Monday, October 23, 2006


Assaulting the 96 FM Fugitive
Finbarr Barry

Oh Bollocks!

The 96FM fugitive is back and up to his old tricks - mainly annoying decent Corkonians and brain washing the simple minded who are running around Cork frantically asking the public if they are the new messiah.

Should you have had the misfortune to find yourself in Dublin (as if it wasn't shit enough being there already) you'll be bombarded by the exact same images and branding as 98FM churn out the same pre-packaged competition in Dirty Aul Town.

Of all people, we at the PROC would be quick off the mark if the Dubs had copied a Cork idea. Nah. The fugitive idea is a concept conceived many moons ago by Australian Radio Station 2Day FM and syndicated to stations like 96FM and 98FM in Dublin. A 'fugitive' is 'let loose' somewhere in Cork and the station gives out hints to his whereabouts. Listeners who ask him if he is the fugitive win a prize.

Now, there's nothing wrong with a bit of marketing and promotion. Red FM's bugs competition (they put a mic somewhere around Cork, play sounds from it on air and give a few hints for listeners to work out its location) does not directly impact on the public who do not wish to partake. Red FM listeners are the only participants and besides some street and newspaper advertising that's the only impact on the general public.

96FM on the other hand have a history of interfering with non-listeners: the never-ending cash call competition and Mick Mulcahy's (often highly entertaining) wind-ups are two that come to mind. Our objection to the current Fugitive competition is that it again intends to irritate people who have chosen to not listen to the station - effectively spamming "the good people of Cork" as Niall likes to call us. In their own words:

"The 96fm Fugitive could be your next-door neighbour or even your workmate. Maybe he's that shady character who sat next to you on the bus this morning, so ask anyone and everyone "Are you the 96fm Fugitive"

Firstly, if you are sad enough to succumb to this clever marketing drive it is dangerous. 96FM themselves acknowledge that station jocks like Prendeville get on people's tits. A recent plug on the station featured vox pop material of Corkonians giving their honest opinion on the host of Cork's Opinion Line. Some comments are less than generous.

Therefore, with the apparent consent of the station itself it is safe to assume that a large portion of Corkonians don't like Neil and consequently 96FM. And we're being diplomatic with the "don't like". Why then, are station listeners instructed to "ask anyone and everyone"?

Personally, if you ask me if I'm the 96 FM fugitive I will make you suffer unimaginable pain - especially (but not exclusively) if you are male and look like you might be over 18.

This man will not appreciate being asked if he is the fugitive

Secondly, Cork is a safe city but staying safe means not engaging with wackers, scobes and shams of any description. Can you imagine sitting at the back of the number seven bus wondering if the six foot four feen next to you with LOVE/HATE tattooed on his knuckles, stinking of gat and a large facial scar most likely a result of a traumatic childhood experience is the 96FM Fugitive?

He is on the bus home having been told he has to get four letters of refusal from employers before he gets his dole. He's angry. The very last thing you should do is to attempt to communicate with this man but the temptation of a few grand is too big for some.

The white angel perched on your right shoulder is shouting "DO NOT ENGAGE WITH THIS HUMAN - HE WILL CAUSE YOU PAIN". Meanwhile the red devil on your shoulder is whispering in your ear "if you don't ask, you can't win!!".

Its at your own risk and 96FM aren't going to pay for your orthodontist when things go wrong. Anyone interested in buying them out and forcing them to play Henrys Classics 24 hours a day should contact us immediately to put an end to this torture.

Practically Speaking

There are a number of options open to you should you be confronted by some gowl asking you if you are the fugitive. At the time of writing they are not legal but will give you an incredible sense of satisfaction as well as doing many of us a huge favour.


1. Answer "Yes I am the Fugitive!". Open your wallet and drop some token change into their palm. Then using a recently "decommissioned" AK-47 hidden down your trousers, produce it quickly and point it at the questioner's head liberally discharging high impact rounds until they stop asking people if they are the fugitive. Wait for the law to arrive and claim that Neil made you do it.

2. Deftly grabbing his testicles or appropriate body part quickly attach a tow rope, the other end which you have secured to the tow bar of a 96FM street cruiser. The rest of the details will be outlined by the State Pathologist at your trial.

3. Producing a can of pepper spray, cake their face in it. Drag them to your car (bound and gagged) and transport them to a darkened room in a disused gaf in West Cork. Place headphones on their head and play 96FM "classics" from artists like Brian Kennedy, Coldplay and THe Sawdoctors on repeat at horrendously high volume for two weeks. Release them when you become more widely hunted than the 96FM fugitive.

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