeth, 'Sweating Bullets,' Countdown to Extinction (1992)

Davey day care: Daddy Day Care (2003. Not seen it)

Bleak mirror: Black Mirror (2011-)

We don't need no stinkin' Kong: Misquoted line from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Never Sai never a-gon (Saigon): Never Say Never Again (1983)

The war in Viet Flippin' Nam: This scene from Forrest Gump (1994)

Insanity is a full-time job: Lyric from Bad Religion, 'Sanity,' No Control (1989)

The uncultured show: The Culture Show (2004-)

Ad nauseam for a dream: Requiem for a Dream (2000)

I am a free man, I just quite like my cell: Catch-phrase from The Prisoner (1967-68)

Heroes in a half-shell: Catch-phrase of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987-96)

Sapi days: Happy Days (1974-84)

Carry on Kampung Silou: Carry On Camping (1969)

Around the world in 64 minutes: Jules Verne, Around the- ... surely I don't need to explain this one

It don't matter if you're black or white, though as usual white is preferred: Michael Jackson, 'Black or White,' Dangerous (1991)

The final Kuta: Pink Floyd, The Final Cut (1982)

Oliver is... Paphosterous: Oliver's blog

Even the vegetables don't like him: This scene from The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

Dream a little dream of pees: Fabian Andre, Wilbur Schwandt and Gus Kahn, 'Dream a Little Dream of Me' (c.1931)

Karon Eileen: Dexys Midnight Runners, 'Come On Eileen' (1982)

Samui twoui: Banjo-Tooie (2000), I guess

Loudness wars: Thailand vs. Philippines: Loudness war

Singapore confidential / Hong Kongfidential: L.A. Confidential (1997), presumably

Inception this!: It'll come to me.

I've been a bad, bad boy: It was actually an Ozzy Osbourne lyric, but then I found out Uncle Jack did one too

A long way from Tipperary: Jack Judge and Henry James "Harry" Williams, 'It's a Long Way to Tipperary' (1914-ish)

...and justice for me: Metallica, ...And Justice for All (1988)

The BFG's B-sides: Roald Dahl, The BFG (1982)

Great Scott: Back to the Future, innit

Alrightreads: Goodreads

No more shall we apartelle: Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, No More Shall We Part (2001)


II. The somewhere of somewhere else


Lazy journalistic device of comparing one place with another place due to perceived superficial similarities:


Venezia - The Venice of Italy
From the Athens of the North to the Athens of Greece
The American Adventure of Kaohsiung
The Chester of Thailand
Singapore - The Isle of Wight of Malaysia
Jeju - The Isle of Wight of South Korea
The Valley of the Kings of South Korea
The Brixham of South Korea
The York of South Korea
Hong Kong - The Edinburgh of the East
The Chiang Mai of the slightly to the north east
Literally the Newcastle of the south


III. Childish days out


A childish day out | again | again | again | again | again | again (again) | again | again | again | again | again | again | again | again | again (justified) | again again
An accidental day out
A prelapsarian day out
A harrowing day out


IV. Where's my goddamn ice cream?


If I have been promised something exciting by a destination, I tend to feel understandably let down and not a little vexed when said thing doesn't materialise:


Where are my goddamn monkeys? / There's my goddamn monkey!
Where are my goddamn freaks?
Where's my goddamn escalator? / There's my goddamn escalator!
Where's my goddamn rice?
Where's my goddamn fanny?


V. Rubbish jokes


Va. Jamaica?


Variants of this old but totally excellent joke:

'My wife's gone on holiday to the Caribbean.'
'Jamaica?'
'No, she wanted to go.'

Attempted with increasingly desperate and tenuous puns:


Ayutthaya? No, there's just something in my eye ('Are you tired?')
Kuala Lumpur? No, she walked into a door ('Did a koala lump her?' (Does this even make sense? What was I talking about?))
Sentosa? No thanks, she already has a full complement of toes ('Did you send toes to her?')
Bedugul? No, the gull and I are just good friends ('Did you bed a gull?')
Sagada? Yes son, your ma ain't as firm as she used to be ('She's saggy, dad?')
Phi Phi? You should have gone before we left (Surely you don't need me to explain this one)
Mekong? No, you Simon (A giant ape with basic speaking abilities gets his name wrong)
Kinabalu? No thanks, I don't want to be eaten (It was either 'cannibal you?' or 'can I boil you?' Both work)
Candidasa? Should have checked for Haribos before you sat down ('Candied ass?' The 'a' is silent)


Vb. Knock, knock


Hanok, knock. Who's there? Jeonj. Jeonj-who? Correct (A bit like this one)
Gyeongju glad the banana's gone? (A reference to a variant of this one that makes no sense if you don't have the requisite background knowledge, and still doesn't make a lot of sense even if you do. Thus, a perfect blog title)



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