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Crushed backs and other celebrations May 12, 2012

Posted by normanmonkey in QPR.
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I was fine until about half-an-hour ago but now I’m like Martin Sheen in the opening scene of Apocalypse Now. Alone with absolutely nothing on TV, pacing despite being declared medically unfit to stand, swigging a cheap rose I’d sniffily declared not to my taste at 6pm. In fifteen hours time Stoke kick-off against Bolton, a unlikely, but still very possible win for the latter and QPR are relegated. Unless QPR can get a point away at Man City. And that’s not going to happen.

Things couldn’t be worse: following medical advice I have spent the last two days lying flat in bed after having my spine crushed by a publican when Djibril Cissse scored a winner in our last Rangers game. Waiting months for a weekend of sunshine only to be told by the doctor to lie down indoors. And I never in my life believed my happiness would be relative to something that was happening in Stoke.

To compound matters I may just recover the ability to sit upright and walk just in time to watch the conclusion on television, sitting within arms reach of the publican, Lee Blewett in his pub The Bramley Inn.

In the past week the Man City – QPR game has become a matter of national debate. There is only one voice I’ve heard that entire time who has openly declared, with no hint of irony, they believe QPR will win: Lee Blewett.

It’s the kind of blind faith that has seen him travel all over the country full of vim only to witness in nine outings nine straight defeats and one solitary goal (compared to Chelsea’s six), so god knows what odds he is operating on for such a prediction, but despite all this evidence to the contrary, he will yet again experience the crushing disappointment that comes with confronting the odds with his hand on his crotch.

The tragic thing is this fixture and the need for Bolton not to win at Stoke coincides with the birthday party he’d organised for his partner.  Curious to how this would pan out I asked what the plans relating to football tomorrow, receiving the reply: “I am going to get her twatted tonight. Tomorrow is all about the footy’. Not a line I imagine we’ve seen oft used in the vaults of Mills & Boon.

Tomorrow one of us is going to need to watch the scores come in in a cage. I certainly don’t want him charging at me like an undersexed gorilla if Stoke or, god forbid, QPR score. The physio was amazed I’d been walking, driving and commuting into town after ligament strain he inflicted on my back. And it cost me fifty-five quid for he to tell me that. That’s the exact same sum I owe Blewett for the Chelsea away match he suggested we go to fortnight ago, all in the belief of a surprise result.

That finished 6-1 and he looked a broken man. Tomorrow the only man who may be broken is whoever is in reach at the final whistle and, with the state of my spine, I’ll be slowest out the blocks.

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A night in the kitchen with ants May 10, 2012

Posted by normanmonkey in Home, Single London.
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After a late-night slog in the office there’s nothing like the prospect of returning home to a house infested with flying ants to add cheer at the end of the day.

Where they have come from I know not. Their timing seems to have come with another self-created shooting in the foot on the personal front, but I am presently sitting, swatting limply with a QPR programme. A man of a certain age reduced to being an extra in a bad Damien Hirst installation in his own designer kitchen. Give it five minutes and Charles Saatchi will be looking to exhibit me on the South Bank.

Wishful thinking. Whereas Hirst could command a cool million for this I can see that I’ll be forking out for fumigation tomorrow, but it’ll be worth it simply so I can stop being stuck in a fucking metaphor.

By sheer coincidence, through the haze of ants, I’ve just opened an email from my recently departed cleaner Pavlina (touchingly, her email address is ‘CleanhousePavlina’ so clearly this is not a woman who lives in fear of being typecast). She’s departed in the sense that she has hung up her marigolds and headed back to Bulgaria to be with family, was missing her favourite clients in England and wanted news.

I’m half-tempted to send her a picture of myself and the worktops she tended covered in insects and other ephemera to show her what has happened as a result of her own shameful self-indulgence.

This would be a diversion to avoid telling her about Aggy from Poland, her replacement. Not only was Aggy brought in within days of Pavlina’s departure, is a beast with the Dyson, but she also has the significant advantage in the cleaning trade of not being allergic to dust, which tragically played havoc with Pavlina’s skin (as a result she used to clean mostly the clean areas with admirable ferocity but there were parts of the house, namely those that actually needed cleaning, that simply couldn’t be breached). Bulgaria 0 Poland 1.

Perhaps it’s for the best I simply tell her all is well and send her a picture of me and the mop and be done with it. Who knows, maybe this was planned all along by Pavlina. Maybe her email is no coincidence, an attempt to undermine the stoic work of Aggy and get a recall to heroically repell the invaders, like Zhukov knocking back the Bosch at Moscow. Bulgaria 2 Poland 1 (AET). Clever.

As for the ants, I think I may take to them: they aren’t too demanding company, certainly more civilised than your average Chelsea fan, but I have noted that even they seem intent on getting out of the house rather than hanging around. They too have probably noticed the stark absence of food and wine. Frankly, wherever it is they think is the better option tonight, I think I may join them.

Djibril Cisse gave me whiplash (and I liked it) May 7, 2012

Posted by normanmonkey in QPR.
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There’s living proof in my sorry arsed form that it’s possible to suffer whiplash watching Queens Park Rangers. A split second after Djibril Cisse scored an 89th minute winner to pull us out of the relegation zone I found myself in a headlock of an adrenalin pumped publican who proceeded to throw me around the stratosphere of Shepherds Bush until I landed back in a broken heap in my seat. He was still roaring like a primal being as I was doing a spot-check to see if anything had been snapped off. Such are the dangers of last-minute winners in the battle to stay in the Premiership

Even in joy there appears to be agony. Today my neck and spine are a twisted and broken column of vertibrae, but at least we are out of the relegation zone with one game to go. Was it worth it? Absolutely. I’d have given a limb and an organ in order to put the tension to rest.

The girlfriend seemed genuinely shocked today when I described that moment as ‘one of the highlights in my life’. Let us be clear that my life has been extremely rewarding, but nothing exceptional and with so much of its leisure time spent either in the W12 this has largely consisted of dashed hopes, disappointment and abject failure.

Otherwise, and with the exception of maintaining a no-claims bonus, there have been no births, marriages, awards, first-places, mentions in dispatches, Time magazine editorials on my enriching contribution to society or any other accolades of any note.

‘What about time we climbed Dunns River Falls together in Jamaica?’ she asked. Well, yes, precisely. That can be a bought experience and didn’t involve emotional risk, especially as it was shared with thirty morbidly obese Americans in their swimming costumes waddling up from the rear. Hardly the stuff of Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tensing.

Yesterday’s Cisse moment of seeing the ball hit the net was a spontaneous mass hysterical release of 17,000 people who invest most of their time and money into something that never actually comes off, who always fear the worst and get it delivered in abundance. The casualty wards of Uxbridge, Acton, Northolt and Notting Hill have probably never seen so many self-inflicted injuries all registered in the space of the same moment.

What we now have is hope and I will take being temporarily crippled for that. It will all be decided next Sunday and I will actually be in the pub of said landlord. There’s a chance I may die if we stay up, but it is a risk worth taking. God knows what he will do to me if we go down.

Osama Bin Llama: rebranding al-Queda May 4, 2012

Posted by normanmonkey in Consumer PR, In the news.
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osama

Documents seized by U.S authorities in the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s hideout and just released reveal the global terror chief was planning a change of name and strategic approach for al-Queda’s ‘tarnished’ image. This attempt to regain popularity in the Islaamic world was cut short by a bullet to the head after his position was located, but among the papers seized was a pitch documents from a leading London creative agency with ideas on how to rebrand al-Queda for a wider consumer audience.

For the the first time, we can reveal the agency document Osama had received and signed off (pending approval by al-Queda’s procurement department):

Our Platform: 9/11 is soooo over!

There’s a recession on. Budgets are down. People are tightening their suicide belts. Long gone are the  days of demolishing landmarks of US imperialism on home soil for a TV spectacular. Instead it’s all about engagement, going digital, a softer approach and collaboration with cooler third-parties than the Saudis.

And yes, we signed the confidentiality agreement. The absolute sensitivity you kept repeating re. this brief was highly stressed to Alice, our nine-year old intern.

The Stella McCartney Suicide Belt

Lets look first at one of your iconic pieces of attire. We say it’s time for a bit of reinterpretation: no one wants to be seen dead wearing something so cumbersome and bricky. Look at the design! There’s no give and it’s not in tune with modern metrosexual needs. No wonder recruitment is down!

That’s why we’ve got Stella on board to add her flair to the ultimate jihadist accessory: the limited-edition Stella 100 suicide belt, made entirely from ethically-sourced materials.

Stella has spent six months and several hundred thousand pounds taking her inspiration from Afghan rug patterns to come up with a design that is an Afghan rug pattern (We were fanning ourselves too! How DOES she do it). The suicide belt comes with an iPhone pouch, hidden make-up kit, bottled water holder and a panic button (just in case someone has a last minute change of heart and wants to be saved – cute!).

We’ve also noted from our research your old style belts tended to come apart after being worn once out on the town. What are we, Primark? So Stella has come up with a much more durable design that can be worn right through the season. This reaffirms your sustainability, ethical and premium credentials.

The Tora Bora Pop-Up Restaurant 

Pop-up is back and badder than ever before! In homage to your years spent in hiding in a mountain wilderness, we’ll create a one-week only Tora Bora dining experience by dumping  2,000 tonnes of rocks on a group of creatives and food, style and fashion writers in Shoreditch (Potters Bar is already booked up by the Zionists that week for their Seven Day War reenactment) for an experiential campaign to celebrate those glory years.

Teaming up with food alchemists Bompas and Parr we’ll serve a heritage menu of edible dirt and shrapnel, served in the dark. For an extra £50k the digital guys have put their heads together and come up with a plan to seed out a live stream to ‘share the darkness’.

If any journalist, blogger or consumer attempts to make a phone call, Facebook status update, tweet or speaks, cries or moves we cluster bomb the entire Shoreditch area. Again, we think this will be for great viral content and potentially a record number of Facebook ‘likes’ – which is what it’s ALL about in 2012!

Float an Iceburqa Down the Thames

Everyone loves ice sculptures, right. What is a PR campaign without one! That;s why we are going to float a giant burqa down the Thames with a giant Jihadist clinging onto it all the way up to Parliament. This is our way of saying: watch out, we are coming to get you.

We’ve also arranged with our Cult-cha team a post-stunt event:  the iconic iceburqa to be transported to uber cool gallery White Cube to be turned into ice cubes at an Osama video retrospective attended by Sadie Frost, Peaches Geldolf, Rhys Ifans, Geoff Hurst, Normski, ex-cast members of TOWIE and Dean Gaffney.

Content distribution and social media strategy

For a global terrorist network no one is going to take you seriously if you keep seeding out your updates via a single VHS video tape. While we admire the 80’s retro approach, lets give it a makeover. Kelly Hoppen is going to reinterpret your rock interiors to make the backdrop a bit more ‘shi-shi’ to appeal to a wider female and gay-friendly audience. On that note, lose the beard.

The Digital Guys have created their own social platform so you can engage with your followers: Faceburqa. A place where al-Queda members and Jihadists can catch-up, talk about their future plans in a secure area, share anti-Zionist material, farewell videos, Instagram pics of their hideouts, Spotify track listings and Farmville updates.

Osama Bin Llama

Everyone knows you for that long beard. Sooo 2001. Hairy is out, furry is in.  That’s why the guys in planning set about giving your organisation a quirky, cute, friendly face that will engage with adults and children alike: Osama Bin Llama.

For reasons we can’t explain but will justify later when we come to write our awards entry, we’ve created an animated Llama with a Peruvian accent who shares your quirky view on overthrowing Christian-Zionist occupation of the holy lands, but in a much more cheery, engaging manner.

Giles in our ‘Creative Lab’ has also stipulated that Osama likes golf, Angel Delight, watching Eastenders and drives a Smart Car. We did ask him why exactly and Giles stripped to his pants, doused himself in latte which he threatened to light and screamed ‘BECAUSE HE DOES!’ before going into a rocking foetal position under our fussball table. That’s good enough for us. Such. A Genius.

Budgets and KPIs

Budgets are attached but only a ballpark figure to the nearest million. KPIs will be discussed upon appointment.

Confidentiality and speak soon!

So as you’ve probably gathered we are phasing you out in the rebrand. While you’ve stressed confidentiality and we are given to believe this is a sensitive issue on your part. Your secret is safe with us and we haven’t spoke to anyone about this brief outside our all-agency meetings and client meetings.

However, we must also stress that we have spent a lot of time on this and are sensitive about these ideas being shared. Given these ideas and creative approaches are utterly unique and we take our genius very seriously we have also CC’d in a number of governmental and legal departments to enusre that should you undertake them independently.

Ma’a salama!