” We Make Everyone Faster…”

” …With Injected Twisted Face. ”

This was a sign on a building seen yesterday as I drove to the hobby shop. Not a small sign, either – big one. Had I not been in traffic I would have driven off the road in amazement. As it was, the puzzling message dogged me all through my shopping  – so much so that I deliberately drove back to stare at the sign. The other signs on the building gave it away – the place is a golf shop and apparently injected twisted face technology is something that makes you a better golfer.

Indeed, the internet reveals that this technology is legal as well as technical…to quote TODAY’S GOLFER magazine…

” In 2018 TaylorMade made headlines with their new ‘Twist Face’ technology in the M3 and M4 drivers. This year, they’ve improved upon that technology in their newest M5 and M6 models by coming up with a way to make every driver face they produce on the legal limit of COR (coefficient of restitution). ”

I have not gone past this statement for fear of cooties. The fact that there is a coefficient of something, and that there is a legal limit to it and that this is connected to the pastime of hitting a white ball over grass into a hole seems both diagnostic and sad. I should be ashamed to associate with any sport that needed to be regulated by lawyers, no matter how good the drinks were at the bar when you finished it. The legal eagles might be in there seeking restitution…

There would be the constant danger on the links of either flouting the sports law deliberately or worse  – adhering to it zealously. Soon you would be watching others to see that they were not gaining an advantage by invoking clauses and torts and one day you would stand up in the bar and cry ” Mr. Chairman! Point of order! “.

And the portal of hell would open and swallow your soul. And your twisted face golf club.

PS: Have you got your legal qualifications to allow you to read weblog columns? Have it ready for when The Inspector calls.

The Handfull Ob Gimmee

This used to be accompanied by de mouth full of Much Oblige’. I met many people who could do the routine perfectly. That decency seems to have gone by the boards lately – the gimmee is now the only thing that takes place.

It has, at least, streamlined the handling of the pan. I suppose it was a matter of efficiency – reducing the transaction to the basics; demand and supply – without pretending to a moral or social connection. In the hands of the government charity can be made cold, smooth, and mechanical – and like any cold, mechanical object it can lay dead to the touch. This must be a dreadful thing for those who actually need it – as opposed to those who take it for fun. If the latter might be miffed at their support being delayed or retracted, the former face real disaster.

My own experience of gimmee has been mostly one-sided – the support that health funds have afforded me in times of crisis were paid for with decades of premiums, good health, and no monetary return. I suspect I won the lottery of being healthy for the most part, but it seems like I should be complaining about it…Hmmm.

A recent brush with what purported to be charity but turned out to be bureaucracy and intrusion has convinced me that there is little to be expected from organisations – at least little that cannot be obtained with a revolver and a curt note thrust through the teller’s cage.

Other charities that ask for money based upon co-religion or implied guilt can go get stuffed. Particularly if their planned use of the money is gestures and theatre – I can mewl and puke for myself at a much reduced cost.



” Once In A Lifetime Opportunity “

Versus ” Once In A Lifetime Experience “.

This is all a load of hooey. The opportunity that is always being offered is to give your money to someone else. This is not once in a lifetime – this sort of thing comes up all the time. All day long people want your money.

The experience is also common – that of being bilked. Whatever the hype promises, the hyper will not deliver, and the hypee will not receive. The best outcome for most once in a lifetime experiences are that you don’t have – or want – to do them ever again…

Example? Having your wisdom teeth out. Getting a mouth ulcer treated with silver nitrate. Visiting Vancouver. Death…See what I mean?

I would suggest an alternative approach for advertising people who want to take home the money that you arrived with. Instead of promising singularity, they should promise the same old thing day after day. And use the same colouration, typeface, and phrasing for it.

Not only is going to be a saving for them in writer’s fees, ink pots, and paper stock, but there is a much better chance that you’ll become so desperate that you’ll throw your wallet at them just to escape. No expectation of satisfaction or a refund there.

” Contents May Have Settled “

How often do you see this on the outside of a packet of food; ” Contents may have settled in shipment. “. Whenever I encounter it I am beset by a number of questions:

a. Was the box or packet ever full at the start of the process? Or did you throw the cornflakes in from across the room in the hopes that they would form a magical geodesic structure and support the inside of the box?

b. Was the box designed for the contents or was it designed just to be as big – as well as brightly coloured  – as possible…to attract the eye of the unsophisticated shopper? We’ve all seen the laundry detergent packets.

c. Is ” content settling ” the same as crumbling to powder at the bottom of the box? Did we buy the breakfast equivalent of a spoonful of sugar spun into cotton candy – only to have it resolve itself back to the spoonful as soon as heat or moisture hit it? Do we, in fact, have any right to corn flakes or just to corn powder? Is powder considered to be just tiny little flakes?

d. Why does raw liver never settle in the packet? Why is it always bulging out there?

e. What do you expect us to do with the packet that has settled? Are we to turn it upside down, shake it, and magically it will become filled again? Tried that once with dynamite that had sweated out of the sticks and you can swim in the crater after rain fills it.

f. How far do you have to ship stuff anyway? Can we not make food closer to home so that it doesn’t have to travel three seas and five roads to get to us? Is it time to go back to eating what is local? ( The answer to that is yes, and for a number of reasons…)

g. Why doesn’t liquor settle in bottles – so you could skim off the water on the top and pour out the good stuff from the bottom.



The Two-Star Rating…

I’m sorry to have to tell you that my dinner one night last week only got a two-star rating. That low number was a worry but the most concerning thing about it was the fact that I wasn’t involved in the measuring process  – someone else who packaged it got to do the  pre-dinner criticism.

I actually thought it was a pretty good meal – I put a frozen Herbert Adams beef and mushroom pie into the oven for 60 minutes and was rewarded with a beef and mushroom pie. It had beef and mushrooms – to which I added gravy, peas, and spinach. Meat, pastry, gravy, and two kinds of greens seems to meet some of the goals of the world – it certainly met mine. But the fact that there was a star rating on the side of the packet raises a few questions:

a. Who does the rating? Nowhere on the package does it say.

b. What actually do they rate? Taste? Texture? Amount of gluten? Amount of Lewisite?

c. What is the scale of the rating? 1 is poisonous and 5 confers immortality?

d. Is this a load of bullshit? If it is, is it mandated bullshit or just some advertising executive’s way to fill up a blank space on the cardboard package?

I note that the next package in the freezer – a Herbert Adams chicken and leek pie has gotten three stars…and a logo that says RSPCA Approved Farming. Begging the question whether the beef pie was frowned upon severely.

Being a chicken pie, I guess it would not contain bullshit. But the sauce is white and I’ve seen what chickens do in the chicken run…


” Stop Writing Your Blog “

” Just stop it. Get out and do something useful. ”

This is the orders from a well-known English advertising writer who has published a book on creativity. He is able to insist on this because we have paid $ 18 to buy the tiny little yellow book that he wrote and he is not there for us to argue with.

Mind you, the first four pages of this $ 18…errr…I mean this book…have been devoted to telling us that there are no rules. So we’d better obey. I don’t know if there is an or-else to go with it, but at $ 18 you sort of expect one.

Get this in perspective – I also bought a book the same day written by Guy de Maupassant for $ 4.95 and I suspect it might have been better written…

Okay, heavy humour aside, I think our English hack is way off the beam in his judgement of the humble online page. Call it a blog, weblog, column, essay, or what you will, it is a real thing that can do real good or real harm. It may do it for free, or it may garner a little money. It won’t get the advertising agency fee that would feed an $ 18 author but it might just provide an even more valuable thing; an opportunity for someone to write, photograph, draw, and think…and opportunity that they may never have had in the world before.

There are enough vaporous weblogs to fill a zeppelin hangar – enough poetic ones to gag a unicorn. Enough recipe columns to keep us at the stove until Doomsday. There are enough movie reviews, literary sniping matches, and commercial plugs to fill all the rest of our time. And the wonderful thing is that we need not read them all – but we can if we wish. We need not write them all – but if it is late and we’ve got a good idea…

Not all creativity has to be billed at an hourly rate – not every writer has to be the next coming genius in the agency. Some of us use the weblog column as memory, speech, connection, and release. To be frank, we know that most of what we write is only read by ourselves, but the very act of writing it – writing it well, if we can manage that – is enough to make it real.

Oddly enough, we are doing something useful…

Keep On Digging


A news item that flashed though our Facebook pages today showed excerpts of computer correspondence between a client of a sports medicine clinic and the management that turned steadily worse and worse.

There was some sort of disagreement  between them and an initially professional response by the clinic changed later in the day to something entirely different. The language, spelling, and grammar of the responses shifted and the message became vaguely offensive. The client certainly took it as such, but was not intimidated. There’s been a regular little stream of reports about it, and in terms of advertising for the business involved, it would appear to be a disaster.

For myself, it brings back memories of my time in retail service – two occasions particularly.

In the first, I let my mind wander off during a telephone conversation and apparently started whistling under my breath. It was one of those tunes from an advertising jingle that had ear-wormed its way into my mind and as soon as I stopped concentrating it bubbled up. The woman on the other end of the phone became very angry. I apologised for my whistling but she was having none of that apology. I apologised again and again. Eventually after offering the fourth or fifth apology and finding that she was more enraged at each one, I just had to end the conversation. She continued a customer of the shop, but fortunately every time she phoned after that someone else took the call. I suspect that had she heard my voice she would have exploded again.

In the second, a customer brought back a passport photo that was too dark – we had taken it for her son and DFAT rejected it. I offered to retake it or to reprocess the print right there for her to lighten it up. ( Note that taking good passport pictures is a difficult thing sometimes…the criteria are terribly strict.)

Well, this was not good enough. She spent the best part of ten minutes berating me for my incompetence – and exercising herself on the entire scale of scorn and outrage – while I apologised and offered to redress the situation. Each apology brought fresh abuse. NOTHING was good enough. At the end she demanded her $ 18.00 back and I gladly refunded it out of my own pocket.

Then she asked to have the dark passport photos anyway…and at that point something snapped inside me – I said no. No, she had her refund and that was all I was prepared to do. I braced myself for a further blast…but all she did was thank me, took her son, and left. The young lad had the saddest expression I have ever seen on his face as he went. He was dressed in the uniform of the most prestigious private school in Perth, but I would say that his life is a hard one.

Well, that’s the apology game for you. I’ll bet the sports clinic will remember today…and I’ll also bet that they will be able to see it clearly on their business activity records for the next few months as well. Sort of a sharp dip in bookings.