10 August 2017

Usherette Misses Out on Award Again


"It's blatant discrimination. Nothing more, nothing less. That award should have been mine." So said Candice Floss in a hastily convened press conference in the community centre yesterday. Miss Floss, part time drama student and full time usherette at the Gaumont Theatre and Bingo Hall, was referring to her disappointment at once more missing out on the Best Supporting Artist Oscar at this year's Academy Awards for her sterling work selling ice creams in the lobby.

"Tell me where it says that I actually have to be in the film in order to win and award?" the tearful Miss Floss was reported to have demanded. "Go on, where? I'm an important figure in the film world. I contribute significantly to movie-goers' enjoyment. It's only right that I should expect my talent to be recognised, and yet the judging panel continues to shun me on the wafer-thin pretext that 'they've never heard of me'."

"I think Candice has a valid point," said Stinky Keith who works on the popcorn stand. "She is brilliant at selling ice creams. She hardly ever drops them and she has a really lovely smile. I too know what it is to be shunned for no adequate reason - in my case it's a mild body odour problem which everyone blows way out of proportion. I feel that we are kindred spirits, Candice and me, and I hope that one day she will overlook my hardly noticeable aroma issues and consent to go out with me."

Readers wishing to know more about Miss Floss's remarkable career to date can read the full interview in tomorrow's Evening Telegraph, right next to the story about the man from the butcher's who has been awarded the Nobel Prize for his tax return and beneath an item about a woman who is teaching her horse to knit.

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07 August 2017

Selling Crap for Fun and Profit

"There are days when I strongly suspect that my grandfather was some kind of simpleton." There is a profound note of dismay in Linda Grantleigh's voice as she makes this confession; almost shame, in fact, that she should be of the same bloodline. As the chief executive of Grantflox she's earned the right to her opinion, turning the struggling firm that her grandfather founded in the sixties into a thriving international concern.

"I remember him from my childhood," she recalls. "This portly, sweaty man looming over us wearing fake plastic fangs and googly-eyed glasses, thinking all the while that he was being terribly amusing. I may have been only six but even then I could see that he lacked vision."

Cheap novelties and wacky gimmicks were not just Peter Grantleigh's passions, they were the foundations on which he built his business. Grantleigh's Goofs, as the company was originally called, first fired up its production lines in 1963. It soon cornered the sizeable - if not entirely lucrative - market in disappointing tat. Remember all those ads in the back of comics and Sunday supplements for x-ray specs, fake scars and garlic chewing gum? Chances are you were looking at a Grantleigh product. And no doubt you've had more than one Christmas dinner that was brought low by crackers containing impossible puzzles, a pathetic clip-on moustache or a weird plastic 'mood fish' - all thanks to Grantleigh's Goofs.

"My grandfather managed to scrape a living, just about," Linda said. "His business model was based on pocket money, quite literally. He was selling junk to schoolkids in return for pennies - fake noses, nails through fingers, that kind of thing. He used to say that it wasn't about the money, it was about bringing joy to people's lives. He was a moron.

"When my father took over the business he carried on along the same lines, but at least he had no illusions about it. He knew it was a crock of shit but he had other interests - mainly gambling, drinking, other men's wives and anything else that would get him out of the house."

Initially Linda had no interest in the family business but a chance encounter at a workplace reactualisation seminar changed her mind. "The company I worked for were always sending me on bullshit stuff like that. I had no idea what 'workplace actualisation' was, still don't, but I always put myself forward because they usually laid on a good lunch. And it was a chance to arse about for the day, of course; but when it comes to arsing about we've got nothing on the charity sector. These sessions are usually crawling with them and at this particular one I met someone from the Association for Distressed Cattle who had been working on a bovine relocation project, or something equally ridiculous She showed me this key ring in the shape of cow that had the charity's logo on it. Well, I mean, it was shit, obviously - but apparently they'd ordered thousands of them and it had cost them a bloody fortune. And that was my lightbulb moment."

Linda took over the company and transformed it, almost overnight, from an antiquated factory producing useless tat for schoolkids to a modern, international business producing much-needed tat for the charity sector.


"Balloons, key rings, shopping trolley tokens, mouse mats - you name it, if it's pointless, tacky and it's got their name on it, they'll lap it up. I think some of those people really do believe that a customized coaster can help accomplish their charitable objectives; that a balloon on a stick can change people's lives. 'Raising awareness' they call it. Apparently, people who don't have a roof over their heads need to be made aware that they're homeless."

Grantflox certainly do nothing to disabuse their customers of this notion. In fact, they have a dedicated promotional team which advises charities on exactly what item of frivolous bric-a-brac will best get their message across. Who knew that a calendar is the best way of providing support for sufferers of muscular dystrophy, or that a branded pen is the first step to housing rough sleepers? And Grantflox's fortunes continue to soar.

"We did get worried a few years back, " Linda admitted. "There was a big clampdown on public spending, charities were expected to do more with less and we thought that this would seriously impact our business. Thankfully most of them decided to cut the money they put into frontline services in order to maintain their spending on promotional items. It's that kind of foresight that means we still have jobs today."

mouse mats lottery scratchers
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01 August 2017



Just been handed a project
but can't be bothered to get started?

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And Vapid is great for generating vague SWOT analyses that look good but don't actually tell you anything.


Comes with more than 400 Gantt charts for you to colour in!

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07 June 2017

A Sustained Corporate Battering

Concerns are growing for Christian Pyle, Senior Business Partner at Frisbee Digitally Tracked Logistical Interface Solutions, following a series of social media posts which indicate that he has dangerously low expectations in life. Over the past few weeks he has tweeted that he was 'looking forward' to a meeting on business continuity, 'excited' by a new office layout and 'thrilled' to be taking part in a financial strategy exercise.

"We've been worried about Christian for some time now," his wife told us as she choked back the tears. "He used to treat all this mundane bullshit with the contempt it deserved, but since he's been working at this new place he's changed. I don't know how, but they've got to him."

Much to the relief of his family and friends, Mr Pyle has now agreed to see a specialist and hopes are rising that his self-esteem can be restored to its previous levels. And Mr Pyle has welcomed the idea, if a recent post is anything to go by in which he writes that he is 'thrilled' and 'excited' to be embarking on this 'fantastic new life-actualisation opportunity.'

We invited business psychologist Dianne Headshrieker to give her verdict on some of the posts that Christian has recently uploaded...


social media post

"Initially it appears that this individual is being sarcastic. Certainly that's what most normal people would think, but the key to interpreting the real meaning behind this is recognising that this person is not normal. This is a man who has taken a severe, sustained corporate battering; someone who has had the joy systematically knocked out of him to the point where the prospect of a day spent talking about stationery is genuinely the highlight of his week. The author of this message has been reduced to a near-vegetative state in which he will begin to salivate at the mere mention of a hole punch, and where the prospect of a discussion about envelopes is enough to send him into paroxysms of ecstasy."


social media post

"Quite why so many people post pictures of noticeboards is something that is still not fully understood. In this case the hashtag might indicate some principal that the author is wishing to illustrate. However, it's more likely that this individual is desperate to be 'included', to be part of 'the team', and in order to achieve this they have chosen to sycophantically heap praise on something which is uninspiring and commonplace, without considering whether such adulation is warranted. They have also failed to consider the possibility of there being a right way and a wrong way to spell the word 'noticeboard'."


social media post

"Three exclamation marks - I feel we are getting close to the point of breakdown. The company's original post is a bland and soulless aphorism which, even if it were used in some sort of context, would never approach any recognisable measure of sincerity. Nevertheless, this individual not only believes it but appears to have interpreted it personally. He is the staff member who is valued, he is the person that his masters wish to ensure is happy. The implication that this is only in order to make him more productive is not acknowledged. The line between sycophancy and gullibility is a fine one, and in this example it seems to have been crossed, I fear irrevocably so."

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09 May 2017

Takeaways Hit by Persistent Squirrel Abuse


Many animals have been observed using tools in order to accomplish everyday tasks. For instance, the woodpecker finch uses a cactus spine as a spear to impale larvae, elephants modify branches to scratch themselves with and pandas can use power tools. But so far squirrels have proven to be unique in that they are the only animals that have been observed to use the internet.

Typically, squirrels use services like hungryhouse, Just Eat and Stuff-My-Face-Please to order up takeaways from local companies. They have a particular fondness for curries, with lamb pasanda being the number one choice. By and large, however, most businesses find their custom unwelcome.

"It's a real pain," one delivery driver told us. "The alarm bells start to ring when the address appears to be in the middle of nowhere. You end up walking through some creepy old woods, with these excited little shapes scurrying about on the edge of your vision and the feeling of beady little eyes all over you. When you get to the right tree, you ring the bell and a furry little bastard scampers down and sits there expectantly, cheeks puffed out in excitement, and you just think oh shit, not again.

"The worst thing is they expect to get away with paying you in acorns."

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Blog Index

Archive 1

February 2001
- July 2003

Cooker Island

"Rogue cookers..."

Exploding Dinners

"The latest pyrotechnic technology..."

Project Scooby

"A rancid, petulant wheelbarrow of death..."

Flying Squirrels

"Flying into the side of a house at forty knots ..."




Invitation to a Monks' Tea Party

"...dedicated to St Jemima of the Holy Rock, the patron saint of gravel..."


"The main entrance is only protected by a turnstile..."

Shave the Moon

"...landing a man on the moon, shaving it, and returning him safely to Earth......"


"There are two schools of thought when it comes to the removal of fat..."


Inside the Nun Factory

Nuns don't grow on trees

Official Apologies

We're very very sorry

The Cake Escape

Power tools hidden in confectionery.


Man bugled due to typing error.

Barney's Magic Wonder Show

A review

Tapdancing Across the Sahara

A catalogue of catastrophic failure

  UK Citizenship Test

How to be a great Briton

Dark Batter

Wendy Miller's new theory

Fields of Gold

Fergus farms financiers


Have you got what is takes?

Professional Scarer
Kicking and Screaming

Prologue: Peanuts

You Don't Have to be Mad to Work Here...

Machiavelli Management Solutions

The Bleeding Obvious

Exploding Dogs

Baby's First Swear

Scrufty's Magic Juju Shop


Empire of the Flowers


Mrs Wilberforce and the River

Epilogue: Persons Unknown

Board Meeting Goldilocks and the Free Bears Death Doom and Disaster Tall Story in a Short Glass Venus by Catapult Barry Buys a Broom
The History of Rock
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All material Copyright © Paul Farnsworth 2000-2017, and may not be reproduced without the express permission of the author. All characters, companies and organisations are fictitious, and any similarity to persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.


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