“I Haven’t Got the Strength to Keep Arguing with You”

Well, that settles an argument.  I don’t really need to add that it settles an argument in my favour.  I have never heard anyone say that an argument was settled when the verdict went against them.  The argument in question centres on a Vodafone TV advert featuring Martin Freeman.  You know the one, Martin is sitting in the driving seat of a parked car.  Next to him is his girlfriend––Seline Hizli––noisily sucking on a straw in a takeaway drink.  Outside the car, the rain lashes down, heightening an atmosphere of suppressed tension.  After a poignant pause, Martin says:

“Look, I haven’t got the strength to keep arguing with you.  I’m leaving.”

Just when you think he is splitting up from his noisily straw-sucking girlfriend, a disembodied voice from his mobile phone loudspeaker interrupts.  An irritatingly cheerful jobsworth informs Martin:

“I’m sorry, sir.  You can’t leave.  You’re still within your contract.”

All becomes clear.  Martin is annoyed because he can’t leave his mobile phone contract, but at least he still has his noisily straw-sucking girlfriend for company.  At least, that was my interpretation of the advert.  Surely everyone’s interpretation?

Not so.  Two of my besties provided an alternative scenario.  What they saw when they viewed the same advert was Martin really wanting to split up from his girlfriend, and the cheerful jobsworth from the phone company being the person who had, comically, misinterpreted the situation by believing that he wanted to break up from his mobile phone provider instead.

The debate raged back and forth as to Martin’s true intentions.  Did he want to dump his girlfriend?  Or his mobile phone provider?  In the end, I was defeated two votes to one in favour of dumping his girlfriend.  Until now.

I have discovered an unlikely ally.  The BBC has––unknowingly––entered our debate, siding, I am pleased to see, unequivocally on my side of the argument with the phrase:

“…in which the actor seems to be breaking up with his partner but is really trying to leave the phone firm…”

Couldn’t be much clearer.  Argument over.

The advert in question has now been pulled.  Apparently because it is misleading.

© Stephanie Snifter


Celebrity spotter Steph Snifter would like a ride in Martin’s car.

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