Natasha Exelby got a rude shock in 2017
Natasha Exelby got a rude shock in 2017

At least your 2017 wasn’t this bad

FOR many, the festive period is a time for family, friends and celebration.

For some, it's about seeing how many beers, chardonnays, merlots or gin and tonics - whatever your poison - it takes to forget what's been a real stinker of a year. This is a story for those people.

Oh, and for people whose favourite hobby is taking pleasure in other people's misfortune, of course.

You might think your 2017 was a debacle no bender can entirely erase, but we reckon we've found some guys and girls whose past 12 months will make you realise your life isn't so bad after all. Unless you ran over yourself with your own car, threw millions of dollars down the drain or were schooled by a 12-year-old girl, that is.

So pop the cork or unscrew the top and take a look at the poor souls who will remember 2017 for all the wrong reasons.

PEPSI'S TONE-DEAF BLUNDER

Kendall Jenner saved the day with a Pepsi
Kendall Jenner saved the day with a Pepsi

Kim Kardashian probably spent longer planning her sex tape with Ray J than the amount of time it took for Pepsi to pull an ad featuring her half-sister Kendall Jenner.

The ad showed Jenner using Pepsi to end a standoff between demonstrators and police, but it was canned a day after it first aired when it sparked outrage for appropriating images from Black Lives Matter protests.

At a time when racial tensions were high and protests over alleged police brutality were dominating the headlines, the ad was so tone deaf it may have actually enjoyed listening to the talentless no-hopers who appear during the Australian Idol audition phase.

 

We'll hazard a guess Jenner's probably a Coke drinker now.

YOU HAD ONE JOB!

Whoops
Whoops

Imagine working towards something your entire life, dedicating every ounce of yourself to making one dream come true, only to have it ripped away when your elation reached its peak.

Welcome to the 2017 Oscars.

Actor Warren Beatty had the task of announcing the final award of the night for Best Picture and proclaimed La La Land the winner. Cue cheers, hugs and backslaps all around.

It's a pity the real winner was Moonlight. La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz took the microphone when the error was realised, saying: "I'm sorry, no, there's a mistake. Moonlight, you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke. Come on. This is not a joke. I'm afraid they read the wrong thing."

Beatty was reportedly given the incorrect envelope and now he'll forever be associated with one of the rare red carpet event faux pas that didn't involve a wardrobe malfunction.

To be honest, we don't think all the fuss was warranted. We reckon Beatty was just paying tribute to Steve Harvey's performance at the 2015 Miss Universe pageant.

HARVEY WEINSTEIN AND CO.

Harvey Weinstein and plenty of others were in the headlines for all the wrong reasons
Harvey Weinstein and plenty of others were in the headlines for all the wrong reasons

Harvey Weinstein's life has crumbled around him as countless allegations of sexual harassment emerged this year.

While you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who's sympathetic to the Hollywood icon - if the accusations are true then any person affected by his actions has suffered far worse than he - you can't argue that 2017 quickly turned into the year from hell for Weinstein.

Of course, he wasn't alone. Australian TV personality Don Burke, comedian Louis C.K., actor Kevin Spacey, and US breakfast TV presenter Matt Lauer were among a host of others to be publicly named and shamed in accusations of sexual misconduct.

'IF MY WIFE KNOWS, I'M DEAD'

Anyone with the foresight to invest in bitcoin when the cryptocurrency was in its infancy is laughing as the price smashed through a new milestone of $20,000 in 2017.

Technology enthusiast Alex* should be one of those people, but it's hard to find time to laugh when you're busy regretting a mistake that will haunt you for eternity.

He started "mining" bitcoins for fun back in 2009, before it was known how valuable the cryptocurrency would become. He mined so many - more than 1000, he estimates - he had to move them onto an encrypted wallet file on a USB.

He didn't think much else about it until 2013, when one bitcoin was worth $AUD1280.

"(I plugged) the USB stick back in to try and access the file, but the stick died. It was one of those cheap made-in-China ones," Alex said.

Today, 1000 bitcoins are worth more than $AUD21 million. Alex is not.

"Worst mistake of my life," he said. "Never back up anything on a cheap Chinese-made disk or USB stick.

"If my wife knows I'm dead."

*Alex is not his real name. We assume he asked for anonymity because of fears his wife would, genuinely, kill him.

THIS PEN IS MORE EXCITING THAN MY JOB

TV news presenter Natasha Exelby was caught by surprise
TV news presenter Natasha Exelby was caught by surprise

ABC News 24 presenter Natasha Exelby picked the wrong moment to slack off at work, nearly jumping out of her chair - literally - when she momentarily failed to realise she was on air in April.

After a prerecorded package the cameras went back to Exelby, who was seen lazily fiddling with a pen. She quickly realised she was back on screen and reacted with horror, but soldiered on and quickly threw to the sports reporter.

It was initially reported ABC had banned the freelancer from any future on-air roles after the gaffe, which sparked outrage and led to a huge public push for her to keep her job.

But the ABC later denied reports Exelby had been benched, saying any lack of on-air appearances was simply the result of roster quirks.

HEARTBREAK CITY, POPULATION: THESE GUYS

Whether it's the major or the minor leagues, some people just aren't cut out for sports - and we don't just mean playing them.

American baseball stadiums played host to a couple of cringeworthy scenes this year that prove just because every romantic gesture Hugh Grant's made in his on-screen career has come off, it doesn't mean yours will.

One man's marriage proposal at a minor league game in June went horribly wrong - even after he pulled out all the stops by having four guys (one of whom clearly missed the dress code about what colour shorts to wear) perform a routine that was more primary school Christmas pageant than Swan Lake.

 

With our expert lip-reading ability, we think this is what the woman whispered in his ear: "It's not you, it's that guy's black shorts."

That's not quite as bad as what another man endured in front of 30,000 fans at the famous Fenway Park in Boston during a Red Sox game. He'd probably spent years edging his way from the plate all the way to third base, only to be caught out heading for home in embarrassing fashion.

He asked his girlfriend to marry him on the big screen, but all signs pointed towards her saying no deal.

It was so awkward even the cameraman had to look away.

AUSSIE POLLIES AREN'T AS AUSTRALIAN AS THEY THOUGHT

Jacqui Lambie waved a teary goodbye to parliament
Jacqui Lambie waved a teary goodbye to parliament

Barnaby Joyce should call thongs "jandals", Fiona Nash has an excuse to drink warm beer and Jacqui Lambie can trade lamb chops for haggis after a host of Australian MPs were dragged into a political mess as citizenship became the hot topic of 2017.

Many were forced to quit parliament because they, unknowingly, boasted dual citizenship, failing to renounce their ties to other countries before they were elected.

Mr Joyce (New Zealand) was booted from the House of Representatives by the High Court over his citizenship but was re-elected in a by-election. Still, the hit-list of casualties is healthy enough without him, featuring: Jacqui Lambie (Scotland), Fiona Nash (UK), Stephen Parry (UK), Malcolm Roberts (UK), Scott Ludlam (New Zealand), Larissa Waters (Canada) and Skye Kakoschke-Moore (UK), and there could still be more to come.

The transition into life after parliament should be an easy one for these victims though because without a job they can lounge around and do nothing which, as far as we can tell, isn't that much different to politics anyway.

'YOUR WATER MAKES ME CHUNDER'

It's never pleasant having your ego cut down to size. But when it's a 12-year-old girl who goes full Mean Girls on you, chances are whatever shred of dignity you've been clinging to in order to convince your parents you aren't a complete failure is lost forever.

So next time you run into someone sobbing uncontrollably on a street corner, ask if they were the head chef of a Spanish restaurant who copped the most savage review of the year - from a pre-teen girl.

The unsatisfied customer from England - dining with her father, professional chef Gill Meller - was so appalled by what she'd eaten at an establishment recommended to the family she left a scathing critique on a napkin.

"It tastes like camp shop s**t," the napkin read. "I feel as if your calamri (sic) should be more crispy and your garlic mayo is discusting (sic).

"Your water is warm and makes me chunder.

"You need to provide butter with your bread and clean the table when people are finished.

"Your restraunt (sic) is hell in a shell."

Well that was brutal
Well that was brutal

Her spelling wasn't always on point but we'll overlook that because she came up with the genius that is "hell in a shell".

ULTIMATE TATTOO REGRET

No one can miss Mark Cropp’s tattoo
No one can miss Mark Cropp’s tattoo

Remember that time you woke up and your partner/mum/friend said, "You know what, getting a face tattoo seems like a really good idea"?

What's that? You don't? Oh, right, then you must be part of the 99 per cent of the population who thinks inking half your face is as smart a move as asking Stevie Wonder to park your car.

New Zealand man Mark Cropp got drunk one night when in prison and decided it would be a good idea to get a giant tattoo saying "DEVAST8" covering half his face. But to his shock, he was finding it difficult to find work adorned with the artistic masterpiece.

"One employment place said to me, 'I wouldn't employ you with that on your face, I wouldn't even take a second look at you.' I've had other people that just shrugged and laughed at me," Cropp said.

Please, take a minute to catch your breath. We could barely believe it either.

Cropp had one laser removal session after acknowledging the error of his ways then chucked a U-turn, deciding to keep his tattoo after all. Forget Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, Cropp could have played the role of both Dumb And Dumber in the 1994 classic.

FYRE FESTIVAL A HUMILIATING FAILURE

Someone should have thrown the plans for Fyre Festival into an actual fire and destroyed them forever before it had the chance to disappoint thousands of people.

Promoted by rapper Ja Rule and failed entrepreneur Billy McFarland, the festival descended into chaos when celebrities who promoted the festival stayed away and bands cancelled their appearances. Cashed-up socialites, who were set to attend an event that was billed as less of a festival and more of a "cultural moment", found themselves stranded in either a half-built tent city or at US airports as many flights to the exclusive Exuma island were cancelled.

Some tickets to the biggest disappointment since Speed 2 cost in excess of $100,000. The five-star food advertised was replaced with cheese sandwiches and "modern geodesic domes" turned out to be disaster relief tents.

If the spectacular failure wasn't a big enough dent to McFarland's ego, he was later charged with wire fraud, which carries with it a maximum 20-year prison sentence.

THERE'S ALWAYS NEXT YEAR

It was a soul-destroying end to the year for Melbourne
It was a soul-destroying end to the year for Melbourne

Think of every uplifting, feel-good sports movie you've ever seen - Remember The Titans, Mighty Ducks, hell, let's throw Happy Gilmore in there too - and know the script written for the Melbourne Football Club was as far removed as possible from any Hollywood screenplay.

The Demons last played in the AFL finals in 2006 but looked for all money like they'd break their drought in 2017. Nestled in the top eight for most of the year Melbourne approached the final round of the regular season on the back of two straight wins and coming up against a Collingwood side out of finals contention and with nothing to play for.

A win would have guaranteed the Dees a September berth but a loss would see them relying on other results to go their way.

Collingwood won 14.15 (99) to 12.11 (83) then to Melbourne's horror, Essendon overcame Fremantle and West Coast defeated minor premiers and grand finalists Adelaide to condemn the Demons to a ninth-placed finish and an off-season of eating ice cream straight from the tub in single sittings.

Then, to make matters worse for long-suffering Dees supporters, days later the club mailed out guides on how to buy tickets for finals matches.

"Months of hard work have brought us to this point and we now need your support, more than ever," an excerpt read.

No man likes to finish prematurely, so we can only imagine how awful Melbourne players felt when their season came to an end.

 

THE ACCELERATOR IS ON THE LEFT, ISN'T IT?

Sometimes you've got to laugh at yourself. But if you can't, the rest of Australia will do it for you.

Dashcam footage taken in October captured the embarrassing moment a Sydney motorist caught up in a fit of road rage got out of his car - yet still managed to run himself over before crashing.

The driver, sick of being beeped by the car behind, jumped out to confront the upset occupants of the nearby vehicle. But perhaps the man was more comfortable in an era of the horse and carriage because he forgot to whack the handbrake on and put his four-wheeler in park.

It rolled back and hit the car behind and the driver's open door came from out of nowhere to collect him, knocking him to the ground.

But the real victim here was his passenger who jumped out to help, only to be stranded on the road as old mate - not realising his Benny Hill impersonation was being immortalised on video - fled the scene on his lonesome, consumed by equal parts shame and humiliation.

Next time the RTA increases the minimum number of hours needed to graduate from your L plates, we can probably blame this bloke.

DON'T LET THE BED BUGS BITE … OR DO IF THE ALTERNATIVE IS BURNING DOWN A BUILDING

Play with fire and you'll get burnt - and so will the family homes of people who had nothing to do with your fire in the first place, apparently.

An American woman burnt down her apartment and the block of units it was in after trying to kill bed bugs with alcohol in December. The building, located in Avondale, Cincinnati, went up in a blaze after an open flame (from a candle or burning incense) mixed with the alcohol.

And as everyone knows, two parts alcohol + one part fire = BOOM! It's called science, people.

Seven adults and three teenagers were reportedly displaced because of the fire.

We really hope the silver lining in this story is the bed bugs at least suffered the same fate.

WHEEL OF MISFORTUNE

Before investing in bitcoin became as fashionable as carrying your backpack on one shoulder was in the 1990s, people earned money the old fashioned way - on game shows.

On a Grandparents Week episode of the American Wheel Of Fortune, Frank and granddaughter Laurel found themselves in the food and drink bonus round. After selecting their letters the board looked like this.

The pair will never want to eat zucchini again
The pair will never want to eat zucchini again

Just before time was up Laurel yelled out "fried zucchini", which fit perfectly. But host Pat Sajak revealed they were just off - "baked zucchini" was what they were looking for.

As poor Frank and Laurel found out, the difference between fried and baked zucchini is about $US974,000. A correct guess would have seen them pocket $US1 million, but instead they left with $US26,000.


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