June 15, 2009


First of all, this is not a photoshop job, this is a real jar of Barry Norman’s Pickled Onions. For further proof, click here and discover a website that is sort of a cut-price version of swallowing the red pill in the Matrix.

Here are my observations.

1. Pickleodeon?

2. A link that just says “The Pickles”.

3. How long were the meetings where they came up with those recipe titles? ‘In The Heat Of The Onion’? ‘Lock Stock and Four Smoking Onions’? You can’t just stick the word ‘Onion’ into any film title! Oh, wait, no, there is one here that doesn’t do that, let’s see…’Gone With The Wind’?!


Oh, it’s just all wrong. It’s aaaaaaaaallll wrong.  But could I do better? Could I put my authority behind a product that is even more banal, even more odd? I decided to open the question to the wider Twitter world in the form of a competition.

I immediately discounted entries that referenced shows on which I’ve worked, because that’s not quite what I was looking for. I wanted something that just felt wrong, in the same way that Barry Norman’s pickles feel wrong (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write), but eventually the range of entries were so wide that I realised I was going to have to give two prizes.

Honourable mentions.

Splashman’s entry is almost too useful… Lauriepink was well-represented but this is my favourite because of the use of the word ‘homeland’…. mixmasterfestus got the banality, as did geekparenting1…pineapple made me laugh…and doodledawn got my proportions just right.


I would endorse such a product. Well done, Maxtaylor!

Elegant, powerful, masculine. Thanks, jennydecimal!

This is very ‘me’ for all sorts of reasons. But because I’m allergic to dogs, I wouldn’t be able to put my weight behind it. Still, a near-winner from varandunil.

The winners!

Doodlewhale’s entry was not banal, but it was delightful, so I had to give him something. Well done, fella! Really funny and beautifully done.

But the overall winner, because there’s something about it that feels real, and it’s definitely wrong, and I would enjoy setting up a website called ‘The Wormery’, is Linehan’s Mealworms from Bazzargh. Congratulations, you two! I shall track down your addresses on Twitter and send a signed and shiny IT Crowd script to you both as soon as I can.

(Update: My wife bought me a jar of Barry’s pickles for Father’s Day! Whatever about the packaging, the onions themselves are absolutely delicious; sweet and crunchy and with a nice kick from the chillies floating about in there. Yum! Now I’m off to make a nice lunch of ‘Drag Me To Onion’.)

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