Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Rentisham's Traditional Flenting Wax

  (+51, -3)(+51, -3)(+51, -3)
(+51, -3)
  [vote for,
against]

It is said that, in a city, one is never more than ten feet from a rat. (Or,as they say in Paris, "On n'est jamais plus q'un metre d'un rat.")

However, it is also true that one is never more than two feet from an advertisement, be it a hoarding, the back of a bus ticket, or one of those stencilled pigeons they have in Manchester.

This constant barrage of garish advertising is as oppressive as it is unrelenting. The pressure to buy slowly crushes the soul, for one can never have bought quite as much as the advertisers wish to sell, nor attain quite the degree of happiness which the product clearly gives to the people in the adverts.

Constant barrage of garish advertising woes begone!

MaxiComm., Inc., is now acting on behalf of Rentisham's Traditional Flenting Wax, and will be handling their advertising campaign.

Vast acreages of promotional space have been acquired, and will soon be bearing eye-soothingly subtle and quiet advertisements. The launch campaign theme is in the style of black-on-sepia Victorian engravings, featuring mutton- chop-bearing gentlemen and bustle-wearing ladies sipping cups of tea in convivial but calm surroundings. Whatever woes and troubles may beset these serene people, it is clear that Rentisham's Traditional Flenting Wax has assuaged their anguish and ensured a contented and well- balanced life.

Smaller advertising spaces (such as bus-tickets) simply bear the product name, lovingly calligraphed in India ink on a sage-green background.

Of course, Rentisham's Traditional Flenting Wax is not available in high-street stores.

Nor is it available online (how vulgar).

Nor at selected retail outlets.

No. Rentisham's Traditional Flenting Wax is not actually available anywhere. This, coupled with the fact that it has no clear purpose, relieves the consumers of any pressure to purchase this product. They can simply rest their troubled eyes on the calming, unhurried, low-key advertisements, happy in the belief that good old Rentisham's is solving some unknown problem for well-adjusted people, somewhere.

In the absence of predicted sales revenues, funding for the Rentisham's campaign is being provided by philanthropists who wish to make the urban environment a calmer and happier place.

Over time, however, the Rentisham's advertisements will become so familiar and universal that major advertising firms will vie for the privilege of winning the Flenting Wax contract. These contracts will be awarded very, very selectively. Only the most tasteful, no-key sales pitches will be considered; the quality and subtlety of the graphic design will be the only criterion by which advertisers are chosen to represent Rentisham's. Only one marketing company will be awarded the Rentisham's contract over any five year period.

The kudos associated with winning the Rentisham's contract will be so great that MaxiComm, Inc. has no hesitation in asking the ad agency to fund their campaign themselves, including the purchasing of advertising space. In the small and incestuous world of marketing, winning the Rentisham's contract will be seen as a seal of approval, guaranteeing success and revenue from other, more consumer-oriented campaigns.

MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 28 2011

http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Neatsfoot_oil Neatsfoot oil is a yellow oil rendered and purified from the shin bones and feet (but not the hooves) of cattle [Voice, Oct 01 2011]

The Framely Examiner http://www.framley.com/
Rentisham's adverts are the very lifeblood of such publications [8th of 7, Oct 01 2011]

Image of the product itself. http://i923.photobu...kery/Untitled-1.jpg
Shown next to the Ark Royal, for scale. [MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 02 2011]

Flent's Earwax Stoppies http://www.earplugs...iyqsCFUSW7QodnHiL7g
stock prices skyrocketing due to confusion with the Rentisham's marketing blitz [swimswim, Oct 02 2011]

Naval Traditions http://theorem.ca/~mcole/Churchill.html
"Don't talk to me about naval tradition", said Sir Winston Churchill ... [8th of 7, Oct 02 2011]

(?) load of tripe http://www.blog49.o...s/2011/09/Tripe.jpg
for reference [Voice, Oct 03 2011]

(?) But what is a Flent? http://www.urbandic...fine.php?term=Flent
Fat kid that nobody likes... [goff, Oct 03 2011]

(??) "Actual Size" stickers http://store.xkcd.c...#ActualSizeStickers
I will subversively creep around at nightfall, sticking "Actual Size" stickers on these advertisements [hippo, Oct 06 2011]

(??) Rentisham photo http://www.crazyfun...oads/Untitled-6.jpg
.........taxidermical (if I can say that) [not_morrison_rm, Oct 07 2011]

Unclear arms treaty Unclear_20arms_20treaty
[bigsleep, Oct 17 2011]

(?) Searching for a Waxes in Montacute http://www.smartsee...Waxes-Montacute.htm
from SmartSeek [sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 31 2012]

Rentisham's Traditional Website http://www.rentishams.co.uk/
[MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012]

Jenks's Vegetable Compound http://www.kingssing.de/song/910
A similar cure-all [csea, Jan 04 2013]

Lily the Pink http://en.wikipedia...the_Pink_%28song%29
Purveyor of superior quality nostrums. [DrBob, Jan 05 2013]

[link]






       1 is never more than 10?   

       Feet from a rat?   

       I must crack this cypher...
normzone, Sep 28 2011
  

       I just witnessed a ravenous mob of consumers stampedeing through the shops on Main St, chanting, "where can we buy Rentisham's? Where can we buy Rentisham's?". This looks like it could get dangerous.
swimswim, Sep 28 2011
  

       Sadly, Rentisham's is inexplicably out of stock. However, MaxiComm can supply a range of golf umbrellas subtly embroidered with the famous "Rentisham's Bassett" motif.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 28 2011
  

       Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark."   

       Keep Calm, and Carry Rentishams.
zen_tom, Sep 29 2011
  

       "As rubbed on the Crowned Heads of Europe".
8th of 7, Sep 29 2011
  

       "Well I don't want Fop, godammit! I'm a Rentisham's man!"
theleopard, Sep 29 2011
  

       I'm pretty certain that there have been advertising campaigns for imaginary products before, but for market research purposes, not as a sustained piece of consumerist subversion.
DrBob, Sep 29 2011
  

       Imagine my surprise and horror to read this just as I am preparing to commence my monthly flenting.   

       As a traditionalist, I have always extracted my own flenting wax in the time honoured fashion, using my grandfather's hand whittled gacker and bucket.   

       The kind of irresponsible slovenliess encouraged by the promotion of pre-packaged flenting wax is intolerable.   

       Rest assured I shall be informing the proper authorities and there will be questions in the house.   

       Rant not over.
Twizz, Sep 29 2011
  

       There, you see? [Twizz] now feels the warm glow of righteous indignation, and the healthy cardiovascular effects of a briefly elevated pulse, all from the comfort of the arm-chair.   

       Rentisham's is probably one of the most universally beneficial products never to have been sold.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 29 2011
  

       ... hence the marketing slogan "Never knowingly sold".
bigsleep, Sep 29 2011
  

       "Rentisham's Traditional Flenting Wax" is both fun to read and say but I would question the wisdom of fighting advertising with more advertising. It's that sort of approach that can get you chucked out the fire brigade.
calum, Sep 29 2011
  

       I never knew the fire brigade took adverts. Do they offer custom siren noises? Corporate branding of the engine livery (only available to companies with red logos)?
pocmloc, Sep 29 2011
  

       Coca-cola ...   

       // custom siren noises? //   

       Now there's an untapped market niche if ever we saw one ...   

       At least it's "Traditional". Nothing worse than when Marketing insist on a "New, Improved Formulation!" and completely ruin a long-standing favourite.   

       The advertisements must of course be in sepia tones, with occasional splashes of pastel colours, and should depict ladies and gentlemen in Victorian or Edwardian grab pursuing healthy and socially acceptable outdoor pursuits; cycling, lawn tennis, croquet, fox hunting, running an oppressive and exploitative regime in far-away hot countries ...
8th of 7, Sep 29 2011
  

       Ladies cycling??? I really don't think _that_ kind of image would be at all suitable.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 29 2011
  

       //Edwardian grab//

That, too, can get you chucked out of the Fire Brigade.
DrBob, Sep 29 2011
  

       What else would you expect from a Brog?
swimswim, Sep 29 2011
  

       Hey, if you haven't tried the Edwardian grab, you're really missing out.   

       And no, it doesn't get you chucked out of the Fire Brigade; in fact, it can make you new friends ...
8th of 7, Sep 29 2011
  

       ... as Julian Clary (now [4th of 8]) told us.
bigsleep, Sep 29 2011
  

       I walked the length of the airport and all the posters were blank, crisp brown paper. At the gate, the last one said in tiny letters:   

       A more refined flenting wax.   

       A relaxed smile, because I know there is nothing to buy. That's a Rentisham airport!
not_only_but_also, Sep 30 2011
  

       Just to check, the correct pronounciation is "Renshms" isn't it? Wouldn't do to get caught out in an Englishman-in-Milngavie manner, would it?
calum, Sep 30 2011
  

       Actually, the correct pronunciation is more like "Rashams."
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 30 2011
  

       Oh, how mortifying!
calum, Sep 30 2011
  

       No, really, it's quite alright. We find that the number of pronounced syllables is inversely proportional to the calibre of the speaker. Thus, a certain personage whose name I cannot mention pronounces it simply as "Rahms" (rhymes with Brahms); the better sort of person usually says "Ren'ms"; stockbrokers and their ilk generally pronounce it as "Rashams", whilst their tailors are apt to go for the whole kit and kaboodle and say "Rentishams".
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 30 2011
  

       Well that seals it. If stockbrockers (who are no better than well dressed conmen) use this new fangled, pre-packaged product, I will not be associated with it.   

       Pah!
Twizz, Sep 30 2011
  

       How odd; our fag at public school, The Hon. Montacute fforbes-Cholmondeley-Psmith (with a silent "J") always used to pronounce it "Pilnn-Thurdsby".   

       Oh how we used to laugh, before we rubbed boot-blacking on his face and then beat him senseless with the fire-irons.
8th of 7, Sep 30 2011
  

       All this time I was pronouncing it like "worcesteshire" but starting with an "r".
swimswim, Sep 30 2011
  

       It's an easy mistake to make; consider the problems and confusion arising from the placenames, "Rocester", "Rochester", "Cirencester", "Silchester" and "Piddletrenthhide", all of which are correctly pronounced "Hrrrshnntnl", except for Piddletrenthhide, where the "P" is silent, as in Bath.   

       Not that the English language is made deliberately difficult for foreigners, you understand.
8th of 7, Sep 30 2011
  

       Ptake no notice of [8th].
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 30 2011
  

       Memory fades, but wasn't there a Will Hay film in which the pronounciation of such place names was made the subject of much hilarity...

[rummages the internet]

Aha! I have it! 'The Goose Steps Out'!

Also, just to impress calum, Milguy!
DrBob, Sep 30 2011
  

       Re pronounciation: I read once that the best way to do a Southern Hemisphere English accent is to rotate your vowels a bit (e.g. A->E, E->I, I->O and so on and so forth, though the rotation will vary across Oz, Kiwi, or Saith Ifrikian "accents"). All well and good but the trick to doing a Scottish accent - and this is the trick that almost everyone attempting a Scottish accent doesn't employ - is to realise that Scottish vowels exist in the gaps between the clearly demarked RP vowel sounds of the Queen's English. So, Milngavie isn't actually pronounced Milguy, it's pronounced something like
M (I-U transition vowel*) lg (U-I transition vowel*) y.
  

       Except of course that ls and ws are also oft twisted together in Central Belt English, so it's actually
M (I-U transition vowel*) (w-l compound consonant) g (U-I transition vowel*) y.
  

       Hope that's cleared it up for yiz.   

       * these are not the same. Oh no.
calum, Sep 30 2011
  

       What if you're from the posh bit of Milngavie ?
8th of 7, Sep 30 2011
  

       I'm pretty sure there isn't one.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 30 2011
  

       We dare you to go there and find out.
8th of 7, Sep 30 2011
  

       No point. If I go there, _then_ there'll be a posh bit.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 30 2011
  

       Well, I'm not going there.
Alterother, Sep 30 2011
  

       This is a family website, afterall.
swimswim, Sep 30 2011
  

       At first I thought it said "Flentling Wax", and was about to register protest against a product manufactured from the helpless young of the endangered Flent. How relieved I was to find out I had been mistaken.
ytk, Sep 30 2011
  

       You're not taking this seriously, [ytk]. I can tell.
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 30 2011
  

       So, an advertising agency would pay for the privilege of open space in which to crowd out their own adverts... I'm not certain how long it would last.
RayfordSteele, Oct 01 2011
  

       I'm pretty sure that the agency that wins the contract will find a way to juggle the numbers to make it profitable. For one thing, they can use the Rentisham's advertisements to crowd out their _competitors'_ adverts.   

       Moreover, they will be able to charge their other clients even more. ("We'd love to take on your campaign, but we're heavily committed to the Rentisham's push at the moment, and we'd need to renegotiate our contract with you if you want us to take yours on. Of course, you could go to one of the agencies that Rentisham's turned down, if you think that's the right thing for your product...").   

       In advertising, winning the contract is infinitely more important than the nitty-gritty of the balance sheet.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2011
  

       [ytk], it's far more important that we focus the public's attention on the cruel practices used to produce neatsfoot oil.   

       Perpetually hanging from those harnesses, only touching their feet to the table periodically to pump the oil out through those cruel cuts constantly reopened by automated machinery, it's the worst possible means to obtain leather care product.
normzone, Oct 01 2011
  

       I know a worse one, if anyone's interested.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2011
  

       5 minutes of googling found no reference to any method of getting neatsfoot oil except from already slaughtered animals. [Max] I really would not like to hear about bear bile.
Voice, Oct 01 2011
  

       [voice], it's not something the neatsfoot producers want widely known. Try googling neat - they're not cute animals, so it's hard to get public support for ending the practice.
normzone, Oct 01 2011
  

       // I really would not like to hear about bear bile.//   

       No, I was thinking of beeswax. I don't know if you can imagine what it's like to have some clumsy animal, several thousand times larger than you, probing your ears relentlessly with a cotton bud three times a day. Deafness is not an uncommon result, and if the operative happens to have had an espresso that morning, then serious brain trauma is only a tremor away.   

       I have personally visited the Rentisham factory, and I can vouch for the fact that no animals are harmed, or even mildly alarmed, in the production of their Traditional Flenting Wax.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2011
  

       “Rentisham” being a proper name, its pronounciation is a moot point, varying with class and education.   

       But what about “flenting”?
pocmloc, Oct 01 2011
  

       "Flenting" is pronounced to rhyme with "Flenting".   

       Some people are thrown by the fact that the silent "p" is not written.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2011
  

       So the word is of Welsh origin, then?
Alterother, Oct 01 2011
  

       Steady on. There may be members of the fairer sex reading this page.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2011
  

       <elongated pause while [The Alterother] tries to figure out how the word 'fair' applies to anyone or anything Welsh>
Alterother, Oct 01 2011
  

       How did we get from Rentishams to fairs in Wales ?
bigsleep, Oct 01 2011
  

       Probably because of the ambergris content.
ytk, Oct 01 2011
  

       See? It all boils down to the French! What have I been saying all along? The French! Rotten snail-sucking consonant-dropping bastards...
Alterother, Oct 01 2011
  

       Exactly.   

       You see, the French have never had a flenting wax and, indeed, have never flented (despite what they will tell you about Agincourt). Some say it's because of their preference for long lunch-breaks; others hold that it's a national character engendered by their obsession with eating small songbirds.   

       But, whatever the cause, there can be no doubt that the lack of a product such as Rentisham's is correlated intimately with their lack of moral fortitude and, well, to be frank, their utter and congenital Frenchness. There's not much you can do with that sort of person.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 01 2011
  

       //their lack of moral fortitude//   

       To be fair, thats not entirely true. It was rumoured by one Frank Oswald Frobisher, the name from whence the term 'francophobic' originates.
bigsleep, Oct 01 2011
  

       It is said that Rentisham's products are tested on the French. Do we not at least owe them gratitude for this?
swimswim, Oct 01 2011
  

       No more gratitude than we owe the petri dish for its role in developing penecillin.
Alterother, Oct 01 2011
  

       // There's not much you can do with that sort of person //   

       Well, you can at least burn them at the stake ...
8th of 7, Oct 02 2011
  

       [bigsl], I think you're confusing him with the Irish lint-weaver, Frank O'Fobe.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 02 2011
  

       Shear genius!!
4whom, Oct 02 2011
  

       Can't wait to see where Charles Stross takes this one. It is quite possible that a brand about nothing becomes better than a brand about something. In fact ,it is the logical conclusion to this malaise. People love brands, but suffer in continuing their devotion (read sacrifice) to it. A suitably austere brand (no-one really subscribes to exclusivity anyway) may suffice.
4whom, Oct 02 2011
  

       For some reason this product makes me think of the British crown.   

       If memory serves, flenting was originally invented by the Chinese during the Zhou Dynasty, so the claim of the myriad of Chinese knockoffs springing up as being 'much more traditional than Flentisham's' is in some respect, ironically true.
RayfordSteele, Oct 02 2011
  

       To be honest, I have no idea what flenting is, nor do I currently have the inclination to look it up or have it explained to me. I'm having far too much fun participating* in this discussion without knowing what it's about.   

       *by which I mean 'circling the edges and delivering the odd kick here and there'.
Alterother, Oct 02 2011
  

       (from 'Prehistory of the Art' : The Journal of Elective Plastic Surgery, July 1983)
"It's a little known fact that the so-called "grapefruit knife", along with the useless little blade on the pocketknife, were originally flenting devices; this of course precedes wax-based methods (as well as the thankfully short-lived 'cryogenic' and 'Tesla' methods)."
  

       "Rentisham's owes its longevity, not only to a successful banner campaign, but to the choice of effective local anaesthetics and soothing balms in the mixture, as well as the well-known pleasant fragrance... and a good wallop of a mild hallucinogen if you must know"
- (Lord Rentisham IV, overheard in an aside to the Duke of Codswallop at the National Flounder's Day Steeplechase in 1917)
FlyingToaster, Oct 02 2011
  

       Augh! Now you've ruined it for me!
Alterother, Oct 02 2011
  

       {Considers making little advertising hoardings/placardsfor rats. Corporate rats - CorpoRats, if you will.}
Dub, Oct 02 2011
  

       //flenting was originally invented by the Chinese during the Zhou Dynasty//   

       Ah. I'm afraid that's one of those popular misconceptions, and it's quite understandable that you've fallen prey to it.   

       Allow me to exclarify.   

       The confusion arises because there are actually two distinct meanings of "flenting", which have completely independent etymologies - a case of linguistic convergent evolution, like "INvalid" and "inVALid".   

       The Chinese, about the time of the Zhou dynasty (as you noted) developed an ingenious way of curling over the lip of a pot or vase as it was being thrown (in a pottering sense, of course). The Chinese term for this was "Yujinxiang kou zhuan" (lit. "tulip mouth turn"). Several centuries later, during a brief period of openness in Chinese society, Delft potters saw this technique being used, and took the knack back to Holland.   

       As you can probably see, it was inevitable that "Yujinxiang kou zhuan" would become simplified and mis-transcribed as "fallenteer" in Dutch. The word was passed on to English potters, and bastardized further to become "flenting" (whence such expressions as "He's not so much as a flented pot to piss in" and Shakespeare's "Yet nature's potter cast me unflented from my mother's womb" in Richard III; "unflented" in this case meaning ill-formed or unfinished.)   

       Meanwhile, of course, the _other_ flenting had been in use for perhaps two hundred years but, because the act of flenting originated with seafarers and milliners, the two different meanings of "flenting" did not encounter eachother, and simply co-existed in their respective usage groups.   

       It wasn't until the 1880's (can you believe that?) that flenting (in the familiar sense, rather than the pot-making sense) became more commonly practiced. It seems amazing that an activity that Englishmen consider so essential could have been known only to mariners for so long, but there it is.   

       Now, the plot thickens further when, in the early 1900s, flenting (in the modern, non-pot-making sense) was introduced to China by Western merchants. Of course, it immediately became popular there too, which is when the Chinese first started to make their own flenting wax - first for domestic use, but then to meet the demands of other (mostly European) countries.   

       Although China is, today, by far the largest producer of flenting wax, anyone who has used it will testify that it is far, far inferior to the original Rentisham's. Its consistency is highly variable, and really only suited to a warm climate, yet even under those conditions it lacks the staying power of the real McCoy. You will, perhaps, recall that Robert Falcon Scott, on his 'Terra Nova' expedition, had taken Chinese flenting wax rather than Rentisham's, and in one of his diary entries he curses himself for making this decision. Historians agree that this error made a small, but significant contribution to the disaster that befell him and his men.   

       So, remember - follow the Rentisham basset! Rentisham's - the only, the original, the dependable - the best.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 02 2011
  

       That may be a new record for the longest double-post in HB history. Sadly, it falls short of the record for the biggest load of tripe.
Alterother, Oct 02 2011
  

       Ooops.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 02 2011
  

       Ooops.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 02 2011
  

       MB, as you've demonstrated, there is no such thing as 'history,' however, there are 'histories.' It is of course probable contact of the mariners and their extended contacts with pirates, distant merchants, and by extension, tracing back to the Chinese again from whence the seafarers and milliners picked up the habit.
RayfordSteele, Oct 02 2011
  

       //can you believe that?// No.
mouseposture, Oct 02 2011
  

       // bear bile. //   

       Hmm. Is a trick being missed here ?   

       There seems to be a valuable market for bear bile.   

       If what's required is a supply of a bitter, toxic substance extracted from a large, hairy aggressive creature with huge yellow teeth, extremely limited intelligence, and little red piggy eyes set too close together, why not just squeeze [TheAlterother]'s annotations down in a sort of wine-press (whine press ?) contraption and collect the resulting ichor ?   

       // in one of his diary entries he curses himself for making this decision //   

       To be fair, no flenting wax is going to perform properly at those temperatures; even the special fully synthetic "waxes" (if you can call them that) developed by the Russians for their space programme have been far from successful. And don't forget that Scott was a Captain in the Royal Navy, and therefore very much a Traditionalist <link> when it came to flenting. No doubt if he had stretched his principles far enough to use the latest Hornspoon and Muckdrugget's Patent ""Prince Francis Albert Augustus Charles Emmanuel of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (26 August 1819 – 14 December 1861)" - brand equipment, then disaster might have been averted; but then again, if he could have stretched his principles that far then of course he wouldn't have needed flenting wax, even at sub-zero temperatures.
8th of 7, Oct 02 2011
  

       //no flenting wax is going to perform properly at those temperatures// Sir, according to our comprehensive customer records, neither you nor any member of your collective has ever purchased Rentisham's Traditional. I must therefore, respectfully, ask that you either substantiate or retract your assertation.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 02 2011
  

       Very well. We can do no better than quote Roald Amundsen himself, who wrote, "Seier venter den, som har alt i orden - held kalder man det. Nederlag er en absolutt følge for den, som har forsømt at ta de nødvendige forholdsregler i tide - uheld kaldes det", and he clearly knew what he was talking about as he made it to the Pole first, and back safely.   

       We consider the case proven.
8th of 7, Oct 02 2011
  

       Whilst I greatly admired "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", I do not see how your quote has any bearing on the situation. In any event, as a foreigner he would not have had access to Rentisham's, and would therefore hardly be in a position to comment on it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 02 2011
  

       Au contraire; like his fellow Norwegians, Amundsen was a user of the traditional Scandinavian method, and invariably used the classic blend of cod liver oil, rendered seal blubber, matured herring and windberry-juice, which remains liquid down to the very low temperatures experienced above the arctic circle. This no doubt accounted for the success of his expedition, and also the utterly disgusting odour that even a century later still lingers in those parts of the Arctic and Antarctic he visited. Indeed, there is compelling scientific evidence that the almost total loss of olfactory function in the modern polar bear population is a direct result of Amundsen's careless re-stoppering of his flask of "Flientingol" resulting in several drops dribbling out onto the pack ice.   

       As a subscriber to the Transactions of the Royal Geographical Society, he would have followed with acute interest the impassioned debate between the "oilers" and the "waxers", and apparently contributed an number of well-informed letters on the subject; sadly, the they never reached the RGS as the writing materials stank so appallingly that the Norwegian Postal Service was obliged to dump them in the sea beyond the Three Mile Limit to avoid contravening the Geneva Convention on Chemical Weapons.   

       It is notable that in Norway the special cast steel post boxes, manufactured as a featureless cylinder entirely lacking an aperture for letters to be inserted are still known as "Amundsens".
8th of 7, Oct 02 2011
  

       /As a subscriber to the Transactions of the Royal Geographical Society, he would have followed with acute interest the impassioned debate between the "oilers" and the "waxers"/   

       There was no debate, unless you consider the moronic grunting of a few troglodytic Scandinavians to rise to the level of "debate". Oil is not, and has never been, considered suitable for use by any serious flenter.   

       During WWII, the bulk of the flenting wax supply was diverted to support the war effort (you may recall the famous propaganda poster encouraging conservation —"Throwing out that used flenting wax? Danke schön!"). So-called "flenting oil" was introduced as a substitute, but it proved largely unsatisfactory. Not only was the smell revolting, but as the bulk of it had to be imported the cost was prohibitively high. As a result, most Britons gave up on the practice of flenting altogether, resigning themselves to the fact that the loss of this distinctively British activity was just one of the many sacrifices they would be called upon to make for King and country.   

       For nearly a decade, flenting was essentially an unknown practice in the British Isles, with most of the manufacturing facilities—including the original Rentisham's factory in Coventry—having been destroyed or severely damaged during the bombing raids. It wasn't until the late 1940s that flenting wax was even available to the general public. Even then the demand for it was virtually nonexistent, Britons having learned to do without for so long. The entire industry teetered on the brink of collapse for several years, until flenting experienced a sudden resurgence in popularity following rumours that Prince Philip had been spotted on several occasions with a tin of flenting wax. Shortly thereafter, Rentisham's received a Royal Warrant—an honour which they have maintained to this day—and the practice of flenting once again secured its rightful place as a part of the cultural fabric of the United Kingdom (except Wales, of course).
ytk, Oct 03 2011
  

       I'm beginning to wonder whether most, if not all, of the content in the idea and its accompanying annos hasn't just been made up on the spot. The existence of 'Flenting', 'Norwegians', 'space programme' etc, all seem highly unlikely to me.

//rotate your vowels a bit //

I did try that, Mr c, but my trousers fell down.
DrBob, Oct 03 2011
  

       [ytk] has summarized a troubling period in English history very nicely. The only point I might add is that the preservation of flenting skills through and immediately after the war was in no small part due to the efforts of the late Guy 'Boffo' Rentisham himself, as well as to the Worshipful Guild of Gosseters (who, naturally had a special interest in ensuring that flenting was not forgotten).   

       If anyone is interested, a blue plaque in Gutteridge Street commemorates the role of the Gosseters in preserving this and many other cultural traditions through the war.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 03 2011
  

       It has been noted in journals elsewhere that the usage of Flenting Wax, in the Western sense, is waning, precluding the need for waxing, by very definition. Indeed anyone so interested and wishing to adopt a genuine interest in flenting should consider the Traditional Japanese craftworks involving prodigious employment of waning flux (the particular choice being dependent on school) which, when used in harmony with hand-pounded flax-based fluxing fixatives (for their improved flexibility) eventually facilitated the development of what we now know *today* as the full range of flenting waxes (from course 20-fluxion flenting waxes through to superfine polishing waning fluxes of grades 6000-fluxions and above) but which in a very technical sense should strictly be described in these historical terms. I take no issue with the simplifications introduced here to help inform the general public, but we should try not to forget the underlying complexity of what, sadly, is a dying art.
zen_tom, Oct 03 2011
  

       A dying art, maybe; a living science, certainly.   

       // all seem highly unlikely to me //   

       Ah, you spotted the anomaly; yes, although there is substantial anecdotal evidence, the actual scientific proof of the existence of Norwegians is still sadly lacking.
8th of 7, Oct 03 2011
  

       Cotton works just fine as a flenting flux. Flax flux leaves flocks of flecks; one might as well not flent at all as flent with flaxen flux.   

       Supplies were short in the War, Rentishams having temporarily converted their factory to producing aircraft flares. The common red flare cartridge came to be known as a "Renti Reeker" for the fragrance it wafted downwind, Rentishams having converted their existing stock of wax. There are still shells that bear the warning "Not For Flenting" on the casing.
FlyingToaster, Oct 03 2011
  

       You should visit the Rentisham's museum some time. They have a flenting tundrell which has been folded almost in half by an explosion, for precisely the reason you indicated.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 03 2011
  

       I'm beginning to think this idea is a complete waste of entropy. If it weren't for the quantum side-effects of using pucca flenting wax, I'd be mfd-ing.
bigsleep, Oct 03 2011
  

       Have you ever read the memoirs of Lawrence of Arabia? He mentions that the nomadic camel riders preferred to keep their rifles free of pucca flenting wax and rubbed it into their faces and hands instead to ease the wind chapping.
normzone, Oct 03 2011
  

       No, that was Lawrence of Moravia.
pocmloc, Oct 03 2011
  

       Given the Urban Dictionary definition of "Flent", I'm now slightly concerned as to what Flenting Wax would be used for, but it seems likely to be the very zenith of English Public school sport...
goff, Oct 03 2011
  

       The definition you found (a short annoying kid) has actually been resurrected - it was first used in Victorian times. It originates from the flenting tundrell, which is similar in shape to a beer keg, but shorter and squatter and with one concave side. It originally referred to a kid with rickets, which was very common in English cities.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 03 2011
  

       It is rumored that Theodore Geisel was a frequent user of flenting wax.
RayfordSteele, Oct 04 2011
  

       I still don't know what 'flenting' is, but I'm beginning to like it.
Alterother, Oct 04 2011
  

       It's similar to kemming, but far more rewarding.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2011
  

       Don't tell me these things. I already have too many hobbies.
Alterother, Oct 04 2011
  

       This only needs one more bun, or one less bone; and then we can all sit down and have a good flent in celebration. (Hopefully the gathering will involve complimentary packets of Rentisham's...)
swimswim, Oct 04 2011
  

       [+]   

       Done. Make with the flenting!
Alterother, Oct 04 2011
  

       Gentlemen, gentlewomen, on behalf of Rentishams, I thank you one and all. I can't wait to tell Boffo - he will be most pleased, even though this is the Internet.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 04 2011
  

       /I can't wait to tell Boffo/   

       /the late Guy 'Boffo' Rentisham/   

       Erm...
ytk, Oct 05 2011
  

       And the problem is?   

       Admittedly, his perpetual lateness is a nuisance, but he always has a good excuse.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 05 2011
  

       Death is no match for a Rentisham's man.
swimswim, Oct 05 2011
  

       In Santiago, Chile, the Hotel Carrera (no longer a hotel) is a very fine example of an old-world Flenting Wax emporium. I have samples of beautiful hand- printed wallpaper from the refit of this wonderful old emporium. (Yes, you guessed it: careless oilers started the 1956 fire which destroyed the ground-floor furnishings!) On the backing sheets you will find the following text:   

       "Impreso en 1957 por los caballeros en el establecimiento Rentisham."   

       Which leads me to believe that the famous trade name became something of an 'emblem of quality' for gentlemen manufacturers with discerning tastes around the world. I doubt that Rentisham's ever produced or licensed such a wallpaper themselves.
not_only_but_also, Oct 05 2011
  

       Guy Rentisham's grandfather, Gunthrey*, used to own Santiago, so there's a likely connection.   

       (*He was rather the black sheep of the family; if you know about the Lord Lucan affair, you'll understand why.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 05 2011
  

       Gunthrey! Of course!   

       That explains why the crest around which that text appears has an extra fleur-de-lis in the mantling. I'd been awake nights wondering about that.   

       Good old G.D.R. must've been having a not-so-subtle dig at the whole family with that change to the crest.
not_only_but_also, Oct 05 2011
  

       Reading this feels like I've fallen into Radio 4.
calum, Oct 05 2011
  

       "... and after the News, The Archers ..."   

       Run ! Run ! Save yourselves !
8th of 7, Oct 05 2011
  

       //Good old G.D.R. must've been having a not-so- subtle dig at the whole family //   

       I'm sure it didn't go unnoticed. "Dinky" Rentisham was never one for subtlety. Or indeed propriety, legality, piety, veracity or sobriety. In fact, the whole ty thing was a bit of a closed book to him.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 05 2011
  

       It's just struck me that Re'sham's Flenting Wax is probably used prodigiously in the vicinity of Mornington Crescent...
goff, Oct 06 2011
  

       And of course it's quite impossible to play Wobbling Bunnies without flenting wax. They tried, just once, in rehearsal, but Samantha complained and Colin Sell has never been the same since. Mind you, he wasn't the same before, either.
8th of 7, Oct 06 2011
  

       //Gunthrey*, used to own Santiago//

Apparently the German kreigsmarine came up with a jolly wheeze to undercut the British flenting trade in South America by exporting large quantities of their artificial (& highly volatile) flenting oil to Uruguay during the Second World War.

This led to the famous incident when the pocket battleship Graf Spee was sunk off Montevideo harbour.

The Uruguayan authorities, were caught somewhat on the hop when the German vessel arrived not only with a full load of flenting oil, but also with British ships in close pursuit. Rather than be caught red-handed, the harbour authorities decided to hide behind their neutrality, refused to unload the oil and required the ship to quit the harbour.

This left Langsdorf, the captain of the German vessel, with something of a problem. He was due to nip off and raid a few merchant ships after delivering the oil but this was impossible with all the extra weight onboard. It was a dilemma that he still hadn't resolved when he left the harbour as required. Once clear of Montevideo however, he had time to ponder and it was whilst he was pacing the decks and trying to make up his mind what to do that a cigarette, carelessly discarded (or some say deliberately thrown) into the cargo hold full of flenting oil, resolved the problem for him.
DrBob, Oct 06 2011
  

       ...from which the Germans get the still-used saying: "Flentet, wie der Kapitän der Graf Spee", which roughly translates as "Up Shit Creek without a paddle".
hippo, Oct 06 2011
  

       //what's required is a supply of a bitter, toxic substance extracted from a large, hairy aggressive creature with huge yellow teeth, extremely limited intelligence, and little red piggy eyes set too close together//
Didn't he marry Zara Phillips?
TolpuddleSartre, Oct 06 2011
  

       [DrBob] I'm not entirely sure that all of that information has been declassified yet. However, after all this time, I doubt it can do any real harm.   

       In a touching reunion (oddly enough, on Réunion) some time after the War, Langsdorf met the Uraguay harbour-pilot who had been escorting him out of the harbour at the time of the incident.   

       Even after all those years, the harbour-pilot's eyebrows had not grown back. Still, neither had Langsdorf's leg.   

       Runs a taxidermy shop in Hamburg now, apparently. (Lanfgsdorf, that is, not his leg.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2011
  

       // Didn't he marry Zara Phillips? //   

       No, that was the Reverend Neil Gardner. He married her to Mike Tindall, and by an amazing coincidence, on the same day he married Mike Tindall to Zara Phillips.   

       // large, hairy aggressive creature with huge yellow teeth. extremely limited intelligence, and little red piggy eyes set too close together //   

       Besides, Mike Tindall's bald ...
8th of 7, Oct 06 2011
  

       Besides Mike Tindall's bald what?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2011
  

       Eagles. A reknowned conservationist of his era, Tindall was most famous for his collection of stuffed American Bald Eagles, many of which he trapped himself using the traditional Iriquois trebuchet-net.
Alterother, Oct 06 2011
  

       Didn't that originate as a derivative of the lacrosse stick?
normzone, Oct 06 2011
  

       Other way around. (Can you imagine something as strange as lacrosse being invented in any other way?)
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2011
  

       It is a little known fact that lacrosse was invented on the spot as a ploy to befuddle the Paleface Invaders. A fact uncovered by none other than Prudence Rentisham- Smythe, amateur anthropologist and long-lost heir to the Rentisham fortune. Small world, eh?
Alterother, Oct 06 2011
  

       I can imagine three things stranger than that before breakfast - but then again, I have been training for years.
normzone, Oct 06 2011
  

       No cheating; imagining yourself doesn't count as one of the three, even though you are most decidedly strange.
Alterother, Oct 06 2011
  

       oh dear, an idea I don't understand will overtake panic pin before I vote ...
po, Oct 06 2011
  

       //long-lost heir// but not sole long-lost heir. In fact, most of the heirs to the Rentisham fortune are long-lost. Apart from Moltegarde Rentisham. He's only short-lost, but the Rentishams are a patient lot.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 06 2011
  

       Alas, poor Prudence spent her entire life waiting in vain to inherit a fortune that rightfully belonged to others. But, on the bright side, at least she had her flenting to keep her occupied.
Alterother, Oct 06 2011
  

       //They tried, just once, in rehearsal, but Samantha complained and Colin Sell has never been the same since.// Rehearsal? Wait, what?
mouseposture, Oct 06 2011
  

       I think I found a photo or the original Rentisham, under his stage name of Professor Copperthwaite used to indulge a secret passion for implausible taxidermy...see link
not_morrison_rm, Oct 07 2011
  

       What po said.
blissmiss, Oct 07 2011
  

       //Flenting//   

       But... don't you just have an app for this nowadays?
pertinax, Oct 07 2011
  

       [not only but also]   

       //I walked the length of the airport and all the posters were blank, crisp brown paper. At the gate, the last one said in tiny letters: A more refined flenting wax.//   

       That's brilliant! You should go into advertising. Assuming of course, you aren't already there.   

       Good to see the venerable Prof Buchanan is still hitting the mark.
wagster, Oct 07 2011
  

       sp: venereal
bigsleep, Oct 07 2011
  

       Sp.: bottle.   

       Just because something's venerable doesn't guarantee it gets veneered.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2011
  

       Veneer is what you're gonna get if I ever catch that #@$! teleporting deer. I'm gonna veneer that sucker halfway across the county.
Alterother, Oct 07 2011
  

       You're troubled by a deer that teleports non- alphanumeric characters? Sheesh.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2011
  

       //Just because something's venerable doesn't guarantee it gets veneered.//   

       Should be no problem for you. I trust Rentisham's employs a competent marquetting company ?
bigsleep, Oct 07 2011
  

       The finest.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2011
  

       Scoff if you will, [Max], but deer-teleported non- alphanumeric characters are the leading cause of motorcycle accidents during the months of April, May, and January on state highways and rural routes posted 45 mph or higher.
Alterother, Oct 07 2011
  

       This is surely a matter of national concern. Fortunately, it's another nation.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 07 2011
  

       You just wait until they figure out transoceanic teleportation. Them ruminants is crafty. Master flenters, too, which just makes it worse.
Alterother, Oct 07 2011
  

       If my laptop didn't resemble a f**ked thing at the moment, I'd be very tempted to knock up an ad for "Rentisham's Traditional Flenting Wax - for the finest glimming."
wagster, Oct 08 2011
  

       If you're tempted to pitch for the Rentisham's advertising contract, we're looking at an eight-figure annual sum. Can you afford that sort of money?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2011
  

       If you can, think carefully, [wags] - for that sort of money you can buy a complete EU nation state, with lots of nice ancient buildings and Mediterranean climate.   

       Obviously, when you buy a Classic like that, it's going to have a few faults ... you're going to have to replace some major components, and do a lot of work, before it can go back on the road.
8th of 7, Oct 08 2011
  

       "Is flenting killing off our elderly? Those adds with their soothing slogans and Victorian era art may detract attention from hidden dangers. In our Live at 5 exclusive, we'll also take a look at exactly what goes into flenting wax. Are your children getting high on it right now? And what about Hollywood starlet Candy Trollop who admited to flenting as many as 9 or 10 times a day, sometimes with multiple partners? (Cut to busty sex kitten cooing: "I can flent all day if I've got enough wax") We'll try to track Rentisham himself down to answer these and other hard hitting questions.   

       It's a Live at 5 expose you can't afford to miss."
doctorremulac3, Oct 08 2011
  

       [wagster] (hello there!) is indubitably tucking in just as investment-bait. 'Course, he hasn't read the fine print, 'cause Rentisham's with fine print isn't Rentisham's.
lurch, Oct 08 2011
  

       [doctor], you are lowering the tone of what is, by the lax standards of the Internet, a respectable Web Site.   

       Moreover, you are misfettling the name of Rentisham's, something along with which I cannot go.   

       I should warn you, sir, that Sir Guy is known for his marksmanship with the crossbow.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2011
  

       One doesn't use marksmanship with the crossbow. Ones enemies peasants use them.
pocmloc, Oct 08 2011
  

       Well, you tell Lord Rentisham that our news team has pictures of him using his product in a way that some might find distasteful.   

       Ok, agreed. I've taken a cute idea down an ugly back alley.
doctorremulac3, Oct 08 2011
  

       I would hesitate to bring such an accusation to his lordship's attention and for that, sir, you may count your lucky stars.   

       You're not bloody Dutch, are you?
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2011
  

       Dutch? Harumph.   

       I bid you good day sir! I say GOOD DAY!
doctorremulac3, Oct 08 2011
  

       Pssst! He's actually Welsh....
21 Quest, Oct 08 2011
  

       tl; dr
csea, Oct 08 2011
  

       //Pssst! He's actually Welsh....//   

       There, but for the grace of god, goes god. He must feel wretched.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2011
  

       Why? Is that like being from New Jersey or something?
doctorremulac3, Oct 08 2011
  

       Something.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 08 2011
  

       Just to clarify, [Third Remulac PhD], in a 'bakery context, abusive references to the Welsh are probably an unchivalrous attempt to troll [po]. She rarely rises to it being, paradoxically, above it.   

       However, note the Borg Exception, which is powered by Major General Misanthropy, not necessarily modern, nor model.
pertinax, Oct 10 2011
  

       //There, but for the grace of god, goes god.//   

       spit tea on myself. Thanks for that.
blissmiss, Oct 10 2011
  

       I take no offense at allegations of Welshosity. I'm American, we leave our heritage at the door when we come over here. Besides, technically I descend from the Wallace clan that lived in Scotland or India or something. It was my ancestors who gave their lives to break free from English rule.   

       Since that didn't work out too well we said "fuck it" and moved to America.   

       But if somebody would say "All Scotsmen are a bunch of kilt wearing, drunk sheep buggerers" I'd say "Kilt wearing? Watch that pal."
doctorremulac3, Oct 10 2011
  

       // we leave our heritage at the door when we come over here //   

       Along with a few other things, it would seem.   

       // It was my ancestors who gave their lives to break free from English rule. //   

       To the dismay of all succeeding generations, they unfortunately managed to reproduce before indulging in an orgy of pointless self-immolation.   

       // "fuck it" and moved to America //   

       So that's where the phrase comes from.   

       // All Scotsmen are a bunch of kilt wearing, drunk sheep buggerers" //   

       A grossly inappropriate and inaccurate generalisation. Many Sots, sorry Scots, may indeed have an enthusiastic relationship with alcohol, and an equally enthusiastic (if rather different) relationship with domestic and domesticated animals. However, this is not necessarily volitional, but merely arises from the difficulty of discriminating between an Edinburgh* girl and a sheep after consuming eleventeen pints of "Heavy" in under three hours.   

       *Note that it is more often than not challenging to discriminate between a Glasgow girl and a sheep even when perfectly sober and in good light.   

       // I'd say "Kilt wearing? Watch that pal. //   

       That's right. The majority of Scotchmen (and women) (and sheep) are far more likely to wear trousers, plastic bags, or nothing at all, depending on the time of year and their current state of intoxication.
8th of 7, Oct 10 2011
  

       No wonder we left.
doctorremulac3, Oct 10 2011
  

       Mental Note: Must Visit Scotland
MikeD, Oct 12 2011
  

       I'm sure that, sooner or later, you'll be visiting it in a professional capacity.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 13 2011
  

       //Mental Note: Must Visit Scotland//   

       One of the most beautiful places on Earth as are many parts of the UK.   

       And don't let these posts put you off. People are very friendly over there. I'm guessing even 8th would be a fun guy to knock back a couple of brews with.
doctorremulac3, Oct 13 2011
  

       Guess again!
DrBob, Oct 13 2011
  

       // I'm guessing even 8th would be a fun guy to knock back a couple of brews with. //   

       I plan to. It's a point of professional pride for me to meet all of my arch-nemeses in person.
Alterother, Oct 13 2011
  

       That's strangely familiar ... hmmm.   

       So what are you at the moment, the Good twin or the Evil twin ?
8th of 7, Oct 13 2011
  

       Very difficult to tell...
Alterother, Oct 13 2011
  

       We know, we know ... wretched, isn't it ?   

       // arch-nemeses //   

       <preens>
8th of 7, Oct 13 2011
  

       Though it pains me to feed your (collective) ego further, you're actually my _only_ arch-nemesis at the moment, at least until I figure out who taught all these damn deer how to...   

       Wait a minute.
Alterother, Oct 14 2011
  

       No, no. That wasn't us.   

       Do you really think that we would employ a method that might risk damage to a motorcycle ? Please ....   

       Explosives under your front porch, yes. Unreasonably large projectile weapons (like the 88mm FlAK 18) used as an anti-personnel weapon, yes. 10-Megaton fusion weapons, yes.   

       But ... deer ?   

       No, your're looking for someone even darker and more twisted than even we are.   

       [po], are you listening ?   

       (She's welsh, you know. Can't trust 'em. It's the civilisation envy that does it).
8th of 7, Oct 14 2011
  

       Thaaaaat's right, you just keep eyein' that Borg... I had nothin to do with it.
21 Quest, Oct 14 2011
  

       Girded by enemies on both fronts... I feel a bit like the famed American Revolutionary Major-General-Major Thomas Girdleman on the eve of the Battle of Cape Cod in May of 1759....
Alterother, Oct 15 2011
  

       You do? Well, we'll see if we can find him for you.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 15 2011
  

       //Thomas Girdleman//   

       More like von Schlieffen. You can't really fit two fronts on Cape Cod, and anyway, it's now known that the Revolutionary forces were commanded by his aide de camp, Henry Maidenform, as Girdleman had a severe case of dysentary at the time.
mouseposture, Oct 15 2011
  

       You're just making that up. Von Schleiffen wasn't a real person.
Alterother, Oct 15 2011
  

       Von Schleiffen is enough for anyvon.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 15 2011
  

       //Von Schleiffen wasn't a real person// The Hell she wasn't!   

       Freifrau Augusta zu Polterkeist von Schleiffen was made, by decree of King Wilhelm, legally a man, to prevent her father's estates passing to the Polish branch of the family, who were subjects of the Austrian Emperor. She took this more seriously than anyone had expected, and petitioned Emperor (as he by then was) Wilhelm for the officer's commision which was her birthright, as a Junker's son. She became a captain of amphibious cavalry, but could not rise as a field commander because her subordinates resented taking orders from someone who was, but for a legal fiction, a woman.   

       Her superiors used her for solo reconnaissance missions, which she performed with distinction. Von Moltke took a personal interest (widely, and unjustly misinterpreted at the time), and saw her diverted into cartography, thence into staff work, and finally, to the logistics section of the General Staff, where she became an expert on railway timetables. In 1875, the French attempted to retake Alsace and Lorraine. Her work ensured that German troops crossed the border before the French had even finished mobilizing.   

       Before most, she realized that Germany would sooner or later have to fight a two-front war, and began work on her masterpiece. She devised a sweeping counter-clockwise encirclement via England (in flagrant violation of British neutrality) which would strike the French in the rear, at the Normandy beaches, defeating them before the Russians could mobilize, and then continuing the movement eastward via railway, to confront the Russians at the Oder. With her usual attention to detail, she even allowed for troop attrition due to vertigo, induced by the rapid circular movement.   

       The plan was put into action at the outbreak of the Great War, in 1914. Tragically, von Schlieffen's successors lacked her vision and assumed that, in "Let the last man on the left brush the Channel with his sleeve," "left" was a typo for "right." Even so, her plan nearly worked, and she is rightly known as "The Prussian Clausewitz."
mouseposture, Oct 15 2011
  

       I fail to see the similarity between that preposterous flippigloria and the very serious plight of Corporal-Captain Henry H. Maidenform, who in 1597 at the Battle of Cape Cod very nearly pulled defeat from the jaws of victory when he ordered Ethan Allen Rentisham's 'Mean Mountain Boys' (so named for the appearance lent to the crack guerilla warfare regiment by a preponderance of prominent brows, rather than any unusually enthusiastic propensity for pugillation) to stand a bayonet wall against the Royal Indian Fusilieers' elephant-cavalry charge.
Alterother, Oct 15 2011
  

       Alterother, you have failed to properly interpret the Sanskrit scrolls which depict that most famous of battles... it was not a charge of elephant cavalry. It was a charge of musk ox cavalry, which was why Corporal- Captain Henry H. Maidenform had such a time of it. Terribly clever and ferocious, those musk ox...
21 Quest, Oct 15 2011
  

       [21], you're holding the scroll upside-down, and furthermore, you wouldn't know a musk ox if one bit you in the Vøërnschlüågïndræng.
Alterother, Oct 16 2011
  

       Well exCUSE me, the Rajput monk who sold it to me told me it's the best way to attain true enlightenment!
21 Quest, Oct 16 2011
  

       He didn't say "hold it upside down", he said "hold it, upside down". Those aren't musk oxen, they're the primordial bearskin hats (and matching luggage).
FlyingToaster, Oct 16 2011
  

       // custom siren noises? // Yay, ice cream.
marklar, Oct 16 2011
  

       //The Prussian Clausewitz// {sniggers}
pertinax, Oct 16 2011
  

       // Those aren't musk oxen, they're the primordial bearskin hats (and matching luggage) //   

       Precisely correct, O Great Lord of Airborne Kitchen Appliances. The Coldstream Guards were indeed present at the Battle of Cape Cod (May 1957), although they did not take place in the fighting, as they had just come ashore and had yet to marshal their ranks-- thus the luggage. The scrolls were very accurate in recording this detail. If you look closely at the lower right quadrant of the seventh scroll (just beside the coffee-mug ring), you can make out what appears to be a pair of Early American tourists trying to make one of them laugh.
Alterother, Oct 16 2011
  

       How ? By showing him a copy of the draft U.S. constitution ?
8th of 7, Oct 16 2011
  

       Very funny, but as you know, the rough draft of the Constitution was not drawn up until 1975, whereupon it was immediately ammended into oblivion by journalists, privacy advocates, and bear breeders.
Alterother, Oct 16 2011
  

       We have always wondered where that "Right To Arm Bears" clause came from.   

       And now we know. Seems the National Enquirer was right after all.
8th of 7, Oct 17 2011
  

       I thought it was one of those masonic hangovers, bare your right arm.
pocmloc, Oct 17 2011
  

       No, it's "Give a Bear your right arm, and he'll have food for an hour, and then he'll be hungry again and eat the rest of you. Give a Bear someone else's right arm, and he'll not only have food for a day, but you may be able to escape."   

       A bit wordy as proverbs go, but useful advice if you encounter a bear.
8th of 7, Oct 17 2011
  

       Make a man give a bear his arm, and you feed the bear for a day. Teach the man to arm the bear, and you feed the bear for a lifetime. Ah, to be the bear of bad news. Now that's a worthy goal.
21 Quest, Oct 17 2011
  

       I thought the saying was "Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day, set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life".
MikeD, Oct 17 2011
  

       //Give a Bear your right arm//   

       Definitive definition of rights [link].
bigsleep, Oct 17 2011
  

       Give a man a fish, and watch him try to find an aquarium in thirty seconds.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 17 2011
  

       Give a man melange, and he'll slowly turn into a fish...
RayfordSteele, Oct 17 2011
  

       Give a fish a man, and just see if he ain't hooked.   

       Over here in the Antipodes, the only example of Rentishams is a small, half-used tin, left behind by a seaman during the early colonial days.
Several attempts were made to reproduce the contents, which all failed. Some spectacularly, such as Johnson & Co, the site of which is now an inner-city pond (may as well find a use for the crater, right?).
Due to lack of knowledge and supply, the very concept of 'flenting' is largely unknown in these parts, but with the resurgence of the Rentishams advertising campaign, it may make a comeback. The members of the local 'upper class' (both of them) will undoubtedly be the first, but the rest of the unwashed hoards are unlikely to understand the need for a good flenting wax (assuming, of course, that Rentishams will allow export to at least the rest of the Commonwealth...).
neutrinos_shadow, Oct 18 2011
  

       I'll have a word with Boffo, but I suspect he'll have a conniptic fit if I suggest extending the campaign, and the product availability, to Australia.   

       Apparently, he had an 'experience' there back in the 50's involving Uluru, a local bicycle repair middleman, and some sort of seed pods. He says he's never been the same since although, to be fair, he wasn't the same before.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 18 2011
  

       //conniptic fit// May I respectfully suggest he try a Chinese Tizzy instead? The change might do him good.
mouseposture, Oct 18 2011
  

       Best not to mention the Chinese either. 1962, Guandong, wholesale pencil-sharpener supplier.
MaxwellBuchanan, Oct 18 2011
  

       May we enquire if the Rentisham's Christmas Gift Set will be on offer again this year ?
8th of 7, Dec 18 2011
  

       Naturally. However, it is expected to be in short supply*, so buy early. This year's Gift Set features a small bronze replica of the Rentisham Basset dressed up as a reindeer. Frankly I think it's a little crass, but it is the festive season.   

       *actually, very short supply. In fact, a quick survey reveals that nobody has actually seen it in shops yet. But it's almost certainly available somewhere.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 18 2011
  

       Alterorder Inc. has acquired a modest supply, but they will not be available for resale, as the folks down at the Heathen Institute for Inadvisably Applied Science are exploring their use as an alternative energy source. The Institute has exploded twice since the project's inception, which I am told is very promising.
Alterother, Dec 18 2011
  

       (To repeat a post I posted elsewhere) I was shopping the other day for a little device that holds tooth floss in a Y-shaped armature for easier flossing, while allowing continuous dispensing (between flossings) of more floss. I found and purchased such a device at the local store, and firmly on the package was the word (unexplained): "Flent." The word was just floating there in the upper left hand corner of the packaging. As an American not privy to inner Former Empire workings, I feel I am getting closer to solving this mystery.
sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 26 2012
  

       The full solution to your query can really only be told to, or appreciated by, someone who can trace their English ancestors back as far as Ethrafall the Unrepentant.   

       Was "flent" some sort of brand name? If so, it may originate from one of several companies who once flourished in England, with "Flenting" in their title (such as "Margulies Flenting and Poulting, Ltd.", late of Birmingham). Some of these companies tried to establish ventures in the colonies, but found that the climate and temperament of the colonists made their original business untenable. Several of them therefore adapted and entered other domains of trade, often retaining some reference to "flenting" in the company name. From time to time, their new products would be known simply by the company name and, in the confusing turmoil which is American English, derivatives of "flenting" would become generic terms for a type of product. Thus, the fold-back clips used for binding some accountancy documents are known as "flents" in the south- western United States, for example. A similar etymology may explain your "flents".   

       (This process also happened in reverse, of course; a vacuum cleaner is known in England as a "hoover", from the name of an abortive manufacturing business established here by one of your very own statesmen, I believe.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 26 2012
  

       And why do you say "former"?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 26 2012
  

       Ah - I have found by rigorous research (at Amazon.com) that Flents is a brand name, as you surmised. They also make: Flents Optico Nose Pads - Coffee Color; Flents Contour Ear Plugs; Flents Finger Sleeves Assorted Sizes; Flents Pressure Reducing Ear Plugs; Flents Elastic Eyeglass Holder for Active People; Flents Dental Disclosing Tablets; Flents Ear Stopples Soft Wax Cotton Ear Plugs; Flents Eye Patch Regular One Size Fits All; Flents Glass Eye Cup; as well as Flents Vaginal Suppository Applicators. (As a famous American once said, I am not making this up!)   

       And I say Former to show solidarity between one Former Empire (British) and another more recently formed but now crumbling soon-to-be Former Empire (American).
sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 26 2012
  

       //The word was just floating there in the upper left hand corner of the packaging.//   

       Now that is what my step-aunt Agatha would have called "fucking weird". Perhaps it is a coded message, intended to exhort ex-pat Englishmen not to neglect their traditional duties?   

       Incidentally, you may be pleased to hear that the Rentisham's Bassett, Bounder*, has just had puppies.   

       *full name: Belvedere Bounder Forthright of Standing Water III.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 26 2012
  

       I, too, have been quite amused to open a package of ear plugs to find a handy little single-pair carrying case proudly emlazoned "FLENTS."   

       The Good Fairy Jenny suggests that it may be a ploy to ruin the good name of Rentisham's by subliminally associating their product with pocket lint.
Alterother, Jul 26 2012
  

       Rest assured that the full might of Rentisham's legal team will get behind this. We expect him back from lunch any day now.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 26 2012
  

       //We expect him back from lunch any day now.//   

       What on Earth is a Frenchman doing in the employ of Rentisham's?! Does Boffo know about this?
ytk, Jul 26 2012
  

       //Does Boffo know about this?//   

       It _is_ Boffo. There's a lot of multitasking at Rentisham's.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 27 2012
  

       This is the Hotel California of ideas. I must have read it 20 times by now.
Phrontistery, Jul 28 2012
  

       I often visit here just to sit on the concourse and play my bee-and-jam banjo.
Alterother, Jul 28 2012
  

       //This is the Hotel California of ideas.//   

       Can someone with more awareness of modern culture tell me if that's a good thing?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 28 2012
  

       I believe the pertinent lyric is "you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave."   

       But no, I can't say whether or not the comparison is complimentary. It is somewhat chronologically malfeasant, since Rentisham's outdates the Eagles by several centuries.
Alterother, Jul 28 2012
  

       //since Rentisham's outdates the Eagles by several centuries.//   

       Ah, but please don't think Rentisham's is fuddy- duddy. Boffo himself insists that the company keeps its finger on the pulse of youth culture, and he is well acquainted with hip-hip, jive, skiffle, re- bop, shed, and wrap.   

       We even once gave the Rentisham Basset a piercing (well, in the photogravures anyway) to get down with the kids. This proved to be a mistake, since sales plummetted in that sector of our market with good enough eyesight to spot the piercing. Our customer demographic median age did dip below 70 for a while, though.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 28 2012
  

       //Can someone with more awareness of modern culture tell me if that's a good thing?//
Its a very good thing. Hotel California has the distinction of being cheesy, but beloved and never tiring for those who love it (me included). A few weeks ago I went to a wedding in So. Cal. at a mansion (I was reverse slumming it), and while the hired help was setting up the dining tables (on the tennis court next to the Disney-style garden with fake rocks and all), what song did they play over the sound system? You guessed it.
sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 29 2012
  

       Summed up in a nutshell, sqeak. Ideas on here seem to fall into certain patterns - some go 'phut' quietly, others get more fishheads or crumbs because they get more commentary and ideas like this one stay around because they're halfbaked in the purest sense.
Phrontistery, Jul 29 2012
  

       // the distinction of being cheesy, but beloved//   

       Ah - in that case, I doff my cap (or, at the very least, I shall have one of the men doff their cap) to [Phrontistry].
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 29 2012
  

       Could I be so bold as to extend a casual enquiry as to the role of Rentisham's in the ongoing Olympic thingy? As one of Britain's more established companies, One would expect Rentisham's were consulted extensively concerning the flenting needs of visiting dignitaries. Also, is there any truth in the rumour? The one about there being a Rentisham's logo on the hoof-ward face of each and every one of Zara Phillips's horse-shoes?
bs0u0155, Jul 30 2012
  

       Well, if it's true, it would have to be hoofward, wouldn't it? To put it face down, leaving a visible imprint of the logo in every hoofprint, would be crass and commercial.
Alterother, Jul 30 2012
  

       //enquiry as to the role of Rentisham's in the ongoing Olympic thingy//   

       Modesty forbids me giving details. However, I can only comment that (a) due to the presence of some natural but pharmaceutically active compounds in all flenting waxes, Rentishams has devised a modified (though still superb) formulation for use by English athletes, to avoid any suggestion of drug use. (b) although most people have deduced that it was not the real queen skydiving into the stadium, they may not have realized that the 'corgis' were, in fact, not real corgis - those dogs are far too uncontrollable. Their parts were played by none other than Bounder, the Rentisham's basset; motion capture technology was used to digitally create the 'corgis'. (c) the workers who were depicted in the recreation of the Industrial Revolution were in fact staff who were made available from our packaging, distribution and fire-testing department.   

       Rentishams was offered a prominent product placement opportunity, but naturally they declined. I cannot therefore comment on the rumour concerning Zara's horse's shoes. However, those of you who appreciate tattoos might care to take a close look at inner surface of Bradley Wiggins' right earlobe.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 30 2012
  

       It 'behooves' me to mention that I heard a rumour that the Industrialist played by Kenneth Branagh in the Olympic opening made his fortune by importing the raw ingredients of said "wax" into the UK where it was processed by peasants in the cottage industries into the final product enjoyed only by the wealthy. Shame.
sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 30 2012
  

       Every industry has its black sheep of a different kettle. Margulies Flenting and Poulting, Ltd. (long since defunct) introduced what can only be called an inferior and derivative precursor of modern flenting wax, and they did so in an era where values differed from those to which we are accustomed.   

       I can report the Rentishams was, in fact, in the vanguard of improvements to workers' pay and conditions. For example, they had one of the first "works canteens", where staff could buy a healthy lunch for a nominal sum; this was at a time when the typical working man was sent off to work with nothing but a bread sandwich and a bottle of cheap beer.   

       Rentishams was also one of the first companies to introduce paid holidays for its workers. When the workforce was at its largest, there was even a "Rentishamlins" - a seaside holiday resort available only to Rentisham's workers and their families. The idea was later duplicated, with wider success, by Messrs. Butlin and Pontin.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 30 2012
  

       //Rentisham's logo//   

       A logo? How common. Rentisham's carries a coat of arms, or, for less formal occasions, a seal (they originally tried a walrus, but he tended to frighten poor Bounder into incontinence).
ytk, Jul 30 2012
  

       when I say 'logo' I am, of course, allowing modern vernacular to taint the description. There would simply be the word: 'Rentisham's'. In a soothing font.   

       I expect the Coat of Arms is a subtle reference to many of the armed conflicts that Rentisham's have been instrumental in bringing about over-arching not-loosing.
bs0u0155, Jul 30 2012
  

       You may be correct in that supposition. Rentisham's has certainly played a crucial role in many wars and conflicts over the centuries. Although their work barely scratches the surface of this fascinating topic, [The Alterother] and various cronies have investigated the influence of the world's premiere brand of flenting wax and flenting paraphernalia on the American Revolution, the Bolshevik Revolution, and, of course, World War Two.
Alterother, Jul 30 2012
  

       //Rentisham's logo// Rentisham's does have a logo (which, as most of the senior management had a classical education, is pronounced "loggo"). It consists of a capital "R", in a very pale sepia, with the profile of the Rentisham bassett emerging from the hole in the "R", also in very pale sepia, on a very pale sepia background. The whole is embraced by a wreath of wormwood. The logo has been trademarked, and the trademark covers all sizes of the logo up to a total height of 3/32nds of an inch; this largest size is used on some of our more eye-catching billboard advertisements.   

       The Coat of Arms is that of the Rentisham family: upon the Royal helm the crown of Scotland Proper, thereon a bassett rampant affronté Gules armed and langued purpure, Royally crowned Proper holding in his dexter paw a sextant and in his sinister a flenting iron, both Proper.   

       As you can see from the foregoing description, the Coat makes only indirect references to the role which Rentisham's has played in various campaigns. For a fuller history, I would recommend the excellent "Sine Qua Non: A Brief History of Rentisham's" by Guy Rentisham and Michael Rentisham-Ffoulkes (Casterville Press, 1955), particularly volume 11.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 30 2012
  

       is it true that RTFW (known informally by the troops as 'RTFB' or 'Read the flenting box' was used to write secret messages during the Great Game, messages which could only be read by holding the parchment over a candle flame?
Phrontistery, Jul 31 2012
  

       // secret messages... which could only be read by holding the parchment over a candle flame?//   

       In a way, yes. Lemon juice or sugar solution had long been used in this way, but the Hun soon got wise to this. The troops then took to using flenting wax instead, knowing that their messages would be intercepted. As you may know, flenting wax is quite remarkably and abruptly flammable, and Tommy drew some satisfaction from knowing that the poor German guard would just have time to read "I hope your bloody wurst drops off, Fritz" or "God save the Queen" before the flashpoint was reached. A message written in a large typeface could easily cause second-degree burns.   

       (Oddly, the first person known to have played this prank was an airman of Scots descent, known as "Second Degree Burns".)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 31 2012
  

       //"God save the Queen"//   

       Would that be Queen Edward or Queen George?
ytk, Jul 31 2012
  

       Ah indeed - I see that my morning absinthe has clouded my memory.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 31 2012
  

       Getting absinthe-minded, MB?
Phrontistery, Jul 31 2012
  

       The 'Fritz-Burns incident', as it is now known to historians, wouldn't have had anything to do with the mislabelling of the so-called 'Grade B', would it, [Max]?
Alterother, Jul 31 2012
  

       On a Tip from [ytk], the Googly thing returned an interesting web page <link>. I quote:
  

       Montacute Waxes - So your searching for a Waxes in Montacute ? Well thankfully we have found the right Waxes for you listed below. It's difficult these days to locate a excellent Waxes in Montacute but hopefully one of these companies will be able to help you. When you contact them, make sure you let them know that you found them on SmartSeek.
  

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       Montagues of Great Britian - Montague Millennium Home Page X. WILLIAM MONTACUTE eldest surviving son of William lord Montague (No. IX.), was made a ... gown of black cloth with a red hood; also, that there should be nine wax lights ...
  

       Halfbakery: Rentisham's Traditional Flenting Wax - recent 3 MaxiComm., Inc., is now acting on behalf of Rentisham's Traditional Flenting Wax ... How odd; our fag at public school, The Hon. Montacute fforbes-Cholmondeley-Psmith (with ...
  

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       William Montacute 2nd Earl of Salisbury, Lord of the Isles of Man ... History of William Montacute 2nd Earl of Salisbury, Lord of the Isles of Man and Wight ... gown of black cloth with a red hood and also, that there should be nine wax ...
  

       Car waxing London - Cylex Business Directory UK It offers services such as waxing therapy, massage therapy, nail therapy, body ... F 1 VALETING 54 MONTACUTE ROAD, SE6 4XJ LONDON
sqeaketh the wheel, Jul 31 2012
  

       I can't see Rentisham's being associated with a 'Grade B' anything. I believe the saying 'round the factory is that 'second-rate flenting wax makes first-rate rubbish' provided it's not too warm and there are no naked flames about, being in an enclosed space is never pleasant when large amounts of flenting wax become explosively dephlogisticated.
bs0u0155, Jul 31 2012
  

       The Montacutes have been trying to compete with Rentisham's for generations. It's said to see so much family money wasted on a fruitless endeavor.
Alterother, Jul 31 2012
  

       //anything to do with the mislabelling of the so- called 'Grade B', would it, [Max]?//   

       //I can't see Rentisham's being associated with a 'Grade B' anything.//   

       During the latter part of WWI, and again during WWII, the Ministry of Provisions put out Section 34 requests to Rentishams, requesting that large quantities of flenting wax be made available. The fear was that the cavalry (in WWI) or night-fighter pilots (in WWII) could be effectively taken out of combat if supplies were not on hand. The Section 34s also requested (as was usual) that the material be "of a lower yet still serviceable grade, and supplied at cost under the Act." The respective Ministers had calculated that "at cost" should mean no more than one shilling per pound (in 1916), or three shillings per pound (in 1940) which, as you can imagine, would barely cover the cost of the fining and silting process.   

       In 1916, Stopes (who was Guy's father at the time) became practically apoplectic when he received the Section 34. He determined that he would never produce an ounce of anything "of a lower yet still serviceable grade" and, instead, simply had most of the factory's regular output stamped with "Grade B". He then delivered this, on time and under budget, to the Ministry of Provisions, and absorbed substantial losses.   

       In 1940, Guy did very much the same thing. This time the losses were even greater (due mainly to the high costs of carnauba and of neatsfoot oil), but the Company had sufficient capital to weather the storm.   

       Oddly enough, Guy still meets veterans who tell him how they wouldn't be here today were it not for the Rentisham's Grade B which, they invariably say, "was very nearly as good as the regular stuff." If only they knew.   

       //The Montacutes// If you should ever bump into Boffo in the Thrush and Snail (and you are unlikely to bump into him elsewhere), and if you are feeling like a bit of a jape, buy him a beer and then mention the name Danforth Montacute. The resulting muscle spasm has been known to propel a pint of Old Indigestible right across the saloon bar, often still surrounded by the glass.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 31 2012
  

       // pint of Old Indigestible //   

       Oh no, he's not back on that stuff is he ? We had heard he had been weaned off O.I. onto a rather less damaging concoction based on denatured alcohol, AVGAS, and cheap bleach.   

       Admittedly the DNA tests were fairly convincing, within the limits of experimental error, but are you quite sure he's human ?   

       Also, the next time we stay, will you keep him away from the gunroom ? It's not the weapons we worry about, but we only bring a limited supply of cleaning compounds,and imbibing that mixture of gun oil, nitro solvent and Brasso at that time in the morning (and in those quantities) can't be doing his ... err ... Lower Bowel Condition ... any good. Candlelit dinner parties are very civilised, except when all but one of the attendees is looking nervously at the naked flames and wondering what will happen the next time he has one of his "little emissions".
8th of 7, Dec 31 2012
  

       I am happy to report that Boffo is not only human, but alive, well, and enjoying the festive season. He has asked me to draw your attention to the newly- launched Rentisham's interweb site, and I have furnished a link to expedite this.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       //Please check your "E"-mail for grammar and punctuation to be sure of a speedy reply.//   

       Ha!
21 Quest, Dec 31 2012
  

       Wow! (I thought it would look more like a chocolate bar or a movie ticket than a bucket, but I guess I should have realized...)
phundug, Dec 31 2012
  

       //Boffo says: "Oh dear me. Far be it from me to disparage our rival's vastly inferior product, but it's reassuring that you've at last seen sense. //   

       OMG, this shit has me RIFHBMAO...
21 Quest, Dec 31 2012
  

       Boffo is a great fan of the Halfbakery*, and asks me to wish all Halfbakers a Merry Happy and a Christmas New Year.   

       (*which reminds me - I must print and bind an updated copy for him.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       Max, this is truly brilliant. [+]   

       You really ought to see if you can run an ad in The Onion and get some South American country (Brazil?) to run it in their local newspaper.
21 Quest, Dec 31 2012
  

       LOLOL ...making my face hurt from the grin.
FlyingToaster, Dec 31 2012
  

       Did you find the 'History' section yet?
21 Quest, Dec 31 2012
  

       re: Rentishams.co.uk   

       Shame it turns out to be baked then. From the looks of it the website would appear to date from the mid 90's and hastily updated to css around 2002 - but thats purely from the look and feel and java subroutines used.   

       I couldn't find the Rentishams T-Shirt product.
bigsleep, Dec 31 2012
  

       It's only baked when you're holding a tin of Rentisham's in your hand.   

       I will mention the T-shirts to Boffo, though I think he'll only agree if they're tasteful.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       //Even our spermaceti is sourced from renewable whales.//   

       Love it.... sadly, the 'news' link doesn't appear to do anything but refresh the page.
21 Quest, Dec 31 2012
  

       That would seem to indicate that there is no news. Which is good news.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       Well played, sir, well played.   

       //This, in turn, caused caused a near-disastrous problem with attitude control.//   

       This from the last line of the second paragraph, in the section of "History" titled "The '60s - Rentisham's and the space race." Please correct post-posthaste.
21 Quest, Dec 31 2012
  

       The error being?
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       That, I leave as an exercise to the reader.
21 Quest, Dec 31 2012
  

       A gentleman of my education should not have taken so long to spot that....
bs0u0155, Dec 31 2012
  

       Yes, but there are so few gentlemen of your education.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       //I couldn't find the Rentishams T-Shirt product.//   

       Through the miracle of Electric Weaving, such a product is now available via the "Accessories" page of the Rentisham's site.   

       Boffo also thanks (but will probably not, of course, reimburse) [zen_tom] for his most excellent motto.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       Love the new accessories. Any chance of adding a 7" tablet case? If so, I'll order one for my Galaxy Tab. I don't understand the flag on the link, it works fine on my computer. Perhaps some networks or browsers don't allow access to UK websites? I'm using Opera on Windows Vista.
21 Quest, Dec 31 2012
  

       Sadly, negotiations between Cafepress and Boffo have recently broken down when it became apparent that they produce bespoke baseball caps but are unable to furnish custom embroidered spats.   

       It would also appear that they don't do 7" tablet cases, alas.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       Nice work, and the 3rd party products not bad either. I happen to be in the market for a mouse-mat and er ... mug.   

       "... launches internet site - click here" - as per classic HB tagline.
bigsleep, Dec 31 2012
  

       As I mentioned, Boffo is a great fan.   

       //Perhaps some networks or browsers don't allow access to UK websites?// It's possible that Boffo has had the Rentisham's IT Department block access from overseas.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       What is this "overseas" of which you Hu-mons speak ? Your words are strange to us …
8th of 7, Dec 31 2012
  

       Literally speaking, I'm cross-ocean from you folks. I hate the term 'overseas' when used to reference anything on the other side of an ocean. An ocean is not a sea, dammit!!! I'm not floating or otherwise suspended over it, either.
21 Quest, Dec 31 2012
  

       So, you're saying that there's no sea in ocean …?
8th of 7, Dec 31 2012
  

       Say... can't you see there's no 'C' in 'sea'?
21 Quest, Dec 31 2012
  

       It's really very simple. England is what is known as "here"; everything else* is "overseas". It's much the same as the way that anything but English is a foreign language.   

       (*for example, Vancouver, Malaya, Gliese 581g etc.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       I beg to differ.
csea, Dec 31 2012
  

       That's how we like it.
MaxwellBuchanan, Dec 31 2012
  

       There's a distributor in Wales? There's a lost cause if there ever was one. I've never met a Welshman who would know a burler from a poulting mallet.
ytk, Jan 01 2013
  

       They use it on the sheep, apparently.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 01 2013
  

       I wanna comment on something so I can see the new year...okay...there we go.
blissmiss, Jan 01 2013
  

       Ordered a tin of the wax from the website. The label on the received can said it was made of the essence of HB ideas boiled down to their intrinsic content. When opened, the can was empty. How can this be?
sqeaketh the wheel, Jan 02 2013
  

       May enquire as to your country of residence, [squeaketh]?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 02 2013
  

       [MB], That would be known to you as the American Colonies.
sqeaketh the wheel, Jan 02 2013
  

       Well that would explain the empty tin. Maxwell is something of a yankophobe. I'm pretty sure I saw something on the website about Rentishams only being available under rare circumstances in the US.
21 Quest, Jan 02 2013
  

       I assure you that my prejudices do not lie against the Americas. Boffo, however, is very much set against the Colonies; this may indeed explain the absence of contents in [sqeaketh]'s tin.   

       More puzzling, though, is how [sqeaketh] managed to order via the website in the first place. The images thereupon are intended for illustration only, since the Wax is normally available only by personal arrangement or at selected retailers.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2013
  

       Hold on a sec, I thought Boffo was late?
RayfordSteele, Jan 03 2013
  

       //More puzzling, though, is how [sqeaketh] managed to order via the website in the first place.//   

       It was most likely via one of those emails that claim to require “your Utmost confidence in extracting from the nation 11,200,000 (ELEVEN mILLION TWO HUNDRED tHOUSAND) tins flenting wax from account held via local solicitor in the name of Deceased party RENTSHAM”.
ytk, Jan 03 2013
  

       //I thought Boffo was late?// He's invariably late - his watch is still set to Burma timezone. At one stage it was thought that he was permanently late, but it turned out to be a false alarm. His speech is still a bit slurred from the embalming fluid, mind.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2013
  

       Are you referring to the infamous 'Smolensk Incident' or the thing with the walrus?
Alterother, Jan 03 2013
  

       The 'Smolensk Incident' has been blown up out of all proportion as, indeed, was much of Smolensk. And the less said about the walrus the better.   

       Boffo's closest brush with the thereafter was the result of sharing one too many draughts of reindeer urine with a family of Saami during, I believe, the winter of '57 or possibly '63. He had determined to continue drinking all night, neglecting the fact that, at that latitude and at that time of year...   

       But, in any event, all's well that ends well. He still writes to them regularly, although I've told him there's no point as reindeer can't read.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2013
  

       //His speech is still a bit slurred from the embalming fluid, mind.//   

       I thought you'd finally gotten him to quit that stuff?!
ytk, Jan 03 2013
  

       He's off the formaldehyde based fluids, which is fortunate due to their increasing scarcity. The transition over to the methanol based fluids was reasonably smooth.
MechE, Jan 03 2013
  

       I don't think I can let this slur on Boffo's character pass unremarked. He has had access to a wider range of intoxicants, hallucinogens, euphorogens, dysphorogens and other gens than most chemists encounter in a lifetime. Yet never has he succumbed to addiction to any one of them. Combinations yes, but that is a different matter.   

       Perhaps you do not recall his early work "Down and out of it in Paris and London"? Or his pioneering three year in-depth research on absinthe "How Green was my Fairy"? And yet now he takes absinthe only to celebrate St. Chad's day. That, sir, is not the willpower of a man who would succumb to the temptations of the simpler hydrocarbons.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 03 2013
  

       //More puzzling, though, is how [sqeaketh] managed to order via the website in the first place.//
Answer: The website has a "back door" which only requires using a little html2 code, a Groupon, and a small bribe to a gentleman named Huxley who resides in Madagascar when his artificial knee is not acting up.
sqeaketh the wheel, Jan 03 2013
  

       I didn't know it was made from Bassett hounds - that would explain the odd smell.
hippo, Jan 04 2013
  

       //I didn't know it was made from...// may I refer you to the "Inside Story" button on the Rentisham's site?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2013
  

       I was wondering if Boffo would, or indeed could, comment on the sinking of the RMS Lusitania? Much has been made of the mysterious 'second explosion'. Popular theories include an explosion of dust in the almost-empty coal bunkers and the possibility that it was carrying prohibited munitions. However, the propensity for British sailors 'stock up a bit' on essentials such as Rum & Rentisham's, and the need to store such national treasures away from the prying eyes of grasping colonials could be meaningful. Were British sailors forced to stow Rentisham's in a coal bunker? Was Rentisham's involved in the 'second explosion'. Did the incident influence the shift in Naval policy toward storing all flenting equipment only in the well-protected magazines of warships?
bs0u0155, Jan 04 2013
  

       I heard rumors that there was a dollop of Fopp aboard, presumably in an Irishman's toiletry kit.
RayfordSteele, Jan 04 2013
  

       There have been rumours that the Lusitania was carrying several containers of Rentisham's from the infamous "bad Candelilla wax" batch of 1895, but this is highly unlikely. Aside from the fact that the sinking took place twenty years after that batch had been produced, it has also been established that the quantities that escaped the urgent recall program would not have been sufficient to cause major damage.   

       The last incident attributable to the infamous "bad batch" took place in 1973, when a small canister forming part of an historical tableau at the Imperial War Museum conflagrated, damaging a display case but causing no injuries.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2013
  

       I have secured supplies of Runtisham’s and am going to be offering them on ebay next week at vastly reduced prices. Anyone on here want some right away send me a private message and we'll do a deal.   

       N.B. this is not the "real thing" it is a cheap Spanish knock-off (note the clever spelling to get round trademark infringement!) but it looks and smells the same and the packaging is a blatant rip-off as well, and to be honest no-one will notice the difference when you get down to business.
pocmloc, Jan 04 2013
  

       [pocmloc] Let me know if you get some cheap mouse-mats. I think Rentishams is using some expensive colony subcontractor.
bigsleep, Jan 04 2013
  

       ... this is how empires fall...
bs0u0155, Jan 04 2013
  

       Though I have no personal interest in the matter, I would caution [pocmloc] against antagonising the legal department of Rentisham's.   

       Perhaps you have heard of Charles Snett, who sold counterfeit Rentisham's in Argentina in the late 1990s?   

       Or perhaps you have not heard of him. That is the point.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2013
  

       Absolute rubbish. This is not counterfeit Rentisham’s. Like I said, it's Runtisham’s, with an u. Anyway one of the head legal bods is going halves with me on the deal, most of them do some kind of moonlighting dontchaknow?   

       Yes I can do mousemats, how many thousand do you want? It'll take 2 weeks to get them printed up once we agree a price.
pocmloc, Jan 04 2013
  

       does this mean the legal department returned from his lunch?
bs0u0155, Jan 04 2013
  

       //This is not counterfeit Rentisham’s//   

       You might try discussing that with Rentisham's legal department. He's quite easy to spot - about six foot six. In each direction.   

       He generally resolves these little matters without having to trouble Boffo - I believe this is known as 'plausible deniability'.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2013
  

       //I believe this is known as 'plausible deniability'//   

       Wise. First you're selling Flenting Wax and then all of a sudden it becomes a global economy destroying derivative financial product. Thank goodness the pedigree of the company is above all that.   

       But wasn't there a misundertanding in the 80's Brazilian sales market ? Sure we all benefited, but just wondering about the long-term liabilities.
bigsleep, Jan 04 2013
  

       I'll have none of this sham runty product. The original is clearly superior, or so I'm told.
RayfordSteele, Jan 04 2013
  

       //But wasn't there a misundertanding in the 80's Brazilian sales market ? // You would have to ask Mr. Snett's widow about that.   

       [RayfordSteele], I applaud your sagacity. No other product unconditionally guarantees "Always the Full Effect", and a wise man _always_ insists on Rentisham's.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2013
  

       I just ordered a knock-off Scott drum of Rentishan's Traditional Flaunting Wax for a steal. Anybody want some let me know.
21 Quest, Jan 04 2013
  

       Do let us know how your burler holds up.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2013
  

       Rentishan's motto is 'Always the flammable effect'. I found it more in keeping with my favorite pastimes, but found the Rentisham's drum more in keeping with my aesthetic tastes.
21 Quest, Jan 04 2013
  

       Well, things have come to a pretty pass, whatever that means.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2013
  

       Does the similarity of this product's name to the phrase Rent-a-sham suggest anything to anyone?
sqeaketh the wheel, Jan 04 2013
  

       Yes. It suggests that you have not read the notes on the correct pronunciation of "Rentisham's".
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2013
  

       I once made a pretty pass to a young lady of my acquaintance in Bombay. Unfortunately the effect was totally spoiled by the failure of the air conditioning system in the hotel and the rather fierce ambient temperature caused my generous layering of Rentisham's to run down my fizzog and it just looked as if my face were melting. I never saw the young lady again. Mind you, in those conditions, I consider myself damn lucky that the whole mess didn't just burst into flame. After all, surrendering yourself to the tender mercies of the Bombay Fire Service is a fate worse than a fate worse than death.
DrBob, Jan 04 2013
  

       //my generous layering of Rentisham's to run down my fizzog//   

       Telegram to Michael Rentisham-Ffoulkes: "URGENT STOP SUGGEST HALT PRINTING OF '1001 USES FOR RENTISHAMS' STOP UPDATE REQUIRED STOP DETAILS TO FOLLOW STOP"
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2013
  

       This whole discourse is reminding me strongly of the glorious Flanders & Swann "Wompom" song, e.g.:

You can do such a lot with a Wompom,
You can use every part of it, too!
...
O there's nothing that a Wompom cannot do...
csea, Jan 04 2013
  

       Ah, nobody could play a "..." like Donald Swann.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 04 2013
  

       And of course, the venerable Kings Singers'   

       Jenks's Vegetable Compound [link].
csea, Jan 04 2013
  

       //No other product unconditionally guarantees "Always the Full Effect"//   

       Indeed. As a matter of fact, this guarantee is taken so seriously that it has never been honoured—any product that proves to be less than wholly efficacious in the hands of the consumer is presumed to be counterfeit.
ytk, Jan 04 2013
  

       Now available "Kosher" and as always made with "real sugar." And just like most bottled water, it is "trans fat free"
Brian the Painter, Jan 05 2013
  

       But still no "Rentisham's Lite Flenting Wax"
hippo, Jan 05 2013
  

       //any product that proves to be less than wholly efficacious//

Ah, what you need is Lily the Pink's Medicinal Compound which, if the advertising is to be believed is, indeed, most efficacious in every way.
DrBob, Jan 05 2013
  

       //Now available "Kosher"//   

       Rentisham's has always been adequately kosh, and they have not seen the need to introduce something even kosher. From the History page:   

       "Many people have commented on the adaptability of Rentisham's Traditional Flenting Wax to the many new demands placed upon it, and have tended to assume that the Wax was reformulated and 'modernised' to cope with these demands. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whilst production methods were updated and improved regularly, the formulation of 'Composition 766' has proven time and time again that perfection cannot be bettered."
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 05 2013
  

       //Cannot be bettered// Yes but in advertising saying "new and improved" always spurs new sales. And if i follow this thread correctly (which i most likely do not) It is more about advertising than about the actual product. Which by the way is now more Kosh than ever
Brian the Painter, Jan 05 2013
  

       //Yes but in advertising...//   

       Rentisham's does not go in for the garish hawking of wares. It seeks not to attract customers but to somewhat hesitantly meet the demand of those who are committed to quality with a lower-case but clearly enunciated 'q'.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 05 2013
  

       A world where Rentisham's was made, distributed and advertised like the other garish offerings peddled by fly-by-night quick-buck merchants would not be a pleasant one. By now it'd be fetid, machine-gacked fluorescent green nonsense, named "R-Sham X-Wax 2-D-Maxxx!!" or something equally repulsive.   

       It'd probably be offered in a remorselessly tedious 'combo' with some infernal vibrating plastic burler.   

       Thankfully, due to Boffo's steady hand at the tiller, this is not a world we occupy.
bs0u0155, Jan 05 2013
  

       Good idea bad idea.   

       After years of inability to procure Rentisham's wares, local "dealers" brewed batches in their basements. With no clear instruction on how to administer said ointment more people now die from this, than the Mountain Dew addicted citizens of the Appalachians.   

       The Government has now instituted an anti- Rentisham's campaign.
Brian the Painter, Jan 05 2013
  

       Dear Rentisham's Webmaster,   

       We note that your website is stated as being designed for "a Baird 17" screen with subdued colour gamut and oak surround. Stereophony is required for optimal experience."   

       Until recently, we had no problems accessing your site on our Newcomen-Babbage Individual Calculating Engine, which we had upgraded with a Jaquard extended high-capacity data store and a Marconi "One-Key" input system, using a Lumiere-Tesla optomechanical display running at a remakable two frames per minute.   

       However, we recently went into PC World and a very attractive young lady told us that our system was antiquated, superseded, hard to maintain, and very vulnerable to viruses (we believed her, as we think there may be a bit of woodworm in the main rocker beam that connects the piston to the sweep arm).   

       So we handed over our credit card and came home with the "latest" 3 Ghz desktop computer with a 600mm widescreen 1080i LED display, Dolby 5.1 sound, 4Gb of fast RAM, dual 1 Terabye SATA III disks, and Windows 8 Super PRO special elite edition.   

       Now, your website loads very slowly, and both the colours and the layout are all messed up.   

       Fortunately, we still have the old machine as the people from the Science Museum are still arranging the crane and lorries to take it away.   

       Do you have any suggestions ?
8th of 7, Jan 21 2013
  

       //I was told the formula is on the Pirate Bay//   

       There is certainly _a_ formula on the Pirate Bay. However, it contains an unfortunate typographical error, resulting in the words "under NO CIRCUMSTANCES" being replaced with the word "always". Most unfortunate.   

       //Do you have any suggestions ?// How long have you got?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2013
  

       //Do you have any suggestions ?//
I had the same problem, but a little Rent'sham's Wax on the SATA III disk spindle solved it forthwith.
sqeaketh the wheel, Jan 21 2013
  

       I'd like to set the record straight on the so-called Rentisham's Lite fiasco. This was a foolish and pre- emptive marketing ploy from a reckless distributor who figured that the hype might somehow persuade Rentisham's to lower it standards, simply to appeal to the modern-day rapid flenter.   

       Drying time aside, I can see no benefit in a 'Lite' variant to the standard. I did once try Callusham's thinning ointment in combination with Rentisham's, in order to hasten the flent, but never again!
not_only_but_also, Jan 21 2013
  

       //a foolish and pre- emptive marketing ploy from a reckless distributor// actually an ex-distributor. Moreover, whilst he may have considered it pre- emptive, Rentisham's had (and never has had) any intention of empting. He was thus mis-emptive rather than pre-emptive.   

       As for Callusham's thinning ointment...well. Callusham's introduced it to overcome the tendency of their wax (and I use that term quite loosely) to congeal at the first sign of frost. The most obvious downside of this approach is the complete breakdown of flegativity if the flented items are subsequently exposed to more equable temperatures.   

       Rentisham's, of course, consists of a balanced blend of waxes, oils, flegatives and emollients which retain their consistent consistency consistently over a wide range of temperatures, from the deep briskness of an Arctic winter to the searing heat of the Gobi desert.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2013
  

       [Max] wax off!
UnaBubba, Jan 21 2013
  

       Good day to you, sir!
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 21 2013
  

       //the complete breakdown of flegativity//
I once had, but have misplaced, a very nice wall chart called the Periodic Table of Waxes, arranged much like that for the Elements. In the corner of each little box was a number indicating the "electro-flegativity" of that wax. As I recall the electro-flegativity increased from lower left to upper right, telling a waxologist in training which waxes could be best combined for a given industrial purpose. If anybody knows where I can find that chart, let me know.
I also recall strong warnings against certain wax combinations, as they could lead to explosions and/or hair growth on one's knuckles. It is well known in the waxing world that Rentisham's violates these well considered warnings.
sqeaketh the wheel, Jan 21 2013
  

       //[Max] wax off!//   

       I think it'll be a long time before we see the popularity of 'Rentisham's' waning.
TomP, Jan 21 2013
  

       Morning [Max]. Just thought of a marketing slogan you might be able to use so I thought I should share.
UnaBubba, Jan 21 2013
  

       For gods sake end this endless stupid post.   

       Marked for deletion. Nonsense.
Kansan101, Jan 21 2013
  

       [Kansan], this is one of the few HB products to have successfully made the transition to reality. Google it and you'll find the sales website made necessary by its popularity.
UnaBubba, Jan 21 2013
  

       //Marked for deletion. Nonsense.//
In case you hadn't noticed, much of this website is nonsense, and the inhabitants are likewise nonsensible.
Viva el absurdo!
neutrinos_shadow, Jan 21 2013
  

       Reductio ad absurdum
UnaBubba, Jan 21 2013
  

       That's because European governments are using up their hard nonsense reserves faster than they can print new nonsense.
UnaBubba, Jan 22 2013
  

       //For gods sake end this endless stupid post//

I think you are confusing the annos with the original idea, which was quite well and clearly explained I thought...so obviously it wasn't really written by MaxwellBuchanan. Probably it was ghost written for him by one of the staff.
DrBob, Jan 22 2013
  

       //Probably it was ghost written for him by one of the staff.// No, they just handle licensing deals and keep up the supply of vellum.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2013
  

       The idea itself is well within the strike zone of the HB. It basically boils down to "Buy up as much advertising space as volunteers can afford, and replace eyesore ads with something more pleasant to look at." It's not a Let's All, it's not advocacy, it's not WIBNI.... it's not MFD-able.
21 Quest, Jan 22 2013
  

       "The problem with designing an idea to be MFD-proof is that MFDers are so very ingenious."
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 22 2013
  

       There's a hole in the bucket, which people have noticed. Whatever.
UnaBubba, Jan 22 2013
  
      
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