Being stuck in a bus behind a button import company van last weekend proved a by-no-means-rare-enough opportunity to subject myself to the horror that is commercial Polish radio. (“I don’t mind the formatting,” a friend of mine once said, “but must they all have the same format?”)
All Polish women in advertising went to the same voiceover school, where they were taught to smile while speaking. The big fat bloated American PR specialist that indoctrinated the entire Polish advertising industry gave the men slightly different instructions: smirk while speaking. So the women come across as simpering idiots and the men sound like sweating perverts. With one hand firmly gripping their microphones, the other, you feel, to your sickened horror, is despoiling something beautiful.
In Keep the Aspidistra Flying George Orwell described advertising as the rattling of a stick in a swill bucket, thus rendering all of the above superfluous – but it was a long bus journey.