Liff, Jim, but not as we know it


Already this morning I’ve been organising client meetings at an event in Dubai. It’s that time of year, Early Spring and people are beginning to attend the exhibitions and conferences that tumble over each other into the calendar at this time every year. And, if you’re one of them, it might be useful for you to have new words for some of the things that happen during this season but for which no words currently exist. So, following the inspiration of Douglas Adams, I’ve taken a load of words that are currently doing nothing better than cluttering up the signposts of the UK, and given them to you to help you to better communicate your experience of this time of year.


Somebody who is politely nodding at the presenter who’s telling them that this mundane product is in fact ‘revolutionary’


A journalist who is only listening to an exhibitor going on about this Bobbingworth because they’ve been told to by their publisher


A large Hinchingbrooke of brochures and Gimmenbies which you can use as a Foley when faced with a Wendens Ambo.

Burton Latimer

The person you always see at these things but whose name you can never remember


The unidentifiable biscuit or cake you buy on a whim from a coffee stall that tastes like bark


Salesman who is only coming out with this guff because he’s been told to by marketing and wants you to know it

Fegg Hayes

The eyebrow based facial movements you make when greeting somebody you don’t know very well for the fifth time that day


The curious reaction on the face of the person you’re talking to who is unaware of your Greenock who can’t work out why you’ve suddenly gone a funny colour


An excuse not talk to anybody, for example pretending to be on the mobile or in a rush somewhere


Desperately try to read a name badge while disguising the fact you’ve forgotten somebody’s name


The mouse mat, stress reliever or branded pen that an exhibitor forces on you that you didn’t want but will inexplicably still be on your desk in three years time.


Creeping hangover which catches up with you at two in the afternoon, the result of going to bed at four and still being pissed when you woke up


The canapé or snack you’ve just popped in your mouth that is not what you thought it was at all


A free bag that everybody seems to be carrying around with them. Much better than the one you’ve got that keeps breaking.


Somebody who is only used to making Nescafe, who makes a disastrously misjudged attempt to brew you some filter coffee

Nempnett Thrubwell

The horrible realisation that you shouldn’t have come on the boat trip the minute that you leave the dock and spot your first Wendens Ambo


A person who tells you they are not interested in shows because they are a waste of time but spend two days at the show drinking other people’s beer and talking to their clients


The feeling you get while tucking in to a bowl of peanuts as, with horror, you remember that statistic you once read about the appalling seasonings that have been added to the nuts by people who don’t wash their hands after going to the toilet


A journalist still desperately traipsing the aisles of a show searching for something interesting to say about it all


Dismissive reaction of salesman on finding out that somebody is actually a journalist and not a potential customer as they first thought.


A competitor desperately trying to get a rise out of you on your own stand


Terminally bored and boring looking salesman, smoking and slumped in their chair putting everybody off going to speak to them who will moan incessantly about how quiet it’s all been

Wendens Ambo

Somebody that you really don’t want to bump into after what happened last night

Weston Bampfylde

Fat middle aged bloke chatting up attractive young woman who’s only listening to him because it’s her job.


A warm glass of beer or white wine that somebody has just given you and that you drink politely but moan about later

Yatton Keynell

Desperate attempt to find a way of ending a conversation



10 Responses to “Liff, Jim, but not as we know it”

  1. 1 markelt March 3, 2009 at 10:35 am

    I need to sort the fonts out on this blog

  2. 2 Stephen Foster March 3, 2009 at 10:46 pm

    I am only posting to spare you the shame of this public display of solipsism.

  3. 3 markelt March 3, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Yeah, that’s done it 😛

  4. 4 OS. March 4, 2009 at 7:51 am

    Not another middle-class-gayer blog! Oh dear, I shall have no time for The Oatie with all these things sprouting up. I wonder what class bloggers come into?

    “Solipsism.” That’s me done.


    Mr Baggins.

  5. 5 OS. March 4, 2009 at 7:53 am

    Ps…Desk jockey.

    Good name, Eli. I like it.

  6. 6 OS. March 4, 2009 at 7:55 am

    NB. Why have I got a silly cow for an avatar? Or whatever it bloody is. I should have stayed in Portugal. I don’t need this. Don’t forget your man bag is at my place. I’ll bring it with me tonight so see me in D’s after the game.

  7. 7 markelt March 4, 2009 at 8:09 am

    The avatars are generated randomly. You can change it to what you want any time you like Bilbo


  8. 8 pickard54 March 5, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Hiltons – The decorative but dim marketing assistants in painfully high heels and unfeasibly short skirts handing out product information to passers by but incapable of answering the simplest question from a potential buyer.

  9. 9 OS. March 5, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    “You can change it to what you want any time you like Bilbo”

    Wot sort of a writer are you? Commas are important, or did you really mean I can change it any time I like Bilbo. He can be a grumpy old fart at times and then I don’t like him. 😉


  10. 10 Morag March 12, 2009 at 9:29 am

    My Liff contribution (finally):
    Bramhall: That point in time that you reach when you think you’re just be too late, that the moment has passed and the world has moved on without you; but you hold on to the notion that “better late than never” just might see you through.

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