Sunday, April 15, 2007

Inspect a gadget

I've got a guilty fascination for those videos they play in kitchen and DIY shops. You know, the ones plugging ingenious whatnots with 97 attachments that will sand down doors, cut pipes, make yogurt, remove unsightly hair from the bikini area and do your tax return. Simultaneously.

Yesterday I was out buying drill bits, or some similar nadir of tedium, when I was transfixed by a TV screen. All the components were present and correct: jaunty music; soothing yet authoritative voiceover; middle-class couple doing mundane tasks with smiles on their faces, thanks to miracle gadget with vaguely Teutonic name. They didn't mention the thing that gets stones out of horses' hooves, or vice versa, but I'm sure it was there. Lights, camera and pastel knitwear were in place to ensure an instant, impulsive sale. Until the narrator (who sounded almost, but not quite, like the sainted Martin Jarvis) uttered with the killer line: "It's the most universal tool on earth." Which put me into such a linguistic, metaphysical, not to mention geographical tizzy that I've clean forgotten the name of the product.

PS: Yet more examples of the latest craze to hit the blogosphere: from Orange Anubis; and the meta-megamix from Murph.

12 comments:

Annie said...

Ha! Especially to Murph's video. People off the internet are mad, aren't they?

miss-cellany said...

Hello, been wandering over here intermittently for a while and enjoying your blog, often too shy to leave comment though.

However, I'm currently doing some post-grad research into writers who blog. I wondered if you had a moment to *pontificate in a plausible manner* on the subject. I'd be grateful for your input. Thanks, also, for the lead to the 'bloglaw' debate

Billy said...

Ooh I love those videos. The best thing is when you go to B&Q or whatever and there's several of them echoing around the space.

Spinsterella said...

Murph,

my flatmate is not going to be happy about me waking him up at stupid o'clock by cackling like a madwoman at your very fine video!

Tim Footman said...

Maybe Murph should make the in-store DIY videos. The music would certainly be better.

And Miss C: will marshal my thoughts and get back to you.

Murph said...

Perhaps it could be distributed by "Most Universal Studios"?

rivergirlie said...

you were being lulled into passive acceptance by this seemingly inncuous video, i suspect, the better to prepare you for brainwashing by aliens bent on colonising the universe with their tools (possibly of government?). thank goodness you snapped back to your senses in time!

miss-cellany said...

Thanks for leaving a comment :)

Have to ask. Are the videos you refer to the same one's that they show in Woolies; showing impossibly plastic looking people advertising kitchen type gadgets, that you thought you never needed, and have a moment of wondering if you might do after all?

I found a 'Ratu' in a charity shop for 50p; still can't figure out what it's for.

M.A.Peel said...

Amazon update: so they sent the e-mail apology about not delivering until June 8, and then the book showed up.

Looking forward to it--

Valerie said...

Dreadful pun, there, Tim.

I'm awaiting my two copies of your book (from two different sources; one is for my brother. I get the first one). It's like a race! Who will win — the independent bookseller or the mega (most gigantic-ist bookstore on earth?) Amazon?

As long as it's not singularly unique, as some product literature (that a friend of mine was editing, thank goodness) claimed last week...

Tim Footman said...

You're too smart for your own good, Murph. Go and munch a postman.

RG: They weren't aliens, they were Germans. Maybe it was an attack of Blitz spirit that saved me...

Miss C: Slightly different format - kitchen promos have an older man demonstrating the gadget, while a younger woman oohs and aahs over it. DIY promos have people demonstrating it silently, while a male voiceover explains what's going on.

MA, Valerie: I hope it's all you've ever wished for. But it probably won't be. Thank you both for faith and patience.

amylola said...

the latest craze as seen in los angeles.

http://loraliecoyote.blogspot.com/