Lucy Vickery presents the latest competition
In Competition 2632 you were invited to supply the wording of the classified ad that is least likely to elicit a response.
Thanks to John Papworth, who suggested this challenge, and to W.J. Webster, who drew my attention to the winning entry in a similar competition that appeared in another publication some decades ago: ‘Halitosis? Acne? Dandruff? Send s.a.e. for free samples.’ Memorable stuff but yours were equally impressive.
Inspired, perhaps, by the proximity of Valentine’s Day, many competitors submitted lonely-hearts ads of the alarmingly deluded ‘unattractive ageing loser seeks extremely attractive, much younger female’ variety. Funny to a point, but I preferred Basil Ransome-Davies’s more subtle but somehow equally scary approach. The winners below get £20 or £10 each, dependent on length.
MIDDLE ENGLISH For sale or loan, recording of authentic original Middle English reading, no translation, made by students at Tennessee High Schools for Chaucerfest 1972, incl. humorous extracts from the Tale of Melibee and the Treaties Of The Astro Labe, C120 Scotch cassette, original case (slightly cracked), bona fide not illicit original, recorded over Nashville Guitar Tutor, perfect for teaching proper Middle English pronunciation, ring 00 1 65 4078 312 for details of cost and postage, ask for Rufus. List at owne leyser!
Will you be my muse? I’m a creative guy, not your nine-to-five type, and though I can see the busy M6 from my room my imagination flies up, up and away, like a beautiful balloon. That’s a simile, by the way, which is the kind of thing I do. Not everyone understands that, as I’m pretty ‘avant garde’ (i.e., ahead of the trend), even publishers who claim to respect ‘good writing’ don’t get it. But rejection slips won’t stop me, no way Josť. We could share a beautiful adventure together, and soon be making big money.
Recently retired teacher, MA Oxen, now avalable for private tutorising, evry level up until GSCE. All subject’s covered including English, Chemistary and Physical etc., Mathamatics, Geograffy, Germane and Lattin all taut by latest sistem’s. Commune Entrance an especialty, Eaton etc., exellent result’s garanteed. Also as well, will compose Curriculae Vitum’s for succsessful job aplication’s, also universities etc. Manuscrip’s editted, sintax corrected, draught’s chequed. Moderate charges, fully insured, police veted. Replys to Box 3529.
Is your star sign compatible with that of your house? What does the future hold for your laptop? Is a Sagittarian jacket destined to clash with a Libran tie? At Astral Abode & Apparel, we cast horoscopes for the inanimate objects in your life. Supplied with dates of manufacture or even purchase, our expert astrologers will provide a full chart for any object, Aga to Zimmer frame. Whether considering extending a warranty or perplexed by your seemingly irrational antipathy to a particular jumper, AstralAbode &Apparel.com has the answers.
Jumbo GooGun — the easy-to-use, sure-to-amuse Toddler’s ‘Toy of the Year’! Designed for children aged 2–5, this refillable, rechargeable and irresistible novelty guarantees youngsters the time of their life. With the slightest pressure on the spring-loaded trigger, a magical, non-toxic rainbow spray shoots from the nozzle in all directions transforming the dullest room into a multi-coloured wonderland. Specially designed to adhere to any surface (though normally removable with scraper, wire brush and elbow grease) this fountain of fun will bring hoots of hilarity into every home. ‘Goo-rate’ value! Order now! explosiveexploits.com
CIRCUMNAVIGATION. I am looking for a female crew member to circumnavigate the world, and possibly further. Must be prepared to devote time to those sadly neglected arts, cooking and deck-scrubbing. Sea legs should be good, sturdy and reasonably shapely. Don’t worry your pretty little head about such matters as navigation and steering, but do bring your own sextant. I’ll play Master and Commander (I’ve seen the Russell Crowe movie!). Are you ready for lots of fun and frolics, me hearty? I am. Bligh, Box X376Y.
Wanted for newly formed pipe and drum band, weekend retreat near village pub within reach of Glasgow with practice space and accommodation to sleep 10. Also parking for large van and several motorbikes. Finances are currently strictly limited, but parental support group may be prepared to negotiate rent under certain conditions. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
VWH Northern Tory Cllr wishes meet Southern Socialist Sylph for intimate discussion of differences.
Retired doctor seeks subjects for cutting-edge research into life after death. Free accommodation in historic European castle. Possible immortality.
Redundant banker seeks financial assistance. All contributions welcome. Please send gifts in plain envelope (stamped) to Fred. Box 999 Edinburgh.
Sociologist seeks subjects for study on apathy. Interested parties should not reply.