In 2013, the below ad appeared on Gumtree in the UK:
Hello, I am looking for a lodger in my house. I have had a long and interesting life and have now chosen Brighton as a location for my retirement. Among the many things I have done in my life is to spend three years alone on St. Lawrence Island. These were perhaps the most intense and fascinating years of my life, and I was kept in companionship with a walrus whom I named Gregory. Never have I had such a fulfilling friendship with anyone, human or otherwise, and upon leaving the island I was heartbroken for months. I now find myself in a large house over looking Queens Park and am keen to get a lodger. This is a position I am prepared to offer for free (eg: no rent payable) on the fulfillment of some conditions. I have, over the last few months, been constructing a realistic walrus costume, which should fit most people of average proportions, and allow for full and easy movement in character. To take on the position as my lodger you must be prepared to wear the walrus suit for approximately two hours each day (in practice, this is not two hours every day – I merely state it here so you are able to have a clear idea of the workload). Whilst in the walrus costume you must be a walrus – there must be no speaking in a human voice, and any communication must entail making utterances in the voice of a walrus – I believe there aer (SIC) recordings available on the web – to me, the voice is the most natural thing I have ever heard. Other duties will involve catching and eating the fish and crabs that I will occasionally throw to you whilst you are being the walrus. With the exception of this, you will be free to do whatever you choose, and will have a spacious double room, complete run of the house (with the exception of my bedroom and my workshop), and use of all facilities within. I am a considerate person to share a house with, and other than playing the accordion my tastes are easy to accomodate (SIC).
Due to the nature of this position I will need to audition all applicants before agreeing to take the chosen candidate on as a lodger. Please contact me if you have any questions.
It was a hoax, but filmmaker Kevin Smith became obsessed with the idea, and from it was born Tusk. And oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear.
So, to Tusk. There are a couple of podcasters, Wallace (Justin Long) and Teddy (Haley Joel Osment – yes, that Haley Joel Osment) who have hit the big time with their show “The Not-See Party” where they play online videos and mock them. After one episode on the Kill Bill Kid (think the kid playing with his light sabre, that very early viral video, but with more Tarantino results), the obnoxious Wallace flies to Canada to interview him, but finds that the kid has committed suicide. Pissed off, Wallace kills time in a bar hoping to find a new story, and it is there that he stumbles across the advertisement in the bathroom. He arranges to meet the man, Howard Howe (Michael Parks) and… then falls off the face of the earth. Neither his girlfriend Ally (Genesis Rodriguez) or Teddy can reach him, and enlist the assistance of Guy Lapointe (Johnny Depp performing some of his absurdist best).
I don’t want to give any more away, but I will say it is a comedy horror. There are certainly some things that cannot be unseen, and the end? I had a couple of good friends request that I review this, possibly in the hope that I may be able to clarify that end or… hmm, I’m not sure. Did I like it? Not exactly. I didn’t hate it, for sure. I certainly laughed out loud a few times. I think what it has given me is the gift of reigniting my interest in Kevin Smith films. And I’m vaguely interested in creating my own hoax Gumtree ad…