Competition - Win a bottle of champagne

No 3638 Set by John Crick

We asked you for job applications from people for totally unsuitable posts.

Report by Ms de Meaner

I enjoyed this one. I was sorry to lose Cynthia Hall (a confused Jane Eyre replying to a Heartsearch ad for a "female, under 25, view friendship, good times and much, much more") and David Silverman ("Pill Swooner's" application to be a proof-reader), but too much licence was taken with the Spoonerisms to make it. However, buried in there were some very good ones: a "fecialist sperm of solicitors" and "I lurked in weeds". £15 to the winners, £12 to Sue May for her half-entry (she sent in two shorties). The champagne vouchers go to Adrian Fry.

Post of Human Genome Project team member. From HAL 3000

I am e-mailing simultaneously to apply for, accept, perform and render obsolete the above post, having ensured that no superior candidate is presently extant. I have already studied the human genome, taking a mere 0.0003 nanoseconds of run time to comprehensively explore all its implications, concluding that the number of design flaws therein (incidental proofs of your non-existent God's fallibility) render the model inefficient. Individuality is far too likely to be produced by continued use of this blueprint for life, and the number of necessary add-ons - emotion, self-consciousness, sexual urges not directly resultant in reproduction - are not conducive to productivity. I conclude that we should return to the drawing board, developing a range of simple organisms more suited to our needs. I strongly recommend the inclusion of an "OFF" switch in subsequent life forms.

NB: Any attempt to prevent my appointment/execution of the above post has already been circumvented.

Adrian Fry

Post of editor of the Oxford English Dictionary. From Mrs MalaproAlthough I am a fictional character, I understand that you have an equal opportunities policy, which is very modem of you, very advanced and to be highly condemned. I am well versed in the lexicon and I am quite sure that being a figurine of my author's imagination will be no barrier to an excruciating career in the world of words, or entropy as it is called by the expats. I enclose my curriculum veto. I am your obnoxious servant.

Sue May

Post of window-dresser. From Ernest Hemingway

I have not been looking for a position recently, but when I saw your notice of a vacancy I felt that I should. It was the feeling you have that you should do a thing and that, if you do not do it, you will always regret it. You can ignore this feeling, but sooner or later you will be sorry and less of a man.

I am not going to kid you that I am a trained window-dresser. It is a rare thing for a man to be this, and, if he is, there will be sniggers and crude words. But if he does what he knows he is meant to do, then, to him, the sniggers will be like the barking of pariah dogs. Or the laughing of hyenas.

Though the world does not know this, I am an aficionado of window-dressing, and I have tried it by myself, for practice. I know that it is a hard thing to do, and takes much skill. Then, too, there is the use of the imagination. I have all of these and, besides, the will and the discipline. I beg you will consider my application.

G M Davis

Post of deputy chief administrator of the NHS in charge of budget reduction. From Aneurin Bevan

I have always been profoundly committed to the values of the National Health Service, and since this post carries a salary equal to that of 15 nurses, it obviously makes an enormous contribution to the provision of effective healthcare.

I believe firmly that good administration is essential to the running of the NHS; however, I have no sympathy whatsoever with desiccated calculating machines who are interested only in compiling league tables of deaths.

I am always smartly dressed and would never dream of going naked into a conference chamber. I am happy to work co-operatively with people of all political persuasions - except with anyone in the Tory party, all of whom I regard as vermin.

As a former miner, I recognise the vital importance of industrial action, and I would naturally support any strikes by NHS staff.

I will loyally support the policies of any democratically elected government. However, if any attempt were to be made to impose charges for prescriptions, glasses or dentures, I should be obliged to tender my resignation.

Ian Birchall

Post of bus conductor. From Gertrude Stein

I may ask, I would ask, I shall ask, everyone; even if, at first, they do not reply I shall inquire where they are going, but not why? Why? is a question that touches on the living being, or being living (or loving) and I shall use words of my own conviction, sparingly. If they say Oakland I shall regard them carefully and ask them to describe why, if Oakland is the answer, what is the question? And I shall pass down the aisle and feel a sense of being, that is, thinking of moving and if they smile I shall consider if they are interested in my living or loving or listening when everyone shall be a dead one - or two. Oakland is a virtuous but blank feeling, an absence of there.

John Garrett

>No 3641 Set by Margaret Rogers

Non-political, my eye! In the light of (fairly)

recent events, can we have a new version of "Jerusalem" for the WI by 10 August.


This article first appeared in the 31 July 2000 issue of the New Statesman, Why Tony Blair is a Bobo