In Competition No. 1746 you were .invit- ed to write up to 120 words of advertising copy for an imaginary product, parodying one method of approach to the potential customer.
'How can one compete against the real thing?' asked Gerard Benson, enclosing an illustrated advertisement for 'Train Slippers': 'Choo Choo! Clang Clang! The last train to the bathroom is now leaving from the hall. These are slippers for the seriously silly. Made in padded cotton fab- ric, they are printed to look like a train and what's more — as you walk, one of them makes fantastic train noises with bells ring- ing and more.' They come in an adult size. Who could be made happier by a pair for Christmas? Jeremy Beadle? Lord Longford? Bobby Fischer?
It was a poor week for variety. Many of my favourite, most loathed ad angles went unrepresented, such as the one that starts, 'We may not know much about the insides of a grandfather clock but we do know what makes a good travel agency tick ... The prizewinners, printed below, get £20 each, and the bonus bottle of Aberlour Single Malt whisky goes aptly to Philip Dacre. A stormy night in Glengungie. But Donald McGregor leaves his ingle-nook as usual, dons his Tam o'Shanter, and sets off for the High Lochan.
In his hand is the 'Wee Spurtle' — a billet of Scots pinewood, its heft polished by the hands of many McGregors, its blade stained brown by a cen'ury of peat.
Once there, Donald skilfully stirs up the Lochan's waters with his Spurtle, to the precise, porridgy consistency he has learnt from child- hood to recognise.
Only so can the spring-water below acquire the uniquely peaty tang that gives Glengungie Highland Whisky its unchanging appeal. Donald returns. Snug in his cot, the next wielder of the Wee Spurtle sleeps on. Glengungie. The same for generations. (Philip Dacre)
Doesn't it make you want to spit?
You know the feeling. You've got the busi- ness taped, you're the best man they've got. And still the silver-tongued smoothies glide past you to the plum jobs. You know why, too. You meet the Chairman's wife over the cocktail glasses and can't think of anything to say. You make it to the corporate hospitality box at Wimbledon and end up watching the tennis. You've no small talk.
Relax! CHATTERBOX is an advanced electron- ic conversation generator worn like a watch. Touch a button, and a random conversational topic appears on the LCD screen.
Over 60,000 nudges ranging from Chrysanthemum-growing to the Duchess of York. Reprogrammable facility.
ACT NOW. SMALL TALK MEANS BIG BUSINESS.
Do you ever feel that you deserve something just that extra bit special? Not necessarily some- thing to have heads turning instantly, but some- thing to make those people you particularly want to impress ask themselves what's different about the New You? The Mongols have a word for it — they should, they invented it, drawing on the secrets of a thousand caravanserais. Try the word now — )(AN/WI, like the sound of wind to the plainsman. It means, as any passing horse- man will tell you, that special glow which comes from the confidence that your insides are func- tioning perfectly. Say it again: XANXUL It's the perfect way to feeling perfect. Now don't just say it — buy it, try it, and, in seconds, feel like a real Mongolian. (In liquid or tablet form.)
(Fergus Porter) You've heard of the Dark Ages. When history was under wraps. When Stonehenge was erected by secret, mag- ical hands. A time of dreams. Of sorcery. When the world indulged itself in forbidden fruit. When passion was natural. We'd like to introduce you to a little pack of demons ourselves. To Succubus, in fact. In the Dark Ages, a succubus made a man her mate while he slept. We think the new man wouldn't mind some old excitement. Which is Succubus. The twenty-four-hour condom. So subtle, you won't know it's there. Close. Firm. Powerful. And yes, just a little evil, too.
In the Dark Ages, they knew a thing or two
about pleasure. So will you.
With Succubus. All night. (Glen Lillebrew) Laugh all the way to the bank with chuckle- cheques. Encased in a two-tone folding vinyl holder and powered by a state-of-the-art transis- tor battery (not included), chuckle-cheques liter- ally roar with laughter as you write on them. Adjusting to ball-point pressure, chuckle- cheques give three levels of laughter — an app- reciative rumble, a merry guffaw, and an infec- tious shriek. Make paying fun. Pay up with a smile. See faces brighten around you. (Gerard Benson)
No. 1749: Ghazal
This is, according to my Chambers Dictionary, 'a Persian and Arabic verse- form, of not more than 18 lines, the first two lines and the even-numbered lines thereafter rhyming together; mainly amato- ry and bacchanalian'. Please write one (maximum 16 lines). Entries to `Competition No. 1749' by 9 October.