I’VE SEEN it all now. I was in M&S this week and spotted that they were selling Christmas duvet sets. These were not novelty kids ones – they were for grown up double beds! Are we really going to shell out our hard-earned cash on a duvet set with a sodding great reindeer on it, that can only be used for a couple of days a year?
Marks has also produced a particularly hideous collection of Christmas jumpers this year. I suppose some wag in the office will nominate a novelty knitwear day where everyone comes in wearing a nasty acrylic jumper and pretends to like each other for eight hours. If you haven’t got a humorous wag in the office, Save the Children has gone to the trouble of nominating December 18 as Christmas Jumper Day. Bring it on – at least it’s for charity.
When you thought the exploitation of Christmas had gone as far as it could, go and take a look in the household cleaning aisle of Sainsbury’s. It’s selling ‘limited edition’ Christmas bleach. BLEACH. I kid you not.
I WAS delighted when the newspapers popped through the letterbox on Sunday. I had been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Christmas present catalogues, inserted into the papers, which suggest gift ideas for people you barely see all year round and secretly despise. There are some cracking ideas for uncles you really want to stitch up at little cost.
One gift idea that really caught my eye was a Deer Deterrent. The blurb in the Qwerkity Presents for Men catalogue reads as follows: ‘Reduce the risk of running into a deer, or other wild animals, with this clever little device Travelling at 35mph or over, air rushes through the Deer Deterrent which emits a sound (not audible to humans) to warn the deer. Easy to mount on any vehicle, car, van or motorcycle’. At £7.99 that’s a snip and will provide the perfect gift for Uncle Knob Head who turns up empty-handed every year and doesn’t return Up North until he’s drank you out of house and home. Now to find something suitable for Auntie Muriel. There’s a bilingual dictionary bookmark I have my eye on, but at £24.95 it might be a bit of an expensive joke.
AFTER the furore last week of where the ‘iconic-because-it-says-it-is’ Coca Cola red truck is visiting this Christmas, I had a wry smile on my face after Leicester East MP Keith Vaz banned it from coming to the city. Presumably he too has seen through the marketing ploy and feels it is just an excuse to fill kids up with full-fat Coke.
Staying with food and drink, Aldi have just produced some Gin and Tonic flavoured crisps. They sound like they’d be right up my street, but they haven’t been welcomed by everyone. Police office Claire McNaney, who works in an alcohol reduction unit, has taken to Twitter to vent her anger. She said it was ‘totally irresponsible’ and ‘gives out the wrong message, especially to children’. Blimey. Let’s hope she doesn’t find out about Wine Gums.
In other madness, Cornwall County Council has spent an eye-watering £180,000 promoting a dying language that only 300 people speak. Cornish is one of the least-spoken languages in the world, but despite this Cornwall County Council has backed plans to revive it. Employees of the council will be encouraged to learn the celtic tongue and road signs throughout the county will eventually be bi-lingual. You really couldn’t make it up.
Kevan Blackadder is a media consultant who runs Blackadder Media Limited. Kevan was previously editor of the Gloucestershire Echo and assistant editor of the Bristol Post. A Cumbrian who moved to the South West “for a couple of years” in the 1980s, he can’t quite believe he’s been there ever since.