Monday, July 17, 2023


Though my series of White Dwarf retrospectives is complete, I continue to examine the advertisements that appeared in the magazines. I do this partly out of pure nostalgia – I enjoy being reminded of important RPG releases from my youth – but I also do it because, as a UK periodical, WD regularly had advertisements I never saw elsewhere. 

A good case in point is one for TSR's Marvel Super Heroes game. The ad consisted of the front page of The Daily Bugle, featuring several headlines and news articles. One of them is entitled "Mayor's Visitors Are Not Cannibals," which I've reproduced below.

What's fascinating about the "story" above is that it contains only a handful of intelligible words, with the rest of its text consisting of "blah," "harrumph," and "rhubarb" written over and over. "Rhubarb," for those who don't know, is the UK equivalent to the American "walla," a word repeated over and over again by extras in order to mimic the murmur of conversation by a crowd. Its appearance here is quite funny to me, since it's being used in written form to fill out the text of an imaginary article in an advertisement rather than as audio filler.


  1. Well that's just brilliant! And I had no idea about "walla" - I had always heard that you could use "watermelon" to make it look/sound like generic chatter, which I suppose isn't that different than walla...

  2. There was an episode of Blackadder where Tom Baker is in a crowd of, like, four people and can clearly be heard shouting "RHUBARB RHUBARB RHUBARB" in his big old voice.

  3. ....and it still makes as such sense as some genuine clickbait news stories I see today