Thursday, 2 June 2011

Recline And Fail

We spent an hour yesterday in the local furniture store looking at reclining chairs. Don't get the wrong idea we're not that old yet that we've got to the stage where we look at stuff like this and say "hmm Nice" but Marion's Mum Flo at almost 86 is. If any budding sitcom writers had been present we would have provided them with enough material for a whole episode.

We started with manual recliners. But bloody hell I don't know who they are designed for. You'd need to be Arnold Schwarzenegger to operate one of these and a frail eighty something stood no chance. So Flodilocks declared it unsuitable and we moved on to the electric section. These have between two and four buttons. Now you may think that four buttons is not so much to deal with but I can assure you that the look on Flo's face  suggested that we had given her a Rubik cube and asked for the solution.

"Now what does this one do"

"It brings out the footrest"

"And this one?"

"It reclines the seat backwards"

"And this one?"

"It helps you to stand up"

"And this one?"

"It puts it all back to normal."

"So what does this one do?"

"It brings out the footrest"

Repeat for ten minutes and you'll get the idea. Only visualise at the same time an elderly woman moving backwards and forwards on the chair throughout whilst making sounds of amazement.

"Ooh. They never had this in our day" as the chair rose to a level that almost ejected her from it.

"Ooh." again as it brought her to an almost prone position. And with each press, the incredulity continued with me desperately wishing that I had filmed the episode and ensured myself almost certain YouTube immortality.

Marion and I (and the extremely kind and patient saleswoman) persuaded Flodilocks that this chair too was not right. So we moved to a two button version. After fifteen minutes training she had mastered (well almost) the art of reclining. She declared that this chair was "just right" and a sale was made. Now we're looking forward to delivery in ten days time when I'm quite sure that there will be a phone call.

"John. What does this button do?"

A reader commented on the photo at the top of the blog and sent along his own from the same era. There must be hundreds of these little photo booth snaps (young couples were easily entertained in those days) and it would be good to create an archive somewhere. Stuart and his wife (he didn't give me her name) will have been married 38 years in October. I'll ask him for an up to date one to put alongside it and maybe we could get the ball rolling with a website or something.

I see that there's a movement afoot promoting the decriminalisation of drugs. I've been arguing for this for years. I've never tried drugs apart from alcohol but, whilst I appreciate that it must be distressing for parents to see their children fall into addiction or even die from their habit, making drugs freely available will save the police and the customs and excise untold millions of wasted man hours. Bringing the price down will leave criminals looking for other sources of income and the savings on police and customs could be better used in hospitals and other social resources. If you saw the Channel 4 documentary on A&E last night you can see the cost that alcohol puts on the NHS and that's legal. I can't see that legalisation of drugs will vastly increase the strain. Buying over the counter will also ensure that drugs are purer and less likely to be adulterated.

I've given up my season ticket at Anfield after all these years. But I still have a passing interest in football and couldn't resist putting this on the blog. Even Flo could have scored.