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The Man Who Slipped on the Ice
December 22, 2011 9:55 AM   Subscribe

During the big freeze of Europe's Winter 2009/2010, which brought us the stunning image of a frozen Great Britain, the tough conditions in Ireland were epitomized by the misfortune of the guy falling on RTE's Six-One News report , who shot to infamy through facebook and other social Media.

Now two years on a short film catches up with Brendan Adhere - The Man Who Slipped on the Ice
posted by TwoWordReview (38 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
He was anti-eponysterical.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:02 AM on December 22, 2011 [24 favorites]


Thanks for this. I thought it was pitch-perfect and funny as hell.
Worthy of The Daily Show, at its best.
(off tO watch it again and forward to laugh-deprived friends)

(also, too, it made me want to watch Father Ted)
posted by mer2113 at 10:19 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's hard to tell from a low-res YouTube video, but the guy coming the other way is Peter Guzli.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:20 AM on December 22, 2011


Cute.
posted by 13twelve at 10:26 AM on December 22, 2011


Google-fu fails me, but there is a video of a news reporter slipping on ice, and the last thing she says before slipping is "Islip."
posted by swift at 10:28 AM on December 22, 2011


There's always a fall guy.
posted by MtDewd at 10:41 AM on December 22, 2011


Someone please do an endless loop of this.

"It's still dangerous for Dublin pedestrians."
* walk, walk, walk, shli-MACK *
"It's still dangerous for Dublin pedestrians."
* walk, walk, walk, shli-MACK*
"It's still dangerous for Dublin pedestrians."
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:41 AM on December 22, 2011


I keep wanting to laugh at the original video, but then I imagine hitting my head against stone and then ice and I sober up pretty fast.
posted by DU at 10:47 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I’m missing the comedy gene that makes you think that watching people fall is funny, but I did think the video was pretty funny. Fake falling is funny but real falling isn’t? I’m not sure. Comedy is complicated.
posted by bongo_x at 10:52 AM on December 22, 2011


That man was obviously unaccustomed to weather conditions that are rare where he lives!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:56 AM on December 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


yeah, the peripheral stuff is funny, but the fall...ow!!! he fell hard and hit his head. I'm amazed he wasnt injured.
posted by supermedusa at 11:04 AM on December 22, 2011


yeah, the peripheral stuff is funny, but the fall...ow!!! he fell hard and hit his head. I'm amazed he wasnt injured.

My first year at college, we had a pretty bad ice storm (for the location) that left a nice 1-2" coating of ice all over the school. I slipped a couple times, but one of my dormmates actually ended up getting a concussion from a fall he took.
posted by LionIndex at 11:07 AM on December 22, 2011


"The question of whether or not this viral video is humorous is really one of the great conundrums of this, the 21st century, in such a society as our digitally connected one, where the ubiquity of the world wide web constantly encroaches upon our sensibilities, ever dulling as they are."

Martin Twill
A Professor
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:17 AM on December 22, 2011


I was in Dublin in December 2010, and they seemed to just be ignoring the inch or so of ice on the sidewalks, and it was fucking treacherous. I had a rough time as a fairly mobile 30-something, I can't imagine what an older person would have done.

Then I went to Germany and they had adorable little snowplows just for the sidewalks, and cleared the snow almost before it fell.

I think there's an analogy to the financial crisis in there somewhere.
posted by smackfu at 11:18 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


smackfu, walking safely on sidewalks is a sure sign of being in a nanny state. Glad you were able to get out before they offer you a pension or medical care!
posted by maxwelton at 11:23 AM on December 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


We've got adorable little sidewalk snowplows not only in the US, but in NH, home of the Free State Project and the last state in the country to have government-funded kindergarten.

So...not a sign of nanny-statism.
posted by DU at 11:29 AM on December 22, 2011


My first winter in Michigan, I was living in a house with an unpaved driveway that was tough to shovel, so the residual snow would harden into an icepack. Well, the weather started to warm a bit, so the ice was slick and snowmelt was dripping off the carport, drilling a little hole in the ice. I went out to get something out of the trunk of the car, did a nice classic feet-out-from-under fall, and my head went dunk right into the headsize hole filled with icewater. Avoided a concussion nicely, but got a hatful of freezing water down the back when I stood up. Only then did my neighbors begin applauding.
posted by Existential Dread at 11:32 AM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Live Free or Die Slipping on the Ice
posted by schmod at 11:36 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I grew up in Texas, and went to college in Connecticut. I was radically unprepared for sidewalk ice, and fell comically flat on the ground probably a dozen times that first winter before I figured out the pigeon-toed shuffle. Even then, I'd occasionally turn to yell to a friend across the quad and WHAM. It just seemed like such an insult, the idea that friction and gravity would join forces to abrogate my fundamental contract with the ground.
posted by KathrynT at 11:36 AM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Inspiring comments from that YouTube link:
"bahahahahahahaha keep pressing 8 XD"
"Press '8' on your keyboard and When he falls he says oh shit jahahahahah :P THUMBS UP!"
"I look this up every year! so funny!"
"hahhaha sounds like he says aoh shits"


50% of people have an IQ lower than 100.
50% of people have an IQ lower than 100.
50% of people have an IQ lower than 100.
I gotta keep things in perspective here.
posted by crapmatic at 11:37 AM on December 22, 2011


But, that's 150%!
posted by Burhanistan at 11:39 AM on December 22, 2011 [9 favorites]


Anyone who thinks slipping on ice is funny hasn't sat in an ER in the spring, completely full of old people with broken wrists and hips.
posted by unSane at 12:02 PM on December 22, 2011


I doubt that many people "think" that slipping on ice is funny. It's more that sub-cortical reflex reaction that also laughs at slapstick. It doesn't mean that you are a bad person if you involuntarily chuckle for a moment.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:12 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why I found the video so adorable and funny and, dare I say, heartwarming. But I did. I had a nagging concern that the whole thing wasn't real and/or Adhere isn't actually the guy who fell. Can anyone put my mind to rest on these points?

And, like others, I don't find the original video funny because that looks like a painful and dangerous hit on his head. I almost never find people falling to be funny. The solitary exception is, for some reason, the grape-stomping news reporter, which probably still today would make me laugh uncontrollably.

But I'd feel guilty about it.

"I grew up in Texas, and went to college in Connecticut. I was radically unprepared for sidewalk ice..."

I guess because 90% of Texans live in the parts of the state that don't get very cold, this little quirk of those particular Texans is understandable. But there are big swaths of the state that get a lot of snow and cold. (Will Rogers supposedly said that the only thing between Amarillo and the North Pole was a barbed-wire fence.) And it's not as if, say, Californians from the coast are often heard saying how, growing up in California, the whole experience of ice and snow is alien to them.

Funny thing is, I'm not a Texan so I'm not sure why this bothers me, except that it snowed more in Amarillo when I lived there than it did in Santa Fe when I lived there (and Santa Fe's at almost 7K feet in elevation); and both when I lived in DFW and in Austin, and all my life when I've talked to people who grew up in North/Central/Coastal Texas, they always talk about Texas as if there's nothing more characteristic of Texas than the absence of snow. It's weird.

That said, it was very interesting to me to note the cultural differences between Toronto, where my ex-wife was from, her sensibilities and experiences, and Santa Fe when we lived there. Putting aside the whole not-driving-a-car-very-much thing which does distort this comparison, it was a surprise to me that I had to teach her how to drive on snow and ice. (Of course, I've had to teach a lot of people how to drive on snow and ice who should have already known how. Every time I see someone spinning their wheels it makes me want to slap them. But I digress.) We lived about twenty miles out of town in the mountains at an even higher elevation and there was snowpack all through the winter and they didn't even always plow the Interstate nearby we had to use—the local highway and, of course, the dirt road where we lived were rarely to never plowed.

But when I visited TO, I realized that, you know, the salting and plowing operation is so regular and reliable, that Torontonians usually don't have to worry about it. I assume that the same is true of similar places. (Maybe when it gets really harsh, the attitude is that you should know how to deal with it and why would you expect the government to hold your hand, anyway? That's what I somehow expect the attitude to be in, say, Fairbanks. We'll leave Saskatoon out of the discussion because discretion is the better part of valor.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 12:13 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's true. I should say that I grew up in Houston, where it is well-known that residents can freeze to death at room temperature. They closed my school for a quarter-inch of snow that melted by 10 AM, not because of the danger, but because of the novelty factor.
posted by KathrynT at 12:31 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can anyone put my mind to rest on these points?

From the video description:
Written by Tom Walsh and Kevin McGahern. Performed by Kevin McGahern (as Brendan Adhere), Tom Walsh (interviewer) and Edwin Sammon (as a professor).
I think the video is more of a comment on the slight craze there was/is in Ireland for tracking down who the anonymous guy actually was (he appears still to be at large).

(also I don't think the humour comes purely from "man falling down and hurting himself" -- there's a large degree of sympathetic cringing involved (a sort of "there but for the grace of God" response). In addition there's the timing, the solemnity of the narration (and the context -- the Six One news not being noted for its comedy), and amusement at the possible artifice that may have gone in to the set-up)
posted by rollick at 12:32 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the video is more of a comment on the slight craze there was/is in Ireland

Could you please stop derailing this thread by talking about Ireland ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:35 PM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Jebus, cheer up peoples, the bloke himself is happy to take the mick out of himself.

Yes, people falling and injuring themselves is bad, this isn't that. This is also not about state vs ppl or snow clearing tech, its just funny.

This realisation is what makes the Irish better than the rest of you shower ... sometimes stuff is bad, sometimes its good, but sure you've got to laugh.

The way you spring up after you've fallen, looking around, hoping nobody noticed, before deciding if you've hurt yourself is one of the worlds most self concious, farcical acts.
posted by fistynuts at 12:47 PM on December 22, 2011


sorry, my bad : Performed by Kevin McGahern (as Brendan Adhere) I'm sure all his mates are quite happy to take the mick out of him down the pub ...

Further, for all the think of the old people brigade, Ireland still manages to have a sense of community, to which old people are allowed to bring their knitting and victoria sponge cake.

At least if and old person fell over in the street there, people would stop to help, and not solely for the purpose of theiving their handbag
posted by fistynuts at 12:55 PM on December 22, 2011


I suspect there are two kinds of people in the world: people who think someone falling down is funny and people who don't. My sister laughs uncontrollably when people fall down, but I don't. She also laughed uncontrollably through her entire wedding, so who knows what that means.

The video is hilarious, though.
posted by Hildegarde at 1:03 PM on December 22, 2011


"My sister laughs uncontrollably when people fall down, but I don't. She also laughed uncontrollably through her entire wedding, so who knows what that means."

You're setting up a punch-line, right?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:08 PM on December 22, 2011


Ireland still manages to have a sense of community, to which old people are allowed to bring their knitting and victoria Wolfe Tone sponge cake
posted by sgt.serenity at 1:12 PM on December 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'd prefer a short film about this woman.
posted by dhartung at 1:47 PM on December 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyone who thinks slipping on ice is funny hasn't sat in an ER in the spring, completely full of old people with broken wrists and hips.

Well you shouldn't have eaten so many old people obviously
posted by ook at 2:02 PM on December 22, 2011 [17 favorites]


ook, you just made my day.

and yes, having slipped down about ten steps down from the entrance of my dorm on a icy day in austin, texas, it's not funny. but everyone who saw me fall seemed to think it was.
posted by Partario at 3:00 PM on December 22, 2011


ah, I remember this clip from from the poor guy falling from Charlie Brookers Newswipe...
posted by ts;dr at 3:05 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


There but for the grace of God go I. A couple of winters ago I was crossing a park which was bisected by a path of snow that had been tramped down into ice suitable for skating. I got about three quarters of the way across before I wiped out; I distinctly remember seeing one of my feet above my head as I fell. Fortunately for me I landed on the small of my back, which hurt like hell but was greatly preferable to hitting my head. As it was I hit the ice so hard the iPod in my coat pocket came to rest a good 7-8 feet away. If someone had been around to film it I'm sure I'd be a YouTube/animated GIF superstar.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:19 PM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think of pedestrians slipping on ice as truely authentic artisinal indie figure skating. There is a terrible imperfect graceless beauty to the flailing limbs and sudden impact. It is a milliechronic encapsulation of an entire life fighting and succumbing to unseen forces. Also, like most artisinal things it really works better with rock salt.
posted by srboisvert at 3:39 AM on December 23, 2011 [2 favorites]


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