Editorial night at the Toppled Bollard; Untold’s public house of choice

Friday night is the night when the editorial and marketing team from Untold Websites and Blogs meet to discuss the week’s news, and what lies ahead.  And wild and crazy nights they can be too!

Over the years our numbers have grown, and we now boast editorial and advertising teams from Untold Arsenal, Untold Dylan and of course the Arsenal History Society.

This week it was Russell Sprout’s turn to present, and his subject of choice was the desks we have in our offices.

It seemed Russell and been doing some research and he had received information on desks from Waste Yourtime and Charge, PR agents to firms with money but limited sense.  Which by and large includes most desk manufacturers.

Russell gave us each a brochure published on thick quality paper, accompanied by a set of glossy colour photos of tables. Lots of tables.  Lots and lots and lots of tables.

Did I mention the tables?

The staff gathering in the saloon bar of the Bollard was rapt in its attention as each and every Bollardière and Untolder alike studied the press release.

At first there was silence.Then the first murmurings. And within seconds the whole place was in uproar as the blogging elite rocked back and forth in their chairs and there were repeated calls for use of the fire extinguisher on valued team members whose heart rates had just gone over the red line.  And there was laughter.  Lots and lots of laughter.

Order was only restored when Billy “the Dog” McGraw, landlord of the Bollard and Head of Investigative Marketing and Spurious Things, announced that the bar would be closing earlier than its normal 3am if the meeting didn’t pull itself together this instant.

We obeyed of course, and eventually it was Doggerel Tired, one time popular singing artist and now resident resident at Untold, who wiped the tears of laughter away and explained.

“This press release comments on the fact that Blockthat Drain has supplied tables to the offies of Accrington Stanley, Manchester Teepee, West Ham Untidy, West Bromwich Wobbly and Cheslea.

“Cheslea?” I queried.

“What it says, boss,” said Doggerel.  “It tells us the size of the building, the size of the tables, the covering on the tables, the use of the tables, the dimensions of the legs of the tables, the status of the chrome used in building the tables, the number of students who sit at the tables….    but it doesn’t anywhere tell us a single benefit that derives from having these tables.”

“Should a presentation press release and sales pitch include benefits?” asked Ima Newcomer timidly.

Doggerel calmed down further and spoke more reasonably. “Yes they should. They can deal with functionality, but you can’t get a story out of something as everyday as a table without somewhere mentioning the benefit that this particular table brings.  It’s like trying to explain why some people persist in supporting Tottenham.  It’s there, it happens, but you can’t explain it.

“So all this lovely printing about tables doesn’t tell us why we should buy them or why we should buy them from this company?” I asked.

“Seems not.”

“But that’s as bizarre as tipping West Ham for a top four finish,” I said and there were murmurings to suggest it probably was.

“But it mentions that the table top is of a special non-mark, easy wash material,” said Ima.

“That is still a feature,” declared Doggerel. “The benefit is that these tables cut the cleaning time in half.  It is the same with stacking. People often say that claiming tables or chairs can be easily stacked is a benefit but it isn’t. The benefit comes from the fact that clearing the room takes half the normal time, and the space taken up with the stacked furniture is half the amount.”

“Benefit! Benefit!” shouted Repeat Datword, and he was gently escorted from the room.

I rose to the challenge.  “What is the benefit of supporting Manchester City?”   A silence fell.

“The benefit of supporting Liverpool?”

“One can remember the old days and pretend they never left,” said Billy.

“And the benefit of supporting Arsenal?”

“Good football, always coming near the top of the league, never struggling against relegation, sound financial strategy, brilliant stadium, winning many more than we lose…” the list was called from all quarters and went on and on.

So after four or five hours of listing the benefits of supporting Arsenal, ended another rumbustious night at the Bollard. As the last guest left I turned to Billy “the Dog” who was still mulling over the evening’s discussion.   “When will they ever learn?” he asked.

I had no idea what he meant, but it is never a good idea to argue with Billy.  Instead I nodded, and made my way home up dale and down hill, realising after a while that I had had too much to drink and was heading in the wrong direction.

11 Replies to “Editorial night at the Toppled Bollard; Untold’s public house of choice”

  1. Very concerned that Doc McGraw appears to be doing a spot of moonlighting. I was poised to enter the University Hospital of the North Circular Road this weekend, for an umbilical hernia operation, only to be told Doc doesn’t work over weekends.
    I’m told his hands aren’t steady enough on Saturday mornings. 😉

  2. I personally love those large wooden desks , like in the White House . Its so roomy and comfy , and can easily accommodate your stackee .
    If one had to go under them for some reason or another, the space is not at all limiting or claustrophobic !
    Ask Bill Clinton , he knows about these things !

  3. @ nicky -June 5, 2015 at 8:28 pm – With your experiences in Bombay , an umbilical hernia repair should be a piece of cake , especially when you can use both hands and with the aid of some fine whiskey ( I hear that single Malt doesn’t smart as much !).
    Avoid the use of any fancy and complicated use of cross stitches and just keep it simple .
    Maybe this would help –

  4. @Brickfields G,
    How did you know about my BA (Bombay)(Failed)?
    After I wrote my comment I knew I was inviting trouble from the likes of you with your medical background.
    I’m told that my belly button will disappear for ever, so when I lounge around a pool in future, I shall explain to fascinated girls that I was born out of a test tube of a mixture of Famous Grouse and Highland Spring. On Tuesday, the day before the op, I am having a sort of stag party in reverse. Needless to say, my surgeon and his steady hands will not be present.
    No grapes please because it’s only an overnight stay. 😉

  5. @ nicky -June 6, 2015 at 9:42 am – Let’s just say that Bombay is not Vegas , and nothing stays uncovered there !
    The minute you mentioned it , our agents ,,, sorry that should read our ‘researchers ‘ from the Medical Division of UA ( A great cover , if I say so myself!) were sent out to verify ‘the facts’ ( Tony is a stickler for all details and it’s also per the requirements of the legal team.).
    Some interesting information about a brief but torrid tryst involving you and the infamous Mata Hari at that seedy dockside bar , had landed on our desks .
    As a precaution , we had to use gas masks , double industrial gloves and thongs. It was not for the faint hearted .
    Nothing for you to worry though ( Yet!), the statute of limitation does not expire for another 5 years ( damn!).

  6. Sorry , meant tongs …thongs would be just plain stupid ! Even our advanced scanners couldn’t detect them ( ahem!) nor is there a briefs code !

  7. @Brickfields G,
    Afraid the Untold archives are suspect. There were no bars in the days of the Raj. I left in January 1945 after an iced coffee in my favourite restaurant. 😉

  8. As you say ,nicky Sahib , but did you ever find out how those coffee beans and tea leaves were processed and prepared ? Or laced ? Or that she was descended from that old Italian house of fine blenders – the Borgias ?
    And do I believe that in the early forties they ‘blended’ some of the vilest , sorry , finest stuff .Still popular and very much so potent .
    Do you ever wonder why your tummy rumbles funny ? Hunger pangs ? Nay , not according to your/our files !

  9. @Brickfields G,
    I bow to the superior archives of Untold. Rumble tummy is correct.
    And it explains a recent email I received from one of the mems still in Simla, commencing “My daughter tells me….”. 😉

  10. Getting the measure of the man –

    The army recently found it had too many generals and offered an early retirement bonus. They went through many retirement plans but nothing seemed to please everyone.

    In the end, desperate, they promised any general who retired immediately his full annual benefits plus $10,000 for every inch measured in a straight line between any two points on the general’s body, with the general getting to select any pair of points he wished.

    The first man, an Air Force general, accepted. He asked the pension man to measure from the top of his head to the tip of his toes. Six feet.

    He walked out with a check of $720,000.

    The second man, an Army general, asked them to measure from the tip of his up-stretched hands to his toes. Eight feet. He walked out with a check for $960,000.

    When the third general, a grizzled old Marine General, was asked where to measure, he told the pension man: “From the tip of my penis to my testicles.”

    The pension man suggested that perhaps the Marine general might like to reconsider, pointing out the nice checks the previous two generals had received. The Marine general insisted and the pension expert said that would be fine, but that he’d better get the medical officer to do the measuring.

    The medical officer attended and asked the general to drop ’em. He did. The medical officer placed the tape on the tip of the general’s penis and began to work back. “My God man!” he said, “where are your testicles??”

    “Vietnam,” smiled the general.

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