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Another year in Ward's World


By Spalding Today Columnist


Another year comes, although to be honest, I was not totally happy about the one we had last time but it was too late to change it of course.

Kicking off now is the sales thingamajig.

I was in a queue to buy something in a store - a novelty in itself I suppose in these internet buying days - while in front of me was a lady who was returning an electrical item/device that was fitted with, she had found out to her great distress, the ‘wrong sort of plug’ as we, in the now growing queue, were learning about as she pulled it out the box from the packing as in its polystyrene tomb in the process but to be honest I thought it looked like a normal, run of the mill 13 amp plug, as in a conventional three-pronger standard type we all can identify but silly me, what do I know?

The problem unfurled thus: it seems the lady was expecting or had expected a white plug on the end of the (white) cable but it was a black plug and (wait for it) it ‘clashed with all her other kitchen items’ so could the assistant look through the same items in stock to ‘check for one with a white plug, please’ but then the sharp-eyed assistant, bless her, spotted the receipt was about 18 months old and thus in reality now past its guarantee and certainly not a new or recent purchase regardless of it still boxed up.

Red face time came to Mrs Complain Most-Stronglee as she explained she had brought it ‘about 18 months ago I suppose, if you say so’ (the receipt confirmed it) but it was bought to replace an item that she thought was going to - I quote 'ere as its technical speak time - ‘.. to conk out but it didn’t’ and so she carried on using it and kept this one as a spare or ‘in storage’ but now the original, poorly one had ‘popped its plug’ hence the realisation that once unboxed its replacement had got the ‘wrong’ colour plug on it.

The gent behind me said under his breath gently: ‘I despair’ - which made me wonder if he had a brother called ‘I Claudius’ - but we both agreed, all it needed was a new plug putting on for the sake of a pound or so, but how much did it cost to bring it back?.

Another gent was overheard explaining he had seen the ‘demo’ in-store for the 65-inch flat screen wonder with just about everything on it - till next week at least when the next model is shoehorned into showroom - that showed an aerial view of the Grand Canyon (the USA one), waterfalls in Peru (in Peru, natch) and a sunset in wherever in all their rich, vibrant colours but once home, out the box and plugged in, he had to content himself with a 1993 episode of ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ (to many this was/is a form of training video) which does not include the Grand Canyon, waterfalls anywhere and forget about the sunset.

This was a good start after Christmas, I thought.

Meanwhile, the post was getting back to normal after the festive madhouse deliveries, with news I was possibly being selected as the new James Bond not arriving - delayed, I suppose.

It seems to the be the thing these days that assorted folk are ‘suggested’ as possibly being the next person to play the role of JB after the present one nips off, but to be honest, I am still trying to make sense out of the last few films plot-wise, even allowing for the fact I must be thick, as before I knew that seeing a Sean Conkery or Rogey Moore JB film, I could at least keep up with the plot and not be distracted by all the assorted products on view.

This being ‘suggested’ malarkey as possibly taking on the role gives equal free publicity to both the film franchise to keep it going and the actor, or the shoal of actors, themselves at no extra cost to either party or in fact a ‘win-win’ situation.

In another shop, I was stuck behind a couple of a certain upward spiralling age range as one was discussing ‘our bay-bee’s firstest Christymus wiv us, like’ (she said).

We learnt that some of their ‘bay-bee’s’ first words were uttered over the festive period: simple starter, basic things in their early vocabulary like: ‘fries’, ‘chicken nuggets’ with finally ‘me go large’ completing this intellectual prod into the initial stages of child care, welfare and management - minor things like ‘mum-ma’ or da-da’ were in the planning stages perhaps - although there was a difference of opinion as to their interpretation of ‘downloading’ as she left the queue to get ‘him changed’ although for what we never heard as we got served just after and left before she returned.

I had sort of hoped that she would return back to the queue, as I think a few of us were hoping to possibly hear about his presence on social media, plus how many million ‘followers’ he had racked up since sucking his last rusk, but all trivial stuff really in today’s age of crassness.

A friend not so long ago said he felt sorry for some children when you saw what they have for parents and based on the above distraction, he could well be right.

In conversation with others since the supposed festive season, one concern raised was about the prior hard sell of ‘festive food’ or nibbles/party fodder in the market that has suddenly exploded or appeared in various retail outlets that seem to comprise of something that is either covered in breadcrumbs or some blend/coating or other to disguise what it actually is as judging by the copious amounts left in shop freezer departments, the skips will be busy carting it away as it will be past its sell-by dates as it lays there all alone - cold and perhaps above all else, unwanted.

What amazes is the fact that there are all these cookery programmes on the flat screen basically doing all these ‘designer type’ food dishes that nobody in their right mind would bother even eating once cooked, that some of these festive wotevers in breadcrumbs or foodie-like disguise could not be banged together in readiness, for instance, in place of the normal accepted plate or bowl fillers.

I was recently discussing cookery programmes with a friend who works in a supermarket, as he said despite all the various recipes and suchlike shown how to sling them together on the afore said flat screen wonder, his company’s range of ‘ready meals’ was increasing

As he explained it in common sense terms, who would want to bother getting all the ingredients together for ‘Octopus Tentacle Pickled Waffle with Spinach/wotever’ as a ‘ready meal’ for three minutes in a microwave oven, its sorted out as we are now basically a lazy society as once its cooked/warmed, its then time to sit down to eat it and watch one of those cookery programmes about people cooking food, either edible or just plain ornamental in many cases with a recipe book to follow that will eventually be car book sale and charity shop stock thereafter.

Another day, another (recipe) book.



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