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Plain Insanity: Dancer / Dog / Ferret / Child

Award: Wood Pencil

Wood Pencil / Radio / Writing / 2009

To explain how ridiculously low the fares on Virgin Atlantic Upper Class are, we wrote a radio campaign where the entire script is completely nonsensical except for the Virgin offer. Dancer MVO: Plain Insanity by Virgin Atlantic SFX: Cuckoo clock MVO: I don’t often eat caviar for breakfast. Perhaps as rarely as twice a week. But it was only Wednesday. Or Dorisday. The lady in the tutu interrupted me mid-bite. She was licking a breakfast dog. ‘I was born to dance’, she sang as ketchup dribbled down her chin. Her wooden leg betrayed her. I quickly changed the subject to geography. ‘What’s the lay of the land?’ I asked. She tapped her wooden leg with the heel of her red stiletto three times. Her balance was uncanny. ‘I landed this evening’, she said ‘first class amenities for a business class fare’, she said. ‘Virgin Atlantic Upper Class’, she screamed, as if she had won at bingo. It was plain insanity. So I stared at her leg. Teak. Or maybe mahogany. Dog MVO: Plain Insanity by Virgin Atlantic SFX: Cuckoo clock MVO: A dog followed me home from the supermarket eight and three-quarter days ago. Not a big dog. But not a small one either. I let it in and made a pot of tea. It didn’t care for the tea, but it ate all the digestives. I drew a picture of the dog in purple crayon and placed it at the supermarket. We watched the news every night and I became quite fond of him. I called him Derrick after a bully in my school. Yesterday there was a knock at the door. ‘I’m here’, the woman said. ‘But where have you been?’ I asked. ‘I’m sorry, I’m married’, she said ‘my husband is in London’, she said ‘he flew first class for a business class fare. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class’, she whispered. She was plainly insane. So I gave her the dog. Ferret MVO: Plain Inanity by Virgin Atlantic SFX: Cuckoo clock MVO: I had seen him at supermarket the week before. He had been walking a blue iguana past the cleaning products. With sunglasses on. Today it was a ferret. I made my mind up to speak to him and approached with caution having seen a documentary on ferrets the night before. ‘Is it acceptable to put salt on your cornflakes?’ I asked the pale man. He removed his sunglasses and winked at me with his good eye. ‘I thought so’, I said. The ferret looked me up and down and I could tell he was drunk. The pale man then spoke slowly in a Northern Spangalese accent. ‘I recently returned from London’, he said ‘I flew first class for a business class fare’, he said, ‘Virgin Atlantic Upper Class’, he said. He was plainly insane, so I smiled and gave the ferret my business card. Plain Insanity Child MVO: Plain Insanity by Virgin Atlantic SFX: Cuckoo clock MVO: I can’t have children of my own. I have a heart condition and there’s no room for them. So when the small person approached, my guard was immediately up. It clutched a plastic budgie in its small hands. ‘Plinky-plonky’, I said. ‘Where did the ducks go?’ it asked sternly. This small person wasn’t joking around, it meant business and I was against the ropes. ‘Ducks fly from the dew’, I gasped. ‘Daddy flies first class for a business class fare’, it said. ‘Virgin Atlantic Upper Class’ it shrieked. This small person had either cunningly baffled me with its double-speak, or was plainly insane. It skipped away whistling The Eye of the Tiger.

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