Have I Got 9* Incredible Feature Ideas for You? (Answer: Probably Not)

Why did it all turn out like this for me? I had so much promise. I was personable, I was bright. Oh, maybe not academically speaking, but … I was perceptive. I always know when someone’s uncomfortable at a party. It became very clear to me sitting out there today, that every decision I’ve ever made, in my entire life, has been wrong. My life is the opposite of everything I want it to be. Every instinct I have, in every area of life, be it something to wear, something to eat … It’s all been wrong. – George Costanza

This morning I started panicking about work. This afternoon, I sat in a field and stared at sheep and black pigs and dry stone walls and tried to stop panicking about work. I think I got somewhere. I realised that, like George Costanza, I should do the opposite of what I’ve been doing. Rather than thinking about the sort of features that I want to write, I’ve begun to think of the title of a feature and then watch everything else slink into place. A breakthrough, perhaps.

Earlier today – in the field – I spent ten minutes trying to work feature ideas around the title of so-so news quiz Have I Got News for You. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Have I Got Views For You: The top 9* open top bus journeys in the UK.

2. Have They Got Views for You: I revisit the work of some of the most well-known and well-paid columnists in the country – Richard Littlejohn, Jeremy Clarkson, Julie Burchill, Jan Moir etc. – to see if there is consistency and belief in the offensive, hinky bullshit that they spout or whether they just come up with stuff to get attention and make more money.

3. Have They Got Views Whilst I’m Looking at Views for You: As above, but I conduct all of my research on open top buses.

4. Have I Got Shoes For You: When I was married, I used to enjoy buying my wife shoes and dresses. I’ve enjoyed buying shoes and dresses for girlfriends, too. In fact, although I don’t really want a new wife of girlfriend just yet, I sort of would like one so that I could buy her shoes and dresses. Is this normal? I could write about this, and other men who like to do this.

5. Have I Got Screws for You: A year-long weekly column about my attempts to sleep my way to the top of the journalism industry. The best bit will be when I try to give Alan Rusbridger a handjob in a public toilet.

Alan Rusbridger, possibly getting a handjob, earlier.

6. Have I Got Snooze For You: Research by NASA suggests that a 20-minute nap during the day increases mental sharpness and productivity, and has a favourable effect on mood. Could we see a situation in the future where companies actively encourage sleeping at work? Probably not, but I could write about it.

7. Have I Got Pews for You: An investigation into church attendance and whether the decline can be halted.

8. Have I Got Ewes for You: God knows. Farmer’s Weekly?

9. Have You Got Eyes for Two: I’ve no idea what this would be about, either. It was a long and heavy weekend. (And I haven’t even touched upon booze/crews/cruise/boos and so on. You can have those. Do what you want with them.)

But hopefully you see my point. And although I’ve been capering about up there a bit, there are one or two strong ideas – the getting a girlfriend just so I can buy her clothes, the sleeping at work – that I could work on and pitch this evening. I probably will do. And that’s just from  a 10-15 minute brainstorming session. (If I ever write ’10-15 minute brainstorming session’ ever again you have my permission to kill me.)

Anyway, please try it and let me know how you get on. It doesn’t, incidentally, work with the next batch of films/television programmes I thought of (Back to the Future, Newswipe, The Karate Kid, Countdown, The Big Lebowski), but sort of works with Dude, Where’s My Car? and Last of the Summer Wine.

*According to a friend who is the assistant ed at a fitness magazine, putting ‘9 Ways to Get Better at Whatever’ leads to higher sales than ’10 Ways to Get Better at Whatever’.  Or, indeed, any other number. Some world we live in, isn’t it? 


21 responses to “Have I Got 9* Incredible Feature Ideas for You? (Answer: Probably Not)

  1. Great blue sky thinking…

    I can think of a few for countdown but, sadly, they all focus on either the word cunt or downs syndrome. Slightly distressed, but unsurprised, that my mind went there.

    Probably ruined your comment section now.

  2. Neigh buzz: a gossip column about horses (or animal noises)
    Neigh buzz: about animals that make noises like other animals – probably more of a youtube hit
    Neigh birds: A feature on women that sleep with horses
    Nay, neigh birds: A more disparaging feature on the same subject
    Nailed birds: About how best to pin a stuffed bird to a museum display
    Nay neigh nailed birds: About geordie women who refuse to sleep with horses

    • And finally nay nailed neigh birds: women who stutter so badly that their horse lovers leave them. (Might be hard to find in reality)

  3. Fuckity fuck, beard photo – wth the hat, turn it upside down…there is an amazing blue light coming from your hand – there really is – Blue in spiritual terms means…I am not sure..nuttin, better than red i guess. There is a face also, obviously someone who loves you. FREAKY. But see the blue light literally shine from your hand. Ney Botha

  4. You don’t need a woman to buy women’s clothes and shoes, Pitchy. Although, you might have trouble finding stuff in your size.
    P.S. Very randomly, I somehow managed to center my birthday party this year around The Big Lebowski. But really, the spirit of the Dude should fill every party.
    P.P.S. Marge’s comment is freaking me out.

  5. Yeah M? 1. I can’t stand p.s and p.p.s and all that shite. 2. Your talk of ‘spirit of the dude’ from The Big Lebowski is a bit fucking weird. 3. going on about birthday parties when you are over the age of 18 is pretty freaky and 4.my comment is actually freaking me out this morning so please, just leave it. I have the worst hangover of my life. I remember feeling really proud of the Nay Botha bit and laughing to a friend about it. I don’t think they are speaking to me today.

    • Wow, totally sorry Marge. I was just joking around, but obviously it wasn’t taken that way. So again, apologies.
      P.S. I don’t do cat fights.

      • P.P.S In regards to the birthday thing, my maturity level probably hasn’t progressed passed 14 anyway, so I’ll talk about birthdays all I want.

      • No, I am really sorry M, I was so ridiculously out of order and hungover and oversensitive. How embarrasing.
        p.s I love birthday parties, big time.
        p.p.s I don’t do cat fights either.
        Sorry again.

      • No worries, hangovers can do horrible things to people.

  6. Another great post from Pitchy…

  7. Reading this comments section, first thing on a Tuesday morning and full of bad acid isn’t a great way to start the day. Probably. I don’t know. I’m showing off about being full of bad acid, it’s not true.
    Thanks everyone, especially you Run. X

  8. Ohh, cat fight! My monies on Marge…..!

  9. when i was doing business writing they said 9 and other odd numbers are better when giving advice because it leaves space for more… it’s optimistic, it isn’t final like a 10.

    when making big conclusions an even number is best. or so these business dudes said.

    CB x

  10. Well in that case, I give your comment 4/10. Actually, that doesn’t really work. And it’s not even remotely true – it was very handy to know, thanks. Also: what is business writing? X

  11. Cash in the Attic – a series of articles uncovering the nations favourite Johnny Cash vinyl stored in the attic

    Cash in the Static – Article on the boom in second hand caravans

    Gash in the Attic – Readers’ wives frolicking in insulation

    Rash in the Attic – same, 2 hours later.

    Pash in the Vatic-an – a raunchy novella about the Pope’s kinky sex parties

    Fash in the Latics – Wimbledon FA Cup 1988 winning football personality muses on how life could have been if he’d made the move to Oldham Athletic

  12. Now, this just got funnier: Run and Doc Moretti in the same comments section. A rare treat.

    ‘Have I got Poos for You’ – this is where I examine numerous; er, you can work that one out

    Back to the Couture – Fashion Weekly

    Last of the Summer Pine/Vine – for a horticultural magazine

    (I just realised, am I missing the point? Mine aren’t funny. Far too pedestrian.)

    Last of the Bummer Swine – about the decline in gay pigs; target Animal Husbandry Mags – or Gay Animal Porn (if such a thing exists. If it doesn’t: start one)

  13. Dear Doc Moretti and Doc Bingo Barlow,
    You two are good. Clever. And Funny. Funnier than I am. You’ve both got good looking girlfriends too. And you’re both doctors. Actually, fuck you, fuck you both. And thank you, thank you both. Very much.
    Lots of Love,
    Pitching the World.

  14. def not funnier than you Pitchy
    loving your work as ever

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