Idle Eye 123 : The Right Stuff

Someone called William rang me yesterday. Before he got through, I screened the number: Unfamiliar, but at least not one of those 08547 deals which you instantly know will come with a three second delay, over which you politely say “Hello” twice despite your better judgement, followed by an upbeat recorded message giving you just enough info on that accident you had to prevent you hanging up on the spot. Which you do anyway.

In short, William’s prefix looked legit so I took the call, thinking it might be confirmation of my bank details from a new Nigerian business partner. His opening gambit was along the lines of “How are you?” Now, as this particular question rarely arises, be it from my siblings, employer or accountant, I was already putty in his hands. Next came the introduction. Apparently he is my personal wine advisor and was making a courtesy call based on the preferences made with my online account which, you may be surprised to learn, comes in at less than £200 per annum. He accurately noted that I enjoy wines from New Zealand, bless, and proceeded to suggest a few others that may have escaped my radar. And despite all prior knowledge of the ruthlessness of marketing and cold-call grooming, I began to warm to him. And he’s from Norwich.

How we laughed at the vulgarity of your supermarket Shiraz. And how effortlessly he dropped in the buyer’s sweet spot, being that place on the quality curve when you are no longer paying off taxes, duty and whatnot. The one when you go “Hell, I’m worth £2.50” and buy a couple of blue labels, as opposed to the plebeian red. And, in case I was in any doubt whatsoever, he reminded me that I would be fully refunded if his recommendations fell at all short. Geezer! I wanted to French kiss him down the phone, or at least ask him out for a pizza. This man knew more about me than my teachers from the 1980s or, dare I say it, my parents. And in my loved-up state, I saw us enjoying a mutual glass of an astonishingly rare Pinot under a wide Andalusian sunset.

But then came the crash. I nipped round to my friend Nick’s house not long afterwards who just happens to be a marketing guru and I told him about my new love, William, and how it felt to be understood so completely. “It’s not what you think”, I protested. He gave me the skunk eye, then the lowdown on Cute Brands and Upselling. You know, the sort of thing that companies like Innocent use to get you on team. And in an instant, the wonderful man-love I had experienced but hours before evaporated like the morning mist. I felt cheated, violated, abused. I thought this was different. I thought this was special. I thought this was personal. So I bought some more wine. The right stuff.

9 thoughts on “Idle Eye 123 : The Right Stuff

  1. hello. are you the guy who had the band Tiger ? if so i think you are a genius. this blog seems very insightful. i have been trying to find out what you are “up to” now. 🙂

    cheers xx

    • Hello Rosecat! You’ll be thinking of the mighty Dan Laidler, who created the mast drawing above. He was the singer/writer for Tiger back in them 90s. However, we collaborated on a project a few years ago, along with Donald Ross Skinner and Dido Hallett, both of whom were also in Tiger. Imaginatively, we were called “DonDidoDougDan…and Nigel.” You can find evidence on YouTube if you’re feeling bold. Thanks for reading x

      • thanks very much 🙂 really good stuff. so much talent.

        i will pass on the links to people who will appreciate it 🙂 this blog is very good also. i have deleted mine like i delete everything. lol. maybe ill make a new one with these links on. 😛 xxx

      • sorry, ive had to delete that blog. ive posted the video though on a music forum.

        im spending too long writing controversial stuff when i should be cleaning the house. i havent got time to deal with the responses of the fucking cretins who will read it and have thoughts about it and then come and burn down my house 😛

        will send the video link to my friend Mike Bradshaw. he does the daily show at totally radio. we’re not into the same music but i think he will like this.

        it would be great if you guys do more music. Dan Laidler almost looked bored but there was so much competence and talent on display there. really look forward to hearing more and reading this blog 🙂 xx

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