Archive for June, 2012

WE’RE NOT GIVING IT AWAY

Posted: June 28, 2012 by Harry Moonbeam in Early days yet...
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A lot of people have claimed to have had their ideas stolen. I know how they feel, it’s happened to me loads of times. Only just the other day we had some bloke in the shop, bold as brass, stuffing his pockets with all sorts – we knew he wasn’t going to pay.

How did you know this for sure?
Instinct. I could tell by the subtle shiftiness and the size of his pockets. I weren’t going to let him get away with stealing neither; he thought he couldn’t be seen doing it but we had evidence of his crime.

CCTV is a part of everyday life.

You have cctv?
Well no, sort of, we’ve got a work experience kid from the job centre but it turns out he’s useless at everything but drawing,
so we’ve employed him as a camera. That’s him sitting in the corner there – puts the thieves right off.

You employ him as a camera? Isn’t that a bit Victorian, like using boys to clean chimneys?
He’s happy. It’s not contravening health & safety, and everyone’s got to start their working life somewhere.

But he’s doing the job of a machine.
Well, it’s lucky the robots never formed a union then, ain’t it.

But will his drawings really stand up in court?
Look, you’ve seen those regular court room drawings, the ones done in pastel? Well, his are much better than that – he uses more colours, everything has sharper edges and with the added bonus of audio. Look.

It’s a speech bubble.
Filled with what you’ve just said. Are those the words you’ve just said?

Yes, but..?
Well how accurate is that? I tell you, he’s watching you like a hawk, so don’t try anything.

Well done lad, keep it up.

But why hasn’t he drawn you?
I’m not the one stealing things. That picture of you will look nice on the wall.

Which says ‘Rogues Gallery’, it’s a case history evidence wall but I haven’t done anything.
You’re framing me!
Alright, alright, I’m hardly going to put a paper drawing on a damp wall without a frame, am I? Anyway, what are you worried about? If you’ve done nothing you’ve got nothing to fear.

There, that looks lovely.

Be smart and honest and get your own ideas.
Don’t see yourself in the Rogue’s Gallery.

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ARTIFICIALLY INTELLIGENT

Posted: June 21, 2012 by Harry Moonbeam in Early days yet...
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I’m not too pleased really. I thought we’d solved the damp problem in this place for good using this special ‘coveralldamp’ paint – it cost an arm and a leg at the time but we went ahead and bought it. Now, according to Jeff at the paint shop, he says we only leased it. He wants more money or the paint returned.

Is he hoping to go back to the Caribbean?
How d’you guess that? But yes, he reckons he found paradise, and love, he misses the place so much that he said he’d go back out there tomorrow if he could but it’s the cost – what with the rising fuel duties – the fond memory of his holiday is all he can afford. I offered to sort some holiday memories out for him to offset the cost of the paint but he weren’t interested. He wants the money, he wants the real thing: Caribbean tastes with a Clacton budget.

So that’s why you’ve scraped all the paint off the walls and put it in a bucket?
Look, we can’t afford to pay what he wants, we’ve got other committments. He’s left us with no choice but to give it back, every last drop – well, flake. I’m sure he can reconstitute it or something.

What is it with students
and road cones?

What about the damp problem?
It’s gone, we got rid of it, sent it to Uni.

How can a damp patch afford the fees?
We’re paying, that’s why we’re otherwise financially tied up: sponsorship, it’s a good advert for the shop as it happens.
Pulls in the student crowd. Apart from the serious learning stuff
we supply, they buy all the old crap too. You know what students are like, they get hours of fun out of a road cone.

Wait, wait, wait. How did a damp patch get in
to University in the first place?

Admitted, he didn’t have the relevant grades at GCSE but he interviews well and he passed the entrance exam.

How??
I told you how the damp affected our stock, remember? Well, it happens the other way round too. The damp, or Steve
as he now wants to be known, has been affected by the stock – he’s been gathering intelligence.

He could start thinking for himself?
Not at first, it was all a bit random what he took in – basically whatever was left leaning against a wall. But once he reached a certain level of intellect he could start to pick and choose what to study. Steve specialised in modern history: he’s not too hot on the facts and dates, he sees world events more from a personalised point of view.

Through old memories?
Exactly but social history is all the rage at the moment. Your kings and queens are just bit characters compared to the glossy world of celebrity these days, you could say they were ‘history’.

And Steve is the future?
I don’t know, we’ll have to see what grades he gets.

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THE SWEET SMELL

Posted: June 14, 2012 by Harry Moonbeam in Early days yet...
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Picture this in an anxious moody black & white:

The photographer was a bit late for ‘autumnal glade’.
You take what you can get these days.

An autumnal glade, dappled sun on warm skin, moisture on a leaf – dripping, the fresh scent of rotting wood – Gueles de bois.

“Avez-vous la Gueles de bois?”

That’s our latest ad: remember I was talking about smell being an aide memoire? Well, we’re launching a perfume, except this one’s got the memories already built in to it.

And how do you think that’s going to go down?
Like everything we touch here, it will turn to gold. Eventually.

How can you be so sure?
Because I’ve smelled success before, I know what it’s like, albeit briefly.

Go on then, what happened?
Well, I was just about to taste success when my Mum came and took the bottle away from me: “What are you doing with that? It’s not yours.”

My parents were a bit strict like that. And a bit tight as it happens, always keeping stuff for special occasions which mostly never happened. That bottle of success sat in a dusty cupboard for years. They left it to my brother, he’s a writer, does all these stories based on dreams.

Any good?
I don’t know, he’s still researching. So I borrowed the bottle back off him. The basic scent is what we based our perfume on, so it’s bound to be a success. Have a whiff.

Stale peanuts, disappointment, a hint of damp – have you smelled this?
I can’t be held responsible for what beloved memories that smell has triggered, in your own head be it. Besides perfumes make me sneeze.

But you said the perfume already has the memories built in to it.
Fair point. It’s whatever we can’t sell, you know: dribs and drabs, the stuff left over, the offal of the mind. In the butcher trade they’d make sausages with the left-overs, in our game we make perfume.

It smells like the butcher had a say in your scent too.
He had nothing to do with it, it’s all my idea, at least one of the ideas we had kicking around ‘aat back’.

And you do know that ‘gueles de bois’ means hangover in French,
that your ad is asking “do you have a hangover?”
Well that could be quite apt, I’ve just got another idea, let’s go to the pub and do some research.


RUNNING OUT OF ROSE TINT

Posted: June 7, 2012 by Harry Moonbeam in Early days yet...
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We’re getting a bit low on ideas here at the shop which is just as well because we need the shelf space: in this period of uncertainty, more and more people are wanting to feel safe and secure – we’ve had a run on memories of better times.

Isn’t nostalgia a way of suppressing the future?
It seems that everyone wants a future as much as they want nostalgia but they just don’t want to put in the effort. The fact is that ideas are hard work, they need time and nurturing and there’s no guarantee that they’ll come to anything.

Remember those English summers?
Of course you do.

What sort of memories do have in stock?
Lovely old ones, just ready for reliving. You see, a fresh good memory is cheaper because it’s like an uncut diamond – it’s nice but still raw,
a bit basic looking and rough round the edges – it could do with a time polish. The years do that to memories, takes all the harsh bits off, rounds them up nice and convenient, make them easier to dogest. We’ve got a load of these vintage memories, all different shades too.

You have different colours?
Yes, memories change colour, older living memories veer towards the rose end of the spectrum. Go even earlier to the memories handed down by your grandparents and you’ll find they’re all sepia. Eventually the colour drains out of memories completely, as time goes by you’re left with just black & white, and they’re usually stills. Some memories fade away completely.

Isn’t that sad?
No, because now we’ve got the technology to restore these memories. The Boi took a course. He’s never been busier, sorting out and up to his elbows in rose tint.

Isn’t that dishonest, adding the rose tint?
We’re in the business of restoration, you can’t let sentimentality get
in the way.

But isn’t that the whole point of fond memories?
People will pay a lot for fond memories, with the high demand and rising cost of rose tint, they’ll only get more expensive.

What about making our own happy memories?
Of what’s happening today? Have you seen what’s going on out there? It’s downright miserable, no one in their right mind will want to remember any of it. There’s no such thing as cheap family entertainment any more, rolling back the carpet to have a dance around the piano, these days it’s all about having a wii in front of the tele and that my friend costs money. And with the cut in benefits, gone are the days where we could all have a laugh at someone else’s expense. No, it’s kinder on the family budget to take home a couple
of our tinted memories – that’s the future.

But shouldn’t we be selling the idea of a different future?
Start your own shop then.

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