One day Boff is going to snap and make Sir eat the Barclaycard

Boy, you'd think that by now Rowan Atkinson would be convinced of the benefits of the Barclaycard. His assistant, Boff, could stick the card in a donkey's mouth and make money come out of its nose, and still Atkinson would run around, selling his hat to toothless men, firing tranquilliser darts into his leg, or taking off all his clothes in a woman's hotel room and then pretending to jog. In that one I think he actually says: "Damn you, Barclaycard!" (How did this man reach such a position of authority in MI5?)

What more does he need? One day, Boff is going to snap and he's going to make Atkinson eat the card: "It tastes good as well, Sir. Did I mention the taste? Eh? Eh?"

What Boff doesn't know of course, is that Atkinson's mentor in MI5, who he knew only by the code name Six, bled to death after getting a paper- cut when he opened an envelope containing a new Barclaycard. Atkinson was present in the room when it happened, but when he tried to run for help, he tripped over the phone cord and fell out of the window. Thus, the occasional cries of "Damn you, Barclaycard!"

I has to be said that Boff also has his quirks. He seems to like the Barclaycard just a little too much. Every time he says the word "Barclaycard", his face just lights up. In the background of some shots, you can see him staring at it and sighing deeply. I have a feeling that he lies in bed at night, staring up at the Barclaycard posters he stole from a bank, and then falls asleep and dreams about a massive Barclaycard wearing suspenders and a bra.

What a fantastic campaign, though. Unlike that one with the Birds of a Feather pair, you actually remember the product. But Boff and his master couldn't say Barclaycard more times if they tried.

"Sir why don't we use my Barclaycard? We can ... [explains what they can do with Barclaycard]"

"Barclaycard, Boff? We're in [foreign country]. What possible use can Barclaycard serve here? Barclaycard? Tsk."

"But with Barclaycard we can [explains further use of Barclaycard]. That would mean we could ... [applies previous rule to current situation]"

No, Boff. I think in this case, good old British gumption is called for.

"Excuse me, Boff [falls down lift shaft]."

"Barclaycard, Sir. Barclaycard, Barclaycard, Barclaycard, Barclaycard, Barclaycard, Barclaycard, Barclaycard."

"Damn you, Barclaycard."

I have in my possession a list of proposed Barclaycard ads, a few of which I'll share with you now.

1. Sir and Boff have been taken hostage by some rebels in Fe Neho. Boff suggests using the Barclaycard to create a magic pony, upon which they will fly to safety. Atkinson refuses, preferring instead to rely on simple British pluck. Boff escapes. Sir is made to do an amusing dance for the drunken, filthy rebels.

2. Sir and Boff are at an important dinner, acting as bodyguards for a dynamic politician. Boff says: "Why don't we use the Barclaycard to, ah... Oh, let's just use it." Sir refuses, and while trying to find the toilet in the conference hall, walks into a room full of monkeys, causing the dynamic politician to catch fire.

3. Sir and Boff are in a submarine. They smash into a big underwater rock thing. A small rectangular hole, about the size of a Barclaycard, starts letting in water. Boff uses his Barclaycard to make a phone call to his parents and say goodbye. Everyone drowns.

4. Sir and Boff are on a training exercise. They are both exhausted after climbing up a kind of tree ladder. Too tired to descend the tree, Boff suggests using the cash machine at the top of the tree to call for help. Atkinson refuses and is hit by lightning.

I bet you are looking forward to watching them.

To be honest, though, I've said Barclaycard a hell of a lot in this column myself, which probably amounts to free advertising. To redress the balance, I should say that I don't have a Barclaycard and I get on fine. I have Visa, or something, and its suits me down to the ground. Visa. Visa. Visa. Visa. Or Access. One of those.

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