About Me

My photo
No Fixed Abode, Home Counties, United Kingdom
I’m a 51-year-old Aspergic CAD-Monkey. Sardonic, cynical and with the political leanings of a social reformer, I’m also a toy and model figure collector, particularly interested in the history of plastics and plastic toys. Other interests are history, current affairs, modern art, and architecture, gardening and natural history. I love plain chocolate, fireworks and trees but I don’t hug them, I do hug kittens. I hate ignorance, when it can be avoided, so I hate the 'educational' establishment and pity the millions they’ve failed with teaching-to-test and rote 'learning' and I hate the short-sighted stupidity of the entire ruling/industrial elite, with their planet destroying fascism and added “buy-one-get-one-free”. I also have no time for fools and little time for the false crap we're all supposed to pretend we haven't noticed, or the games we're supposed to play. I will 'bite the hand that feeds' to remind it why it feeds.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

C is for "Contain Hat, Novelty and Motto"

Q. What happened when the dog ate the Christmas decorations? A. He went down with tinselitis.

So, we've got a party, we're making the music, and now we need hats, don't we? Yeah! Let's have some hats...easy if we live in the UK, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and some other parts of the Commonwealth, if you're elsewhere you'll have to get the glue out, or pop down the costume hire shop and get some expensive felt and feather contraption bejewelled with lumps of coloured plastic!

Q.On which side do chickens have most feathers? A.On the outside.

Q. What do you call a fish with no eye? A. Fshhh.

We have a competition every year to be the last one wearing his or her crown, the stubbornness which is one of the plus values of Asperger's means I have an unfair advantage and often win, sometimes I fall asleep after the Christmas Feast and lose my crown to the back of the sofa!

Q.What has a bed but does not sleep, and a mouth but does not speak? A. A river.

Usually made of tissue paper, you do get tougher cartridge-paper ones and the metal-foil embossed crowns of 'posh' crackers...posh crackers are a bit shit, as they actually contain useful things, rather that the possibility of a micro-plane, mini-truck or cowboy wagon!

Q. What is E.T. short for? A. Because he has little legs.

The only 'vintage' ones in the above shot are the scrunched-up ones with a rubber band (centre of picture), which is how they were packed in the 1960's and '70's. Very useful as the band was just the right size for replacing the lost tie-downs on Lone*Star Treble-O trains car carriers. Now they are folded and curved round the inner card tube, with the motto.

Q. What do you call a little lobster who won’t share his Christmas presents? A. Shell-fish.

Q. What sits in the fridge, yellow and dangerous? A. Shark-infested custard (people who don't have Christmas crackers will probably miss the custard reference as well).

With the crown and 'novelty' comes a 'motto', originally (Victorian/Edwardian times) these were mostly little love poems or perhaps an aphorism of some provident or spiritual value, although no longer actually mottoes, they are still referred-to as such. By my childhood it was just a riddle or joke (Tom Smith original, top centre), a bad joke; usually a pun or other play on words, or even an idiotic cultural reference...

Q. What's Miley Cirrus having for Christmas? A. Twerky!

In the 1980's, you started to get either/and a piece of trivia, or a suggestion for after-dinner charades, we now have a situation where the class-system that has been so divisive in Britain, is writ-large in the world of buying Christmas crackers, with budget crackers sticking with a single - bad - joke, or maybe a joke and trivia factoid, while as you pay more for the crackers, you will see additional jokes, charades, puzzles or a mini crossword added, in the end you get a double-sided slip, screen-printed in silver gel. the irony being they never get used fully, we only want five minutes of this nonsense - before the food gets cold - however many people a round the table, so added 'functionality' is wasted! But paying more for slightly larger slips of paper makes some people feel superior apparently!

Q. What do you call a Snowman in Summer? A. A puddle.

One other change in my lifetime has been in the crackers themselves, for the longest time they were crushable crepe-paper, now they tend to be tougher materials, sometimes multiple layers or tissue laminated over card, or with the stiffening of metallic-foils.

Historic UK
Tom Smith

No comments: