Bunhill: Sing along, it's a jingle out there
Sunday 26 January 1997
My two are: "One thousand and one, one thousand and one, for less than half a crown!". This from some time in the Sixties when I was surgically attached to the telly. Also, "Poor cold Fred - he thought he couldn't afford central heating". This was a newspaper ad, I suppose for the Gas Board, and I have no idea why it is in my head. But it is.
Here are some more from my staff, undated:
"Pastille picking mama, pass those pastilles round."
"Watch out, watch out, there's a Humphrey about."
"You wonder where the yellow went when you brush your teeth with Pepsodent."
"Get that lovely lively Lyril feeling."
"This is the carpet you can afford, from Cyril Lord."
"Someone isn't using Amplex."
Oh, the nostalgia of bad breath. More please.
I am told by my Cityish colleagues that bonuses this year are being paid in an unusual form - cash. In the past, they came as shares through an offshore account, gold bars, Faberge eggs, luncheon vouchers ... anything to avoid the taxman getting his paws on it. The Chancellor spoiled the fun in the last Budget - so if you see a Pinstriped One staring baffled at a bunch of pounds 50 notes, tell the poor fellow (or Horlick) what they are, will you?
Weight of response forces me to print more collective nouns ... A garble of translators, a snide of critics, a number of mathematicians (Magy Higgs), a clutch of car mechanics, a flurry of weathermen (Mark Hastilow), an ecstasy of evangelicals (Bernie Banks), a loot of lawyers (Mr Berry, I think).
Ms Higgs suggests the origin of the expression "a wunch of bankers", which baffled me last week. "It could be a mis-spelling of the German wunsch or wish bankers who wistfully regret not being something more modest."
An alarming headline on the Reuters newswire on Friday. "Lloyd's of London signs Polaris agreement". Now boys, no need to get violent just because you've lost a few million.
A really mobile dog
Some of you will remember Alex, the cartoon strip that has now gone to Another Place. In Alex's early days, he was obsessed with being seen using his mobile phone. Now, presumably, the opposite is true - Executives of Stature need to use these devices but certainly do not want to be seen using them.
There are surgeons in America who will fit a mobile phone in your body - speaker in the earlobe, microphone replacing loose filling in a tooth, the whole lot connected by intravenous optical fibre links. Then there are neurosurgeons who will retune your brain so you are on the same wavelength as Vodafone - the trouble is that you cannot stop yourself answering the phone.
But all this is a little crude. Personally, I am looking at the possibility of turning my dog into a mobile phone. She has microphones (ears), a speaker (mouth) and an aerial (tail). Admittedly there might be some interference when she is trying to eat the postman but at least nobody would ever think I had a portable phone.
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