Robyn's Secret Passage
I've moved flats (again) and I'm now living in a reasonably classy neighbourhood. I found in my letterbox a magazine full of advertorial, hawking stuff that rich people are supposed to covet. It has a cover price of $5.50, but it distributed free to suburbs such as mine.
It seems to be written by a bunch of writers who have to engage in creative writing excercises to write the sort of articles that they think that rich wankers who lead busy, stressful lives and have too much money, would like to read.
It doesn't quite come across as being real, though. It's like those rap videos where the rappers sit around with all their possessions, drinking champagne, showing how they are livin' large, but you know it's just a front.
The results are some of the most hilarious and sickening sentences I've read in a long time.
The magazine's editorial starts with a call to arms:
"The mornings are getting crisper and winter is creeping up. It's time to buy snuggly woolies and new ski gear."
New ski gear every year? But of course!
First up was a section on organics, with a handy section of commonly held myths regarding organic food. This was my favourite:
"Myth #2: It's more expensive
How creative to present their research findings in the written style of an enthusiastic nine-year-old ("and then we went to the beach and it was cool and I had an ice cream and..."). It's also interesting that they dis "the supermarket" but in an article on the same page they praise a supermarket for stocking a large range of organic products.
"Lothar says the hardest thing about buying produce today is that it often comes pre-wrapped in cellophane and as any good buyer knows, it is imperative that produce passes the 'smell and sniff' test to confirm that it is in peak condition and not past its prime."
I sometimes buy produce wrapped in cellophane. I do not 'smell and sniff' produce before I buy it. I am bad.
"Just reading the bill of fare will send shivers of pleasurable anticipation through the most seasoned gastronome."They could have written "menu" instead of "bill of fare" and "food lover" instead of gastronome, but no. Simple, concise language isn't the sort of thing that busy, stressed-out people understand.
"This has got to be a godsend for busy urbanites. You know the routine - long hours at the office, tired and travelling home in traffic, asking "What shall we do for dinner?" Here's the answer."
Whilst it might seems that the answer would be to quit your job and go and live on a kibbutz for a year and get your life back, the answer is actually just a more expensive version of meals on wheels.
My favourite item was a list of "fashion faux pas", allegedly according to Coco Chanel. I say allegedly, because despite the fact that Ms Chanel died in 1971, item number 12 was "do not buy makeup on the internet."
There was also a shopping hints page, sponsored by a credit card company. Hints included, "always carry a bottle of water. Shopping can be dehydrating and exhausting."
From an article about a fashionable shopping street:
"The whole street engenders a feeling of community spirit - even the metre maid had a smile."
It's almost tempting to go there to see if I can find this 100 centimetre maid.
This description, of an apparent nightmare situation, started off an article for a panelbater:
"It's often hard enough coming to terms with the fact that your beloved German sportscar has been rammed up the proverbial through no fault of yours, coping with the insurance companies and reams of paperwork, imagining being without wheels for weeks on end and, to top it off, realising that you're late for a meeting."
It's like, oh crap, your car's been hit, that's bad. But wait, you're late for a meeting, that's, like, a total disaster, dude! And what, you can't call the office and say "I'm not going to be able to make the meeting. I've been in a car crash." Or will this panel beater be able to fix up your beloved Deutch mobile so you can make it back to the meeting?
A gaggle of drag-queens pose glamourously next to a car. The article first defines what a drag queen is:
"This differs from the sisters of drag, the "trannies" who live as women and therefore are women."
I'm reluctant to call anyone with a penis a woman, but if some bad magazine says men who live as women are women, then it must be true.
A page offering tips for not spending too much on a wedding says:
"Use invitation stationery that's light enough when assembled for delivery that it doesn't require more than one stamp."
According to New Zealand Post, the maximum weight for a standard letter is one kilogram, so I guess that rules out using granite tablets to chisel the invites onto.
In an article for car grooming products, a story is told of a valet who saw a dirty BMW pull up and was expecting an equally dirty driver.
"To his horror and amazement, a well-known personality stepped out of the car, designer clothing and picture-perfect hair, and handed over the keys."
This event permanently scarred the valet, and "even now, some years on, he can't see her photo in a magazine without first remembering that car."
Two pages offer an adult section. The highlight being a stripper service, offering "strobe and neon lights, smoke machines, mirror balls and techno laser graphics," in case seeing a naked lady isn't exciting on its own.
An article about the joys of a Maserati tells of "a day in the country" and describes "heading south". But the accompanying pictures show the car at Piha beach, which is neither rural nor south of Auckland.
"The New Zealand equivalent of London's exclusive Notting Hill will soon stand as an integral component in the make up of Auckland City's exclusive Viaduct Harbour."
No, it won't. It's just another harbourside housing development. It won't be anything like Notting Hill. There won't be a multi-cultural street carnival. Julia Roberts will not fall in love with Hugh Grant in Freemans Bay.
"Our eldest daughter told us recently how much she enjoys the regular 'family dinners' held at our home."
Why the scare quotes around 'family dinners'? Could it be that they aren't really family dinners, that it's just someone sitting on their couch with an up-sized burger combo?
An article titled "Stop being a victim", offers safety tips for women who are sick of feeling vulnerable. Highlights include:
"I am fed up with the limitations these evil-minded muggers and rapists put on our lives."
The social event pages bring us pictures of the beautiful people at such events as "New Years Day at the Tauranga Racing Club" and "Hillary and Tracey's Farewell".
The back cover has an ad for a sports car rental company. It features a photo of the back of a Porsche with three women standing in it bending over so their bums were on display. The incredibly witty caption read, "It's a REAR thing to hire a Porsche.
A bunch of arse, really.