Thursday, 30 July 2015

Roy, The Telekinetic Child-Owl (1973-1979)

Scarfolk Council was no stranger to invading the privacy of ordinary families. Back in December we introduced you to the council Christmas Boy (see HERE) who strictly monitored the contentment of families during the festive season. We've since received letters asking how the council kept households in check during the rest of the year.


In 1973 the council engineered a genetically modified creature called Roy. He was the result of cross-breeding barn owls with surplus human infants raised by prying, judgemental, lower-middle-class parents. Roy was cloned and delivered to every family in Scarfolk. His job was to oversee domestic affairs, and, if any family member deviated from officially sanctioned activity, Roy was to berate them by tutting and shaking his head.

Unfortunately, there had been a clinical oversight. Volatile poltergeist DNA had accidentally contaminated Roy's genes when a careless scientist left open a lab window which looked out onto a supernatural-energy processing plant. Instead of the envisioned tutting and head-shaking, Roy flew into violent rages, triggering major telekinetic events. There were reports of Roys decimating entire families and, in one case, allegedly annihilating an entire housing estate.

The council was under pressure to recall the defective owls, but because there had been a sudden drop in the numbers of families claiming benefits, it announced instead that Roy was a resounding success and millions more of the human-owl hybrid were commissioned by the police and social services.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Cub Scout "Bob-a-Body" Week (1977)

The annual boy scout Bob-a-Job week was an institution. However, from 1975 the jobs that scouts were expected to undertake moved away from the mundane - the washing of cars, sweeping of leaves and mowing of lawns - and became much more demanding.

Below is a scout leaflet from 1977 which was the first year that Bob-a-Job week officially changed its name.


During Bob-a-Body week, hundreds of cub scouts roamed Scarfolk helping members of the community with their assisted suicide needs. The old, sick and formally shunned most frequently employed the services of the scouts, though the council's Oxygen Resource Board allegedly sent lists of reluctant residents to scout groups in advance, along with illicitly duplicated front door keys and gallon jars of a toxic nerve agent.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Poverty & 1970s Pelican Books

Poor, uneducated people have always been obstinate in their selfish desire to ruin the contentment of those from more important social classes.

Below are several Pelican books from the 1970s which deal with the decade's poverty, austerity and the blight of these self-centered people who relish being destitute.

For example, The Poor and Other Invertebrates, published in 1974, made the following claims about the nation's impoverished:

"[They] reproduce prolifically in 3 months rather than the conventional 9 months of properly evolved humans".

"They intentionally contract diseases by manufacturing their own bacteria at home, which they smear onto their cheap linoleum floors  [...] then roll around in it".

"They burgle respectable citizen's homes, then play Bingo".

In 1976, Scarfolk council dealt with the needy by taking away their autonomy and making them property of the state. Thousands of people below the breadline were requisitioned to be used as civic equipment such as street bollards and even sandbags in the case of flooding or terrorist bombings.







Thursday, 2 July 2015

"Mindborstal" Psychological Detention Drug


Following the publication of Children and Hallucinogens: The Future of Discipline in 1971, several products were developed by Cavalier Pharm, Scarfolk's largest pharmaceutical company.

In addition to Panopticon, a truth serum designed for minors (see Discovering Scarfolk p.65 for further details), Cavalier Pharm also manufactured a drug called Mindborstal which, as the advertisement above indicates, induced children into a mental state that functioned as a psychological prison.

The detention hallucinations produced by the drug were so potent that they were indistinguishable from reality and children under its influence sat motionless for days and even weeks, locked in delirious trances. They were convinced that they were incarcerated within physical spaces policed by intimidating entities tailored to their own personal fears.

Yet for all of the drug's obvious benefits, it was ultimately recalled when several children were reported to have escaped on imagined giraffes, which their subconscious psyches had somehow conjured into existence. At least, that was the official explanation. Sceptics weren't convinced, even when hundreds of dead giraffes conveniently washed up on Scarfolk beach. Recently leaked documents suggest that the real reason for the recall was a desperate attempt by the council to cover up its covert plan to have the drug renamed and introduced to the town's water supply.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Children's Nuclear Warning Poster (1979)


In the late 1970s the nuclear arms race was almost as popular as squash. 

On the face of it, Scarfolk council wanted to prepare children for the probability of a nuclear strike by Russia, China or the Shetland Islands without unduly frightening them with words and phrases such as 'apocalypse' and 'modicum of extinction'. 

In 1979 the council produced a poster campaign which substituted negative words for more pleasant, child-friendly ones. 'Flopsy Bunny', for example, became a euphemism for 'the complete annihilation of the known world'.

However, the government's true motive for the campaign became clear later that year when it adopted a cute, long-eared rabbit as its mascot in civic literature and public information films. It also vigorously promoted a soft-toy 'Flopsy Bunny', as well as a fluffy, nuclear mushroom cloud called Arthur. 

In the run up to Christmas children begged their parents and Santa Claus for the aforementioned playthings and there were even riots in Scarfolk toy shops.

This bait-and-switch permitted the council to take the population's desire for 'Flopsy Bunny' (or total annihilation depending on one's interpretation) as consent to proceed with its plans to build a nuclear missile silo cum leisure centre below Scarfolk primary school. The Parent-Teacher Association at first protested the project but withdrew when they were given free sauna passes.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Possessed Birthday Cards (1978)

Bubbles, the clown who appeared in the BBC TV testcard, was very popular in the 1970s. He even had his own animated public information series and range of merchandising including toys, T-shirts, mugs, greetings cards and surgical instruments.

However, in 1978, parents became alarmed when they discovered that many of the products were possessed by the spirit of an embittered ex-TV presenter, Simon Gomorrah, who had hosted a daytime programme called 'Housewife versus Anaconda!', before it was suddenly cancelled without warning. It wasn't until several months after Gomorrah's suicide that Bubbles merchandising began displaying supernatural activity.


For example, the Bubbles birthday greetings card, as pictured above, appeared to be perfectly normal when it was sold in the shops. But, once it had been given to a child, Bubbles would transform during the night into a demonic, lascivious entity that shouted out vulgar profanities and urinated at anyone who came within shot.


Gomorrah's body was eventually exhumed and his feet were fitted with oversized, concrete-filled clown shoes so that his spirit could no longer wander the earthly plane.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

"Natal Truancy" Leaflet (1974)


A 1974 study by the NCC (Natal Crime Commission) in Scarfolk discovered that 2 out of 5 pregnant women were not turning up for the birth of their own child. 

Doctors rejected the hypothesis that backstreet, occult practitioners might be responsible, but failed to solve how babies were bypassing the traditional medium of a biological mother and delivering themselves into the world.

When some of the absentee mothers were tracked down they couldn't account for their lack of attendance, though eye-witnesses placed the women in various locations at the time that they should have been giving birth: at cocktail parties, playing Bingo, watching the radio, reading grimoires in the coven library and communing naked with a black-pelted half-man, half-goat in supermarket car parks.

Children born as a result of maternal misdemeanours tended not to get along with other children, particularly because they levitated uncontrollably. Many schools were forced to enclose their grounds inside large nets or perspex domes to catch the drifting minors.

Friday, 5 June 2015

"Sense a Presence?" Public Information (1970)



In 1970 a council public information campaign warned citizens that they should be afraid, though it didn't clarify exactly what it was they were supposed to be afraid of. Inevitably, this lead to widespread panic. Police, council and coven telephone helplines were inundated with calls by distressed citizens of Scarfolk who had been previously unaware of the danger they were in.

In an attempt to define what the campaign's 'presence' might refer to, the Daily Ail newspaper printed what it believed everyone should fear. What began as a ten-point list quickly grew into a publication as thick as a telephone directory and included: Foreigners; magic gypsies; diseases with a foreign origin or name, e.g, Asian Squid Flu; asylum-seeking succubi and other demons that haunt Britain without the appropriate paperwork; 'other foreigners' not included in the first mention of foreigners; and the threat of rabies from migrating continental bats which refuse to make any attempt to learn the English language.

By the mid-70s Scarfolk was in a frenzy and adults and children alike were accusing all and sundry of being invisible, malevolent presences. Eventually, to allay the fear of its citizens, the council allocated a handful of social workers to each household. Every evening, these workers (actually, mentally-ill criminals sentenced to community service) would conceal themselves beneath beds, in wardrobes, in cellars and attics to ensure that sinister entities had no place to lurk.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Expiration Cards (1970s)

"Have you ever worried about how and when you might pass away? With an Expiration Card you needn't worry ever again..." (From a 1971 Scarfolk information booklet).


As of 1970 all residents of Scarfolk were issued with Expiration Cards. A dedicated council department, run by someone known only as Tod XIII, calculated when each citizen was most likely to become an 'unreasonable imposition' on society, then set an official date and method of demise. Sometimes, the date was brought forward if the citizen's circumstances changed: for example, if a person had become undeservedly depressed or poorly and was unlikely to ever again be gainfully employed by any self-respecting organisation.

Each cardholder was expected to make the relevant preparations according to their allocated death event and to pay for it. Costs were taken directly out of citizens' income along with tax and costs incurred by governmental weekend breaks abroad. Unemployed cardholders had their assets and/or family members seized and auctioned off. 

If a cardholder inconveniently died before their scheduled date and time, their card (and a hefty admin fee) was inherited by the next of kin who could either swap the card with their own - if the death event was preferred - or donate it to Scarfolk's Expiration Charity, which brought together poverty-stricken people to perish in the same event so that they may share costs. Charity expirations often took the form of driving a decommissioned double-decker bus off a pier into the sea while a brass band played. These expirations were televised on SBC TV's 'Beneviolence' programme, particularly if they featured once-popular celebrities who had fallen on hard times.

Note: Personalised Expiration Cards may be available for purchase in the future.

Thursday, 21 May 2015

"Unlearn...Privacy" Cards (1970s)


During the 1970s, the Scarfolk Education Publishing company produced packs of cards which taught children about society and its expectations. In particular, the cards focused on eradicating any false notions that children may have picked up from prohibited books, unauthorised wise people and illegal time immigrants (a flood of which materialised in 1979 to stockpile cake following a devastating pudding famine in the future).

In addition to the 1979 'Unlearn Privacy' pack, examples from which can be seen below, other series included 'Unlearn Altrusim', 'Unlearn Democracy' and 'Unlearn Contentment'.


The aforementioned time immigrants claimed that, by the year 2017, surveillance and the invasion of privacy become so ubiquitous that citizens' brains are connected to a central network. No thought, conscious or otherwise, is permitted expression unless it has been approved by a state computer programme nicknamed 'Brain O'Brien'. However, a backlog quickly accumulates, and many people go without a thought of their own for months, if not years at a time.

Fortunately, the government predicted such an emergency and prepared in advance a series of standardised thoughts, ideas and opinions which it inputs directly into citizens' minds. No doubt it is this considerate civic gesture which leads to the overwhelming majority vote for the incumbent party in many subsequent elections.


The bonus card above comes from an earlier pack, 'Unlearn Compassion', which was published in 1971.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

"Lung Puppy" Sentient Toy (1975)


This magazine scan is of an advert for 'Lung Puppy', one of the many so-called "sentient toys" on the market in the 1970s. Not only did it follow your child anywhere (as long as your child was breathing), it also contained a device in the tongue that tested the child's galvanic skin response. If it detected inappropriate sweating, it assumed guilt and administered a Taser-like shock (see also: electrified Bibles, 'Discovering Scarfolk' p.149). The toy was not recommended for asthmatics or those being regularly waterboarded.

A more sophisticated version of the Lung Puppy - the Lung Alpaca - was used by the prison service to patrol cell blocks in Scarfolk Gaol. However, Lung Alpacas were withdrawn from service when 12 prisoners harvested the Alpaca's wool, knitted tunnelling equipment and escaped. By chance the gang was recaptured when a Lung Puppy which was previously owned by one of the criminals as a child detected his owner's breathing and lead police to the hideout.

Friday, 1 May 2015

"Watch Out! There's a Politician About" Election Week Posters (1975)

The general election will soon be upon us so we thought we'd upload a new poster every day during the week's run up.

All the posters are from the 1970s 'Watch Out! There's a Politician About' campaign.

Just before the Scarfolk election of 1975 the ruling party was keen to permanently eradicate all political opposition and set out to smear what it called a 'hazardous surplus of politicians and others suffering from civic delusional disorders'. The incumbent's aim was to bring about a state of emergency that would permit a legal postponement of the election, a postponement that could, in theory, become indefinite.

The smear campaigns knew no bounds as one politician after another was exposed for corruption, sexual and moral improprieties, and poor table manners. The media was awash with reports that many election candidates were telepathically controlled by immigrants, who, it was alleged, were all born of the same non-human mother and functioned as a hive mind.

As the campaign gathered pace, there were even 'false flag' acts of terror. For example, when a bomb destroyed the headquarters of the National Health Service in May 1975, it was blamed on exploding lice carried by the children of liberal and intellectual parents, and in the same month a plot was uncovered to shackle the UK to mainland Europe with billions of tonnes of string below the waves of the English channel.

Use your vote wisely. Alternatively, vote for one of the parties currently on offer.


Thursday, 23 April 2015

"Don't Struggle" Campaign (1972)



In 1972 extensive government studies suggested that the people of Britain were in an odd mood. GPs were reporting higher incidences of depression, anxiety and state-sponsored disorders such as omphalophobia and scopophobia.

In an attempt to reassure the nervous nation, the government requested that each local council create its own version of the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' slogan, which had been so successful during the Second World War and the tedious stretches that followed it.

Scarfolk Council came up with the following poster campaign which depicted a kindly nurse gently helping an apprehensive, inadequate child to the 11th floor of Scarfolk's historic Pillywinks Building. No one really knew what happened in the Pillywinks Building; the only indication was a sign beside the front door which stated: 'Butchers and other educators, please use tradesman's entrance'.

The campaign also introduced its mascot, Neville Inevitable. Council workers routinely donned two-metre tall Neville costumes and turned up to sing a song to ailing and injured people just before they died. The song featured a loud countdown clock and lyrics that encouraged the dying to relinquish their grip on life as expeditiously as possible to reduce unnecessary strain on the NHS.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

"Raingods" Children's TV Programme (1970s)

Rainbow was a popular daytime children's television programme in the 1970s. Yet very few people realise that it was originally pitched as an altogether different show called Raingods. Below are the only extant frames from the pilot.


Raingods introduced children to a pink, one-eyed, Aztec god of rain, Tlaloc, whose name translates as 'enraged niece of Bruce Forsyth'. Other characters included minor deities such as Tezcatlipocabungle, the bear executioner deity; Zippyloc, god of arrogance and poor dentistry; and Geoffrey the Devil.

Ultimately, a full series was not commissioned because it became apparent in the pilot that Tlaloc's fearful cohorts not only had to appease their vengeful god with sweet songs, but they also had to sacrifice live human children in his name.


In the first twenty minutes alone, two thousand children perished and the programme's producers received upwards of fourteen complaints from disgruntled parents and sweatshop owners.

The programme was soon thereafter redeveloped as the less malevolent Rainbow, Tlaloc was renamed George and the number of child sacrifices was reduced to an acceptable level.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Confectionery-Branded Cigarettes (1970s)

As part of its decade-long Cigaretiquette campaign (see here), Scarfolk council wanted children to start smoking cigarettes, cigars and pipes as young as possible.

The council's first attempt to sell candy cigarette sticks (sometimes in faux tobacco-branded packaging) hadn't appealed to Scarfolk children and the council was forced to revise its approach.

It did so by simply reversing the concept: Real cigarettes were now packaged as familiar, desirable confectionery (see right & below) and then mixed in among genuine chocolates, sweets and other products containing experimental, addictive, psychotropic temperament modifiers.

Additionally, the council funded a 1979 big-budget remake of 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', renamed 'Toby and the Tobacco Factory'. As in the original, the hero, Toby Bucketkicker, eventually becomes the owner of the tobacco factory, though in the update only after the factory's owner dies of a respiratory illness. In the musical sequel, Toby also goes on to intimidate governments and falsify medical research to feed his own rapacity.


Confectionery companies didn't like children cutting down on chocolate. They strongly opposed the substitutions, particularly because, as was later revealed, they had invested heavily in the Cavalier Pharmaceutical Company, which had been stockpiling insulin for several years to raise its value.

By the end of the decade, the council's scheme paid off and juvenile smoking was up 68%, generating a huge tax revenue.