January 28, 2017 at 11:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
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Swipe right?

One of my least satisfying copywriting clients was my father.

He craved female beauty, company and utility.

Especially after my mother’s death.

In his mid-70s, he asked me to write a personal ad for the local rag.

I wasn’t keen, as I knew that the brief, product, market and customer would be difficult – if not impossible.

Then again, as he’d refused to read any of my fiction, I was curious to see what it would look like.

He wanted a woman who was much slimmer, younger, better dressed and more attractive than he.

She had to be sufficiently educated to appreciate and applaud (but neither exceed nor challenge) his gargantuan knowledge and wit.

She also needed a specific sense of humour.


To convey this mandatory criterion, he insisted the ad include the line:

‘Must love Cook and Moore.’

By this he meant the comedy duo of which he was a fan.

I tried to explain that such a rigorous standard could severely curtail replies, but he was adamant.

And so the ad ran.

On my next visit, I asked how he’d fared.

He said that only one female – ‘of limited intellect and heavy Eastern European extraction’ – had phoned with a riposte:

‘I am cook.

What is “more”?’

This blog runs on (instant) coffee.

Any sum appertaining thereto would be much appreciated and long recalled.



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  1. Marvellous. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. You too I suppose. More coffee on the way …

    • Hi, Ad. Dad had a knack of triggering multiple emotions in quick succession. The effect of which I (and thus poor Fonnie) invariably endured driving home. Thanks to you, I’m all set for milk of human kindness. So please go easy on the sugar. Best regards and thank you! P.

  2. I thought he was advertising to sell a ‘Cook and More’ fridge!
    More coffee needed – but perhaps not, if I want to sleep tonight.
    What’s with us wordnerds that we need coffee – or red wine??

    • I love to get you wondering, Desolie, because you’re one of the sharpest pencils in the case. As to your question, if I could answer that one, I think I’d be chilling on Akaiami with the royalties!

  3. Wim was an interesting man and very charming in his own way. No need to be concerned about minor details such as reality to get in the way! You have to admire his confidence!

    • Very good points, M. He wasn’t the centre of his universe: he was the actual universe. And that got him very far indeed. Much further than I’m likely to get. So who am I to pooh-pooh his approach? Anyway, I plan to balance this book by relating the ‘good’ times too. I just need one more tin of Brasso before I start … Kind regards, P.

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