Thursday, 17 June 2010


Do you think TV producers play Consequences to create new shows?

You remember, that game where you write a sentence at the top of a piece of paper, then fold it over and pass it on to someone else, so that at the end you have a funny story?

A friend of mine once got into serious trouble on a school trip when she wrote one about a teacher (I think the crux of which was "shagging up a tree"...oop, naughty) and accidently left it on the coach.

But I digress.

Do you think that TV producers have been so jaded / lacking in creative juices that they have resorted to this game in order to provide the public with entertainment that is about as stimulating as a dead kipper.

Picture the scene:

It's Friday afternoon. Barry, Head of Production at Dead Kipper Productions is frustrated. It's been a long week and they've thought of nothing new all week, plus the combination cappucino maker / vacuum cleaner is broken. By which I mean it's the intern's day off. He is slightly damp under the arms in his cumbersome suit. But everything is going to be fine...Barry has a plan...

He seats himself next to Frank, Head of Entertainment (36, lanky) and rips a cool, crisp sheet of paper from a pad. Trembling slightly he bears down on the paper with the tip of a ball point pen, salivating as he watches the glutinous black ink flow. Satisfied, he folds over the paper, concealing his creativity, and hands the paper to Frank.

Frank takes it, as carefully as if he is caressing a baby squirrel, and has his turn, a low chortle of satisfaction emanating from his lips, so pleased is he with his choice.

And finally the paper passes to Max (40, token Jew), Head of Factual Entertainment, who puts the final flourish to the paper, reaching a hand up to loosen his tie as the pressure starts to affect the tightness at his neck.

The paper is passed back to Barry. The room is so silent you could hear a pin drop. Slowly and cautiously he unravels the sheet, and there, in bold black writing, are the three words they know will make a hit:




Barry can't contain himself. He weeps. Tears of joy. Stinging the corners of his eyes. And he's not even ashamed. Frank and Max clasp hands like school girls. This it the break they have all been waiting for.

What has this got to do with interning? Not a lot. But think about it: My. Monkey. Baby.

And these are the people who actually have a job...

NB: My Monkey Baby is an actual TV show. No kidding. Channel 4 if you please

No Monkey Babies were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

It's The Small Things

When you're an intern, surviving the daily grind of photocopying and phone-answering, there are few things in life to get excited about.

Which is why I like to look at the small things to brighten my day.

And today, that small thing is the Starbucks in Soho Sqaure.

Now, call me a materialist, call me a coffee whore, but I'm going to come right out and say it: I like Starbucks. I like the reassurance; the feeling that no matter where I am in the world, whereever there is a Starbucks, I can feel at home. I remember on a trip to Madrid the Boy and I got so sick of eating Spanish food that on our last day we positively fled to Starbucks, basking in the familiar green and the welcoming aroma of generic, Capitalist coffee. I like frappucinos, even if they are a bastardy of Italian in a manner that no Paulo or Graziella worth their cafe solo would be proud of. I like the fact that my coffee can come with vanilla or hazelnut syrup, in sugar or sugar-free varieties. Hell yeah, I'm not afraid, I'll say it again: I like Starbucks.

And I like it even more because, despite their obvious commercialism and cut-and-paste sites, if you go in there enough times the staff start to treat you like on of the family.

Case in point: My current boss is very particular. He likes the same thing, at the same time, every single day. This includes a particularly complicated coffee order which contains at least five words which took me at least five days to remember without having to write it down.

Starbucks doesn't really have that many staff members, so it's likely that if you're in there at the same time, every day, ordering the same thing, they'll eventually remember you. It starts off with an awkward "of all the coffee shops in all the world..." type smile. Then you move on to the "ah, we meet again" type hello. That hello makes you feel special. That hello says, "hey, you're not just an ordinary customer, you're a regular."

But today - oh, today - I hit my personal best. The barrista sees me comes in, points a finger at me and recites my order without even blinking. I'm remembered. I'm somebody.

And that is what has made my day. A barrista in Starbucks remembering an order that isn't even for me.

Wow, I really need to get a job. 
Site Meter