Sunday, July 13, 2008

A bloke is not just for Christmas

Mrs Boyo regrets missing the deadline for a job handling public relations for a donkey sanctuary. I see her point.

The English like donkeys for being comical economy horses, so getting Brits to hand over their money is like setting up a green paint stand outside an eisteddfod. Just show grainy footage of some Spaniards shoving a mule off a church steeple, as I believe is their Papist wont, and the tear-stained coppers flood into your coffers.

The same goes with the ads run on children's TV channels for adopting a dog. Mother of Boyo now corresponds with such a mutt on the strength of manipulative footage of Hounds in Hell.

Said beast is called Beavis in humanspeak - probably Hengist Longclaw, or Bartok the Catslayer in Dogtalk. You just know his tattooed, pin-eyed initial owner originally called him Butthead, and that Dogwatch's equivalent of Mrs Boyo changed his name in the sure knowledge that the four-legged gas bomb would otherwise be heading to the dogfood plant.

(I'm sure we feed dogs to dogs. It makes economic sense and maintains the folk tradition of "Dog eat dog". My legal advisor The K Man is considering whether this is defamatory to various companies. I'll get back to you.)

It occurred to me and my fellow-drinkers that we ought to persuade Mrs Boyo to apply her skills to a similar campaign on behalf of ageing male losers such as ourselves.

The rising callousness index among the young means that there's little chance of their providing for us, and we who've managed to acquire "life" partners fully expect to be jettisoned for younger, less pungent versions during an ill-advised Mediterranean holiday.

The campaign video might run like this:

[Forty-something man in unwise Pete Doherty outfit, staring in confusion at a turnstile]

[Bruised yet resilient female voiceover - perhaps Felicity Kendal or Bonnie Tyler] Griff used to be something like you, until his house sank under water and then caught fire through circumstances largely of his own making. Now he sleeps under a door frame when the pubs shut.

[Same man, peering beyond camera through drizzle]

When it rains, he can't light his Lambert & Butler.

[Man rubbing match against his stubbled head]

But at least his trousers are getting a wash.

[Man: Hey!]

Left to his own devices, Griff and dozens of other borderline derelicts will end up blocking your way into John Lewis, getting stuck in various pieces of street art and leering at you in the taxi rank. And we can't have that.

Is there anything you can do, apart from move to Iran? Yes there is!

For £150 a month, you can keep Griff in a warm and only mildly damp environment, surrounded by friends both real and imaginary.

With your help, we will give him a crumbling terrace house in a no-longer desirable suburb, a short lurch from a chippie and off-licence and a good industrial-estate's distance from your home.

Griff will send you a card at Christmas and a little table he made out of Brains cans, with his picture taped to the top. You'll get a letter each month, not necessarily from Griff, detailing his loveable escapades.

[Clip of same man, sitting at table littered with ashtrays, wine bottles and a cat with a bandaged leg, writing on a blotter. Voiceover in Gwenhwyseg accent: "I dranked a bottle of warm gin last night and got my head stuck in a banister. I used my dribble to free myself, then fell asleep on the stairs!"]

And if your husband's gaze has started to wander, why not let us taxi him over to Griff's for an afternoon of reliving his student years? We'll guarantee that, once he's rediscovered the delights of drinking Don Darias and talking bollocks in a haze of fag smoke, he'll know that one woman is more than enough!

[Clip of once-kempt man in wine-stained shirt, laughing like a twat as Griff makes a sandwich out of teabags]

We believe in helping these drones to help themselves, so Griff or one of his cut-their-own-hair friends will be happy to move into your garden for the summer. He'll keep domestic animals out of your floral borders with his unique musk, while his goat mows your lawn.

He's a novel talking-point for your patio dinners and children's fun days, and only needs a swing to slump in at night.

[Clip of laughing children trying to catch squirrels as they jump out of Griff's trouser-legs, and women in alice bands and their polo-shirted husbands waving from the terrace, oblivious to their water-logged house sinking in flames behind them]

So come on and make a difference. When Griff has that first drink of the day, he'll be sure to toast you!

[Close-up of angular teeth shattering as they tear the cap off a bottle of Champion's Freckled Johnson]

Your task, dear readers, is to come up with a name for the charity described above. The winner will be made an executive director with full Welsh citizenship, and get a virtual office next to Mrs Boyo's.

[Photo courtesy of Dunc and Sioba Siencyn]


Gorilla Bananas said...

I'd call it "Revamp a tramp", but I'm surprised that Mrs Boyo has any interest in helping such charities. Aren't they merely a futile attempt of the bourgeoisie to paper over the cracks of social decay in late-capitalist etc etc" - I'm sure she knows the lingo better than you or I.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I live for the day I see the advert.

Could the charity be called "The Fluffy Bunnies Home for Westie Terriers and Doe-eyed Children With Tears In Their Eyes?"

Gadjo Dilo said...

Heh, you must try to get this on some sketch show! A sombre title with an appropriately humiliating acronym might be: USURPED (Unwanted Spouse Urgently Requiring Protection* Every Day).

I only realised recently how adorable donkeys actually are. Mind you, the one I saw was rolling legs-up in a puddle of dust after having just done a full day's work putting a cartload of hay, unlike those freeloaders down in Donkeypark.

*Or Porkscratchings/Paintstripper/Pity, whichever is funnier.

Mrs Boyo said...

Consider Phlebas?

Gadjo, the image of a donkey disporting itself in the dust could serve as the emblem of this organisation as well.

Bananas, charity in this case as in all others is a mask for self-interest. Keeping the morning-drinking community out of public areas limits the exposure of the working classes to grant-maintained decandence.

Mr Musgrove, the charity could indeed be called that. But I doubt it.

M C Ward said...

A campaign slogan could be "Choose who's a carouser / boozer / loser". If you could get this going asap, I'd have all angles covered for retirement.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Indeed, Mrs Boyo; and a man - though not gentleman of any sort - might retort Consider She Who Was Once the Helmet-Maker's Beautiful Wife.

The donkey image would be a good one for this charity. Or it could be scratching it's arse up against the side of a shed.

I know I'm being overly pedantic, but doesn't carouser rhyme with yowzer!? First class assonance though.

M C Ward said...

Make that "cruiser" then. I've been away too long, evidently.

No Good Boyo said...

Gentlemen, Mrs B, I'm overwhelmed with your suggestions. Truly the wasters of this world have found friends and supporters.

GB, your idea is catchy and forward-looking, but our clients are not yet tramps and we don't want to get involved in what is already a crowded, malodorous market.

Kevin, you have your finger on the jugular of our target audience, but we're looking for something snappy that does at some point mention middle-aged drunks and their needs.

Gadjo, your image of a donkey cavorting in filth works. It is hereby adopted as our logo.

Mrs B, erudite as ever. We'll include it in our promotional material in the hope of cornering the Eng Lit student market.

MC, that sounds like an ideal campaign song lyric. Perhaps set to the Steve Miller Band's The Joker.

As for the name of the beast, the quest continues.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Dear Boyo, your charity is a non-starter, because it is not needed. As long as those pestilential rehab places are in business, then the rest of us can redirect our charity to my cause (Distressed Public School Men) instead.
Mr Pouncer takes an even harder line, believing that anyone who wasn't at Arnhem can't complain about anything. In his view, Arnhem was a living hell and, having visited with him last summer, I can see why. It is a bit like Isleworth, with absolutely shocking restaurants and unimaginative public buildings. The bridge is there, of course, beswarmed with war tourists all whistling the theme song from the film. At least half of them have tried to memorise the tune from CDs bought at BP garages and I heard one family whistling Sink The Bismarck instead.

Mrs Pouncer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gadjo Dilo said...

It's arse indeed, Mrs Pouncer. Idiomatically speaking you are right, of course, though I myself argued (rather tediously, if I recall correctly) on Mr Gyppo's blog about the theoretical validity of the apostrophe there as it's a genitive of it.

If only I hadn't had mentioned "arse" at all after Mrs Boyo's delightful T. S. Eliot reference.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Oh, she's deleted her last comment - what I just said doesn't make much sense now.

Mrs Pouncer said...

Hee hee hee

Daphne Wayne-Bough said...

The title of your post caused a lump to form in my throat, evoking as it did that fateful Christmas when I invited a poor unfortunate Scotchman to share my humble repast. That was nearly two years ago and said dinner guest - still poor, but considerably less unfortunate - is still in the spare room. I have managed to train him to uncork wine bottles, although still a way to go before he pours me a glass. Still, look on the bright side, I'll never have to give a penny to Oxfam ever again and he frightens Jehovahs Witnesses away.

No Good Boyo said...

Mrs Pouncer & Your Ladyship,

Your fragrant comments waft sweet through these columns like hummingbirds dipped in sherbet.

The points you make steer me in the direction of combining references to gentlefolk and military nostalgia - both being like catnip to my target audience of pinched suburbanites.

A tony name, a hint at fine wines (these are drunks we're talking about, but not yet meths drinkers) and a non-actionable suggestion of derring-do against the Boches - that's what we need.

I was initially thinking of something oenological like The Long Finish, but that sounds too elegaic.

How about Falko Mortiboys's Old Vintageers?

Kevin Musgrove said...

Knights of the Stained Beermats?

No Good Boyo said...

We have a winner!

Kevin Musgrove is hereby renamed Kyffin Llwynmwsgwl and appointed executive director (non-voting) of Knights of the Stained Beermats Ltd (reg. Caymans), with responsibility for insurance and all other claims, including any indictments from the International Criminal Court and Reading Magistrates.

Congratulations, Kyffin bach. You are also a citizen (non-voting) of the Welsh Republic. Your military call-up papers will be served shortly. We move on Bristol next month.

Kevin Musgrove said...

I am overwhelmed, and may even greet.

It's been many years since I've moved on Bristols.

No Good Boyo said...

We'll use the Deakin Defence: "I shouldn't otter have done so, but I did it anyway. Let Hist'ry be m'judge".