Drivel Genesis

11 Apr

Hello Boys and Girls.

Let me cast your minds back to 1991; the UK was recovering from a particularly harsh winter, the most popular boys name in the country was Thomas and Leeds United were, under Howard Wilkinson’s management, the best team in England.

You may also remember, if you were around my age, that children all across the country were invited to send in their pictures to magazines such as “Lookin” and television programmes such as Hart Beat. Now, the incentives to do so were wild and varied – some would offer you and your family a week in Butlin’s at Skegness as a reward for the best picture of a flattened hedgehog, whereas others would offer five whole pounds for the best aquatic montage made from quality street wrappers. However, there was always one clause these media outlets would always insist on, and here are my top 5 reasons why your creations could not be returned (not even with an S.A.E.)

The ceremonial burning

Remember, the license fee hasn’t always been £140-odd a year. No, back in the early nineties the BBC had less than £100 per year per household to live on, which may account for why programs such as Big Break look incredibly dated. Crucially, with energy bills being astronomical, the only way Going Live could afford to keep Schofield and Greene warm was to burn all correspondence sent to them, and pump the resulting heat around Studio 7.

Ghosts/Safety Reasons

It was because of ghosts. As we all know, ghosts are nocturnal creatures, which means that they are allergic to daytime, and ghosts are also vengeful creatures, taking their revenge upon those who they can prove are out and about during the day. With that in mind, is it really a good idea to have a picture of a cat lying around a sub-editors office, with the name and address of poor seven year old Jemima Rigsby from Nuneaton scrawled on the back? NO! As such, for safety reasons, all correspondence must be destroyed.

The old Dodgy Postmen Blackmail scam

Yep, posties. Can’t trust ’em. That 24 DVD box set off eBay, that new debit card and the ultra rare St Etienne Daho CD, all victims to Her Majesty’s deliverymen. And when they’re not nicking your stuff, or boldly standing at your door handing you a card telling you that you are not in, they’re blackmailing you into the bargain.
Should an original photo of an orang-utan in the local zoo make it’s way back to you with covering letter from the Beano, and should the postman read it, he will then realise that you, a 26 year old, have entered a competition for the under 11s. He will then blackmail you for trying to defraud little Timmy, the rightful winner, of his brand new Nintendo DSi. Let me ask you, was it really worth it? EH? Just so you could play GTA Chinatown Wars on a SLIGHTLY BIGGER SCREEN? Fucks sake.

Editing reasons.

Cynics might say the reason photos and pictures cannot be returned due to the fact they are cut out and put on printing plates, or mounted on card. Can’t rule it out, I spose. Back then they didn’t have the same technology as we do now. So it’s possible. Unlikely, but possible.

A lack of stamps.

The BBC never send stuff back because they don’t have stamps, and no, even though TVC is over the road from White City Spar, no they can’t be bothered. Why should they? Similarly, Channel 5’s Milkshake have better things to be doing than running to the post office when they only get a half hour lunchbreak and the post office queues are horrendous.

So there we have it. Remember, times have moved on, and if you send a picture to a local paper these days, it’ll probably be via e-mail so everyone’s a winner. However, there are still organisations in 2009 who may hang on to your post, so please be careful when sending stuff through the post. And remember, the best way to remain covered is to take a copy. How about the next time you send something in the post, you take a photo of it? That way, if your post is kept, burned, stabbed or whatever, at least you’ll have a 35mm facsimile to keep you company.


2 Responses to “Drivel Genesis”

  1. MFAC April 11, 2009 at 4:56 pm #

    “if you send a picture to a local paper these days, it’ll probably be via e-mail so everyone’s a winner”It strikes me that everyone is not a winner. What about the lady who works in the shop developing photos and selling card for mounting pictures? I’ll grant you she was only a weirdo art student, but she didn’t deserve to DIE!


  2. Will April 11, 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    In much the same way that video killed the radio star, the film processing woman got merked by the digital camera. And she was only two days from retirement.


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