A Month to View
PUBLISHED: 09:22 09 December 2011 | UPDATED: 20:25 20 February 2013
Judi Spiers has a bit of an issue with instructions - unnecessary ones in particular
Christmas is the time of year when foot spas, yoghurt makers and all manner of electrical goods will be imaginatively wrapped as presents and all instructions will be lost. Instructions are the bane of my life. I come from a long line of family members who believe in unpacking all new goods, putting the paperwork away safely in a drawer, but never actually looking at them.
It doesnt matter what it is "television, medicine or skin cream its the unwavering belief that we can use the object without having to be talked through it; more importantly without having to look through 12 languages before we reach English. Besides which we are bombarded with unnecessary instructions on everything. From a hairdryer: Do not use while sleeping; from a carton of Tiramisu (printed on bottom of the box) Do not turn upside down; and my favourite on a childs Superman costume: Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly!
Dont even get me started on the clear bottles that have the small print on the back of the label, which you have to read through the bottle. And before you say they peel off, they dont!
But I am going to have break with family tradition and force myself to read the booklets, because Ive got...
THE NEW CAR
Lord, I thought I could drive. Hasnt technology moved on in the last few years? This thing practically drives and parks itself or would if I knew what to switch on! Its so much easier to press until something happens, even if it is with alarming results. We actually drove down to Cornwall with the windows open because we couldnt work out the fresh air blower thing! The Bluetooth for the mobile phone had been set up for me, but the shock of phoning someone (as a passenger, of course) and having them answer me through the radio turned me into Ma Clampett form the Beverley Hillbillies!
Its got one of those roofs that stacks away nicely in the boot at the touch of a switch reminiscent of Transformers, but the panic when it starts to rain and the roof wont go back. Because you havent pulled the parcel shelf across, as it clearly says in the pamphlet, Miss Spiers!
Its not just high-tech stuff either. What about
CLEANING THE TOILET
How hard can it be to clean a toilet? A squirt of the old canard with the bendy neck is as high-tech as I usually get. But trawling around the supermarket recently, determined to spend the required amount to get the triple points (you know, spend another 30 and if youre lucky youll have enough for a tin of Rover assorted), I spotted this thing that works like a syringe and plops a blob of blue gel on the back of the toilet bowl, thus avoiding the use of those terrifying germ-laden cages! The syringe contains 8 blobs, good for 70 flushes a blob. Great value, I thought. Even if I had wanted to read the instructions, they were printed on the inside of the box! So, in my usual gung-ho manner, I depressed the plunger fully and dispensed all 8! Half an hour later husband appeared and asked: How come we have a Portuguese Man O War splattered in the loo?
Looks quite pretty actually. Very Damien Hirst. Perhaps I should have offered to do the
Lovely in Exeter this year after it was feared that due to rising costs we werent going to have any. I was ready with a great money-saving/eco-friendly suggestion from a Radio Devon listener. Issue everyone who wants to go shopping and get a Christmassy feel with a pair of clear goggles, which have been customised by local art students with hand-painted holly and fat robins on the lenses. Hand them back at the end of the day and store them again for next year!
PS Talking Christmas, I once had a leaflet on how to survive it Must be in that drawer. Have a good one!
Illustration by Flo Fitzgerald