I received one of those catalogues yesterday. You know: excited cover assuring me that yes, I have already WON one of these prizes and I only need to place an order from the catalogue to receive it. This time it could be a quartz watch, $5000 or a diamond ring or – the biggie – $25,000.
Being temporarily at a loose end, I leafed through, marvelling, even scoffing, at what people think other people might want to buy. Like pads to stick on your feet, 100% natural naturally, which many believe draw impurities and toxins out of your body while you sleep. Really? What about a lucky Sung dynasty bracelet to bring good health, riches, love and happiness – just what we all want, how could we resist? And, ah! A magnetic back support with 16 concealed magnets believed to help assist recovery.
Cutesiness reigned. There was a cheeky frog reading a book in the garden beside a rain gauge; an adorable life-like plastic puppy that barks if someone moves – go down well at the barbie; delightful meerkats that sway in the breeze and light up at night. There was a does-anyone-really-want-this? element: scissors with a tape dispenser attached; a singing bird moisture sensor for pot plants; a his ‘n hers portable urinal. Scoffing became poor sport – shooting fish in a barrel.
Then a handy looking jar opener caught my eye. Have you tried opening jars lately? They are welded shut by machines and while I have strong fingers I often need the ancient gadget – a piece of tin with teeth – that we found at an Ideal Home Exhibition in London centuries ago. The catalogue offered quite a number of such items aimed at elderly or slightly disabled people, like kneelers, pruning shears, cushions, bunion relievers, non-slip mats. Hmm, don’t knock it, I might need some of those one day.
And then, OMG, as I read on I started thinking: that might be quite useful – oh, and that, mine’s falling to bits, perhaps that would be a decent replacement, and – wow, I’ve always wanted one of those! Next thing I had made a list: two roomy handbags for the price of one, a diamond nail file, a food chopper – dammit, forgot to include the jar opener. Added up, decided that it was worth risking, went on line and spent up large. Might even score one of those big prizes as well. Can’t wait for the courier ...