Monday, 19 April 2010

Business Studies

Amy Shindler (Brenda Tucker)

Judging from last week's episodes, it seems that Ambridge has been gripped by a bout of Marketing fever – they're all at it.

I blame Brenda and her job application, which went on a bit. I mean, it only took Tolkein 12 years to write The Lord of the Rings. "I'm desperate to find a job where I can use my qualifications" she explained to Tom. I'd suggest she gets used to asking "do you want fries with that?" If Macdonalds won't have her, she can always put in more time on Tom's burger van.

Our next marketeer is Harry, who has great plans for the milk round – a blog, Facebook page, Twitter and a database of customers. "What you're talking about is marketing – that's Mike's department" said Jazzer. That explains it – the marketing gene obviously runs in the Tucker family and Brenda is a chip off the old block.

Speaking of Harry, it's not often that I agree with Jazzer (mostly because I can't understand him) but when he says that nobody should be as cheerful as Harry at 4 am, I think he has a point.

Moving on, it seems that the Tucker marketing gene can be transferred by marriage, as we witness the attempts by Vicky to flog her veal. I can see Mike taking carcasses on the milk round at this rate. Personally I reckon Vicky's most successful marketing strategy would be to say "and if you agree to take my veal, I promise I'll never come and talk to you again." I hope the story ends soon, as frankly it's nothing more than a load of bullocks.

A rather tenuous marketing link now, with the story of Eddie leaving the gate open at the market so that the cows escaped. For someone who is supposed to be such a natural stockman, I submit that not closing a gate is something of a fundamental cock-up. Tony was supportive: "They can't give you the sack for one bit of carelessness" he said. Oh yeah? Ask the guy in charge of safety at Chernobyl.

A story that has nothing to do with marketing is that of Pip and Jude. Poor Pip was distraught, saying to Izzy: "I rang him last night and there were people there. There were girls there!" Having spent her last penny to get down to Newquay, Jude's reaction to seeing her was a tad lukewarm. However, the old romantic did pay for her lunch, generously telling her that she could pay him back next week sometime. I fear the Pip/Jude loveboat is steering dangerously near to the rocks. And a good thing too.

Finally, we move into the realm of the surreal and discover how dangerous it can be to take a phrase out of context. Take the following exchange:

Nic:                  Is everything OK, Brian?
Brian:         Everything's fine, thanks – you just get on with pulling David's

Whatever would Ruth say?

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Love Is In The Air…

Angela Piper (Jennifer Aldridge)

Have you noticed how the titles of these pieces have suddenly become the titles of songs? Anyway, ain't love grand? And it appears to be busting out all over Ambridge.

Jennifer appears to be involved in a lot of it – not personally, you understand, but by getting in people's way, asking stupid questions and not picking up on hints. Take for instance the situation between Lillian and Paul. When Lillian waxed lyrical about spending the day in London, Jennifer immediately said that they could both go next time. "Oh what fun!" she squealed. Meanwhile Lillian, who had obviously been planning a bit of quality time alone with Paul showed all the enthusiasm of a Rabbi given pork chop. Next time there's a fancy dress ball, Jennifer could go as a green, hairy fruit.

Jennifer featured too in the story about Chris and Alice, who hadn't seen each other for ages and who were spending their own quality time in Alice's bedroom, popping down for the odd bit of sustenance – presumably raw meat in Chris's case. I suppose we should be thankful that Jennifer never said something like "what can they be doing up there all this time?" but she did suggest that they went and collected the angling fees from the lake. Let's think – to go and collect money from sad anglers, or stay in bed for an all-day nookie-fest? Tough choice.

Anyway, Alice and Chris have now moved into her cottage for a week. "I don't know what your father will say!" wailed Jennifer. Knowing Brian, he'll probably say "Damn good job; I was beginning to wonder whether the ceiling would last out."

Finally on the subject of Jennifer's density, we have the possibility that Matt might be allowed home with an electronic tag. Jen bewailed the fact that he would not be allowed out between 7pm and 7am, saying that it was Summer coming up. Honestly woman, if he was banged up in prison, he wouldn't be allowed out at all, plus, what part of the word "punishment" do you not understand?

Speaking of Matt, if he is released, will that wee on the bonfire that is the developing closeness between Lillian and Paul, or will Lillian have time to cuckold Matt before he gets out? Do we care? Paul says things like "there's so much I don't know about you Lillian". She smokes like a factory chimney, takes on board industrial quantities of gin and has a past more chequered than the design department of a chess-board factory – what else does he need to know?

Finally on the love front, Pip (or Fizz, if you prefer) learned a valuable lesson about men. When it turned out she'd be unable to go with Jude and his mates on a surfing holiday, she pictured the two of them holding hands and being lovey-dovey in Ambridge as Jude gave up the holiday to be with her. No way Pedro! Jude expressed his disappointment, then rapidly moved in the same sentence to "of course, it won't be the same without you…" Pip was stricken, but you got the impression that Jude didn't realise – he was too busy waxing down his surfboard.