Archive | December, 2012

New Year Message of hope from ‘Fiscal’ Cliff. *Exclusive* 7:22pm G.M.T.

31 Dec

'Fiscal' Cliff Spong

By Roadwax Special Reporter Elena Handcart

The  shadowy figure accused of being responsible for the latest economic crisis confronting the United States, Clifford ‘Fiscal’ Spong  – also known as Fiscal Cliff – has released a message of hope for Americans as the deadline for the financial crisis approaches.

In a chance meeting at Scratchwood Services on the M1 in England, our Senior Reporter Elena Handcart was granted permission to record a short interview that is reproduced in unedited form below.

Reporter:   One regular skinny Latte please, hot milk.

Catering Manager:   You want some cake with that, Madam?

Reporter:    Not at these f***ing prices, mate. You must be having a giraffe.

Fiscal Cliff:    Nicely said, little madame. (laughs) Here, go on, I’ll pay. Give her that one on the left.

Reporter:    Call me ‘little madame’ one more time and I’ll put my…oh…(indistinct)…you’re Fiscal Cliff, aren’t you?

Minder:    Don’t speak to Mr Spong unless you’re told to, there’s a good girl.

Reporter:    Wind your neck in, donkey bollocks, or I’ll take you out…(indistinct, sound of scuffle)...

Fiscal Cliff:   It’s all right, Dave. Let her have her cake and eat it. (laughs)

Minder:     She’s recording every word, boss, I think she might be a reporter.

Fiscal Cliff:   Who isn’t these days…?  Its all right. Its all right. Here…have a seat. Sit yourself down, girl.

Minder:   I don’t think you should do this, Mr Spong.

Fiscal Cliff:   I know. That’s why I employ you as a driver.

Reporter:  Mr Spong, what do you have to say to the American people about the outrageous uncertainty…

Minder:   I’m not a driver, I’m a Close Protection Specialist.

Fiscal Cliff:  Don’t interrupt, Dave. Go and get me some Spearmint from the shop, will you? Jesus…

Reporter: …about the taxation and spending crisis. Why did you do it, Mr Spong?

Fiscal Cliff:  Call me ‘Fiscal’.

Catering Manager: Skinny Latte and Chocolate Heart Attack. Enjoy.

Reporter:  Thank you. Can I have a tea spoon?

Catering Manager: I give you spoon already. There. By cup.

Reporter:No, another tea spoon for the cake.

Catering Manager: There. By the cup. I give you spoon already.

Fiscal Cliff:Oh, for f**k’s sake. Just go and get a spoon. Another spoon. Two spoons.

Catering Manager: More spoon?

Fiscal Cliff: Yes. More spoons. One more spoon.

Catering Manager:Two spoons or one? One spoon?

Fiscal Cliff: Dave usually does this stuff for me. No, one spoon. Another spoon. Just one.

Catering Manager: Just one spoon. Yes sir.

Reporter: Fiscal,  is there any hope for the American taxpayer that you will agree to negotiate…

Fiscal Cliff:  He’s getting a dessert spoon. I knew he would. Its bigger than the bloody cake.

Reporter:   Are you willing to negotiate to save the US economy from what appears to be…

Fiscal Cliff:  Of course I am. Of course. People misunderstand me.

Reporter:   How do you mean?

Fiscal Cliff: They’ve been told lies about me. They’ve made me out to be this big villain.

Reporter:  Who has?

Fiscal Cliff:  The politicians. I’m the big monster under the bed.

Reporter:  But at midnight tonight, automated spending cuts and tax hikes are gonna...

Fiscal Cliff:  You don’t really believe all that crap, do you?

Reporter:  But the failure to negotiate an alternative solution…

Fiscal Cliff:  Exactly…! Exactly…! The failure to negotiate…! It’s not me. It’s them lot.

Reporter:  Who?

Fiscal Cliff:  The politicians! Too scared of wrecking their careers to offer a sensible solution!

Reporter:   But the Democrat plan to keep the Estate Tax level of 45% might hurt many farming families.

Fiscal Cliff: Yes, but keeping the rate where it is knocks $119 billion off of tax revenue.

Reporter: Well, so Welfare expenditure would be cut, just like in other countries.

Fiscal Cliff:  Unaffordable. Welfare would tail-spin. Poverty would increase. 

Reporter:  But over-taxation could strangle growth and investment, kill off enterprise.

Fiscal Cliff:  Well, the figures are painful but it all depends where you want your pain.

Reporter:  Are you threatening me?

FiscalCliff:  I never threatened anyone. Calm down. You have to see the big picture.

Reporter:  Well, what solution can you suggest that is acceptable to everyone?

Fiscal Cliff:   That is the whole problem. All the solutions are unacceptable to one party or the other.

Reporter:  So, there is no solution?

Fiscal Cliff: There are plenty…but they all result in a loss of face to the politicians. Pride.

Reporter: Name a solution, then.

Fiscal Cliff: Easy. Cut back on Defense spending. You’d have the money in a moment.

Reporter:    But Defense spending is a Holy Grail to politicians! They’d lose face.

Fiscal Cliff:   Exactly, even though the U.S. would still be quite safe, they would lose pride.

Reporter:   So wherever you make cuts, some politician loses pride.

Fiscal Cliff: Exactly. It is all about the self-esteem of politicians, not voter’s well-being.

Reporter:  But voters rely on politicians to make the right choices on their behalf, don’t they? 

Fiscal Cliff:  Hang on  (phone bleeps) ...I’m just taking a call from my mate, Obama…

Reporter:  President Obama has your number…?

Fiscal Cliff: Bazza…Bazza…all right, my old son…? Yeah, fine…Scratchwood Services…I know, but nobody knows me in Scratchwood Services…yes…yes…right…right…okay…nice one. Love to the wife and kids…bye.

Reporter:  What did he say?

Fiscal Cliff:He said you climb a mountain one step at a time.

Reporter: What does that mean?

Fiscal Cliff: They’re gonna cut the cost of delivering Defense and Medicare by milking their big suppliers.

Reporter:  Will the big suppliers let that happen?

Fiscal Cliff: They have to. They’re loaded. So, the first round of the fight is won by the people.

Reporter:Why?

Fiscal Cliff: Because that will stop the huge tax hike that was due to happen tomorrow.

Reporter: Won’t the Defense and Medicare fat cats fight back?

Fiscal Cliff: No, the CEOs will keep their tax loopholes in return for higher Corporation Tax.

Reporter: So, the rich get richer and the workers lose the pay rise they were promised for next year…?

Fiscal Cliff:   Yes…but no politicians were hurt during the making of this documentary.

Minder: Are you gonna eat that chocolate cake or can I have it…?

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North Korean rocket scientist goes home and hugs kids.

12 Dec

All civilians are instructed to continue with their work program.

That is all.

Is somebody gonna come and wake me up when I’m supposed to salute…?

Ford (USA) reveal “Back to the Future” version of European Transit

6 Dec

In a bold marketing move by Ford USA, described as “bold” by a panel of analysts who search for boldness in our world, Ford USA have released the first publicity shots of the T-Series/Transit van that will replace the historic E-Series/Econoline on the American continent.

Now, before I begin to ridicule the man on the far left of the photograph, let me point out that Ford are really putting their best brains forward on this project. How do you replace a van as iconic as the E-Series wth something totally new yet retain your customer loyalty?

Answer: You put a 1970’s retro grille on the front and you cross your fingers.

And you make the rest of the van look as much like a Mercedes Sprinter as you can without the Mercedes lawyers calling you up and saying:

“Now, you have made a mistake. A ferry, ferry bed mistake. Ve feel you hef not the full understandink of the word respekt.”

Okay, no cultural stereotyping here on Roadwax but you gotta love the German accent. It rocks.

Right. Now back to the man on the hard left of the picture.

Basically, the story is this.

Ingemar, the director of the photo shoot, doesn’t know squat about how people in warehouses work. But he’s pretty sure that somewhere along the scheme of things, an authority figure with a red clipboard and a hard hat has to shout and order people around.

So he employs an extra called Dave to stand there next to the shutter and shout and wave his hands as though he is in charge. In real life, Dave would keep well clear of the walls because he knows that ‘Blind Danny’ is about to return to the warehouse and collect some pallets, so standing next to a wall right now is not a good move.

In the foreground, to reinforce the fact that this is a parcel van that is being portrayed, Ingemar gets hold of an extra who looks like a parcel delivery driver.

Meet Remy. To compensate for the fact that Remy actually works as a damn good ballet dancer and doesn’t even hold a driving license (he cycles), Ingemar tells him to look exhausted and ignore the bloke who is shouting and waving his arms over by the shutter.

Remy was a little upset that the wardrobe department have mistakenly given him ill-fitting workwear but Ingmar just smiled and nodded his head with a knowing wink. Ingemar ordered the workwear himself and he (like us) knows about these things.

Although Ingemar has got an embarrassingly limited understanding of how the parcel industry actually works, he is highly skilled as a director of films depicting the violent collapse of the human condition. Ingemar just knows instinctively that a third character must be introduced to the picture to destabilize it and imply a note of menace.

Ingemar used this technique to great effect in “Twenty Steps to Trondheim” and “Death Is Thursday” which both won him awards at the 2012 Cannes Festival of Stuff Going Straight to DVD.

Cue Colin, far right.

Colin is an English nanny who works for Ingemar’s partner now that his US work visa has expired. Colin is cheap and reliable and does what Ingemar tells him to do.

So, Ingemar says:

‘Colin, I am feeling that you should be standing with a sack barrow in front of you. I think this works.”

Does Colin point out to Ingemar that this looks utterly stupid and removes the last shred of authenticity in the shot? That the entire warehouse is filled with palletised goods, none of which could be moved with a sack barrow?

You decide…

Does your Procter and Gamble washing powder destroy your will to live…?

5 Dec
Okay...its a box of  washing machine powder...but...

Okay…its a box of washing machine powder…but…

Procter & Gamble UK make a huge range of cleaning, grooming and beauty products. Beginning in the United States in 1837, they have always been pretty clever when it comes to selling stuff like washing powder or anything that involves mixing a few chemicals together to spread over yourself or your kitchen.

Trouble is, they can’t write good copy. I mean, they really have a problem with creative writing. A big problem. Scary big.

This is their household favourite, ‘Fairy Non-Bio’ washing powder:

...nothing suspicious here...everything appears to be quite normal...but...

…nothing suspicious here…everything appears to be quite normal…but…

And this is the same pack from another angle:

...there seems to be some kind of important message on the back...

…there seems to be some kind of important message on the back…

And this is what it says on the back:

oh dear...

oh dear…

I think P&G want mother to sing these words under her breath to the tune of:  ‘I’m a Little Teapot’ – that totally bonkers 1930’s hit song – while  smiling lovingly at her baby.

If you happen to be a baby who’s mother is currently smiling at you and singing these words, get out quick. Crawl towards the door and leave. Never look back.

“I’m a little toddler

Short, not stout,”

Okay, this has already gone wrong, hasn’t it? Babies are almost universally stout. Take a look at your own logo at the bottom right of the pack. ‘Stout’ appears to be very much in evidence. You got a problem with ‘stout’?

“Feel my jumper,

Soft, no doubt…”

Wooaaah…right, so this is already getting way out of line. Is this a call from P&G to encourage a a new trend in baby-fondling? Are babies supposed to be admired and assessed for the softness of their jumpers? Is this how we are?

“When I get all dirty,

Hear me shout:”

Ever heard a baby shout? Did that shout include any recognised words? Anything to do with mass-produced cleansing agents?

“Get the box of liquitabs out!”

Oh dear…oh dear…oh dear…

Where does one start?

Close your eyes and imagine a dirty baby shouting that line at you.

Scary Bad.

Imagine if Sesame Street  suddenly did an episode on bestiality. Or, suppose you saw Kermit theFrog with a needle stuck in his arm. See what I mean? The dream is forever shattered…

And as for suggesting that one should clean up a dirty baby by using a sachet of harsh chemicals, designed to be put in a washing machine…

Okay. Now, dear reader, (as fellow WordPress blogger Linda Vernon might say) we imagine that afternoon meeting in the Procter & Gamble marketing department when this copy was actually signed off.

“Well done, team!…Really pushed the ball uphill on this one!…I think we’ve totally cracked the message we want to send to the world!…Fantastic effort all round!…This is really going to hit the target market hard!…So proud…you guys make me so damn proud…!”

“Team, I feel that our job here is done. Now, let’s move straight on to solving World Poverty. Any ideas come to mind…?”

Crazy Bad.

Oh, since you ask, that spoon on the draining board is mine. I got others as well, but that one is particularly damn sexy, ain’t it? My house is fitted with an alarm, by the way…

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