Newcastle United Wrestling Club 2014/15 End of Season Review

“A slobberknocker of a season”

August 2014

WWE Owner Vince McMahon’s multi-million pound takeover of Newcastle United is announced just days after the World Cup final, approximately three weeks after England’s ignominious exit at the hands of Roy Hodgson. The news is met with apprehension from Newcastle fans, curiosity from the press, and raucous laughter from fans of other football clubs (except Leeds United who look on with envy).

With only a couple of weeks until the close of the transfer window, Vince gives his public backing to Manager Alan Pardew, announcing that he will be supplied with a briefcase containing a £50m cheque for new signings. Pardew’s joy is short-lived, however, when it is then revealed that this briefcase would be hanging 20 feet above the goalmouth and he would have to overcome rival manager Sam Allardyce in a “No Disqualification Ladder match” for the “Money in the Bank”.

After losing 3-0 in a tough opening game at Chelsea, Newcastle are unfortunate not to take all three points in a dull 0-0 at home vs. Fulham, the highlight of which is the referee’s bemusement at the corner flags, which now sport black and white turnbuckles.

At the end of the month transfer unveiling, Vince McMahon’s only signing baffles everyone. WWE Hall of Famer “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels is bought in as a “hot prospect” for the youth team, aged 48. Alan Pardew sits hunched over, staring at the floor with his head in his hands, and declines to comment when questioned about Cheik Tiote’s season-long loan move to Friday Night Smackdown.

Suggestions for the new kit score poorly at focus groups. Particularly the away kit…

New kits

September  2014

Vince introduces his “Newcastle Golden Era” by parading reluctant poster boy Davide Santon, dressed in bright yellow and sporting a blonde handlebar moustache, around various publicity events. Misjudging the tasteful tone of former Newcastle player John Beresford’s keynote speech at a charity gala dinner, Vince smiles on eagerly as “Hulk Santon” interrupts Beresford to call out Warren Barton, flexing his muscles and cupping his hand to his ear until ejected by security.

Kick off against Everton is delayed by 37 minutes as each member of Newcastle’s starting line-up enters the pitch individually with all the elaborate bells and whistles of a typical wrestling entrance, which gets out of hand when a stray firework sets alight the feather boa of Tim Krul’s sparkly bathrobe during his performance of “The Worm” on the touchline.

“Bells and whistles” is also an issue faced by the referee; on McMahon’s orders all referees are to officiate Newcastle matches using the *ding* of a bell rather than the *peep* of a whistle. They are also strictly instructed to wear traditional wrestling referee attire of black and white stripes. The cries of ‘it’s like playing 12 men’ from the opposition go ignored.

After “HBK” Shawn Michaels’ red card (high feet) in a 4-0 loss to Southampton, Vince revels in the boos after the game, saying ‘it took months to get this sort of villain-heat for Sgt Slaughter in ’91 – we’re getting it after just three games. This Newcastle audience is great.’

Sports Entertainment Direct Arena

October  2014

Accused of exaggerating personal details of some of his squad line-up, Vince McMahon leaps to the defence of Gabriel Obertan, stating: ‘At a height and weight of 7 foot 2 inches, 400 pounds, Obertan IS the strongest man in the history of this great sport’, and claiming that his recent (suspiciously rapid) amassing of muscles was purely down to ‘saying his prayers and eating his vitamins’.

Worried about alienating some of the core fanbase, McMahon takes drastic measures to ensure that Newcastle’s game against West Brom is a sell-out by promoting that club and city legend Alan Shearer would be in attendance at the (recently rebranded) “Sports Entertainment Direct Arena”. Trying to win over the crowd in the only way he knew how, Vince presents ‘top babyface in the business’ “The Nature Boy” Alan Shearer, who drawls ‘Wooooo!! To BE the team, you’ve got to BEAT the team! I’m stylin’, profilin’ and why-aye’in!’ with all the charisma of a cold cup of Bovril.

Nature Boy Alan Flair

November  2014

Scandal surrounds Newcastle’s first win of the season, an unprecedented 16 – 14 win against Manchester United which sees McMahon’s remarkably beefy Toon Army come under scrutiny from pundits, as a brawny Ryan Taylor celebrates his 35-yard headed goal by benchpressing a terrified Tom Cleverley into the third row of the crowd.

More controversy follows Newcastle as Vince reacts badly to star player Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa requesting a transfer to rivals Sunderland. Despite promising Yanga-Mbiwa the honour of being team captain in Newcastle’s “Survivor Series” relegation dogfight against Leicester, Vince himself walks out onto the pitch before the coin toss to collude with referee Earl Hebner to “screw” Yanga-Mbiwa by inexplicably showing him a red card before kickoff. Vince hands the captain’s armband over to a smug Shawn Michaels.

More boos from the crowd as Newcastle lose 7-1.

scoreboard

December  2014

The football world is shocked when Vince opens the month by striding to the centre circle flanked by two scantily clad models. Vince admits that the “Newcastle Golden Era” hasn’t quite gone to plan and he wants his Newcastle to shun over-the-top, cartoony characters with ‘medicinally-enhanced muscles’ and show a bit more ‘Raw Attitude’. Referring to himself and Management staff Alan Pardew, John Carver and Peter Beardsley as “The Corporation”, Vince then outrages the broadsheet newspapers on his exit by sticking two fingers up at the cameras and telling Sir Dave Richards of the FA that he’s got ‘two words’ for him.

After Newcastle’s 2-0 loss to Liverpool, Vince attempts to cheer the fans up by announcing a Christmas giveaway in Santa’s grotto, with Father Christmas giving children copies of new X-Box game “FIFA vs. Smackdown vs. Raw”. In a misguided attempt to shake up the event, Vince sends dullard anti-hero “The North East Rattlesnake”, Alan Shearer to beat up an unwitting Father Christmas as well as several “elves”. “Stone Cold” Alan Shearer then attempts to hype up a confused and frightened crowd by smashing together two bottles of brown ale, and droning that ‘Newcastle are going to tap a keg of whoop-ass on Manchester City, and that’s the bottom line, because Alan said so’.

Newcastle lose to City by eight goals to nil.

Stone Cold Alan Shearer

January  2015

The first day of 2015 and the first day of the transfer window, and fans are relieved and delighted at their first proper signing of the season. Vince McMahon, on the other hand, is ‘bitterly disappointed’ when it turns out that he has not, as he has thought, signed 7’0” tall behemoth “Big Red Machine” Kane (originally from “Parts Unknown”), but that he had actually signed 20 year old blonde hair, blue eyed Harry Kane from Tottenham (originally from Chingford).

Vince McMahon announces that he is pleased to be taking part in ‘Football’s King of the Ring tournament’, the FA Cup.  However, his glee over Newcastle’s upset 3rd round victory over cup holders Arsenal is somewhat marred by the embarrassment of Vince’s post-match interview where he seems to believe that beating the FA Cup title holders makes Newcastle the new champions. By the time he bashfully realises that this isn’t the case, he has already poured a bottle and a half of champagne into the trophy and taken his shirt off.

The end of the month catches the imagination of Sky Sports News, who lap up every minute of “30 players, 1 contract; the Transfer Deadline Day Royal Rumble”. The event is won by brutish hunk Andy Carroll – although technically the Rumble was only contested by 29 players, as Peter Odemwingie refused to leave the car park.

Vince celebrates

February  2015

The stress of such a poor season begins to take its toll on the players. In the game against Hull City it becomes clear that factions are beginning to form on the pitch, with five of the starting XI banding together as the nWo (“Newcastle World Order”), and five players forming “Degeneration X-isco”, led by the newly re-signed fan favourite. The two rival groups only pass to other people in their factions and refuse to track back and help defend for teammates unless they are in their stable. David Moyes accuses Pardew of copying his tactics. Donning facepaint and referring to himself only as “Sting”, Dan Gosling shuns either faction and gains popularity with the crowd by becoming something of a lone wolf, outright refusing to pass to anybody at all and just dribbling forward until scoring or tackled. Adel Taraabt accuses Gosling of copying his tactics.

Although this style of play results in many training ground spats and on-field punch ups (much to the disgust of new Sky pundits Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer) and is highly frustrating for both fans and Manager Alan Pardew, it actually proves to be strangely effective and Newcastle gain their first back-to-back victories of the season, beating Allardyce’s West Ham 5-4 and Moyes’ Norwich 4-3. Dan Gosling wins Player of the Month and overtakes Sergio Aguero as the league’s top scorer.

Although things are improving slightly on the pitch, there is turmoil in the boardroom as once again Vince McMahon faces a controversial lawsuit, this time coming under pressure from the Newcastle Wildlife Fund…

PlayerOfTheMonth

March  2015

Now entering the business end of the season, or, as Vince McMahon puts it, ‘the road to Footballmania’, Vince reveals that he feels that his Newcastle United “Attitude Era” ‘may have gone too far’. Behind him, returning loanee and current WWE 24/7 Hardcore Champion Cheik Tiote is walloped with a trashcan and pinned by Bubba Ray Dudley for the unorthodox wrestling title. Vince states that he is going to encourage the club to become more family friendly, less offensive, and accessible as a worldwide brand to a “PG TV” target audience.

After much lobbying from the Newcastle Wildlife Fund, McMahon rebrands the club to “The Newcastle Universe Football Club”.

The Newcastle Universe’s first match under the new era is a relegation six pointer against Cardiff. The build up to the match is overshadowed by the egomaniacal ramblings of the club’s villainous billionaire owner Vince..nt Tan. Vince McMahon seems to genuinely relish the opportunity to become embroiled in a feud, his previous attempt to provoke a reaction from other club owners resulted in Deliah Smith politely declining Vince’s ‘confusing’ challenge of a traditional Mexican Lucha Libre “Hair vs. Mask” match.

Newcastle beat Cardiff 1-0 in the dying seconds of injury time in contentious circumstances after Vince McMahon distracts the referee for enough time to allow Craig Bellamy to deliberately score the decisive own goal and celebrate by revealing his old Newcastle shirt underneath his Cardiff one.

Vince on Vince violence

April  2015

There were parties in the streets when the Newcastle Universe FC website announced a shock £350m double transfer swoop for superstar pairing Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. There was considerable unrest however, when this announcement turned out to be an April Fools hoax from Vince McMahon, and the ‘DONE DEAL: Stewart Downing looks forward to debut next season’ article is inundated with angry comments from fans.

Wearing a sporty vest, “bling” and a backwards baseball cap, Alan Shearer tries to win over the crowd in his new family friendly “beefy rapper” gimmick, appearing in some music videos with celebrity tag team Ant and Dec. ‘Watch us wreck the mic, watch us wreck the mic, Psyche!’ mumbles “Shearer Cena” in a monotone bore.

The annual pre-match “handshake-gate” saga this year featured Newcastle’s Mathieu Debuchy, who executed a textbook Irish whip/arm bar combination on Chelsea’s John Terry, resulting in a yellow for Debuchy and a red card for John Terry for eye gouging.

Shena, Ant and Dec

May  2015

In the final month of the football calendar, Vince McMahon announced that he would be retiring from football at the end of the season and turning his attentions back to professional wrestling.

‘I should stick to what I know, aggressively marketing unrealistic characters and big egos on over-hyped TV events’, Vince told Richard Keys and Andy Gray ahead of the Barclays’ Premier League matches on Ford’s “Super Sunday”, LIVE! and EXCLUSIVE! on Sky Sports.

‘Back at the WWE I can brainwash ever-loyal wrestling consumers to fork out for expensive retro merchandise from the days that they took more interest – that childhood nostalgia dollar isn’t going to exploit itself!’

Reflecting on Xisco’s dramatic late winning goal that narrowly saved Newcastle from relegation in the final moments of the season, Vince went on to say: ‘It was a goal with the importance of Jackie Milburn’s piledriver in the 1955 “King of the FA Cup” tournament final – which fans can see again and again on the “Vintage Newcastle Classics” DVD, available for 50% off when you purchase the replica jersey as worn by Philippe Albert in 1996 when he scored THAT showstopper of a chip against the Manchester Red Devils…’

With Newcastle eventually finishing 16th in the league and reaching the quarter finals of the cup, Vince McMahon left the club by mutual consent and claimed that there would be ‘No chance in hell’ of a return to football.

According to public opinion polls, the general consensus was that most Newcastle fans were ‘happy that the club had a quiet season for a change’.

NUWF

 

Written by Chris Burgess, Ben Lidyard and Rob Macdonald.
With many thanks to Robert Burgess for the fantastic artwork.

Don’t try this at home.

Pitching business to Mark Zuckerberg after his What’s App bargain…

Ahoy Mark!

How the devil are you? Or should I say: “WHAT’SAPP’NIN’?” (What is happening/How are you?)

Kudos on the new purchase mate – money very well spent in my opinion. What a definite bargain. The best thing about What’s App is that it’s so unique, there really isn’t another way to send messages and pictures to your friends, especially if you forget about texting, email, sending handwritten letters in the post, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Tumblr, Reddit, Instagram, Flickr, MySpace, Bebo, Google+, Friends Reunited, Habbo Hotel, and the general internet in general. Oh – and Facebook of course. Nineteen billion dollars for such a unique app is definitely not a massive waste of money. You are one shrewd dude.

You’re building a neat little online empire now, but there’s one area of the internet that you haven’t quite got your paws on yet – and I aim to right that for you. Blogs. Specifically: my blog.  Let’s talk business…

You spent $19bn on What’s App. That’s: 11bn pounds in real money (ELEVEN BILLION QUID). It is reported that What’s App has got 450 million users, so my (admittedly ropey) maths skills say that you’re paying £24.50 per user.

I would be more than happy to sell you my blog at that rate, meaning that you would be purchasing my blog, this website, and all 5 (FIVE) of its subscribers for just £122.50.

Image

At that price, I’m selling you my blog for £10999999877 and 50p cheaper than What’s App – it’s a no brainer mate! Tell you what, call it £120 – you can keep the £2.50. Put it towards a nice meal that we can go for to celebrate this great deal – I know a cracking curry house in Leeds, they give you free poppadoms if you spend over £15 (your treat).

I’ve broken the figures down into a Power Point for you. I’ve never Pointed Power before so I got my flatmate Roddick to create one for me:

Image

We can split the profits 50:50. We’ll become mates – hanging round with big shots like Simon Cowell, Sir Lord Alan Sugar, and Jasper Carrott. They’ll be all like “You lads are making millions by the minute, and you’re still eligible for a Young Person’s railcard! How do you do it?” and we’ll be like “Well we’ve had great role models in life and business such as yourselves so we’re just trying to follow your footsteps really so thanks very much” whilst secretly messaging each other on What’s App saying “Keep up, Grandads. The Robots are gonna get ya LOL. #WerthersOriginals”

We’re basically just a couple of hip young guys in our early-to-mid twenties trying to cool our way through life making a buck here and there, right? We’re pretty much brothers, you and I.

(Please, Mark. Please. This blog has given me absolutely nothing apart from an inbox full of crude spam, and more recently in the last few months a load of really cutting hate-mail, some of which was remarkably personal. I’m looking for a get-out here and you’re my golden ticket. Did I mention I know a good curry house in Leeds? Please.)

Looking forward to hearing back from you mate!

Chris Burgess

A letter of thanks and apology regarding a “theft” at the gym…

Dear Management at The GYM,

I am writing to express my gratitude to members of your staff for an incident that (sort of, but not really…) happened last night.

Allow me to explain:

I was playing football in Hall 2 to a very low standard from 5.30-7.30pm and towards the end of our session I realised that I didn’t know where my locker key was. I was in a mad rush before the game had started; darting between the changing room, the front desk (to collect a ball and stylish yellow bibs), back to the changing room, to the front again (to greet our ‘star striker’ who had forgotten part of his kit and played in his trousers), back to the changing rooms, and then onto the pitch to proceed with my substandard footballing performance. To cut a long story short, my head was all over the place, and once I realised that my key was missing I was frustrated with myself for the oversight.

After reporting this to reception, I was accompanied back to the changing room by a gentleman with the master key, and we tried some of the locked lockers to see if my stuff was in there. I had two backpacks, containing clothes, my wallet, keys, washbag and some paperwork – so naturally I began to panic when every locker we tried was either empty or contained possessions that were not my own.

We returned to the front desk and I was distraught that all of my stuff had gone missing. Security were called, CCTV was scrutinised, and one hour later it was deemed that these unscrupulous thieves had made a successful getaway as nothing suspicious was coming up on the security footage.

I began to trudge home, defeated, tired, and freezing cold (my coat was amongst the items missing). More out of desperation than hope, I scanned the perimeter of the gym to see if these robbing rascals had perhaps discarded the bags after deeming the contents worthless (to them…). But my shivering search was to no avail, and I returned to the front of the gym to meet my friends who had kindly waited with me throughout the debacle and also kindly offered to have another search around themselves. I was rather surprised, given the circumstances, and my emotionally delicate state, when both friends were laughing hysterically and pointing at me when I returned, and even more surprised – delightedly so – when there on the front desk were my two bags and coat. It turned out that at the start of the evening I had forgotten to lock the locker, so they were still in the changing room all along, and when I checked the changing room with the man with the master key we only checked in the lockers that were locked – so my stuff was right under our noses the whole time.

I would have probably felt quite embarrassed about it all if I weren’t so bloody jubilant about having my stuff back.

So in summary, I would like to thank and commend the staff; particularly the two girls on reception (one was called Edwina and the other had dark hair and glasses, apologies I didn’t catch her name but she is always very friendly) and Gina who looked at the CCTV footage. They were all very reassuring and helpful during a time that I was very stressed and anxious, and were very good natured about it all once it had been revealed that I’m a massive plonker and the bags were in the locker ALL ALONG! The girls even offered me a Malteaser – above and beyond the call of duty I’m sure you’ll agree.

Apologies for wasting everyone’s time and thanks again. In future I vow to be much more vigilant when it comes to taking care of my possessions. Although, to be fair – in defence of myself and the nice bloke with the master key, it is a tad awkward and a little off-putting trying to do a full and thorough forensic search in a small room full of sweaty, naked men who are getting showered and dressed…

Next time I’m at the gym I shall be making a contribution to The GYM’s Movember fund. As an aside, had my gear actually been taken, it still wouldn’t have been the biggest robbery of the night; we were 4-3 up during the football and it finished 5-5! Fuming.

Many thanks,

Chris Burgess

The GYM’s reply:

Thanks Chris.

Just don’t do it again.

Regards,
Tony A…………..
General Manager
The GYM

Words banned from the five-a-side pitch

Today I saw that Liverpool FC have produced a list of rude, discriminatory and offensive words that their stewards need to look out for at games. I have decided to produce a similar list of banned words for stewards and fans to listen out for at my weekly local five-a-side game.
What YOU need to look out for……………………………………………………

Chris’s five-a-side team wishes to evaporate any form of discrimination or just plain mean behaviour both on and off the Astroturf pitch. It’s important to understand the context of what’s being said, but here are examples of a few words worth listening out for which are usually offensive and the five-a-side team considers unacceptable. Especially if they are being shouted at Chris, who is sensitive about his ears.

Plonker.

Wally.

Berk.

Durrr brain.

Oddbod.

Saddo.

Nincompoop.

That’s naff.

You’re naff.

Ponce.

Drip.

Scruffy.

Rubbish.

Play like a chump.

Don’t be a dork.

Smelly.

Stinker.

Ghost train material.

Wackadoo.

Blummin’ heck.

The Anti-sport.

Be more of a bloke.

Stupid head.

Wash-dodger.

Show off.

Misery guts.

Slow coach.

Doofus.

Dingus.

Buffoon.

Minger.

Flippin’ idiot.

Haircut and a half.

Crikey.

Blimey.

Crikey O’Riley.

Gob on a stick.

Pipsqueak.

Turnip.

Weird ears.

A letter to Mark Zuckerberg offering to help advertise the new “Facebook phone” (updated)…

FAO: Mark Zuckerberg / The Facebook’s marketing bigwigs

Sent 9th April 2013

Alright Mark lad,

How’s things mate? Hope you’re well. Allow me to introduce myself: my name is Chris, and like you, I am a successful businessman in my twenties. Okay – maybe you’ve got a few more quid in the bank than me and you’re not four figures deep into your student overdraft from 6 years ago, but when you compare us both without the money we’re basically just a couple of young fellas trying to get through life with as little hassle as possible, right?

We’re practically brothers.

Let me just say that I’m a BIG fan of the Facebook. I especially like the way that you keep us all on our toes by constantly changing it – even when there’s absolutely no need to. It’s always good fun – once every 6 weeks or so – having to work out where you’ve hidden the message inbox, and if your new updates to the privacy settings mean that my Grandparents and work colleagues can now all see (and ‘like’) the previously hidden photos of me doing the Macarena after 7 Jägerbombs on my mate Cranehead’s stag do in Magaluf ’09.

I was delighted to hear that you’re bringing out a new “Facebook Phone”. What a brilliant, necessary idea. Good on you, Mark lad, taking time out of your busy schedule of making money to give the people something that they really need.

I’m writing to you because obviously you’ll need somebody to market this fantastic product, and this is where I come in (a high 2:2 in Marketing at uni and over two years of work experience in the public sector? TICK). I’ll come up with an advert for the product and when it’s Go-Time (in marketing we call it the “launch”) we can put the advert in all of the local papers etc. and just put our feet up and watch the big bucks start rolling in.

I can visualise it now: the two of us selling your phone, splitting the profit 50:50 – becoming best mates and hanging out with other big shots like Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Jasper Carrott. They’ll all be like “Haha you lads are well young, you don’t know anything about business and making money!” and we’ll be like “Whatever Branson, you fossil, you’ve got a really boring life anyway because you don’t even put anything on Facebook.”

Maybe we could share a flat? If we lived together we could think up these great money-making schemes all the time! I’ve got a dead good 32” inch TV (still on the monthly payments until 2015 but it’s HD, so WELL worth it) so I’ll bring that – maybe you could bring the other stuff like the furniture, storage, cooking facilities, kitchen utensils, pool table, mini bar, rooftop swimming pool, the flat itself, etc.

We might as well do it mate seeing as we’re practically brothers!

(Please, Mark. I need the money. Please.)

I’ll be in touch in a day or so with my advert and I look forward to hearing from you pal!

Chris Burgess
New Product Marketing Guru
The Facebook

Follow-up email:

FAO: Mark Zuckerberg / The Facebook Phone’s Advertising Dept.

Sent 27th July 2013

Alright Mark lad,

How do? I’m good ta, sorry it’s taken me a while to come up with the advert for your new Facebook Phone, I’ve been absolutely manic lately with the 9-to-5 and some problems with my tax. The Taxman says I owe him a grand (the cheeky swine!) so I’ve had to take on a second job doing bar work on weekends to pay the bills, sell a lot of my clothes so I can afford food – you know how it is.

Perhaps we could meet for dinner at some point soon? Your treat?? If we hit an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet then I can take a rucksack and keep myself fed for a few days. Haha, we’re just a couple of wacky young entrepreneurs trying to make a few bucks out of the internet and eating three day old sausage rolls out of a backpack – am I right? Wouldn’t change it for the world!

(Seriously Mark, if you could please send me some food or some money for food I would really appreciate it. Please, Mark. Please.)

I hope you like my suggested advert. I know we said we’ve advertise The Facebook Phone in some local papers but I’m actually thinking BIG on this one. The sky’s the limit, right? Let’s do it for local radio. Everyone listens to the radio these days. Radio is on the up.

I think my advert captures the warm, friendly and laidback tone of the Facebook pretty well, and puts across the importance of this brilliant, necessary idea.

LOCAL RADIO ADVERT FOR THE FACEBOOK’S PHONE. BY CHRIS BURGESS.

*Ring Ring*

“Hello?”

“…Hello.”

“Who is this?”

“…Welcome to the Future.”

“I’m sorry?”

“….Welcome to the Future.”

“Sorry – but who IS this?”

“…It’s your future.”

“I’m calling the police.”

“…Let me tell you about the future.”  

CUT TO:

(Main voiceover – this is the voice we’ll hear the most in the advert, so the tone needs to be quite ‘matey’ – perhaps not a close mate, just someone you know who goes to the same pub as you. He’s always in there on his own but likes to ‘help people out’ at the fruit machine. Claims to work down the market but secretive about what that involves. Always seems a bit drunk but no one has ever seen him actually drinking. Claims to have a dog but no one has ever seen this either.)

“Almost everybody has Smart phones these days – and if you don’t have a Smart Phone you’re basically an idiot. I mean, why wouldn’t you have one? They’re more or less 1 million times faster than the technology they had in the 1960s to put Lance Armstrong on the moon. There’s probably a moon app or something – but of course, if you haven’t got a Smart phone then you probably don’t even know what an app IS! What sort of idiot doesn’t know what an app is?”

Voice in background (sounds like a cool guy. Cool and impressive.): “FACEBOOK PHONE!” (add an echo effect so it goes like “FACEbook PHOne… facebook phone…”)

“So smart phones have got the power and capability to do a massive amount of things – and what do you use it for? Texting, ringing, and going on Facebook. OK – so you may have used Google Maps a couple of times to win an argument, but FACE IT – all you use your amazingly technologically advanced phone for is going on Facebook and scrolling through a superficial tapestry of posturing and forced fun from people you barely know!”

Voice in background (Cool and impressive guy again.): “FACEBOOK PHONE!” (“FACEbook PHOne… facebook phone…”)

“It’s time to FACE UP to FACE BOOK, yeah? Facebook is the future. YOUR future.”

Cool/impressive voice in background: “FACEBOOK PHONE! FUTURE PHONE!”

“It’s time for you to STOP thinking about Facebook and your phone as separate things and START feeding the collective consciousness.”

Voice in distant background: (soft, barely audible, but assertive) “Join the hive mind.”

(NB: Mark, at this point I want there to be a whispered voice in the background. Don’t worry, I think it only constitutes as ‘illegal subliminal advertising’ if it’s on TV – so I reckon we’re probably sound, legal-wise.)

“BOTHER CELEBRITIES: The Facebook Phone is like the Twitter – except better! Twitter limits you to 140 characters, but you can ring celebrities for as long and as often as you want! (For £11.) Celebrities are people too – YEAH RIGHT! They’re overpaid tax dodgers who just moan about the paparazzi and having their phones hacked. THEY’RE the ones who are HACKS, right?”

Cool and impressive voice in background: “FACEBOOK PHONE! CELEBRITY PHONE!”

“CUSTOMIZE IT: The Facebook Phone comes in FIVE different colours:

  • ‘Misspelt and offensive’ blue.
  • ‘Sanctimonious rant’ blue.
  • ‘Hourly update on progress of a dissertation that no one cares about’ blue.
  • ‘40 uploaded pics a day of my sinister-looking toddler’ blue.
  • ‘Attention-seeking-yet-mysterious *CERTAIN* PEOPLE MAKE ME *SO* MAD… status’ blue.”

Cool and impressive voice in background: “FACEBOOK PHONE! BLUE PHONE!”

“GREAT TARRIF: Unlimited texts! Unlimited minutes! Unlimited data! All for FREE because you PAY WITH YOUR SOUL!”

Whispered voice in distant background: “Join the hive mind.”

Cool and impressive voice in background: “FACEBOOK PHONE! HIVE MIND PHONE!”

“AUDIO-POKE: Get someone’s attention by sending them a shrill, sharp piercing noise! Great for making new friends! (And reconnecting with old ones!) It’s like a Poke on the Facebook but in your ear!”

(SFX – Mark at this point I want a sample of the Audio-poke, it should be an acoustic reflection of how inane and annoying the original ‘Poke’ is so I’m thinking a shrill piping blast overlayed with that noise that you make when taking a full tray out of a freezer that needs defrosting, ending with a smarmy clown sing-songing “Audio-Poke! Audio-Poke! YOU’VE been Audio-poked!” in a smug, squawky voice.)

Cool and impressive voice in background: “FACEBOOK PHONE! FUTURE PHONE! POKE THE FUTURE!”

“It’s Facebook, yeah? It’s not going anywhere so you might as well just succumb to it. All your mates are going to get one!”

Voice in background (Cool and impressive guy again.): “FACEBOOK PHONE!” (“FACEbook PHOne… facebook phone…”)

Whispered voice in distant background: “Join the hive mind.”

….

So that’s it, Mark. I’ve never written a radio script before so I hope you like it. I think it’s got a lot of potential to be adapted for TV as well – let me know if you’d like to take it in this direction and I’ll start holding casting auditions in the pub down the road.

Let me know what you think mate, I’m really looking forward to working with you and I’m really, really looking forward to you taking me out for dinner.

Ta,

Chris Burgess
Co-Founder
The Facebook Phone

Letter to the Royals offering my services as Royal Baby’s Godfather…

Dear Will, Kate and The Royals,

Congratulations on your good news! I was really chuffed when I turned on my TV this morning and I saw that Kate had gone into labour. The news is normally full of dead boring stuff like what’s happening in the country and David Cameron’s silly little pranks and things, so it’s nice that we’ve got Royal Baby to think about instead. I feel nice and distracted.

I’m writing to you to offer my services as Royal Baby’s Godfather. I think I would be an excellent candidate. I have seen all three movies, and for a long time I had the theme tune as my polyphonic ring tone (this has been recently changed to Mambo Number #5 – although I may change it again because it only plays as far as “Erica” before it goes to voicemail).

I’m really good with kids. I recently taught my own son how to ride a bike on his 7th birthday. Bikes can be quite expensive but my mate Cranehead got us a good deal on a Yamaha FZ1. Will have to pay extra for a helmet though once the footy starts again and I get a decent winner with the bookies.

I’m also happy to teach swimming lessons. There’s a really posh leisure club near ours; great pool, sauna, changing rooms, they’ve got the lot, very fancy. They have a hole in the fence around the back – you have to stand on a skip to get through it once all the staff have gone home for the night but it’s well worth it for the Jacuzzi.

One thing, however, that I absolutely refuse to do is purchase 18-rated movies and video games for my own children, and my morals certainly won’t bend for your kid – no matter how Royal they are. I cannot – in all good conscience – allow myself buy these sort of films and games when you can download them online for free.

Obviously, being Royal Baby’s Godfather would be an honour and a privilege, and I wouldn’t expect any formal “payment” as such.  But someday, and that day may never come, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me, keeping my friends close, my enemies closer, and Her Majesties Revenue & Customs away from my bloody accounts. Might need you to have a quiet word is all. The horse’s head equivalent of a stern email.

As you can see, I have a great amount of experience with children, and I would be available to start Godfathering immediately, even assisting with the birthing process – like when I helped my third wife with her water birth.

…Well, I say “water birth”, it was actually just in the middle of a field at a retro 80s rock music festival – but it was chucking it down. I felt sorry for the baby to be honest, can you imagine entering the world and the first thing you see is a rabble of raving, drugged-up, out-of touch, tax dodging scroungers who’ve never worked a day in their life? Poor kid.

Looking forward to hearing from you,
Chris

My correspondence with Betfair about some missing money…

31st May 2013

Dear Betfair,

My username is: ………………….

I am writing to you because I would like to query a matter of missing money on my Betfair account.

You wrote to me last year on 6th July 2012 to inform me that I have been inactive on my Betfair account (i.e. hadn’t logged in) for 12 months and would be charging my account for an inactivity fee.

I was informed in this email that I had £16.82 in my account. I was pleasantly surprised – a bit like an online version of finding a few pound coins down the back of the sofa. I logged in and tried to withdraw the money but due to the fact that the card I used when I had originally set up the account (way back in January 2011) had expired, I was unable to withdraw the money onto my current card as I hadn’t made a deposit onto Betfair using this newer card. So basically I had to pay money to withdraw my own money.

I felt that this was rather BetUNfair, to be honest.

I have been meaning to contact you about this for some time – but figured I had a 12 month window to get in touch before you threatened my account with “inactivity charges” again, so have been putting it off as I have been very busy with my hobby of gambling on the dogs: I like to walk down to the park with streaks of bacon hanging out of my waistline (like a meaty toga) and run around the field for a few minutes – taking bets from the Griffiths brothers who live next door, who try to predict how many dogs will try to jump up at me (I usually get around six).

I do it for love of the sport, not for money – which is a good job as the Griffiths twins are only nine years old so they only get about 50p pocket money at the moment and all my winnings go on bacon (and bandages).

The twins are grounded tonight so I finally found some free time to contact you to help me get my money back, but when I logged into Betfair it says that I only have £6.82 left in my account – so somehow I have lost £10. I tried to check my account history to find out why this is, however you only let people check their history 3 months back and there were no transactions in this time (obviously – seeing as the only time I have logged in in the last 20 months or so was last July…)

I feel that this is all rather Betfairlysuspicious, to be honest.

Once we have addressed the issue of this missing £10, I would like to withdraw the full £16.82 that should be in my account and then retire from online gambling by deactivating the account – unless you are planning on creating some sort of digital version of my doggy-bacon-belt-scramble game (in which case I’ll be seeking a finder’s fee).

I assure you I am not money laundering – I have only done this once in my life and I was absolutely devastated when my mum hung up my jeans from the wash and a sodden £5 note (and some soppy tissues) were revealed to have been in the pocket. I was distraught to have washed away a fiver – so imagine my disappointment at this missing £10 from my account!

So, in summary:

1)    Why has my account gone from having £16.82 (July 2012) to £6.82 (May 2013) without any gambling activity from me?

2)    And please help me withdraw this money onto my new card without me having to make a deposit.

If you can help me with this, then Betfairplay.

Looking forward to your reply,
Chris Burgess


Betfair’s reply…

6th June 2013

Dear Chris,

Thank you for your “entertaining” e-mail.

I have now refunded the £10 inactive account fees you were charged last year. If you wish to withdraw these funds you will be able to do so by logging on to your account on a PC, clicking My Account >> Withdraw funds from Betfair >> Withdraw funds via bank transfer. This way you will not have to make a deposit and will be able to withdraw the full £16.82 in one transaction.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further enquiries.

Kind regards,

Phil C……………
Betfair Helpdesk


My reply to Betfair’s reply…

7th June 2013

Dear Phil,

Thank you for your “quick” reply.

I have followed your suggested steps and have managed to successfully withdraw the full £16.82.

Cheers for the help, you’re my Betfairygodmother.

Have a nice weekend,

Chris