Sunday, 23 July 2017

Did You Say 118?

Perhaps 118 reminds you of the adverts for that company - 118118  - with the two crazy moustachioed runners. Firstly they were advertising a directory enquiries service

And then as their company had a dramatic reduction in profits, because their call charges were so high, they re-invented themselves as a loans provider.
But the number 118 reminds me of that Psalm in the middle of the Bible. It has some great, and familiar verses in it - The Lord has done this, and it is marvellous in our eyes...Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, his love endures forever...This is the day that the Lord has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it...The Lord is with me, I will not be afraid.
118 118 have made two claims - the first was that they could help connect you with the people who will help you, and the second is that "you are not alone, we are a loan". In both cases, you will end up paying rather a lot of money for their assistance.

But look again at Psalm 118 - if you take all the verses in the Bible, the exact middle verse is right there - Psalm 118:8 says
"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man"
At the very heart of our faith is the truth us that Jesus came to help us reconnect with God - and that we are never alone, because nothing can separate us from God's love.
If I have to choose one or the other, I will go for 118:8 rather than 118 118 - much more reliable, imho!
btw, it was suggested that the two runners modelled themselves on David Bedford, the British athlete who was so successful in the 1970s. When DB complained about his image being misappropriated, the American parent company said "We have never heard of him, we are basing our runners on Steve Prefontaine, the US athlete who died in 1975" Look at the picture and judge for yourself. I think the Psalmist had a point about where to put your trust.


  1. I was a competitive athlete in the 1970s and early 80s, including racing against Dave Bedford at the tail end of his career (he was 1st and came 3rd) and we chatted afterwards. Despite being world record holder he never quite fulfilled his phenomenal ability in the major championships. There is no doubt the ad was using his persona in my mind, even down to his signature red socks. Saying that it was based on Steve Prefontaine is also a liberty since 'Pre' was killed in a car crash in the early 80s. Prefontaine and Bedford were good friends, by the way; both a little maverick.
    (I recite 'This is the day the Lord has made' every day, although I did not know what Psalm it comes from).

  2. Have you ever looked at the interest rate they charge? Its horrendous.....people must be really desperate to use them. They are not the worst, I did see an advert for a company that charges 200% interest!!

  3. I did remember that is the centre of the Bible and the longest chapter in the Bible is one side of it and the shortest is the other side. A good reminder of something I had forgotten.x

  4. Thanks for all your comments. ESPECIALLY Philip - very impressed to read that you raced against DB. I didn't realise that he and Pre were friends. SBBE - yes the interest charged by these companies is evil, they are preying on desperate people.


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