THIS POST CONTAINS NUTS
I bought a teapot today in the sale. It was cheap, it’s very stylish (I’m a bit particular about teapots) and I needed a teapot.
What I don’t need are assorted labels stuck to crockery that cling on for dear life when you try to peel them off. OK, so there’s the brand number and bar code, the maker’s name and insignia – I understand what they’re doing there – but I have to admit I’m a bit flummoxed by the presence of a sticker on the bottom of my teapot which warns Product may get hot in the microwave.
Gosh. Imagine that.
Well, I’m a writer, why don’t they ask me to write them some labels? Won’t take very long, I’ll do some samples now. (Anyone know if they pay by the label? How many teapots do you think they sell in a month?)
NotNiceEtoile’s Label Samples
Product may get hot in the microwave. If you switch it on.
If product does not get hot in the microwave when you switch it on, your microwave is fucked.
Anyway, what are you doing putting your teapot in the microwave, you idiot?
If you’re stupid enough to put your teapot in the microwave and switch it on, how on earth can you be trusted to make a cup of tea using boiling water?
Did they allow you out on your own to buy this teapot?
This is a topical matter as it happens, because it was announced this week that the Central Office of Information – a British Government-backed body of information dissemination – was being scrapped. Sad news for all the people who will lose their jobs, but also for comedians, because over the decades the COI has provided a steady supply of material we don’t even need to fashion into jokes, such is the comedic skill in which the COI’s pronouncements have been honed and polished prior to being released.
In days gone by the organization would buy television advertising slots. There now follows a public announcement from the Central Office of Information the voiceover would proclaim, which would guarantee that nobody would switch over to another channel as often happens during commercial breaks, because these Central Office of Information public announcements were likely to be the funniest things you’d see on TV that night.
DON’T PUT YOU HEAD IN THE OVEN!
HEATING UP YOUR BATH BY SUBMERSING A 3-BAR ELECTRIC HEATER INTO THREE FEET OF WATER IS UNWISE!
REFRAIN FROM SHOPPING IN THE NUDE WHEN IT’S -20 DEGREES OUTSIDE!
I did some radio work for them once. One assignment involved interviewing a sports and arts psychologist about how he treated professional athletes and musicians for nerves and stage fright. I went to his flat in London, where he was very welcoming and made me a cup of tea. (My teapot’s nicer than his was). He nattered away nineteen to the dozen and asked me what questions I was going to ask him. I told him I didn’t tell people what I was going to ask, I wanted natural, free-flowing answers. Standard questions, I said, it wasn’t an exam, I was after an interesting chat.
We sat on his sofa. I turned on my tape machine. Asked him for his name so I could adjust the levels. Nothing came back. Your name? I repeated. He managed to stutter something. Could have been Mickey Mouse. (Diction, luvvie!)
I then did a short introduction saying I’m interviewing The Nutty Professor, after which I turned to him and posed my first question – something general like what made you want to be a psychologist?
I stared at him.
He stared back at me. Like a rabbit in the headlights of the car in which Divine Brown was checking to see if Hugh Grant had anything about him which would stand up in court.
I switched off the tape. Nutty Professor, I said, encouragingly. There’s nothing to be worried about. We’re just having a conversation, which I’ll edit later. Talk to me as you have been doing over the tea (in your ugly teapot), and forget the machine.
I switched on the tape again. This time he (eventually) managed to get out a few words, not in any particular order, stammering all the while. I (eventually) got ten seconds worth of stuff I could use. I thanked him and put my equipment away (something Hugh Grant might have been better advised to have done). He cheered up. Have you got lots of material? he asked. Lots, I reassured him. Somehow mystically knowing I’d be writing a blog some years later.
Do you have to be a bit teapot to be a psychologist? Or just hatstand? (Haven’t got one of those. Yet.)
Anyway, bye bye COI. Bye bye labels telling me my teapot might get a bit hot if I heat it up. Bye bye Health & Beauty journalism as I get rich writing labels for teapots, saucers, plates (dinner and side), bowls (soup and serving), TV aerials, false teeth and small dogs.
My dad always used to joke that it was he who wrote THE END at the end of film credits. Well, I always thought he was joking, but now…