Tech firms' inglorious history of truly awful advertisements has been well documented by yours truly.
Most of the US vendor giants have inflicted their nauseating campaigns on UK eyes and ears. The iPod dancers? Do me a favour. I'm a PC? No, you're not - go away. Welcome to the human network? Thanks, but I really must be going.
But I'm ashamed to say one of the UK's tech torchbearers has finally bested the lot of them. Like most people, I've followed the rollercoaster ride of that gawky herbert from My Family and his ridiculous broadband-based relationship. And, much like a rollercoaster, it's made me bring up my dinner - more a few times.
I'm led to understand the deeply, deeply charmless BT couple are now expecting a baby. In-between dealing with a protracted workers dispute and a rap on the knuckles over misleading advertising, the telecoms giant somehow found the time this month to ask Joe Public what should happen next to the personality-light pair.
Disappointingly, the only two options were 'preggers' or 'not preggers'. (I, for one, would have voted for an acrimonious separation. Possibly fuelled by an argument over whether to switch to Sky for its HD sports coverage.)
Even more disappointingly, 1.6 million of my countrymen found the time and the inclination to vote one way or the other. And far be it from me to suggest that their time and emotional energy would be better spent by getting in touch with a loved one, reading a book or flying a kite. Or listening to paint dry.
After five very long years and 35 interminable ads, I guess we can now look forward to watching the fictitious newlyweds raise a child entirely by access to communications services. Maybe they'll even call it something like 'HomeHub', or 'Openreach'.
And, stultifyingly saccharine or not, the adverts have got me thinking about doing something similar with Dodgi. I'm going to launch a social networking campaign to canvass people's views on whether 'The Dodgi Couple' (Gordon and Shirl) should elope to Cuba. Suggestions, thoughts, opinions and thinly veiled threats to the usual address, please.
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