‘Smart’ flies Aer Lingus, we’re told. Ok, but what does ‘daft’ do? Or ‘worried’ or ‘tired,’ or, for that matter, what does ‘horny’ do? There’s a bank which proclaims that it likes to back ‘brave’. However, as every sage from Shakespeare to Obi-Wan Kenobi has pointed out, these things are often a matter of definition, of points of view. Banks have demonstrated again and again that they’re actually happiest when backing ‘reckless’ and ‘challenged’ and ‘suicidal’ and ‘tragically misguided.’
There’s obviously been some sort of consensus at a recent coven of marketing types that the best new way to milk the herd is try and make it fall for being divided into adjectives. You want to be a good adjective, don’t you? You want to be ‘brave’ or ‘smart,’ not ‘lazy’ or ‘cowardly’ or ‘tight-fisted,’ don’t you? What’s that? You at the back: you don’t know what an adjective is? We recommend you sign up for our supersaver account immediately. No time to waste.
Of course, the problem with human beings is that, despite the best efforts of marketing Beelzebubs to boil us down into simple, easy to manoeuvre atoms, we can still be a bit messy, a bit complicated. ‘Sleepy’ has an orgasm for memory foam pillows. ‘Malodorous’ badly needs to get his hands on some Lynx. ‘Charming’ regularly sprays his manhood with Old Spice. ‘Dizzy’ thinks he’s just delightful, even though all her friends are warning that she’d be much better off with ‘Prudent,’ who has a job in the bank, owns four life insurance policies and has a half share in a nudist colony in Bulgaria.
Poor old ‘skint’ can roll his eyes about but relax in the knowledge that very little of this will ever apply to him. ‘Tetchy’ might like to try one of those vitamin complexes for the disgruntled elderly, or perhaps even a Mediterranean cruise with ‘Frustrated.’
All those former marketing types who grew prematurely old in the effort to apply crushingly boring demographics to try and work an angle must be simmering with tepid fury. They could have just called people a stupid, non-descriptive name instead. Throw out all those old slide rules, those painfully peecee weeding out questions (‘There’s nothing racist about this, ma’am, nothing at all. We just want to sell you stuff, that’s all. It doesn’t matter if you need, want or can afford any of it, we just want to sell it.’) designed to covertly figure out just how far from ABC 1 you squat on the spectrum. From now on, you’re just what we decide to call you. Simple, isn’t it?
It might even become a game on Facebook (if it hasn’t already). It’ll make a welcome if brief change from all those ice bucket challenges and painful repostings of other people’s dead pets.
What adjective are you? Are you ‘sexy,’ ‘ambitious,’ ‘aspiring,’ ‘happy,’ ‘imbecilic,’ ‘dyspeptic,’ ‘priapic,’ ‘perverted,’ ‘befuddled’ or just plain ‘dead’? Be careful. The one you pick may define you forever.
Oh, before you ask, I already know which one I am. I’m just plain ‘bored.’ I’ve been stuck in this category for some time. I’m wondering if I’ll ever move.