Saturday 29 March 2014

Nought’s  Had: All’s Spent
On almost a daily basis,  our doormat takes delivery of some glossy colour catalogue or other,  distributed by  companies with names like EezyKlene, or Bettastuff, or Happikrapp.  Followed in short order by their  local representatives expecting orders from  said catalogues.  Our current serial doorbell-ringer is a chap of West Indian extraction, who is a self-confessed bookworm, hence high in my estimation, and one of the most pleasant and cheerful men I’ve ever met. I love him to bits.

Nevertheless,  I rather wish I hadn’t met him.

For two reasons. One is that the products these folks try to flog you all have one thing in common; in that on first glance they look amazingly useful in the catalogue, but they read far better than they live; in reality they don’t quite manage to solve problems which before they jumped out at you from the brochure you didn’t actually know you had.  The second is that my Susie is a sucker for all this unnecessary gadgetry, and manages to find something  in every issue that we can’t possibly do without, albeit my personal view is that if I’ve managed without these gewgaws for the last three-quarters of a century I  can comfortably cope without them for however long I’ve got left. 

Her latest ‘investment’ is a little metal filter thingy that drops into the plughole in the bathroom sink.  Ideal, you’d have thought. Clever. Keeps all the hairs and other detritus from blocking up the U-bend. Three quid well spent. (Not that the U-bend has ever blocked itself in the eleven years I’ve known it, but never mind.)

But sadly, in practice it doesn’t quite work like that. Because what happens is that the holes in the filter are so small that the water doesn’t do its usual gurgle-gurgle-gone act, but  filters through so slowly that such personal unwanteds as shaving stubble and expectorated toothpaste stay plastered all over the inside of the basin, so that you then have to dig the bloody filter out so as to swill and wipe the basin clean, instead of just running the cold tap full blast, swishing it around with a hand, and letting the drain take the strain. Not only that, if you do leave the tap running, the sink overflows.

 Which rather defeats the object, I’d have thought. The whole raison d’etre for these companies, they’d have  you think, is to make your life easier.  But most of the time they merely serve to complicate some minor task or other that you’ve been doing on autopilot and with a minimum of trouble all your life

Everybody’s a Comedian

Went for my usual yearly checkup at Specsavers today.  Was told I have a cataract on my right eye, which needs operating on.  Now I hate the thought of anybody mucking about with my eyes, so I asked “What happens if I don’t have it done? “ “ Well” – said the Specsavers lady – “we do a nice line in guide dogs!”