Saturday, May 14, 2011

stuck on you...

I have a friend who I go swimming with from time to time.  Fortunately, we both have the ability to talk the hind leg off a donkey, which is good, because it keeps the focus away from the visual of me in Lycra. For someone like me, who has, how shall I say it, a complicated relationship with clingy clothes, I seem to spend an awful lot of time in Lycra.  This may be in part because I hope to portray the ‘sporty-girl’ look – as if split jumps or 100m sprint records are imminent.

I havn’t quite caught on (clearly stuck in some kind of 80’s twilight zone)  that ‘sporty-girl’ sportswear has progressed beyond Lycra, to cotton-lycra and weirdly stitched leggings called compression garments.  Hopelessly left behind as I am, I still cannot compete with  my swimming friend, Shorne*, who just this week was lamenting the fact that he needs to finally replace is nylon – yes NYLON – Speedo and that (who knew?) nylon Speedo’s aren’t available anymore.

After I’d finished rolling around laughing ,we both thought it only fair (to nylon manufactures) to compare these wonderfully synthetic fabrics. I feel at this point that I should first explain the design of Shorne’s Speedo.  I fell in love once (in 1984) with a lifeguard that wore one that was exactly the same.  White with navy stripes. A classic I’d say. I’m pretty sure if I pressed Shorne for details, he’d confess that his Speedo is also, in truth, from 1984.

I digress. Upon closer investigation, we decided that Lycra in fact, is just not to be trusted.  In his words, at least nylon doesn’t get that “just took a dump in my cozzie” look when it is all worn  out.  One point to nylon.  I added that (sexy as see-through lingerie is) I prefer my cozzie to stay thick and sturdy – especially around the bum and boob area. Why does Lycra go all thin in the places you need the most support? Two points to nylon.

What about the little bits of “rubber dandruff” that come of the cozzie, Shorne says, when the rubber starts separating from the other lycra fibres? Three points to nylon.  And lets not forget, I suddenly remember, how after the winter season you take your cozzie out and the stretchy bits that are supposed to grip your buttocks, have gone all un- stretchy. Instead of nice grippy bum elastic, you are left with a frilly edge, which doesn’t grip your buttocks at all but instead fans out like Joan Collins’ peplum jackets in Dynasty. Four points to nylon.

I chose not to mention how nylon leotards nearly chaffed me nipple-less when I was I kid (nipples are so over-rated, really), but did point out that no one has ever asked for my second hand nylon leggings. And for this, I think nylon wins points five, six and seven.

Just FYI, go feel up some of those “shark-skin” type cozzies that the Olympic swimmers wear. Very un-elastic. Very shark-skin-like but much, much thinner.  I also wouldn’t bend down to dive off the starting blocks wearing that – I’m just saying is all.

*Names have been protected for the sake of those that still wear nylon Speedo’s.

Friday, May 6, 2011

snooty buns...

Such a toss up deciding what to write about this week.  Of course, there was the whole Royal Wedding thing (eternally bloggable – FYI Princess Beatrice did manage to make contact the mother-ship via her hat). What really got me thinking thought, was the spam I got from Makro. 

Somehow, I have landed myself on some spamy email list. Lucky me. Senders offer me things like American Citizenship. Lucky me again. I was also recently advised that I’d inherited 3 Million Dollars from a deceased, long lost relative whom I’ve never met, who is based in, surprise-surprise, West Africa (just send R100 000 to process the legal stuff.) Really, really lucky me.

Makro’s spam wasn’t offering me anything quite so ostentatious, but what they were offering (pre-Easter of course) was…. TA DAAAA…. Luxury Hot Cross Buns. The spin at the bottom read:
“Love at first bite (because Easter is that loving time of year?)
Scrumptious and ready to serve (Butlers are ready to serve, hot cross buns just get eaten).
A delicious new recipe (what was wrong with the old one?),
from us (duh!),
to you (thank you Captain obvious). 
Tuck in and indulge (sorry, but you’re competing with chocolate here)  
this Easter with your loved ones (because normally I share my religious holidays with total strangers?)”. 
These are all very bold things to say, considering they are touting confectionary that has cooked raisins. Know what I’m saying.

Anyhoo, the ad reminded me of a copywriting assignment that we did. We had to come up with a campaign to entice people to end a bad habit.  The usual culprits were there; smoking, drunk driving, TV watching, drug addiction etc.  However, one person came up with a very threatening habit.  Using the same pillow night after night.  Who knew this was so foul?  Our copy lecturer looked mortified and you could actually see his horror unfolding as he imagined someone trying to wrestle his favorite pillow from him. Ever the diplomat, he proceeded to ask a whole bunch of valid questions about the campaign and the imagery employed to convey the message.

Now this is where it gets interesting, her scamp (fancy word for picture) showed a pillow (foreground), top hat (mid-ground) and hat-stand (background). Motivation for the campaign was that pillows carry mites, (which to be fair, is true after all - hateful little buggers), and that you should ‘renew’ your pillow regularly with a “SABS approved, hypoallergenic pillow”. When asked what the top hat and hat stand were for, she explained that they were there to indicate the “luxuriousness” of the pillow.  Because, as we all know, luxury is always synonymous with top hats. 

Now while it might seem like I am dissing this classmate, I’m not.  She was just doing what loads of retailers do al the time i.e. get us to buy into the whole “buy-me-because-I’m-a-luxurious-snob” thing.  Like that wildly irritating Mantelli’s shortbread radio add. You know, the one that makes you want to whip the snooty sounding bint with her own ponytail.

It got me thinking.  If these truly are Luxury Hot-cross buns, then they would feel horribly out of place in my home.  These are the type of hot-cross buns that would insist on being served on Villeroy & Boch crockery. They’d only want to wipe their bums with triple ply luxury toilet paper (honestly, as if toilet paper could ever be luxurious) and would want to keep company with Salon-sold hair products (sorry, stumped for a name here). They would scoff at my Green Cross sandals, would tell me they are only holidaying in St.Moritz and would ask me if I really planned to go out “in that”? 

Honestly, it just makes me want to buy that “Extra Slut, Hard Pressed Olive Oil”. Just out of principle.