The Pogues

Simian Substitute Site for April 2008: La Tanière Désagréable De Fessée Le Singe

La Tanière Désagréable De Fessée Le SingeOkay, I'll admit March was a little light in terms of new material. (Mind you, I'm quite pleased with myself about the huge number of video links I managed to cram into the British Animation Awards piece.) April should be a bit more active, anyway. There are at least three things I did just in the last weekend that I'm planning to write about, so look out for updates in the Movies, Theatre and Travel sections accordingly. Plus a heads-up regarding the latest in cult television, and possibly a few other items as well. Most important of all: no reposts.

Except for, er, this one.

Because your Simian Substitute Site Of The Month for April 2008 is La Tanière Désagréable De Fessée Le Singe, which is a repost from the old site dating back to 1999. Specifically, dating back to April 1st 1999. By then, the Unpleasant Lair had been doing business for eight months or so, and I was still trying to work out what I was doing with it. And it struck me that it would be fun to try an April Fool's gag.

So I came up with this spurious premise about how the whole site had to be in French from now on, and for the morning of April 1st this is what readers saw when they visited. The job was made all the easier by my limiting the scope of the translated site to the homepage, the five most recent articles linked to from it, and the letters page - I could have translated everything in the archive as well, but quite frankly life's too short.

As for the translation itself, it's a quick and dirty job using Babelfish. Part of the fun looking back at the page now is seeing what a mess Babelfish made of it, skipping some words and completely misinterpreting others. (I particularly cherish the mails received from regular correspondent Vieux Retard.) A couple of years later, I found the letters page was highlighted on Philippe Noth's site dedicated to rubbish automated translations: sadly, once he'd realised I'd done it as a joke, he removed the link to me. Booo!

And no, I've never tried doing an April Fool joke on the site since. Or have I?  In the meantime, while it still lasts, enjoy this one from hotel review site Mr and Mrs Smith, slightly spoilt though it is by a terrible lapse in HTML coding.

Comments, anyone?


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