Thursday, February 26, 2004

Some “banes” of Witho’s life

“Dry clean only”

The words I dread to see in a garment. Particularly in a garment I love. My two favourite pairs of work trousers are “dry clean only”, as is my work skirt. Now, this is all very well, but I want more information. I want to understand why it has been decreed that this garment of mine will not tolerate water. Why must it be doused in noxious chemicals rather than bathed lovingly in soft soap suds and rinsed in cooling, refreshing water. I know which I’d prefer. Why must I pay the princely sum of £4.50 per garment to have it cleaned in this mysterious way? What I want to know is, what will happen if I do dare to put it in the washing machine?

Once, the need to know overcame me. I had a beautiful pair flared trousers which were actually long enough for me (being 5ft10, it’s always a novelty and a pleasure to find trousers which are long enough…). Long enough, that is, until I decided to defy the washing instructions… Now, had this happened in the mid-eighties, I could have got away with this new pair of pedal-pushers I had spawned due to my “devil-may-care” attitude, but ah no, this was the early nineties - full length trousers were de rigueur, there was no place for “jack-ups”* in the nineties…

So what I’m saying is this:
Don’t just tell me to “Dry Clean Only”. Tell me what will happen if I don’t. Then I can make an informed decision about whether or not to risk the clear and present danger of the washing machine…

Weather Forecasts

The only factual programming where the presenter is allowed - nay encouraged - to give their opinion.

“I’m afraid it’s not going to be very nice today” - hang on, surely that’s for me to decide! I might like trudging about in torrential rain and a force 10 gale for all you know!

“It’s going to be a glorious day today, with temperatures soaring to 35 degrees Celsius” - look, if I wanted 35 degrees Celsius, I’d have booked a cheap package holiday to Benidorm. But I live in England, I do not expect this kind of heat. Don’t assume I like it!

Another thing I find with weather forecasts is that they bombard me with so many facts and figures, I get to the end of the forecast and still don’t know whether to wear a jumper, scarf, snow shoes, wellies or a bikini. Or all of the above.

Simplification is what’s needed. Give me the facts. The temperature (including any relevant “wind chill factor”) and the likelihood of precipitation. That’s about all I need to know really. Don’t give me your opinion, Mr Weather Forecaster, because it’s just not relevant.

Blimey, I do go on, don’t I? It helps that I’m not at work, constantly flicking between “work” screen and “blog” screen in case of prying eyes…

*slang for trousers which are too short. Me and my entourage used to adopt this nomenclature, but I have yet to find anyone else who knows of it… Any east Londoners out there who’ve used it or heard of it?

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