Monday, November 16, 2009


Macbeth. Act V, Scene 1- Dunsinane, a room in the castle.

Enter Lady Macbeth and waiting gentle woman:-

Lady M: Out, damn'd spot! out, I say!

Gen: I’ll put a girdle round about thy spot in forty minutes with new Whizzo
stain remover…

In advertland this would happen. In advertland you only need the faintest lip tremble and disappointed sigh at the stubborn stain before a perky expert comes bouncing, uninvited, into your house, to show you how to shift dried in Duncan.

I tried it once - stood in front of the washing machine looking desperate and soiled and … nothing happened. No perky expert for me. Still, her failure to show meant I didn’t have to put up with her pointing out how suspiciously grey my whites were – as grey as if an underpaid prop person had spent half the night grubbing them up.

But now and again, when you are least prepared for it, you can find yourself in advertland.

It happened to me yesterday. Now that Gargantuan Puppy has had her final shots she is safe to take out for walks. So a walk she would have. The better half got himself and the kids togged up and all were braced for a hike. As the three of them got dragged up the path by the straining puppy they looked for all the world as if they had just stepped out of a picture on the back of a hearty cereal box.

It was a perfect image. One that I know will be imprinted on my brain for life. We all carry those brain pictures, the moments that stay with you.
Some are universal - the view from your childhood bed.
Some you can see coming a mile off and so rehearse – births, weddings, funerals etc. Some creep up on you unexpectedly – Yesterday’s was one of those. Another was seeing the finished genderless room that was waiting for the arrival of No. 1 daughter. I had insisted to the better half that IT MUST BE PERFECT, as I foolishly thought it would be the last time the room ever was. No. 2’s room, despite her being 2 years old, is still in mid transition from ‘spare’ room to ‘her’ room and is full to the gunwales with outgrown baby equipment and bags of No.1’s old clothes. – yet both rooms are perfect – when No. 1 and 2 are there.

No. 1 daughter has a season ticket to advertland. On the way to school the other day she pointed to a bug on the windscreen that looked suspiciously like a chip and informed the better half that he’d better contact Autoglass. If I could film the school syllabus and put it on during the advert break we could have a brain surgeon on our hands.

Talking of surgery. As I watched my perfect cereal box family disappearing down the path the phone went. A relative was to have an emergency operation. Minor, thankfully, and all is well… still….makes you think…

But not for very long.

A minute after I put the phone down the door banged. Cereal family were back – it had started to rain.

Right-o get the playdough out.

And then put it back again.

Playdough has now been banned for the foreseeable future. No. 2 daughter fed it to Gargantuan Puppy. GP then upchucked it all over the floor.

No 1 daughter paused from creating her entry to next years Turner Prize to inspect the puppy’s own artwork. Contemplating the multi hued steaming pile with a critical eye she announced that what it needed was Cillit Bang.

The Tate’s loss was the bin’s gain and while clearing it up one of those daft pre Christmas perfume adverts came on the telly.

Even with my imagination firing on all cylinders, I doubt I will ever find myself prancing down 5th Ave / Champs-Élysées, lolling about in the surf with dubious escort or pouting languidly at the camera while grainy black and white images, a snappy soundtrack and some whispered French phrases conveys how marvellous life is on planet pong.

There should be a more realistic statement odour available.

Hang on … I can see a gap in the market here.

BREAKING NEWS… I would like to announce the launch of my own designer perfume…

Eau de Playdough - un parfam de puppy gargantuan.

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