Friday, 1 November 2013

Christmas shopping? Look no further...

...for that special gift, for I have the solution  right here in a catalogue*: clockwork salt and pepper pots, shaped like penguins. You "just fill the pots with salt and pepper, wind them up, and let them go...shooting across the table to whoever needs them". Apparently "passing the salt and pepper has never been so much fun".

Passing the salt and pepper fun? Really?

Oh, what have I been missing all these years...

What will they think up next? Wind-up vegetable dishes? Motorised knives and forks? When you think about it, the possibilities for fun at the dinner table are endless.

*One of those catalogues full of things nobody needs to give to people who don't want them; the last resort of the desperate shopper.

17 comments:

  1. Lava Lamps. I love them. Were there any in the catalogue?
    I am of 'No Fixed Abode' so my estranged wife filters this sort of thing. A great job she does too. I only get unimportant things like tax demands and begging letters from Swansea to tax the van.
    I'm seeing her next week, if I dare, I'll suggest she ditches them as well. I'll get my courage up.

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    1. You don't know what you're missing, Adrian.

      I'm afraid I can't stand lava lamps (I didn't notice any). I'd rather have a goldfish.

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  2. As much as I love penguins, filling them with salt and pepper, then shooting them across the table, does not sound like a good idea. I can just imagine all the grandsons at a family dinner...nope, not a good idea. And those catalogues of junk for people to buy for the man or woman who has everything...bah, humbug.
    K

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    1. My feelings exactly, Kay (although I have to admit that my grandsons would love this kind of thing. For about five minutes).

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  3. I am so envious Frances that you still get such catalogues. We had coffee this afternoon with one of my longest standing friends who has an acutely developed sense of the absurd. When these catalogues first appeared he would regale us with the contents shown in its most 'interesting' light. I miss that. I didn't even realise the catalogues still existed. One of the advantages of exiting the UK in the shopping period up to Christmas is that by the time I arrive back Pat has filtered all my mail and such catalogues have, along with much of my other mail, been consigned to the recycling bin.

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    1. Ah - so you are missing something then, GB. I love these catalogues. My favourites ever were "the world's most versatile hat" (now long gone), the personalised gear stick cover, and the trolley for conveying plants round the house. Oh, happy days...

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  4. Our pepper mill is battery powered and has a light to illuminate our food (or to mill pepper in the dark, not sure which:) Clockwork Penguins sound innovative.

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    1. I'm intrigued, ER. Why do you need to illuminate your food?

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  5. I invented the electric rotary spaghetti fork decades ago. Can you order me two please? No, make that six.

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    1. No, Tim. I'm afraid not. But if you email me, I can let you know the name of the catalogue. Would that help?

      How did the spaghetti fork do? Did you make millions?

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  6. The creativity of small-time back-room inventors never ceases to amaze. Gawd 'elp us!

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    1. CM, I think there are people sitting in little workshops trying to think up all these things that are totally useless (otherwise they would have been invented before), and they wheel them out at Christmas, when I'm sure they do quite well.

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  7. It amuses me to think of a Lord and Lady of a huge old draughty manor using them... You know. Keeping up the tradition of sitting at opposite ends of a huge dining table. But unable to still afford a real live servant to pass the salt and pepper...

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    1. Brilliant, DT! I never thought of that.

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  8. This year John Lewis has some absolutely wonderful "animals" made mostly of small electrical gadgets and/or kitchen utentsils, in their windows. THey were attracting lots of admiration, oohs and aahs from passers by! So you see brushes and hairdryers can be fun :)

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    1. Jenny, now I see what a dull life I've been leading...Sigh.

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  9. No such catalogues in my mailbox, I'm afraid, but I remember similar ones from my childhood and teenage years. We used to read out the descriptions to us as a form of family entertainment, but I don't think anyone ever ordered anything, so they stopped sending them.

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