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A way to get you to spend $2 in the mistaken belief that you have a newt's chance in a grinder of winning a hamper/car/holiday. There's something just not quite right about the principle of making money for charities which involves giving away expensive prizes. There's probably a loop-hole in the raffle laws that allows the raffle organisers not to give away prizes if the proceeds are to charity.

Most proceeds actually go to rebuilding churches, upgrading kindergartens, etc. The more dubious ones go to sending brass bands to Queensland, building athletics clubs, and of course the newly created Custard Development Fund. The Custard Development Fund is dedicated to sending the author of Toxic Custard on a Hawaiian holiday.


Another one of those things that is great to watch when you're not caught in it. Perhaps what we need to do is somehow make intelligent clouds that rain, but not actually on people.

Readers' Digest

Ever wondered how effective those mailing campaigns are? Toxic Custard has obtained this internal Readers Digest report.

  Summary of mailing campaign:

43,000 sent competition letter 15,000 stupid enough to send back entry form 15,000 sent secondary draw letter with offer of Readers Digest sample and exclusive small brass token 3,000 request Readers Digest sample 3,000 sent Readers Digest sample with subscription offer 9 subscribe


Formerly used in descriptions of agriculture, "reap" is now almost exclusively found in bad retail advertising campaigns, eg "We've cut prices so you reap the benefits!" shouted by manic announcers over footage of crazed shoppers smashing in doors.


Proof of the purchase of goods. There are two distinct types of receipt:

- the receipt that sits in your wallet for the best part of a year before you clean it out, and then pops up again regularly for the rest of your life, in desk drawers, stuck in books as bookmarks, or attached to the fridge with a magnet

- the receipt that you think you put safely somewhere, but can't find when the goods that you bought falls apart/breaks down/ causes you to want to return the goods, for whatever reason. (See Return)


The academic way of copying what someone else has written. The best references don't actually exist. Which means they can say precisely what you want them to say.

Renovation, Ideal for

See Demolition, Condemned, Wreck, Pile of bricks.


Sigh. Last week I finished watching the Countdown repeats. What a nostalgia trip. Back to the late-70s. Bit of a nightmare, actually. The memories came flooding back. I think that now I am ready to atone for my sins. Yes, it's true. I once had brown cords. I'm not proud. It's just something I did in the foolish years of my youth. One of many things, actually. On the other hand, when it comes to embarrassing fads of the Seventies, I do have several points on my side. To my knowledge, I never wore flares. I didn't like Kiss. Or Abba. Sometimes I think I was pretty smart, considering I was just a kid.


The sort of thing that Jeremy Beadle should be banned from. The Beadles actually have a history of practical jokes, right back to the days of Christ, when Jeremiah Beadle convinced Joseph that the only accomodation left in town was a stable.


A place where organised food consumption goes on, usually in exchange for money. The quality of food offered at various restaurants can vary widely, making it possible for some people to make a living purely by going to restaurants, making notes about the food and service, and then publishing all the information in books and magazines.

Restaurants fall into two basic categories: Fast Food and Slow Food. Fast Food generally involves queuing up for the food at the counter at the front and ordering it from people who are often younger than the actual food.

Slow Food involves sitting at tables and being brought the food at a slow pace by waiters, followed by an extended period of several weeks while the diner tries in vain to get the bill.


An experience of sheer terror. Here's some advice for when you want to return goods to their place of purchase.

- Find the receipt. Okay, so you only bought your product X yesterday, the shop you bought it from probably only sells an X once in a blue moon and the shopkeeper in question has known you personally for a period of decades. But severe paranoia about the shop's denial of any knowledge of product X means you must have the receipt with you when you stroll in the door to have any confidence or strength when you begin with the words "I bought this yesterday..."

- Find the bag that your product X came in, which naturally has the shop's logo plastered all over it. Failing this, you should try and find another bag, from a different time you went to that particular shop. No, it doesn't really make sense, just don't worry about it.

- When you get to the shop, radiate confidence. For some reason, whenever I'm in this situation I get pangs of guilt going through my mind... "You don't really need to return it! It works okay if you hold it at a 30 degree angle! Don't be so petty! It only singed a bit of the carpet! Only the garden shed burnt down! It didn't fry the whole family! You've got a nerve, daring to declare the manufacturers to have failed in their goal of trying to bring you the perfect product X! They'll probably shed jobs over this! And you'll be personally responsible for the decline of dozens of families, and the eventual joint suicide of the workers at the ruined site of the bankrupt factory."

- If you're going to even think about mentioning refunds, take along proof of identity, a shotgun, several lawyers, and all of the above.


Well if you didn't want an answer, why did you bother asking a question? It's that kind of behaviour that leads to extreme irritation and eventual violence involving a jack-hammer, three bananas in various orifices and strangulation with a vacuum-cleaner hose.


By far the most fashionable way to injure yourself at the moment.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Appendices

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