Monday, 8 March 2010

Blast From the Past II - Mr Soft!

Whilst I'm pludering the YouTube vaults as I indulge my childhood memories, I thought I may as well post this for the people over 30. Move over Kinder Egg - it's all about Mr Soft! I can still still along to this advert!

I wonder what Mr Soft is up to these days?

Blast From The Past - Kinder Egg Advert... CHOCADOOBY!

I’m glad that I’m the age that I am – the world that I grew up in was a universe away from the technologically advanced times of today and all the better for it, if you ask me. I mean, what next? Every whim and fad is catered for… Every domestic chore has been eradicated thanks to technology. We have mobile phones that do everything (even pervy things if you’re a fiercely heterosexual premiership footballer, cough, splutter), we have sat-navs so we never get lost, electronic books, personal stereos the size of postage stamps and the internet rules the world. Every year there’s something new but other than a ‘beam me up’ machine, I’m not sure what else there is to invent. Although if any inventors out there want to have a go at making a cut-price home-liposuction kit, I’d gladly be a willing guinea pig. Or human wings. I’d like to fly to work with my miniscule personal stereo that channels Madge’s thoughts. Whilst exfoliating. Yes please.

Annnnyway, back in my day (oooh, don’t I sound old?), it was slim pickings, technologically speaking. I remember the days when we didn’t have a telephone and the TV was only black and white. There were only three channels and they weren’t very good. Kid’s TV was confined to Jim’ll Fix It and something involving Johnny Ball – who scared me. At school, there was one computer – called a BBC computer. It was massive. You had to turn it on at the back and it made a two-tone noise – DUH-BEEP – at which point you were presented with a flashing cursor that induced an epileptic fit at fifty paces. You could type on it but that was it…

We finally got a video recorder in the days when renting your telly was all the rage. We were probably one of the last people to finally get a one, but with so few channels there wasn’t a lot to miss. I recall the main reason I desperately wanted a video: to tape the Kinder Egg advert. Does anyone remember it? It used to transfix me – a strange little Humpty Dumpty figure making odd noises and strange new words as he ruminated upon the benefits of a treat that provided a) strange tasting chocolate and b) a toy that was far too fiddly to put together and even if you did, it was crap, quite frankly. I once tried to feed my toy to the cat, but even he wasn’t interested. But the advert though – mesmerising in its weirdness: Kinder… Me unscrabbly… CHOCADOOBY! It used to scare and tantalise me in equal measure and when we finally got a video, my main aim was to record this advert so I could watch it at leisure.

They don’t make ‘em like they used to…

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Guilty Pleasures... WESTLIFE!

Rather unshockingly, I was never considered cool at school. Not even a little bit. Nothing changes, you’ll be happy to learn. Rather marvellously, I had quite a thick skin - metaphorically speaking, that is. My complexion has always been winning. Cackle. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes – I was busy self disclosing my status as public dork number one throughout my formative years... In short, coolness simply eluded me on every level. I think I wanted to fit in, but the pull of bad hair cuts, obsessive Madonna tendencies, academic success, terrible clothes and a propensity towards obesity proved too strong. Thus, I remained on the social periphery throughout my time at school. Not that I was particularly bothered. Whenever I was pissed off, I would take to my bedroom and spin some Madge whilst singing into a Mars Bar / Twix / Lion Bar / slice of toast that I would later reward myself with by eating. Happy days, etc.

One thing that my lack of cool has fostered is the freedom to like and love things that most people (probably quite rightly) shy away from. I suppose it’s a bit like having a shame-bypass and it's effing wonderful. I’m willing and able to admire things publically without fear of persecution, witch-hunting and a public outpouring of vitriol and general hatred. Yes, I am talking about loving Westlife…

Yes, they might make music aimed at children / bored middle aged housewives who come over all unnecessary at the multitude of key changes that permeate their music. Yes, they might be as exciting as Songs of Praise: The Movie, but I love them. And I’m not sorry. In fact, someone once compared my physical profile to that of the ugly one – can’t remember his name. Mark is it? You know, the gay one that no one fancies. Yes, him. Pah!

Anyway, I don’t care if I’ve gone down in your estimation as a result of my admission. I don’t care if you whisper behind my back or point and laugh at me in the street or invent a crap joke at my expense where the punch-line references a Westlife song title. Actually, I would like that.

In fact, I am going to put their CD on now and sing into an unwrapped Double Decker chocolate bar, which will act as both a microphone and a Grammy Award. And also a post-performance treat.

See. I am not cool. I am thirty three. I am sad. But I love it. Hurrah. In fact, I am going to play Mandy now and revel in their uncool glory. Loving it longtime. In fact, why don't you join me. Come on, it's cool to be uncool.

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