Have you ever been seduced into viewing one of those interminable advertisements online?
They are sort of disguised as news stories and usually begin with something like, "If you want to beat diabetes, you simply must watch this" or, "At last, a miracle cure for toenail fungus and warts".
I admit I've been caught twice – though I never made it to the end of either – but I won't be caught again.
I'm going to try to recreate one for you now so that, if you see anything like the invitations described above, you don't accept them. You'd be better off dusting the venetian blinds or something else that is productive. Carving swans out of potatoes, perhaps.
Have you had enough of warty growths on your neck? If your answer is yes, you simply must watch this short film. It will change your life. It certainly changed the life of Quentin B Seersucker of Mistletoe, Missouri, as you will see if you keep watching this short film.
Quentin's neck looked like this (close-up shot of a lunar landscape of warty growths on Quentin's neck with the sound of a booming minor chord to emphasise the horror).
There follows a five-minute montage of how it inconvenienced Quentin and caused him to be embarrassed at work and play. Even going to the supermarket was a nightmare. So, as you can see, Quentin was unable to live a normal life.
It was purely by chance that in Gutwrench, Colorado, Herman A Schneider was playing with beetroot in his kitchen. What happened next will astonish you. Yes, that's right, his wife told him to stop playing with beetroot and to get the lawns done.
Meanwhile in a small Norwegian fishing village, Agvald Aagaard was cleaning the day's catch of herrings. What happened next will amaze you. It will be revealed shortly in this short film but, in the meantime, here are some more shots of Quentin's neck (remember Quentin?).
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Agvald was wondering whether herrings could be used in any way that was new and exciting. He was sick of eating pickled ones. While he was pondering this question, the phone rang. It was a long distance call. You'll never guess who it was.
The ensuing conversation will be revealed if you keep watching this short film. Remember, this will change your life.
The time has come in this short film to reveal the conversation they had, a conversation that led to big changes in the life of Quentin B Seersucker of Mistletoe, Missouri, changes that will improve your life too.
Here is the dialogue that ensued.
Herman A Schneider: Hello, is that Agvald Aagard, Norwegian herring fisherman?
Voice: No, this is Aleksy Kowalczyk, Polish pole vault champion. You have dialled the wrong number.
He dialled again and this time the phone was answered by Friar Lodowick. You cannot afford to miss what happened next.
A message arrived from Angelo but it was not the pardon he had been expecting. What it was will change your life. At this point, someone was stabbed behind the arras.
Lucio (interrupting): Don't I get a line in this scene?
Then Duke Vincentio removed his disguise, thus revealing his true identity. Everyone rejoiced and married someone.
Enter a penguin, stage left.
And it's at about this stage you will realise you won't be able to last the distance. You will turn off the short video and go and carve potato swans.
Don't say I didn't warn you. Venture further at your peril.
If you stop reading this column now you will miss out on information that could change your life. At the end there could also be a lovely little recipe for beetroot and herring scones.
• Wyn Drabble is a teacher of English, a writer, musician and public speaker.