I am increasingly upset by the work that I am doing in the monotonous black hole that is the East of England Development Agency. I have already ranted at length about the morality of the Government funding anti-aging skin cream. I have attempted to give some idea of the frustration of being surrounded by conversations about wheelie bins and babies (I own neither a wheelie bin nor a baby). And I have moaned about companies with wince-inducing names such as Incentivated, Immunoporation and AcroKool.
What do companies think they’re playing at? Is anybody expecting to be taken seriously with a name like Park Tonks Ltd, Spine-issimus, or Cytofluidix? The knowingly clever punning names are the worst, things like Surgi-Call, Bee Inspired (help), or any number of plays on the location of Cambridgeshire, my current least favourite being Cambustion.
Some companies have gone for a trendy, no-nonsense, 21st century feel: A Recipe for Success Ltd (oh, the irony), or the increasingly overused internet referencing found in the likes of Brochuresplease.com Ltd (notformethanksyouwankers.co.uk).
Then there’s just the plain bizarre: what, for example, does a company called The Wavy-Haired Reader Ltd do? Produce books of short stories for people with difficult hair? And my current favourite company title of all time, Coolanalgesia Ltd – which I can only imagine is manufacturing a funky new sexual disease.
But it just gets worse. It all gets worse. I am now wading through the description of a project that has been granted funding called – wait for it – Pinky. Pinky is the kind of project title you might expect a rather nauseating six-year-old girl to come up with. How worrying, then, that the project description reads like it has been put together by a six-year-old girl. A six-year-old girl with a somewhat loose grasp of English grammar for somebody of her age.
It gets worse even than that. Pinky, you see, is a project to “create the development of a dye for fingers and toenails”. (What does she mean – “create the development”? Does she really intend to produce a dye for use on whole fingers???)
But this is an important area for Government funding. You see, “the problem with existing nail polish is that they (sic) are very vulnerable to chipping, frequently causing those wearers (she doesn’t actually specify which wearers) considerable consternation by doing so shortly before an important social or business function.” So you can see how jolly important this is. Just imagine the distress experienced every day by people who are forced to turn up to important social or business functions with chipped toenails. How bloody awful for them.
The six-year-old girl in charge of operations informs us that “the original idea was conceived nearly ten years ago by myself”. Which means that she can’t be six after all. Looking at her project description, I can only conclude that she is a simpleton.
Perhaps that is why she has been awarded funding. It is, after all, an important aspect of equal opportunities to ensure that even simpletons have a chance in this brave new world. Or maybe it was also a simpleton who decided that this project warranted nearly Â£10,000 of Government money.
That is correct. Nearly Â£10,000. To ensure that the terrible tragedy of chipped nail varnish is never allowed to happen again. Certainly I can think of few things as deserving of Government funding – like getting my arse waxed, for instance.
Maybe I’ll put a project proposal together. I could call it Smoothanaljamesia.com Ltd.