Birds and similar objects…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s pencil sharpener is the one shaped like the sound of a dog’s bark in the night.

Hm… Today I think I am in the mood for gadgets. Shall we reach up to the bookshelf and pull out that drab looking volume with the red cloth binding and the cream coloured spine? Yes, it’s that junk shop book, The 1954 Gadgets Annual, which contains a fine collection of short, but novel, articles sent in by the readers of The Gadgets Magazine from that year.Ā Ā  Here is a picture of the title page – the book cover itself is far too uninteresting to warrant a photograph.

DSCN3900The 1950s – a time just after World War II when money was short and people devised useful things for the home and garden, and repaired items which were broken, rather than instantly throwing them out as we do today.
There are two or three items per page. Let us thumb through and quickly pick some headings at random: A Trim Paint Stripping Gadget, Drawing Pins As Pot Menders, A Mystifying Mind-Reading Trick With Dice, Amusing Figures Made From Matches, Novel Weatherproof Hanging Lanterns, etc..

‘Yes, dear?’
‘When is your cousin Teddy’s wedding? Is it next week, or the week after?’
‘It’s next week Albert. Why do you ask?’
‘It’s their wedding present, I was wondering if there would be time for the plaster to harden off properly.’
‘What on earth are you talking about? Is this something to do with that piece of mouldy plywood you’ve brought into the house from the garden shed?’
‘It’s not very mouldy Madge, anyway when it’s got the plaster on it you won’t be able to…’
‘Albert, we have got them a set of cutlery.’
‘Yes, but I thought that a pair of nice bluebirds for their front room wall as well, might be…’
‘I don’t think so…’
‘There won’t be a great deal of cutting to do, there’ll be hardly any mess, I found a picture of some suitable birds in a library book, look here Madge… I thought our feathered friends would symbolise the young couple flying off together into… You don’t like the idea do you?’
‘Not much Albert – it is a nice thought though. Have you made a start on the birds yet?’
‘No, and we don’t seem to have any plaster or suitable blue paint in the house either… Still, we do have the set of cutlery don’t we?’
‘Mm… Shall I make a pot of tea?’
‘Yes, good idea!…’

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in archeology, books, conversation, design, history, humour, information, instruction, style, surrealism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Birds and similar objects…

  1. Oh dearest Albert, he does try hard doesn’t he? šŸ˜€

  2. I don’t think he does work now. He used to be a handyman for the local neighbourhood, fixing wires and pipes for all the housewives whose husbands were too busy “in the office” to bother with such messy things. He married into money (married for love, but the money came in handy) and subsequently squandered most of it on various inventions – he has great dreams of discovering the Greatest Gadget in The World. He has a shed down the bottom of the garden and spends many an hour working enthusiastically on Important Projects. Madge has great belief in him, despite her family trying to have awkward conversations in the kitchen with her about the “working class” and their place in society. šŸ˜€

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s