By Andy Burrell
As of a week ago, I’m a thirty-one-year-old married man living with his parents again.
In this house there are double the number of adults there should be. Oh, and throw in a dog for good measure.
Suffice to say that compromises are being made, patience is being tested and space is at a premium.
It’s a means to an end and I’m just going to have to get on with it, keep myself busy (not hard when you’re at the SCA) and adjust.
You accrue a lot of stuff when you’ve lived on your own for a decade and it all has to go somewhere. Bad times.
As such, my mum is up in the attic trying to shift boxes around and find a space for our mountain of shit. What keeps happening, therefore, is every thirty seconds she will pop her head round the door to show me the latest memorabilia she’s found from my childhood.
I’m sitting looking at an autograph book full of footballers’ signatures. I’ve got Alan Shearer, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand, Bobby flipping Robson. Absolute giants of my childhood. We used to go to the Croydon Park Hotel when Newcastle were playing away at Crystal Palace and we would meet the players before they got on their coach. They were so accessible back in the day. I have vivid memories of how tall those players were. They’re so much bigger in real life than they look on the tele. I remember, when I was ten, walking into a plate glass window in front of the entire Newcastle team, thinking it was an open door. It was SO clean. Shearer asked me if I was OK. He’s alright, him.
Anyway, Mum just unearthed an absolute gem. It’s an English exercise book from when she was twelve, back in 1967. They must have been doing a lesson on advertising because I’ve just found my twelve-year-old mum’s take on long copy and it’s GOLD. I wonder who she was emulating. Apparently, as a street they used to get Woman’s Realm, Woman’s Own and Woman magazines. Three magazines shared across the whole street. Presumably by the women.
The following is Mum’s take on how to sell a toaster. She even gives iterations: ~
GET WITH IT!
GET A MORPHY RICHARDS POP-UP TOASTER.
Toast will taste different, crisper, when you use this handsome model in the morning. No more burnt offerings. It is fully automatic and has a highly polished chrome finish. This model costs £7 4s 9D but there are many more to choose from.
ARE YOU TIRED IN THE MORNING?
Do you finally lose your temper when you burn the toast? The milk boils over? There is no coffee left? No matter what happened you would never feel depressed with a pop-up toaster in the house. Your toast would always be perfect. So if getting up in the morning is a bother for you, change your way of life. Get a toaster.
I love the promise of the second one. We’re talking about a toaster being the answer to depression. And why not, if Gillette can solve toxic masculinity, why can’t a toaster cure mental health problems?
So, the vibe is different here compared with back in our flat where there were just two of us. But little gems like this are giving me stories to tell and I’ve got three times as many ‘normal’ people to test my ads on.
It’s not all bad.