Adverts that are pitching what is quite obviously a load of crap. And since TV went digital anybody watching Dave or Yesterday is ball deep in them. Second-rate companies are scrabbling for your attention in that five minutes commercial break from Top Gear or Time Team. They tend to come in waves, mirroring either the time of year or the state of the economy. The latest crop is all the cash for gold offers. Basically you send them your family heirlooms in a pre-paid envelope, they tell you theyre worth shit, and you get a cheque which you spend on some cider. Deal or no deal? Im tempted to think that with these gold-hungry firms its like car insurance, where though there are hundreds of names listed in reality there are only about three or four underwriters at the end of it. The idea being to saturate the market so no one else gets a slice of the cake. So that your Great Granddads 9ct gold cigarette holder bought for him by his sweetheart before he was shipped out to France and that saw him through WW1 and has a bullet dint in it from where it saved his life from a Jerry maxim gun at Passchendaele will end up in the same melting pot regardless of which TV firm you hawk it to for £2.50. But as one satisfied customer said: Ciders cider.
Im worried whats behind the sudden rise in gold prices. Maybe some kind of Dr. No Mega Villain somewhere in the world (deep out in the lonely Pacific or the South China Sea on an island that isnt on any map and is cloaked from Google Earth by a clever use of blue sheets fastened together and big magnets) is developing a super weapon that will make him Master of the World. Some huge gold laser cannon made from gold that eats gold and fires a golden city-burning laser beam. So your old engagement ring or Grannys broach could ultimately help to bring down Western Democracy and enslave us all. Think on.
Since Gordon Browns economic miracle was shown up to be smoke and mirrors (he cashed in a load of our gold back in 1999 to fund another election victory. Selling four hundred tonnes worth. I wonder how big the pre-paid envelope was for all that? And he got a shit deal), and were facing a future where we have to sell our body parts to the utilities firms (cleverly privatised by Thatcher to fund an election victory) in order to keep warm, cook food or light our homes, loan companies have stepped into the breach to help us keep spending. The latest are the loans companies offering tide you over loans at 2600%. *with a really small disclaimer. Big-hearted, altruistic bastards that they are. Digital TV is plagued by loan companies and their over-willingness to help. Picture Loans, Ocean Finance, Norton Finance (announced in Rotherhams finest sing-song, out of tune accent), Yes! Loans, Fast Credit Finance, Jaws Credit Brokers and on and on and on Its a sign of the times. A barometer for our Nations affluence. Like Peter Andres tan and what Tony Blair thinks he might get away with asking for some after dinner speaking.
Next up is JML. JML the modern face of useless bric-a-brac. How much ex-NASA technology does JML have? And why the fuck did NASA spend $6,000,000,000,000 developing an egg poacher/boiler/fryer/scrambler/omelette maker in the first place? Where was the practical thinking behind that fucking brainwave? How do you want yours, Buzz? Three minutes with a nice runny yolk, Neil. FUCK! FUCK! FUCK! I GOT BOILING WATER ALL OVER ME, MAN! ITS GONE WEIGHTLESS! ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH MY HANDS! MY HANDS! FUCK, MY HANDS! SHIT ITS GETTING INTO THE CIRCUIT BOARDS! MAN, ITS STRIPPED THE SKIN FROM MY FACE! FUCK, WERE LOSING THRUSTERS! HOUSTON, WE GOTTA A MOTHERFUCKING PROBLEM! ARRRRRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH! MY FUCKING HANDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! According to JML NASA have also had a hand in designing Cornish pasty moulds, ironing board covers and clothes pegs. Is there nothing those slap head techs cant turn their hands to? What about tea cosies? Have they looked at tea cosies?
And then theres the exercise equipment that will turn any takeaway-loving bloater into a Gladiators contestant by the time you can open another packet of Minstrels. Come the summer when youll be grilling yourself on Lanzarote or Xantia, youll be ripped to fuck if you invest in one of these little beauties. Yeah, right. Cutting out the bollocks, the advert goes: Hate being fat? Dont want to eat less or do any exercise? Want a placebo effect that makes you feel better about yourself for a few weeks? Buy this shit and stick it in your garage or the back bedroom, itll give you two months grace while you go down the pies and pretend that youre doing something about all that lard. Only £49.99 inc P & P. Bargain. The list of wonder exercise products available on mail order is huge. Ab-trimmer. Lateral thigh trainer. Ab roller. The latest Ive noticed is the Perfect Push-Up, developed, theyll have you know, by an Ex-US Navy Seal. You might as well bolt a couple of door handles to the floor in the living room. Or just randomly buy yourself a fucking raccoon. Youll lose as much weight and build as much muscle. And all these things are apparently constructed from the kind of military grade materials youd need to survive a direct hit from a two megaton nuclear bomb. Why? Not that I can say anything, I have the Two minute thigh and bum toner built by Sergeant Jim Scotty McClintock, formerly of the 22 regiment SAS. Apparently the guys at Credenhill swear by them. FOR FUCKS SAKE!!! GET A BASTARD GRIP!!!!! Where were Theo Paphitis and Duncan Bannatyne to piss on someones ambitions and throw shit at their dreams when you needed them? The Earth only has a finite number of resources. Did we really need to waste these precious building blocks of the future on the Vibration Power Plate Massager? Or the truly unbelievable Ab Toning Chair Machine?!
Obviously sales of all this shit are helped if some down at heel celebrity lends there name to the scam. Ooh, Carol Vordermans good with numbers, so this must be a good personal loan deal. Esther Rantzen crusades for consumers rights, I can trust her How callous and calculating is that? Weve got Gloria Hunniford and Michael Parkinson selling what is essentially death insurance, we used to have Thora Hird touting stair lifts. What next, Michael Barrymore punting out swimming pools? Pool party? Any time of the day or night with one of these beauties They might as well go out doing door to door scams with bogus officials, robbing pensioners of their life savings. Twats.
These adverts leave me feeling violated. Someone might as well have stuck their finger right up my fucking arse. One minute Im watching Clarkson take a Lamborghini over some Norwegian glacier in a race against huskies, the next moment some twat is trying to get the gold fillings out of my teeth. Or sell me the all in one salad strainer-cum-toe nail remover. Or get me to sign up for a loan with just one kidney down as a deposit. Its another world intruding into my home. A sadder, more tawdry, desperate world. And looking at the shit theyre selling it makes me think that advertising on TV these days must cost next to nothing. There are so many channels desperate to sell their ad space. It must be like putting a card in the Post Office window or on the free ads board at Tesco. Next to the hamsters to a good home or the Ab Trimmer thats new and unused. Theyre selling crap. Next week Im expecting adverts on Virgin for some blokes old garden shed from down the road. But I can imagine the producers of Watchdog seeing the adverts and rubbing their hands. Looks like weve got material for another series, Justin! Really what these adverts are evidence of is that out there, loose in the community, free to wander at large and spend money, there is a percentage of the population who are more gullible than youd ever believe possible. Sell your gold for biscuits, buy a vertical elliptical arse trainer, take out a loan that youll be paying back for two centuries at ten thousand percent, you might as well go out right now and buy a copy of The Dandy or The Beano and order yourself some X-Ray Specs. These companies are only one step away from Nigerias Mr James Azang and Dr Blessing Mtube out to give you fifty million US dollars for a small investment and your bank details. They are Carpetbaggers. They are shit-kicking charlatans. Dont be the thick bastard theyre taking you for. Keep your money in the bank, Mock the Week will be back on in a minute. Just hold on.
Go on, tell me that the bloke that says wonga doesnt have you reaching for something sharp