Anyone For Soup?

Now, you’ll probably appreciate it when I tell you that I’m no expert on kitchen utensils. Until recently I believed that Pestle and Mortar was a U.S. crime drama tv series from the 1980s.

However, I think that if I use this Tesco ‘ladle’ to serve [cream of hedgehog] soup at my upcoming dinner party (which is entirely fabricated to make the joke, so please don’t expect an invite) you’ll all be going rather hungry…

The Ladle...

Still… “every little helps”…

Rolled Or Folded?

Present - Wrapped

I stared blankly at the shopkeeper, with a confused smile; I was experiencing a moment of sheer perplexity. My conversation at the till in a local card and gift wrap shop had been very interesting and going well until it came to a sudden and abrupt halt. I was asked a question to which I was struggling to find an answer. The question was this…

“would you like your wrapping paper rolled or folded?”

I’m sorry, what? Can you not start me off with something a bit easier, like… ‘what causes gravity?’ or ‘if a one-legged hen laid an egg and a half in a day and a half, how long would it take a monkey with a wooden leg to eat a packet of Maltesers?’

I felt unprepared for such a demonic attack on my grey matter. When you’re on a quiz show, such as ‘Who Wants To Be a Millionaire’, they at least start you off with a simple question, such as “how do you spell ‘moron’?”, before moving on to questions of higher complexity.

After a long pause of bewilderment, and with a fleeting evil grin, I turned the question back onto her: “well, I really don’t know. What would you recommend?” I could see her brain short circuit as she stood there with a blank, confused look. It appeared that no-one had ever turned the question back onto her. After a spell of silence, she replied, “do you know what, I never can decide that myself!” Suddenly, I felt less alone in the world… 🙂

So, what should one answer? Well, let’s look at the options available in the world of gift-wrap carriage (that’s ‘carriage’ and not ‘carnage’). I could choose to have the wrapping paper rolled. I could then carry it home, wielding it like a weapon, tripping people over as I walk by and hitting old ladies over the head. I have discovered on previous occasions that there’s something special about carrying it like a baton that gives one an incredible sense of power. I suddenly transform into a superhero; ready for a bank robber to run out of the local Natwest so that I can bludgeon him to death with my flowery, pink wrapping paper roll. “I can take anyone on… oh, shit, it’s started to rain…”

The alternative option is for the shopkeeper to fold the wrapping paper. That’s much more sensible, allowing me to easily fit it into my bag. However, when I go to wrap the gift, it’s going to end up with great big folds in it. Still, if I have it rolled then it’ll end up battered anyway. So, maybe it’s the best of a bad bunch.

Do you know what? The real reason I can’t ever come with an answer to the question “would you like your wrapping paper rolled or folded?” is because I don’t care. That’s right, I don’t give a shit whether they fold the paper, roll it or make it into a giant paper hat so that I can wear it home. I mean, sod it, come up with something creative: “Would you like your wrapping paper rolled, folded or crafted into an origami swan? If you like, I can set fire to it or blu-tack it to the neighbour’s cat.”

Creativity is what is required here. Now, where did that pesky moggy go… 😉

Unexpected Idiot In Bagging Area…

Supermarket Checkout

I was using a supermarket self-checkout today, processing my items to the repetitive drone of “please place your item in the bagging area.” Next to me, an older couple were battling to put through their items of shopping, some (most) of which included bottles of alcohol. Most of you will be aware that when you buy alcohol at a self-checkout the attendant has to check your age. So, in this instance, their checkout light went red and a message popped up on their screen. Here is a transcript of the conversation that followed:

Lady: “Why is it telling us that we have to wait for assistance?”
Attendant: “We have to check your age to ensure you aren’t underage”
Lady: “Ah, ok. I suppose I should take it as a compliment, really? Ha ha ha…”

For some reason, I took umbrage at her stupid remark. I just about managed to hold back from vociferating in response:

“So, you think this piece of electronic equipment has a brain, do you? That’s mistake number one. Mistake number two is thinking that if it did have a brain, it would be stupid enough to think that you, a haggard old alcoholic woman who smells of musky piss and morning fresh, are actually a voluptuous 17-year-old woman with the face of an angel.”

“Oh, and, by the way, you should assume that the card payment machine thinks you’re trustworthy, that the supermarket’s automatic door likes you and that your trolley knows where your car is parked. Good luck!”

The Humble Toothbrush

Toothbrushes

As someone who runs my own business, I’m used to making difficult decisions. However, today I found myself facing one of the most challenging decisions I’ve made in a while. That’s right – I went to buy a new toothbrush.

Before you laugh, just consider what a complicated decision it has become to choose a new toothbrush. I spent several minutes pondering, bemused, in the supermarket aisle because I couldn’t decide between green and blue, soft and firm, springy head or non-springy head, tongue cleaning or non-tongue cleaning…

What I found particularly funny, other than imagining the sight of me scratching my head infront of the toothbrushes, was some of the marketing on the toothbrush boxes themselves. For example, the toothbrush that I ended up buying (because it was on special offer) was labelled as ‘professional’. Now, what exactly does that mean – can I call myself a professional tooth brusher? There seems little justification for being awarded this title. Surely I should have attended a training course, passed an exam and been presented with a certificate before achieving such an important honour?

Having graciously accepted this title (by agreeing to pay £2.50), I wonder whether it’s time for me to update my CV to include “professional tooth brusher?” Perhaps I could also include the fact that I do a ‘professional’ job of wiping my own backside too? (though I do say so myself!)

Onto another point now, regarding product marketing. I bought some toilet rolls today and on the packaging was a big star containing the text “Voted product of the year – consumer survey of product innovation 2009”. Have I been transported back in time several centuries? According to Wikipedia, “the first documented use of toilet paper in human history dates back to the 6th century AD, in early medieval China.” So, they seem a little late in recognising this fantastic “innovation” (and, lets be honest, our bottoms wouldn’t be the same without it). One wonders what other products of ingenuity received awards at the same time – the wheel, the cocktail stick and the hairpiece, perhaps?

I can imagine that the 2010 awards will see another ‘hard fought’ competition, with the innovation of the year being something like… ah, yes, that new concept called the ‘bar of soap’…

Late-Night Toilet Roll Mission

Toilet Roll

Last night, I visited my local store on a late-evening mission of some urgency. I’m sure that most of you reading this have been in a similar situation before.

As I strolled through the front door of the store, it became all too obvious that it was nearing closing time. Why? Well, the shopkeeper looked positively suicidal and the only items left on the shelves were a salad labelled with yesterday’s date and a half-eaten doughnut. If I hadn’t known better, I could have easily assumed that the townsfolk had entered into Emergency British Panic Buying Mode – an event that normally occurs when weather forecasters predict a flake of snow to fall somewhere within 100 miles.

So, why was I venturing out in the middle of the night? Well, I had experienced the ultimate nightmare. No, I’m not talking about waking up in bed, with a heavy hangover, lying naked next to your best friend’s grandmother (don’t pretend you’ve never had that dream!!). I was running low on toilet paper. Continue reading