Monday, 10 September 2012


If anybody is reading this, please arrange some assistance for me. I am being imprisoned against my will be a group of evil tripe barons.

This posting is my equivalent of a message in a bottle, so I hope one of my readers picks it up. About six months ago I (reluctantly) agreed to return to the old family firm of William Blunts and Sons, manufacturers and purveyors of fridge magnets since 1876. I had a few ideas about how they could move into the 20th century by embracing the internet, so I wasn't too dispirited by the idea of returning to the Blunt fold. My days as a journalist are well behind me, so eking out a few bob in my dotage by helping to flog acrylic fridge magnets seemed a reasonable proposition.

The move back to the Blunt magnet empire was first mooted a year ago, and I promised to mull it over. Then, out of the blue, I received a call to say that someone had found a haul of old documents which appeared to be the archives of my own family, the Blunts. The stash of material was so large that I asked a friend of mine, Dr Derek Ripley, to have a look at it. He subsequently agreed to write up a sort of official history of the family, and this was published in July of this year.

Through some arrangement I don't fully understand, he asked the Tripe Marketing Board to publish his book. This was apparently their first foray into publishing outside of recipe books. As Dr Ripley is an old friend of mine, I agreed to help him promote his book (particularly since it included the history of the family firm). Slowly but surely the tentacles of the Tripe Marketing Board have embraced me. Two weeks ago I was sent on a Tweeting course and informed that the Board 'expected' me to issue some 20 'tweets' a day to fulfill my 'moral' obligation to my friend. Since then, I feel that I have become a prisoner in my own home, regurgitating tripe via my mobile phone and through these columns (you must have noticed, surely?)

Where I thought I was promoting Dr Ripley's book, I now see that this is merely a device to promote tripe! Like many of the media, I thought this was the other way round - that the TMB had perhaps been invented to promote Dr RIpley's book (The Times certainly thought so). Now, however, I hear that sales of tripe have doubled in some parts of the UK and that on Saturday last, in Wigan, the tripe stall there sold out of produce after a promotional event by the TMB's Men In White.

To make matters worse, they were handing our promotional fridge magnets for tripe, creating yet another layer of confusion for an already bewildered public. Are the fridge magnets to promote tripe, or Dr Ripley's book? Is Dr Ripley's book, which tells the true and detailed history of the fridge magnet, merely a device to sell more fridge magnets (my colleagues at William Blunt and Sons will certainly hope so!).

If you have followed any of this, please send for help for me. The TMB have asked me to publish this video from their YouTube Channel. I feel I have no alternative but to do so. I wish I could say it clarified matters, but it doesn't.


Gail said...

Amazing lineage Bill. Who would have thought that Isambard Kingdom and William Gladstone were such common names?

I had no idea also of the heritage of the fridge magnet and will look at these colossii of fridge decor in a new light.

Bill Blunt said...

Thank you, Gail - your help is much appreciated!