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Dear the BBC Weather Forecasters,
It would be really helpful if you could include a ‘washing forecast’ as part of your weather forecast updates.
I have devised a system that you could use to show us whether it is worth putting washing outside on the line to dry or not. First of all you will need to show us a map looking a bit like this:
The numbering system works as follows:
10 is a perfect washing day. Washing hung out on the line will be dry almost as soon as you put it out. It’s a good day to wash thick duvets and winter coats!
5 means that washing placed first thing outside will dry by the end of the day. There may be a little bit of mild dampness around the seams and pockets, but essentially it is a good day to do washing.
0 is the point at which washing will not really be any drier when you take it in than it was when you put it out. This could be because there is no sun or wind or because there are light showers. You could say that there is no point in putting your washing out when a ’0′ is forecasted. Even a ’2′ or a ’3′ would make it worth putting the washing out for a bit, but not a ’0′.
-5 is washing that gets a lot wetter when hung out because it has been raining. Better to put it over a radiator!
-10. A -10 scenario would be when there is so much rain that the washing is absolutely soaked through and dripping. Frankly, if your washing is outside in ‘-10′ conditions you might as well put it back into the machine and give it another spin.
I am aware that adding a washing forecast to the weather forecast will use precious weather forecast time. I therefore propose that the following items could be cut out:
- Idle banter with the news presenter
News about forthcoming sports events. No-one watches the weather forecast hoping to hear about forthcoming sports events. In particular on the BBC London Weather we do not need to hear Peter Cockroft telling us from his rooftop position which football games we can hear on BBC London 94.9. It is not really of any interest to us.
Posted by Dave at 12:23 pm on September 26, 2007 and filed under In-depth analysis, Letters.
This morning I received this letter and also a very similar one asking for information about flat pack calendars.
When I was young I remember writing off to various people asking for information or samples. There was a ‘beer mat’ collecting craze when I was at primary school and we all used to write to the different breweries asking for samples and they used to reply with a brown envelope containing a selection of beer mats. Some people managed to get bar towels sent to them as well, but my letters were obviously not interesting enough to warrant such generosity. The real winners were classmates whose parents could bring back beermats from far-flung exotic locations which of course the rest of us could never match. I don’t think we really knew what beer was in those days, let alone a beer mat, but it was a fun craze for the few months it lasted. Such a hobby probably wouldn’t be allowed these days of course.
Anyway, I have now reached the stage in life where I am the sort of respectable businessman to whom children write when they want to gain new wisdom (the fact that it is only because I have a good Google ranking for the term ‘flat pack calendars‘ is neither here nor there). I feel an obligation to write back with useful information which will reward their intrepid letter writing. Therefore I feel the need to draft some fully working blueprints for a 3D flat pack calendar – I might as well kill both the ’3D’ and ‘flat pack’ birds with one stone after all. If anyone has any ideas of how to make such a thing then I would be pleased to hear them. Remember that this is a year 10 project not a primary school one, so it will need advanced features, moving mechanisms etc.
I’d ask readers not to send me letters written with their left hand pretending to be children asking how to make a fully functioning tv/dvd player using discarded food packaging and the leftover bits and pieces you get when you have constructed an item of Ikea furniture. I would not find that funny at all.
Posted by Dave at 10:38 am on January 10, 2007 and filed under Design, Letters.
[Click on the image to see it in a larger way]
Message to Martin Jones, formerly of Essex
We have been getting your post for the last two years. If you happen to be a Cartoon Blog reader I would highly appreciate you taking steps to rectify this. I have to admit that we are a little bit grumpy about all the post we still get for you, but as a forgetful man myself who still has post going to about 15 former residences I am, on this occasion going to spare you the full force of my wrath. Another time tell people you’re moving, there’s a good fellow.
Message to the Vodaphone* telecommunications company
We have returned the envelopes with Martin Jones’ name on them every single month for the last two years. Your company is quite clearly entirely incompetent, having no mechanism for the removal of names and addresses from your database. This being the case it is becoming clear that we are going to have to dispose of these letters ourselves for the rest of our lives. The next letter you send will be returned with an invoice covering the cost of this monthly disposal. In addition I am going to recommend to my readers that they refrain from using their Vodaphone* telephones until you sort out this almighty shambles.
*Yes, I know, this is a misspelling. But I’m not going to get a high Google ranking for ‘Vodafone’, whereas with the misspelling I just might. In any case they jolly well ought to learn to spell. Vodafone indeed. Pah.
Posted by Dave at 11:46 am on July 14, 2006 and filed under Letters, Slightly grumpy.
From: dave at cartoonchurch dot com
To: contactus at scottishpower dot com
Dear Scottish Power,
Today I had a call from one of your Scottish Power salesmen asking whether I would be interested in switching over to Scottish electricity from the English variety I am currently using.
I was not too pleased about this, mainly because unannounced electricity salesmen are on my ’10 most loathed’ list. The fact that he asked whether my parents were in (I am of middle age, though I maintain a youthful demeanour) did not help.
To tell you the truth I am very happy using the English electricity that I get through my wires at the moment. Unless you can explain to me why your electricity is better I can see no reason to change, particularly as it will mean the power has to be piped over a long distance (I assue you transport it that way rather than via fleet of lorries). Please do not say that your electricity is cheaper, as I am interested in quality not price. I am on the brink of making a fortune by being an internet cartoonist and so price is not an issue.
Perhaps you can send a free sample and we can take things from there.
There is one thing I need to say though. You really need to stop making these unannounced telephone calls as everyone that I know intensely dislikes companies who do that and will not buy from them on principle. Please reassure me that you intend to stop making the calls so that I can assure the readers of my daily internet column (who are being informed about this letter) that that is the case. If you do not stop making the calls I will have to inform my readers and I cannot see that it will do the reputation of Scottish electricity any good. I can see that my Scottish readers in particular will be ashamed that their electricity is sold in this way. Please spare them this embarrassment and change your ways for the good of us all.
Posted by Dave at 7:09 pm on June 24, 2006 and filed under Letters, One-man campaigns.
Dear the Chief Executive of Jet petrol stations,
Re: Mashed Potato in Rayleigh
I recently visited the Jet petrol station in Rayleigh in order to buy a packet of mashed potato. Upon taking it to the checkout the cashier was unable to scan the item and the scanning device made a negative-sounding ‘beep’. Unfortunately, as your petrol stations do not show the prices of the majority of items on the shelves the cashier had no idea of the price of a packet of mashed potato, and so was forced to give me the packet for free.
I would be very happy to pay for the mashed potato. Please do send me an invoice.
In the meantime I would suggest that you start displaying prices for the items on the shelves, not least because people quite like to know how much things cost before they buy them.
I will be writing about this on my personal weblog, but will try not to draw undue attention to the fact that mashed potato is available for free from your Rayleigh petrol station.
Posted by Dave at 10:54 am on June 25, 2005 and filed under Essex Life, In-depth analysis, Letters.