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WEEKEND WEB: The year awakens




John Ward
John Ward

WARD’S WORLD: By madcap inventor John Ward

As you read this, it’s another year or rather it kicked off just over a week ago now as a new year or its quite possible we have been sold sub standard calendars otherwise.

It’s basically still in the ‘depths of winter’ in a manner of speaking, however in my particular bit of this month its been enlightening so far if some, but not all, of the following items of assorted mind numbing events are anything to go by.

I had the third email within a fortnight now from a company inquiring did I still (?!) want a copy of their catalogue – the third time mind you – as these messages point out I could look on-line to see their wares up for grabs of course, but once again I ticked the box marked ‘send me a hard copy’ (think ‘hard time’ is more like it) and if it’s here by July I will include this news in one of these enlightening columns as soon as we or rather I have a sighting of this catalogue.

Before anybody goes banging on, jumping up and down about ‘saving the rain-forests’ etc about wasting paper and other deemed natural resources, could I remind these blinkered folk that its not us mere peasants that are the problem.

I brought an electrical household device recently and the instruction manual/leaflet was a whole four pages long but the warranty or the guarantee bit was – wait furrit, wait furrit – 76 pages long and catered for those living or surviving in about 28 countries sprinkled about the globe and the one in plain English, as in the stuff you are reading this in, was actually printed on the back of the aforesaid mentioned four page instruction manual/leaflet.

So perhaps best not to go bleating on about being wasteful to me as if the ‘big boys’ are at it, best go after them to kill a bit of time if home life is getting some folk down and they feel a protest makes their day complete.

The problem with looking things up online is the fact that our broadband is on and off like a lean cuisine menu in a take-away fast food joint, so the chances of actually reading about an item and then trying to order it are at best like living on the moon – quite remote although living on the said moon would at least cut down on junk mail.

Incidentally, writing about catalogues, I was talking to somebody not so long ago at a ‘wine n nut’ type bash and they pointed out that the supposed market leader in High Street catalogue shopping no longer brings out a catalogue with all their wares in and while this too may warm the hearts of the ‘save anything regardless’ brigade, it also alienates a certain section of their customer base as the following was pointed out.

It was explained that said person worked in a residential care home and quite a lot of the residents relied on seeing their twice-a-year catalogue (shared by the way, not each in case anybody starts frothing at the mouth) as they didn’t have access to the almighty internet plus could not be bothered about learning to use it in quite a few cases and the unreliable broadband service in the area (you don’t say) was also a handicap but the one thing that most had was that thing called money that was/is used to spend on items in said (shared before we forget) catalogue as they were, in a lot of cases, unable to get out on their own but people or staff members would always go shopping for them.

Another thing to look forward to (and it’s not Easter eggs as I see they are already on sale, so ‘nil points’ there before you shout out you’ve seen them recently) is the monthly magazine things that come out usually at this time of the year and is the ‘buy n build’ range – you know the sort of thing, monthly or ‘weakly’ parts to help you (?) build a model ocean-going yacht with issue one available for a trifling 99p or thereabouts with further issues with more bits, priced at anything from £7.99 to the sky’s the limit and to be honest I have never, ever come across anybody who has shelled out the readies and actually completed one of these projects.

I thought about this marketing concept long and hard, okay then – about two minutes if you wanna be picky – and so how’s about offering on a monthly basis your very own, to build and cherish if you last the distance in buying all the bits, a half scale replica of a statue made in (recycled) plastic of the world famous Venus de Milo as chiselled in stone by Mike Angelo, the well known sculptor and all rounder, that once built will make you the envy of everybody in your street or Plan C, the secure cell you find yourself in once word gets out what you have done.

I could visualise it going sort of like this: issue one will cost £1 and you will get a double sided drawing of the said Venus de Milo so you have a plan to work to in case you should be bashful, have no idea of what the human body looks like without slashed jeans or a over priced T-shirt, plus your collectable first part and this will be, say, Venus’ left buttock or even her left kneecap in ozone friendly, recycled, organic plastic, although you will have to wait to get parts seven, nine, 13, 20 and 33 respectively before you can start including it in your initial build.

You may well be pondering at this point why I have selected the above Venus de Milo and I will explain in basic terms as I can point out that no consultants or bored (yes, bored) room meetings were involved to come up with this idea, so there.

Should anybody not keep on buying the body bits by instalments as they build away, and so fail to ‘go the full distance’ they won’t complain about there does not seem to be any arms, then we adopt Plan R and use the fail-safe ploy nowadays of putting the blame on global warming or Mike ran out of stone as he was chiselling away.

Before you laugh or even attempt a smile at reading that, I will point out I have seen at car boot sales bits of plastic together with the relevant piles of ‘magazines’ as explained above that only went X number of months before the novelty wore off and often for sale with a ‘open to offers’ ticket as people had given up on them, hence before you start off buying mine you know you won’t be expected to shell out for the arms on this project.

So there you have it – the possibility of building the Venus de Milo but knowing full well it’s all quite good armless fun, so keep a look out in the near future and perhaps be the envy of all your friend or failing that having a paste table at a car boot sale as an option to sell off your error.

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