Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Soft drinks, hardheadedness, missionary aliens & funky ad campaigns that never saw the light of day...


Concept & Copywriting - M. Eeel (Antares)
Artwork by Mohd Nor Khalid (Dato' Lat)

Story Outline

On a planet called Glug (where thirst is unknown) there are two intelligent species, viz., the Fun-loving Effs and the very Nice Enns.

The Effs and the Enns are highly evolved beings, sparkling of spirit and always joyful. Since there are no serious problems on Glug, young Gluglings are usually sent on special missions to more primitive worlds where through service and direct experience of hardship they acquire maturity.

Earth happens to be an important training ground for Glugling youths. This is one planet where Boredom, Thirst and General Nastiness abound: ideal conditions for the eager young Gluglings to learn through service to those less fortunate.

The main characteristic of the Effs is that they are Fun-loving. The Enns, on the other hand, make a life practice of being Nice. Working in close cooperation, the Effs and the Enns are dedicated to spreading Fun and Niceness throughout the Cosmos.

Our story is essentially set in the tropical zone of Planet Earth specifically a spot designated Station 17 – better known to Earthside cartographers as the Malay Archipelago. At the start of the Aquarian Cycle in Earth’s Solar System, the year 1883 by Gregorian reckoning, Project Waterbearer was launched. Taking human form in the persons of John Fraser and David Neave, two friendly Gluglings began a soda water bottling operation in the bustling port of Singapore.

The rest is F&N history.


Conditions on Earth at the inauguration of Project Waterbearer are hideous, to say the least. The sluggish atmosphere makes it easy to become hot-tempered and nasty which results in constant quarreling among a large proportion of Earthlings. The natives are hostile and suspicious and will not accept any kind of Fun and Niceness – unless appealingly packaged and appropriately price-tagged.

Working through the agency of Fraser & Neave, the Effs and Enns discover that trying to dispense Fun & Niceness on Earth brings with it many pitfalls and paradoxes. They learn that helping Earthlings have Fun is very hard work; and that promoting Niceness entails a certain amount of aggression. (These philosophical sub-elements can be drawn upon whenever the plot thins out and needs heavier ballast.)

The F&N strategy revolves around the idea that most Earthlings have developed hard heads as a result of constant knocking against artificial barriers (also known as Walls). Perhaps if they acquired a fondness for SOFT DRINKS, they would feel more relaxed and kindly towards each other.

Another factor is the initial resistance put up by avid believers in Hard Drinks. An interesting tale can be told about how F&N eventually solve the problem and bring about a planetary reconciliation. (The introduction of F&N cordials and mixers – and the acquisition of a brewery.)

Exobiological Notes

Effs and Enns are fluid existences and airy spirits. As such they do not have a fixed form or shape. When they travel they usually occupy canister or bottle type craft. In short, Glugling vessels can look like anything from a barrel to an ice-cream cone.

On Glug, the Effs and the Enns live in beautiful colonies of bubbles, floating freely over the friendly seas of this remarkable jug-shaped planet.


[Illustration: Paradise on Glug]

On the planet Glug there are no serious problems. The Gluglings found out a long time ago that life is Fun – and that the best way to live is to be Nice to everyone. But you can only learn these things through hard experience. That’s why so many young Effs and Enns receive their further education on EARTH…

[Illustration: Glugling briefing session showing Earthlings confounded by walls]

Planet Earth: a popular training ground for young Gluglings. A planet where boredom, thirst and general nastiness abound. Why are so many Earthlings bored? Because from the time they’re very small their enthusiasm is blocked by artificial barriers called “walls.” (Besides, they get very few good shows on TV.)

[Illustration: scene of typical Earthside mayhem]

Why do Earthlings get thirsty? Because their frustration makes them quarrel a lot and they become hot and bothered. Why are they so often nasty? Because they’re thirsty and bored – and always running into walls makes them extremely hardheaded (even when they’re not wearing helmets!)

And so, Project Waterbearer was launched by an enterprising bunch of young Effs and Enns…


[Illustration: zodiacal image of Waterbearer with replica of Planet Glug]

The objectives of Project Waterbearer were: (i) to restore enthusiasm and a sense of Fun among the Earthlings; (ii) to moisten their throats, parched from useless bickering, and (iii) to make them feel Nice all over.

[Illustration: Effs and Enns put on their thinking caps]

What was needed was: (i) something BUBBLY; (ii) something WET, and (iii) something very PLEASANT…. Hmmmm.

[Illustration: The Soft Drink unveiled]

And so… Glug created the Soft Drink as the answer to Hardheadedness. (The Gluglings also invented the Bubble Bath… but that’s another story.)


We never heard back from Fraser & Neave, unfortunately! :(