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12:35pm on Wednesday, 9th August, 2006:

Bonnie Babies


I was walking past a shop in Colchester today and it had outside it some pictures of smiling babies. The shop wanted you to take your gorgeous infant into their childrenswear department, have its portrait taken (which you pay for) and then it would automatically be entered in a "bonnie babies" competition.

The thing is, the babies shown in the advertisement outside the street were ugly. I mean, they were alarmingly ugly. They were the kind of ugly that if a proud parent showed you that baby, you'd have to say whoah!, you couldn't stop yourself. No hair, or hair in just one badly-placed patch; eyes at different levels to each other; crooked smiles; noses that needed a good seeing to with a frying pan; pudgy cheeks; why on earth were these monstrous creatures on public display advertising a bonnie baby competition?

The answer of course, is that although the parents of these children would be convinced of their offspring's cuteness, and proud that they were selected to advertise a bonnie baby competition, every other parent would take one look, gasp with horror, and think that if that's what counts as a bonnie baby, theirs is a shoo-in for victory.

Ah, psychology at its commercial best.

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).