How I am totally immune to advertising, by a man

AS a man I am completely immune to advertising and its crude attempts to get inside my powerful, highly rational brain. Sorry, ad agencies, that’s just how it is. Here are some examples.


‘Does exactly what it says on the tin.’ Very clever psychology, the artless statement of the obvious suggesting it’s not an advert. But because I’ve seen through it I can buy Ronseal whenever I want. In fact I’ve got a bit addicted to staining things. I did the cat to see if he’d go out in the rain, but he just had to go to the vet. My wife was livid. Wish they’d mentioned that on the tin.

Betting on football

I won’t be spending money on football betting just because Ray Winstone started doing the ads. I’ll be spending money on football betting because I’m a no-nonsense bloke, like Ray, who likes a flutter, like Ray, and could definitely handle myself in a borstal, like Ray. As I always say, when the fun, stops, stop. And I have stopped. Because I’ve been declared bankrupt.  

Razor adverts

‘Close, and closer still.’ Laughable. Stick your ridiculous slogans up your arse, really. I could grow a beard in 20 minutes – I just happen to like being clean-shaven. Gillette’s my personal choice. They shave you close, I find. And, as it happens, closer still. And they wouldn’t call a razor that’s basically a blade on stick a ‘Turbo’ if it wasn’t precision-engineered like a £300,000 sports car. 

Wot, no meat?

Remember that 80s campaign? It basically said it was wrong and deviant to eat a meal that did not contain meat. But that had no influence on me giving up vegetarianism in my teens. I independently came to the conclusion I was a abnormal little hippy wanker who lacked the courage to constantly eat meat, so I got straight back on the burgers, sausages and pork scratchings. That was my sensible decision and mine alone.

Car adverts

There’s no way I’d fall for all that nonsense about indulging your inner James Bond, feeling the confident macho satisfaction of powering down the open road with a firm, manly hand on the gearstick. The reason I replaced my Fiat Punto with a Ford Mustang GT is it saves me so much time going to the shops. And I just happen to like driving alone on remote rural roads wearing a tuxedo.

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Bank holidays, and other things you look forward to that end in crushing disappointment

IT’S great to have something exciting and enjoyable to look forward to. Unless it’s one of those much-anticipated events that end up being a huge letdown. Such as:

Bank holidays

Ace, a Friday or Monday off. You make ambitious plans – a country walk, a pub lunch – then on Monday it’s pissing down, your bored kids are already trashing the house like deranged mules, and all you can think about is being behind with your work. End up hiding in a quiet part of the house and fire up the works laptop. Bank holiday fun at its best.

A posh meal out

There’s a swanky new Indian restaurant in town and you’ve been dead excited about going. Arrive at your table to find there’s a shitfaced hen do next to you. Order loads of poppadums then find you’ve overdone it and really have to force the (amazing) main courses down. It will all fade into insignificance when the extortionate bill arrives, making you feel sick as a dog. Speaking of which, pick up some Gaviscon after all that not-particularly-enjoyable overeating.

Going to the match

You haven’t been to see your Premier League team play in ages but you’ve spaffed a crippling amount of money on a ticket. Spend half the day stuck in traffic getting to the ground, then discover there’s a complete pisshead behind you who insists on giving a running commentary like he’s Gary f**king Lineker. Oh, and they were shit and lost 3-0. Wouldn’t be so bad, but they were only playing f**king Watford.


It’s been a long, grey winter, and spring hasn’t been much better, so that guarantees a blazing summer to put 1976 in the shade, right? Wrong. It’ll be mid-August before you finally admit summer is not happening as you wake up to more wind and rain. Still, that guarantees September and October will be the unseasonal Indian summer you’ve always dreamt of, right?

A weekend city break

You’ve made plans to see the sights, but there’s a nightclub next door and you’re still wide awake at 3am listening to fighting and tuneless choruses of Sweet Caroline when it spews its drunken contents onto the street. You’re knackered and can’t face another night like that, so check out a day early and bugger off home. You’re also still wondering why, out of all the cities you could have stayed in, you chose f**king Bristol.


The kids are staying with your parents and you’re anticipating an evening of torrid intercourse. However you’ve already buggered it up by eating too late and can’t possibly contemplate shagging until your dinner’s gone down. You bizarrely decide to do it on the floor and, once it’s quickly over, you experience the grim reality of age as you both struggle to get back up again. Becoming a sexless couple who just watch TV and eat biscuits suddenly looks quite fun.