Tuesday, 22 March 2011

It's Not What You Say, It's The Way That You Say It......

So there we were, a full carload, on our way to Blackpool to pick up a second hand fireplace which we had bought off ebay. The kids had dozed off in the back and my husband and I were listening to a programme on Radio 4 about Bob Newhart, the star of the first ever comedy album (The buttoned-Up Mind of Bob Newhart) and a famous US comedian. The album was a runaway success and credited with saving a then floundering little company called Warner Bros records back in 1960.

His style was to perform short phone conversation monologues, and if you have a spare few minutes to relax with your eyes closed and a nice cup of tea, theres one at the bottom of this post. In the programme he was interviewed about his deadpan style of comedy and I was particularly taken by his comments on the power of the well chosen word.

Imagine Mark Anthony about to make his seminal speech to the people of Rome following the assassination of Ceasar. It is likely that the citizens of the empire would not have responded quite as strongly to his invective if, instead of the famous;

"Friends, Romans, Countrymen. Lend me your ears."

he had instead opened with:

"Er.....excuse me, excuse me everyone. Could you come here a minute? I've got something to say..."

I am frequently amused by the modern flim flam of language, typified by those Marks and Spencer food adverts.

"This isn't just burger and chips. It's hand mashed meat byproducts, hand seasoned with your full years recommended salt intake, and lovingly deep fried by artisan operated catering machinery."

My husband and I were recently reduced to giggles when shopping in Debenhams as an enticing loudspeaker announcement was broadcast inviting us to visit their cafe and enjoy free range bacon on hand sliced bread rolls. Is it really a valid marketing strategy to boast that you have an employee stood in the kitchen slicing open bread rolls for the bacon butties?

Next time you feel that your life is a little on the mundane side, and needs an injection of glamour I suggest you take inspiration from these strategies. I decided there and then that we were no longer on our way to buy a second hand fireplace. We were sourcing a pre-loved vintage period piece.

Equally I am no longer killing a bit of spare time by blogging but am actively participating in creative community interaction. I am not going to have beans on toast for my lunch but instead am going to enjoy pan cooked pulses in a tomato jus with a fresh baked side of granary batch loaf. I am not sitting here in holey jeans and a baggy jumper but am modelling a creation of hand distressed vintage denim and a one off piece of individually designed artisan knitwear.

Try it for yourself. It's amazing how interesting our lives really can be.