Something really odd is happening in the world – not just Donald Trump – but other little signs and portents signalling that The End Is Nigh. Look at the chap with his warning of impending Doom at the top of the page. “ Most people will die next year” What does he mean “ most people” ? It’s so annoying. He grabs your attention with the promise of a final curtain, then goes all woolly when it comes to statistics. How many is most ? 52% ? I’ve got an almost 1 in 2 chance there. Or does he mean 98.7 % In which case I won’t borrow any long novels from the library.
And then there are the strange products for sale. This morning, in the herbal food shop, I saw an advert for snail gel. Yes. You got it – snail gel. I thought it might be stuff you smear on your patio to keep snails away. Not so. I looked gain and it said “ snail gel will get rid of those stubborn wrinkles.” You put it on your face ? And then I thought of the snails….snatched from walls and damp bits of the garden, flung into a giant macerator until they were reduced to a kind of gritty paste. I asked the woman behind the counter and she said no, they didn’t grind up the snails, they just used the gel they exuded. Oh, that’s ok I thought. And then I thought – no it isn’t. How are you going to harvest this “gel “( or should I say “mucus” or maybe “slime”) Are the snails somehow milked ? It all seemed very disgusting. I was going to ask the woman, but she was dealing with someone who wanted to know if they had any concentrated thorn milk.
And outside, just across the road, I looked in the window of the outdoor shop. A red and white banner said “ 20% off Pro Walking Trousers.” What other kind of trousers are there ? I wondered ,and then I thought of Sitting Down Trousers with extra cushioning for the buttocks and a built-in tv remote or maybe PickPocketing Trousers – baggy and voluminous, and with pockets huge enough to hide a Steinway Grand. And what, exactly, are “ Pro” trousers ? Are there Pro Walking Competitions ? Do they have a built-in exoskeleton hidden under the tight denim, which will allow you to walk ten times as far as your competitors ?
And these are only two examples. Be warned. The earth is moving beneath our feet. I think I’ll put my Sitting Down Trousers on and get rid of those stubborn wrinkles with a pot of Snail gel.