I've just come across this advert:
End Terrorism Wristband.
Official End Terrorism wristband inc. VIP band. Get yours now!
So many questions. In particular:
An End Terrorism wristband? Is that really our best idea?
'Official' in what way? Has someone copyrighted the opinion that terrorism should be ended? Is it now impossible to 'officially' express that sentiment without their approval? If so, I hereby copyright the sensation of feeling full, meaning anyone who eats a nice dinner should pay me royalties.
'VIP' in what way? Because if the VIP band (and incidentally, what would this look like? Is it a similar band to the End Terrorism band, or is it distinguished in some way, such as being six times the size, or encrusted with rare jewels?) is given out to everyone who buys the wristband, which Ps are the VIPs more VI than?
But most of all: do we infer from this advert that at some market research or focus group, someone gave feedback along the lines of: 'Well, yes, I am against terrorism, as it goes, and you've certainly persuaded me that the best way for me to help End It Now is to wear a wristband, since if the terrorists were to catch sight of it, it would certainly make them think again about thier evil deeds, or at least know that they couldn't count on my support. However. I'm not completely sold on the idea. And I tell you what would clinch this: if you could perhaps sweeten the deal by throwing in some sort of handy gauge of how important I am. Preferably 'Very'. Ok? Great. Bye.'
Wednesday, 28 September 2005
I've just come across this advert:
Friday, 23 September 2005
Marianne has pointed out this page of awfulness.
Good grief. "Shaky Tony smiles like a doll"? "Sssh my darling, take my hand/It's just the way he's dressed."? Well, if it's as easy as that, maybe I'll have a go:
“Linnets, linnets, sing thy songs
So lyrical and brainy!”
“Er, I don’t know, the war was wrong?
And Texas is all rainy.
“President Bush is really dumb!
Tony Blair's a loony.
Someone won the Ashes back
I think his name was Rooney.”
“Linnets, why dost thou sing such crap?”
'We'll tell thee' quoth the linnets
‘The Guardian paid a hundred quid
And it only took ten minutes.’
Posted by John Finnemore at 2:17 p.m.
Tuesday, 20 September 2005
Words the Dutch lady sitting next to me carefully underlined in the article she was reading, presumably because she didn't understand them.
Torn up into tiny pieces.
Scales (as in 'fallen from eyes')
Deprived. (Underlined, and then, after a thoughtful moment, rubbed out again.)
NB. This is now a far better story than the original article. Just shows, you can never edit too much.
Posted by John Finnemore at 9:20 p.m.
Friday, 16 September 2005
I had an appointment in a hospital yesterday. I was seen by a very assured, confidence-inspiring doctor who briskly examined me, reassured me nothing serious was wrong, and referred me on to someone else. The whole thing took about six minutes, and I left feeling braced and relieved.
Until I looked at the form he'd given me for the referral, and noticed he'd copied my middle name as my first name.
Now, I'm sure that for a doctor, this form wasn't very important, and my name was the least important thing on it. I'm confident that had he been transcribing my allergies, the dosage of my drug, or whether it was my right or left leg he planned to amputate, he would have taken more care.
Still, I wish he hadn't done it...
Posted by John Finnemore at 1:03 p.m.
Tuesday, 13 September 2005
See, I told them and I told them to pick Thorpe instead of Pietersen. And would they listen to me? No.
Well done them.
I suppose that for a mouthy badger-haired ear-bejewelled arrogant South African show-boater, he was quite good at using that plank of his to keep the balls that blond guy with the white nose kept throwing at him away from that little sculpture he'd built out of sticks.
Posted by John Finnemore at 3:56 a.m.
Sunday, 11 September 2005
Look what I built!
You see, for a long time now I've felt the internet, good though it is, has been lacking something. Specifically, a page devoted to how great I am. I've been waiting patiently for several years for someone to set one up, but no, as ever, the really important stuff is left up to me to do. So here it is. What do you think?
And incidentally, does anyone have any idea what those Chinese characters below the banner mean? My guess is: 'A thousand thousand curses on the ignorant foreigner who uses our ancient language to decorate his website because he thinks it's pretty. Also, we've read Amy Evans' Strike, somehow, and we think there are many glaring plotholes, and that the characterisation is flimsy at best. Give it a miss. Love and kisses, The Chinese.'
Posted by John Finnemore at 5:33 p.m.
Tuesday, 6 September 2005
-based and -related.
To make a mock pompous formulation, as in: 'A wotsit, or other cheese-based snack!' or 'I was sorry for the old man and his footwear-related woes'. Yes, that was funny for the first six or seven years. Stop it now.
Marrying your sister.
Apparently the inevitable fate of all residents of Norfolk, Wales, the West Country, the North Country, Scotland, the American South, or indeed anywhere where you can see trees. As in Graham Norton yesterday: 'So, you shouldn't go to Cornwall. No, you really shouldn't go to Cornwall, because you'll end up marrying your sister!' Apart from the fact someone was well paid to photocopy that joke into the script, I'd also like to point out that if you're going to Cornwall, presumably your sister doesn't live there; so rather than marrying your sister for lack of other alternatives, as the Cornish all famously do, you'll have to persuade your sister to move down to Cornwall from London or Sheffield or Moscow for the express purpose of marrying you. And I'm not sure she'll be game for that. And if she is, then frankly the incestuous tendency is clearly latent in the pair of you, and I don't think you can really blame it on Cornwall.
As in '...and that's why I don't see her any more.' 'Yeah... that and the restraining order!'. Especially annoying in sitcoms, where we're supposed to believe the lovably hapless character was so stupidly in love, his ex had to put a hilarious restraining order on him!!! Yes, and then he was humorously sectioned under the comedy mental health act.
Saturday, 3 September 2005
Headline on BBC News online now:
Wales: Big game warning to troublemakers.
Sadly, the warning turns out to be not to make trouble at the Wales-England qualifier. And not, as I was hoping: 'One peep out of you, see, and we'll set the tigers on you!'
Posted by John Finnemore at 1:15 p.m.
Thursday, 1 September 2005
I saw the least committed piece of political graffiti ever on Embankment yesterday.
It read 'Simon Hollis is Innocent. Tell the Surrey Pigs.' Which is pretty lame to start with. How are we good people of Embankment supposed to tell the Surrey Pigs? Chinese Whispers? A megaphone relay? I can't help thinking that, rather than rely on one of us bumping into a Surrey pig at a cocktail party, Simon Hollis's defenders might have done better to scrawl their message of defiance in Godalming, Frimley or Dorking; where a passing Surrey pig could have learnt the surprising news of Simon's innocence at first hand.
But this isn't what really makes me question the writer's commitment, so much as what it was written on. A bus-shelter. Nothing wrong with that- it's not Nelson's column exactly, but it does the job. But...
On a pink heart-shaped post-it note. Oh dear. Simon, it might be a good idea to acquire a taste for prison food. I don't think they're really trying.
Still, I suppose I noticed it. So, if anyone reading this happens to be a Surrey pig, listen up. I have it on excellent authority that Simon Hollis is innocent. There. Duty done.