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The BBC’s lack of a sense of humor

I received an email today regarding my fingernail clipping collection. It was from the BBC and it read:

Subject: BBC 3 Show
I stumbled across your website and noticed your box of toe nail clippings. WE are currently looking for people to take part in an exciting new show about people with funny habits. I wondered if you would be interested in talking about your collection of nails? Are you UK based? It would be great if you could email me a contact telephone number so that we can have a chat? Or your email address?

I was excited to find out they wanted to film me, as previous interviews I have done were all on radio stations (in New Zealand, for some reason. I’m big in New Zealand).

So I wrote back and told them I’d be happy to do it. However, they replied:

Hi Will,
Thank you for your email. That’s a shame that you live in the US, do you know of anyone with a similar habit who lives in the UK?

Laura Stebbing

A shame I live in the US? A bit disappointed, I wrote her back in an overtly sarcastic tone:

Well, I don’t think it’s a shame, really. I actually like it here.

I’ll have to dig out my “International Directory of Fingernail Clipping Collectors, 2010 Edition” and get back to you on the name of someone in the UK who collects their nails with whom you can speak. We are a tight-knit club whose loose lips tend to sink ships, so finding someone may be difficult. I will let you know.


I figured that would be the end of it, or that she would reply with something equally as snarky. Apparently, my “humour” excaped her:

Hi Will,
Thank you, any help would be very much appreciated and please let me know if you have any questions. We are currently filming in the UK, so
anyone UK based would be great.

Thanks again,

Maybe the period at the end of her name was her way of saying “You jerk, I would tell you what I think of you but my email is being monitored by my bosses, so I can’t.”

Whatever the case, I thought that conversation was too good not to share.

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