Dear The Smirnoff,
First off, love your booze. Nothing’s better for relaxing after a hard day grafting then getting in from work at the calendar factory, grabbing your world famous vodka from the cupboard and washing the ink and grime off my poor hands. It’s far better than soap and water for the job; I’ve even used it to clean my kitchen floor and fridge.
The only upshot is that the lady that serves me in the supermarket keeps slipping AA leaflets into my shopping bag and whenever I protest she just gives me a tut and a knowing grimace.
However, you may have noticed I have sent this to your complaints department rather than the compliment one, so please allow me to elucidate.
As mentioned in the opening barrage I work in a calendar factory, or at least I did. There were rumours bounding around that we were on our last legs, especially as the 2015 calendars are still months away from completion. But having a distinct and almost viral dislike for the interview process I’ve been trying to keep the company afloat, working every hour I can, even though me and my fellow workers haven’t been paid for weeks.
I know it’s against my company policy but I keep a bottle of Smirnoff in my work locker. Not for drinking of course, but to aid with getting the ink out of my pores. We have to manually work the machines like Victorian children for reasons that are far too silly and complicated to get into right now. As such you tend to get soaked, and occasionally mauled, by the presses.
Anyway last week I was working on tracing a ladies bottom for the August pane when an errant sneeze turned the models behind into a nightmarish blimp, not to mention coating me in peach coloured ink.
Dripping a snail trail of the expensive fluid across the already thoroughly stained concrete floor I rushed to my locker to get the Smirnoff out. I doused my hands in the solution before giving them a quick wipe on my trouser legs, as you do. As always your ‘drink’ managed to get my dear old mitts squeaky clean.
As I crept back to my position on the art department sketch line the lunch whistle blew, filling the air with a sweet, high pitched whine. As one the workers dropped whatever they were doing and filtered into the company canteen; their eyes dead, minds empty, stomachs hollow and wallets void.
We get a thirty minute break to psyche ourselves up and refuel for the next slog, but as our company was supposedly flagging I tended to only take five in order to get back to work. I hurriedly munched through my sandwich and Wotsits, sucking the bizarre orange dust off my fingers.
The last thing I remember was licking my finger and getting a sharp, bitter taste on my tongue of Smirnoff. And that’s when the problems started.
Potato! I thought vodka was supposed to be made from potatoes. But no, it turns out your spirit is generated from grain, and I have a grain allergy. It doesn’t come out like most reactions; no rashes, no tightening windpipes or anything like that. Instead it’s something a lot more extreme.
As I extricated myself from a paper recycling bin I viewed what was left of the calendar factory. Several of the walls had crumbled into powder, the occasional broken brick the only evidence that any supporting structures were once there. The printing presses had been flattened into essentially tin foil, and confetti, made from the precious calendars, coated the floor like cheap TV snow, only with more hints of genitals.
Emergency service alarms wailed in the distance as I watched flashes of blue light splash across what was left of the building.
There was the sound of scrambling and whimpering. One of my colleagues poked their head out from behind a multi-coloured steel beam, visibly shaking like the legendary leaf as they caught sight of me. I looked down at myself, it appeared that I had shredded my clothes during whatever had happened and then proceeded to paint myself with the press ink.
Suffice to say I’ve lost my job, but I’ve managed to get out of any police enquiries due to running away. I know your adverts demand that we drink responsibly, but I can’t help but feel this is, at least partly, your fault.