Day 97: LaceBalls – Dark Helmet Envy

A space turkey revisited in the latest installment of the 365-day charity challenge…

April 7

I did toy with headlining today’s blog “SpaceBall’Ns” partly in an attempt to avoid another space/lace pun. But hell, I’ve never heard of the “sneaker” brand Ball’N before, so I suspect few of you have either, with the result that “SpaceBall’Ns” simply looks like one almighty typo. Or a Times crossword clue. So I nixed that idea.

Ball’N is, apparently, an American basketball brand that’s been going since 1991. These were bought at a TK Maxx by my friend Helen who texted me to tell me she’s found some hideous trainers for the challenge, with just a bit too much relish, I felt.

To be honest, I’ve worn worse. They actually look less ostentatious when you’re wearing them than you might think. But they are very, very, very shiny. However, I’ve already done the obvious Firefly gag with a previous pair of (not quite so) shiny trainers – see day 79. Though, to be honest, that wasn’t the first thing that went through my head when I saw these guy. That was, “My God, I can see myself in the toe caps.” The second was, “It’s like I’ve just been given two novelty Darth Vader tea strainers.”

That’s when I got on Twitter to ask for some Darth Vader/trainers pun inspiration.


Actually, it doesn’t look so much different to Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda…

Bad move.

A few people, including, I think, @mistylister, sniggeringly mentioned Dark Helmet from Spaceballs. Now, of course, I have seen pics of Rick Moranis in the film, so I knew what they  were referring to, so it seemed like a good idea to follow up. But I’d never seen the film. The reviews at the time, and 25 years since of people sucking in air through their teeth and grimacing whenever the film was mentioned put me off.

But I thought I ought to watch the film if I were going to do a photo based on it.

I lasted about 20 minutes. Until the “jam the signal” gag. When a signal is blocked using a jar of jam.

I’m surprised I managed to get far. The Pizza Hut/Jabba The Hut monster made me feel ill. Bill Pullman keeps getting hit in the face by the tail of character side-splittingly named Barf. Mel Brooks stretches one poor teleportation joke for what feels like three days. And there’s a pause after every joke as if everyone’s wondering why the audience isn’t laughing.


Almost literally a sick joke

Spaceballs is one of the top ten worst film I’ve ever seen. And I don’t even need to see the rest of it to know that.

Ah well, on with Monday. Let’s hope I don’t dazzle any aeroplane pilots when the sun reflecting off my toe-caps…

Usual Sign-Off:

• Current total: £705 

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything from 8 to 10) contact me at so I can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

Cheers Dave G


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