Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Closest Thing to Crazy

I remember with a certain nostalgia the time when the most irritating television commercials used to be for oil. A drop of oil would be shown seductively flowing down the side of an oil can. “Wow! Oil!” you thought. “Glad they reminded me, we’re clean out of it. I won’t bother watching the rest of this film, I’ll pop out and get some right now!”

I can’t remember when I last saw an advert for oil on television and I don’t know how we’re getting by without them. Presumably cars are grinding to a halt nationally. And where are the cars trying to travel to? Sofa shops, that’s where.

For the oil has been overtaken by sofas: they used to be called settees but settees have gone the way of oil adverts and what we have now are sofa commercials, every ten minutes. Was it last Christmas that we got a snatch of that Katie Melua song in every commercial break? “This is the closest thing to crazy I have ever been” Me too, once I’d seen the bloody advert a couple of hundred times.

Some fairly famous actor whose name I forget trying to look enthusiastic about sofas. Lots of happy-looking slim people lazing on sofas in immaculate, uncluttered living-rooms. (You can’t, of course, have fat people lazing on sofas in commercials any more than you can have spotty people in commercials for chocolate).

And the prices. “Only Six Nine Nine!” they shout at us frenetically. I think they mean Six Hundred and Ninety-Nine Pounds but they think Six Nine Nine sounds cooler, or cheaper, or something. Someone, somewhere, they think, is going “Wow! Only six nine nine! And look how slim that lady is! If I buy one I expect I’ll be slim too!”

How did we manage without all these sofas? I expect in my grandparents’ day they just used to sit on the dog and stare around the sofaless room in hopeless bewilderment.

Anyway, I just want the sofa manufacturers to know that they can stop targeting me. I’ve got my sofa. Willow Green leather it is, very comfortable too, and I’m never going to buy another one. How do I know? Well, the sofa was delivered just as the windows were being replaced and this was Very Lucky Indeed. For the layout of this house is such that, in spite of some careful measuring beforehand – oh all right, some “hmm, I expect we’ll get it in somehow” estimation - the sofa just wouldn’t fit through the door. Well, not through any of the doors – not the back door, not the front door, not the door of the room where it was to live.

So the builder took the old window out, lifted the sofa through the hole, and put the new window in. AND THE SOFA CAN NEVER GO OUT AGAIN. So, I repeat, I have got my sofa. FOR EVER. LEAVE ME ALONE.


Blogger John said...

Oh, don't get started on the Great Settee Sofa debate. some say it's all U and non-U, which was basically affected upper-middle classes disowning French expressions calling things lavatories not toilets [toilette] and napkins not serviettes in a vain attempt, after to some eight hundred years, to stick two fingers up at Duke William and his Knorman Knights.

So these people think that settee is French and therefore common and and sofa is what the Saxons sat in before Harold got shot in the eye. Which is bollocks because they sat on settles which is where settee comes from [Old English: setle, Gothic: sitls.

Mind you I always though it should be sittee because that's what you do, although I suppose strictly speaking the person on the settee is a sitee, but I fear we are drifting away from the point.

Sofa, far from by Saxon, Anglo Saxon, Danish, Viking, or Ikea is infact Arabic from suffah meaning a platform upon which one sits.

So a Sufi sitting on a settee in Settle
coud be excused for being confused.

9:01 am  
Blogger Ailbhe said...

I never watch adverts, whatever language they're couched in.

10:41 pm  

Post a Comment

<< Home