Archive for March, 2012

These big old railway arch warehouses can be a scary place at night, noises echo, shadows linger, some of the stock has a tendency to give off a low hum sound:

Wooo – no, lower; Mmmm – yes, that’s the sound.

Anyway, I was just about to turn off the lights last night when I noticed something wrong, not a presence but more of an absense: we hadn’t got any comments on the blog.

EmpTy-V test card

Turns out we've been broadcasting to no one.

I said to the Boi – he was still ‘aat back’, trying to sort through a pile of strange ideas, to be honest he was on a hiding to nothing – I says to him: “Oi! We ain’t got any comments. No one’s talking to us. What we done wrong?”

“That’s because we’re not live yet, Dad,” he says still sifting, “and we need to advertise.”

What? I reckon he’s spent too much time with these strange ideas, they’ve affected his judgement. Or else it’s the paint fumes. I thought the blog was supposed to advertise the shop but now he’s telling me we’ve got to advertise the blog as well? How does that work? I’ve heard it said that advertising feeds off of people’s insecurities, round here they mainly try and feed off me.

Why don’t you have a slogan for your company?
To be honest, we don’t need a slogan, the goods sell themselves. Admittedly most of the people that ask this question are in the business of advertising which makes me think they’re pushing for work.

Is now a good time to advertise?
It doesn’t look good when the ad agencies are desperate because it means that the country is in a right old state – no one is selling because no one is buying and so on. It’s a vicious circle and also a mystery to me.

Money makes the world go around?
Someone, somewhere, is sitting on the pile of money that’s stopping this world from going round. Tight-fisted sod!

I’m willing to have a go at changing the situation: surely it’s my turn to sit on the cashpile?

Publish and be damned?
My technical manager (the Boi) has strongly advised me against making this blog live: “This is like a dummy run, see how you get on with it so we can iron out any problems.”

Well, I ain’t a dummy, I have already been getting on with it and I don’t do ironing. What’s the point of me doing this stuff if no sod’s going to be able to see it?

I want people to read this and put their comments to it. Communication – that’s what it’s all about. No one wants the best kept secret blog on the internet award.

Do they?

I’m a bit annoyed actually, when I got here this morning to open up I found stuff all over the street – ripped-up memories, half-chewed ideas and broken dreams. Some silly bleeder had left a bag by the front doors overnight and surprise surprise the foxes had it, didn’t they? I told you they would.

Seeing this sort of mess down the street creates a bad frame of mind – like that broken window theory and as we know, it’s all downhill from there – unless you do something about it.

How can I get rid of a messy mind properly?
Call in the experts, this is specialised area which needs specialist handling, you can’t leave this sort of mess to the council to clear up, no, no, no. One, they are not qualified and two, we’re in times of cost-cutting, meaning any discarded thoughts, etc. will just be left where you dumped them.

Ripped-up memories, half-chewed ideas and broken dreams
- not a nice thing to be confronted with first thing in the morning.

Isn’t this just a load of hocus-pocus?
Oh do me a favour! Why then, would the science community spend countless years and research budgets trying to understand the human mind?

As I’ve stated before, I’m not a scientist but I do have a conscience (and I could lose my license) which is why it’s muggins here who is going to have to clear up and dispose of the mess outside in the proper fashion. Out of pocket before I even start the day. I may as well pay myself in Euros. Talking of Euros…

What should I do with bad ideas?
Look, it’s an expensive business disposing of bad ideas because if you don’t do it according to the guidelines there’s always going to be some residue left in the system which means the bad idea will only come back again. They are a bit like Japanese bindweed in that respect and you know how difficult that stuff is to get rid of.

Of course, the bigger the bad idea the more difficult the disposal. I remember my first job was for the cowboys who were hired to stem the thoughts of an 80s revival. I didn’t know I was working for cowboys at the time, of course. It was shocking, letting teenage boys loose and unsupervised on a job like that – we didn’t understand what we were doing, shattered bits of the 80s all over the place, it ended up like blowing dandelion seeds to the wind. And now, every other week, all over the world, someone’s declaring the 80s are back, the 80s are back – fashion, music, style. Gawd help us. Luckily that disposal firm went out of business soon after.

Are you to blame for the 80s revival?
Listen, there are other operators out there who still don’t know the meaning of guilt. Me, I’ve got some foxes mess to clear up.

It’s funny, you don’t get a lot of kharma, dharma and the like in people’s thoughts these days. Perhaps nobody does care after all.

mind stuff logo

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A lot of people have been sceptical about my abilities this week, well, I’m not a scientist – I can only tell you what I know about this business in layman’s terms – I don’t know how it works, I just know how to work it.

What qualifications do you need to be run a mind business?
I didn’t go to college and have formal training, there is no course that teaches this sort of stuff. I’m not claiming to be an expert but what I do have is 25 years experience – I can strip down a memory, clean it up and put it back together again in less than a minute.

red fox

Often maligned, the red fox
(photo by USFWS courtesy of weforanimals.com)

So you’re the best person to contact?
The information revolution is still in its infancy, it’s like the Wild West out there. People are right to be wary. That’s exactly why I started up the shop, it looks more professional.

Speaking of opening the shop, that bloody paint smell is still the first thing that hits you when you walk through the doors – not the best welcome. Now science has proven that smells are closely linked to memories, that is, aromas can evoke recall. Smells are an aide memoire.

I don’t know why it’s become a French term, I suppose it sounds better than memory aid which could be confused for a fizzy thought drink. I’d like a vodka and memoryade please – woah! enough of those and you would need an aide memoire.

Anyway, what was I on about? Yes, the paint smell – it has the same intoxicating effect – gawd knows what chemicals we’re breathing in. Mind you, Jeff in the paint shop was right, there’s no sign or smell of that damp patch anymore and the walls are looking nice.

Do you actually make any money?
There’s supposed to be some adverts arriving here soon, to brighten the place up as well as help pay for all this set-up, and the price of the paint. I’m sure Jeff overcharged us, I should have a chat to him about that but the Boi tells me he’s on holiday, somewhere in the Carribean.

All those air miles are not going to help with his carbon footprint which reminds me of the original selling point to this post…

mind clearance service

Mind Clearance Offer
Being a green eco company we now also care about the environment. To help save the planet further we are offering you to take a chance – sorry, I mean – a chance to take advantage of our clearing service. If you want to free your mind of old ideas, empty out the tired memories, idle thoughts, we’ll take them off your hands for a small and highly competitive fee.

One last thing…
We are open during normal business hours. Deliveries ‘aat back’ only. Please don’t leave stuff by the front doors when we’re closed. The foxes will get it.

mind stuff logo

A lot of people said to me, “You ain’t going to get a harrods’ queue outside your gaff.” Well guess what? When I turned up this morning there was some bloke in a suit sleeping by the door. Colourful pattern on his tie (and all down his shirt). He couldn’t remember anything so I sold him some late night memories, put him in a cab and sent him off home. First happy customer.

Time waits by Arlington Grey

“Time Waits” by Arlington Grey (1985)
Art on the walls makes a place classy, but
the damp has made this one go all blurry.
I don’t suppose that matters too much with
the abstract stuff.

So, all you cynics and disbelievers – especially ‘biker squid’ down the pub – contrary to your opinions, it looks like the blog’s working and we’re generating interest in the shop.

Are you open then?
We opened the doors today for the first time, I know what you’re thinking, it’s two days before he said he was going to open, I know, I know, there is a reason: we’ve got a damp problem and can’t get the paint to dry. So we had to open the doors. Admitted, the shop ain’t ready, it stinks of damp and wet paint and there’s stuff all over the place – I won’t lie, it looks a mess – but I said to the Boi: the mind business is not all about gloss and glamour, you take it as you find it. Which reminds me, a lot of people are still asking me:

How do you get to your shop?
It’s dead easy, you come out the station, turn right – as if you’re going down towards the main drag – just before you get to the market, hang a left and bang! You’re standing right in front of us.

Anyway, this damp patch looks like some black furry monster trying to squeeze through the brickwork but don’t let that put you off. The Boi’s been trying to paint it over with this new stuff that Jeff down the paint shop reckons will work. At that price Jeff I could have sent the damp patch to the Carribean for an holiday, all-inclusive. Probably would have had a better chance of drying the furry monster out as well.

We lost a fair bit of stock through the water damage.

Can water damage my thoughts and ideas?
Yes, obviously. Only sorrows float.

How can I keep my ideas fresh?
That’s really a secret of the trade but let me just say – cardboard boxes don’t work.

A lot of people aren’t aware that most ideas are only good for a certain period of time – once an idea goes bad you have to get rid of it, i.e. completely destroy it. Since the legislation of the 90s, bad ideas can’t go straight into landfill, that’s illegal, you have to bring them to recognised dealers such as ourselves. We run a clean shop here, that is, once we’ve tidied up and got ourselves straight.

What is that smell and why is it affecting my thoughts?
That’ll be the paint. It’s still drying. Don’t touch the screen until I’ve checked the label.

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