After almost eight decades I confess it’s hard to be truly surprised by any human activity, particularly when it comes to bad taste or amazing behaviour.
Probably the stand-out shock in my life-time was being woken by a mate calling from England about 4am and barking at me to turn my television on. If you haven’t guessed, that was “September 11th”, as it’s now colloquially known.
Trump’s election on the day was a hell of a shock albeit with the passing of time it became more explicable.
If I was to draw up a shock list it would begin in 1945 aged five, and my welder father who we rarely saw, he typical of those years working seven days a week and four nights overtime, turning up at Boulcott school in mid-morning to collect my older sister and me. That was victory day when Germany capitulated. Into Wellington on the bus for the second time in my life, the previous occasion in Wellington hospital aged four to have my tonsils out, there to gather with the assembled thousands outside parliament.
So many astonishing events since but my God, high in the shock and mystery ratings would have to be the weekly full page advertisements for the excruciatingly bad taste Bradford Exchange offerings.
I’ve thought long on who would possibly buy this stuff and apart from a suspicion Colin Craig might, I can think of only one person, being a woman I vaguely knew 45 years ago. Among her treasures was a stuffed baby rabbit on it’s hind legs holding a miniature rifle. She’s dead now but would have been an enthusiastic Bradford Exchange patron.
That there are buyers for this abominable rubbish is not the principal surprise, rather it’s the fact that they’re Herald on Sunday and Listener readers as evidenced by the weekly full page Bradford Exchange advertisements in both publications.
I’d pay plenty for a copy of Bradford’s client list. They’d be absolute certainties to purchase my set of postcards Julius Caesar wrote and sent back to Rome after landing in Britain in 55BC.