Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Mailbag #2

Welcome back dear reader. Barry Chindouche here with the latest round of letters I have received.

Dear Barry,

Could you settle an argument between me and my girlfriend? We haven’t spoken in over two weeks now - only you can help us. Which is the correct term: Cupcake or Fairy cake? Yours Desperately,  Patrick O’Dwyer

Dear Patrick,

Like everything in life, the answer is complicated. However, as with all complicated answers, you came to the right man.

The original term was cupcake. The cakes were invented in 1492. A baker by the name of Francis Cúp decided to reinvent his usual bland bread based teatime snack. In the process, he accidently knocked some contraband sugar1 into the mix, and the cúp-cake was born. Within weeks, Francis Cúp was a local celebrity.
I am sure you are well aware of the (now) infamous sugar shortages of the time. Francis had to go to extraordinary lengths to procure the vital ingredient, including murder and small time pillaging. When he was finally brought to justice, the Henry VII had him baked into a series of his own invention, and the court dined on "Cúpcakes" – he was a cruel and murderous King.
Americans continue to use the term cupcake, seemingly unaware of the bloody connection. In Britain we now use fairy cake to disassociate from the horror. So both are technically correct, but only one is correct. I’ll let you decide which.

Dear Mr Chindouche,

I love your blog, it cheers me up when I am gloomy. Can you answer a question for me? Which country is the most dangerous? Yours questioningly, Barbara Blenheim

Dear Barbara,

Your question is vague. If you meant which country contains the most danger (for instance poisonous animals) the answer is Luxembourg - where 648 deaths per 1,000 are recorded as “accidents”. Compared to this, the safest country is Malta, where only 1 death in 10,000 is attributed to a cause other than “old age”2.

If you meant which country poses the biggest threat to world peace, the answer is France. Historically, France has been involved in the most bloody conflicts on earth - and history has a nasty habit of repeating itself3.

Dear Barry,

Is intelligence inherited, or can it be learned? I am currently not very bright, I just wish I was as clever as you! Joe Strench

Dear Joe,

Sadly for you, intelligence is about 90% inherited4. I of course inherited a massive intellect, and as such you will never catch me up. However, you can do something about the 10% that you have control over by continuing to read my blog.

1sugar had been decreed illegal by Henry VII since 1485. He felt it was the devils work.
2Though the 1 in 10,000 death that ISN’T due to old age is more often than not due to spontaneous combustion - the only country on earth where this has been proven to have happened.
3for more information on French history, see future blogpost “Le Catastrophe! 101 French Mistakes.”
4for more information on inherited traits, see future blogpost “Lazy, thick and drunk - Don’t be angry, sue your parents”

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Sweet Chindouche Music #1 - Cover songs

Hi there,
Barry Chindouche here with a brand new format. Many of you will know that I was the premier DJ on South Korea’s hottest radio station, Seoul FM1, from 1996 - 2003. This job exposed me to an eclectic mix of music, and through the “Sweet Chindouche Music” series, I hope to educate your aural senses.

Coldplay - Sexual Healing
A real pity this one. Featuring Chris Martin’s most blistering performance to date, the cover never saw the light of day as the video was banned for its obscene images (mainly Martin gyrating with increasingly large animals in london zoo2).

Take That - Snooker Loopy

Released as Japanese only single (it’s even illegal to own a bootleg or import in the UK). The classic Chas and Dave track was rescored as a love song (though maintained the cue-and-ball based lyrics). Jason Orange took the lead vocals (for the first last and only time), and did a very good job.
Ellie Goulding - Your Song
“I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I put down in words...”
Well, actually, I do mind Ellie. I mind very much. For one thing, you didn’t put down in words. Bernie Taupin did. You should have said “I hope you don’t mind, I hope you don’t mind, that I sang someone else’s words.”
And another thing. Elton John is gay3. When he sang “I don’t have much money, but boy if I did” it made sense. To keep the sexual orientation of the song pure, you should have changed your line to “I don’t have much money, but girl if I did”, but you were too lazy.

Goulding - Lazy
Sugababes - Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen
A year before Siobhán Donaghy’s departure came the Sugababes’ greatest artistic departure. The 2000 album entitled “We don’t need no wedding rings” was a note for note orchestrated version of Wagner’s “Ring Cycle”. Clocking in at 15 hours, the 13 disc album sold particularly well in Austria. However, the ensuing court case (surrounding alleged satanic messages that could be heard if the album were played backwards) led to turmoil for the group, and Donaghy’s eventual breakdown and desertion.
Personally, I fell groups should steer well clear of the cover song. Originality is key, as was true with my 1994 dub step album “Chindouche Time”4.
Barry Chindouche.

1"The Sole Soul of Seoul" (A Chindouche original tagline)
2The giraffe scene will forever stay with those who saw it.
3Apologies to those of you who are yet to reach page 129 of "Elton John: Me, Myself and I"
4For an in depth discussion on why the album is no longer available, see future blogpost "EMI - Everyone's Money Is-ours"

Monday, 7 February 2011

Advertising campaigns that never made it

Hi there,

Barry Chindouche here - twice as bright as technicolor. Today, I shall reveal to you some of the advertising tie-ins that never made it.

Niagara Falls
Back in 1999, the Niagara Falls Tourism Visitor and Convention Bureau were on the verge of signing a 2 year marketing deal. The proposal involved adding crushed Clitoria Ternatea1 to the waters, as well as freezing the falls with a complicated system of dry ice. However, the ultimate deal breaker proved to be the proposed name change to “Viagra Falls”.

Artist's impression of Viagra Falls

Haig Whisky

Famously advertised with the tag line “Don’t be vague, ask for Haig”. During the 2001 British general election2, the marketing board came up with a plan to temporarily change the products name to Hague whiskey. William Hague was asked if he would tie in to the campaign by murmuring vaguely during Prime Minister’s Questions. He declined the offer due to parliamentary constraints on private investment (though many think he still took the deal “under the table” as his incomprehensible performances during the period made almost no sense whatsoever).
Bisto gravy
The “Ahhhhhh, Bristow” campaign lasted just 2 weeks after 6 year old Andrew Shingle punctured his hand on the free set of darts added to every pack. He died the next day from blood poisoning, and the Ad was quickly pulled.

Ahhhh, Bristow
So, there you have it. Many companies want to tie in to the world of Barry Chindouche. None of them cut the mustard3.

Barry Chindouche.

1A blue plant used as food dye. Keep up.
2For more information the British election process, as well as pirates, see future post "X marks the spot - Pirates to Politics".
3especially Coleman's.