"A test of football knowledge and a naked lady -- every man's ideal game?" So ran the email first thing this morning. Lord, how my soul shrivels within me, like a polythene pie wrapper dropped on a hot stove. Not that I object to naked ladies in the appropriate circumstances -- most circumstances, in fact -- but when the woman in question is called Kit Off Kirsty and disrobes on my mobile phone if I can correctly tell her who won the 1959 FA Cup, something in me wonders if there isn't a better use for the technology.
One idea is Red Hot Strip Poker, where the role of Kirsty is taken by one Kevin Holloway, director of publishing at the company who's given us this modern-day equivalent of the pub peanut card. As our Kev says: "Football, saucy ladies and a chance to show off your football knowledge to your mates -- what more do you want from a mobile phone game? Kit Off Kirsty is a bit of light-hearted fun." OK, Kevin. Slip into a pair of Speedos and climb into my mobile. If you can't answer ten questions about the Enlightenment philosophies of Locke, Voltaire and Rousseau, the Baby-Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells will appear screen left and proceed to save your soul through thermal insertion. Culture, emancipation, and the chance to spit-roast a bastion of laddism -- now that's my idea of light-hearted fun!
But there must be a market for Kirsty -- it can't just be a cynical attempt to up the ARPU (average revenue per user, the figure around which the mobile phone business revolves), can it? If so, perhaps we should learn from it and use the idea to bolster the CNET coffers. Get five questions right about BT's broadband strategy, and our own toyboy Gear Off Graeme will coyly appear from behind a huge pile of press releases with nothing but a cricket bat to preserve his modesty. Get six right about 1980s home computers, and Rump Out Rupert will shake his funky stuff to a version of Autobahn played on the ZX Spectrum's BEEP command.
Better yet -- how's this for a pitch, Cisco? A pop-up advert appears at random, and if the reader can't answer fifteen questions about wireless network security and buy an enterprise router at the end of it, I'll put on Kevin's Speedos and turn up personally at the reader's offices to mime the video of the Village People singing YMCA.
Watch that share price soar...