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.