It has emerged today that the UK’s flagship streaming and catch-up service, BBC iPlayer, is still operating on Windows 98. This will come as a blow to hard-up Brits whose only glimmer of enjoyment in life is catching up on DIY SOS.
Angry licence payers have bombarded social media with complaints about how crap iPlayer actually is for the £147 the licence fee currently costs. “I’m not surprised by this revelation”, says one Twitter user. “Trying to navigate the menu screen makes me want to disembowel myself with steak knives. Response times are measurable on a Jovian calendar. I usually whip up a snack once I’ve hit ‘play’ because I know I’ll be back from the kitchen by the time it’s finished buffering and I’ll be able to watch the first 5 minutes all over again.”
“Don’t use this leak as an excuse to protest against paying your licence fee, or you’ll face a £1,000 fine”, a BBC source told us. “Demanding money with menaces is what we’re good at. We’ll send the detector van round and force our way into your homes like a bailiff on speed if you’ve ‘forgotten’ to cough up the moolah. It’s basically a protection racket. You didn’t hear that from me, though.”
In yet another cost-cutting exercise, the Beeb’s latest move is to scrap free licences for the over 75’s in order to free up money to make daytime favourites like Lorraine Kelly’s Penguin Fetish, and Pro-Am Pipe Lagging with Bruno Brookes. Our BBC source tells us, “We’re telling the press that we want to fund more expensive drama like The Bodyguard, or The Night Porter, but that’s bollocks. We’re just going to stick with the usual rubbish like Fatal Camping Accidents from Hell. Stacey Dooley’s lined up to present that from a campsite known to be lethal. Well, we can’t keep renewing her contract since she appeared on Strictly because we can’t afford her now.”
Let’s be clear. The customer is very rarely right. The misapprehension that companies should always give their customers what they demand, when they demand it, has been used to the advantage of many an arsehole over the past 5 decades. As a result, the relationship between customer and service provider in the 21st century is like that of a skilled extortionist and a powerless serf, with the customer wielding power like a giant baseball bat, ready to brain the unsuspecting salesperson with their skewed interpretation of The Consumer Rights Act 2015.
But this wasn’t the only nonsensical statement hammered into the public consciousness back in the day.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day: No it isn’t. It’s the most useless meal of the day unless you are a growing child or an elite athlete. The notion dates from the 1950’s and was cooked up by the Egg Marketing Board in a bid to sell more eggs. These days breakfast is a Pain au Chocolat and a quart of sugary latte, specially designed for you to fall asleep at your desk at 3pm when your blood sugar plummets.
Form follows function: What does this even mean? This pretentious epithet is bleated by people who think they know something about design, but it still doesn’t explain why Polo Mints have a hole in the middle, or why the label on a bottle of Angostura bitters is 3 times too big for the bottle. Or why trainers are white.
An announcement on the London Underground, asking for an Inspector Sands to come immediately to the control room, is the cue for Londoners in the know to make a hasty exit from the station dragging their bemused out-of-town friends with them. Long thought to be a coded message alerting station managers and on-duty police officers to a major emergency, such as a bomb scare or inferno, it has emerged that this is not the case.
We spoke to the real Inspector Sands in his Gothic lair deep beneath the ticket hall at Charing Cross. Settling into a dark green leather wingback armchair, with a glass of Malmsey in his hand and a stuffed owl on his shoulder, the Inspector cuts and intriguing figure.
“I do wish they wouldn’t drag me away from my parlour when I’m in the middle of Call of Duty: Black Ops. It’s nearly always a false alarm, like the time someone freaked out at a Tesco bag left under a bench, or when some French tourists vaped under the smoke detectors.”
The Inspector hasn’t seen daylight in 35 years and his approaching retirement will force him above ground. “My pension will get me a nice basement flat in Hampstead, where I can keep my rats. I like rats. Rats are my friends. Unlike the duty managers who keep cordoning bits of the concourse off for no reason. Why do they that?”
A new Inspector Sands will be recruited soon, and applications are invited from serving police officers who like stale air, rats, unexpected gale force winds and taxidermy.