Saturday, 14 November 2009

Outraged of Bacteria Gardens


I find myself filled with a sense of outrage quite often these days. I think it's an age thing. If I were older, I could shake my walking stick at people and shout shrilly, but I haven't quite reached that stage yet, or of writing letters in green ink to councillors or to Richard Branson (although I've come close to it when it comes to Mr B).

My sister, 3 years younger than I, is a champion complainant, and is known in the family as Outraged of Glasgow; she says it makes her feel better to set it all down on paper. I prefer to share my thoughts here; I won't type it all in green, however (green ink usually gets a letter relegated to the waste paper basket without being opened).

Of course, there is much to feel vehemently outraged by in our modern world, but I don't mean that, really. It's more the petty little things, like the hundreds of cigarette ends that have accumulated outside the house on the corner, hurled out of the bathroom window by the daughter of the house, whose parents don't seem to have put two and two together and made a carcinogenic five. Or the way bus drivers like to brake violently enough to ensure that people making their way to the doors get thrown about and bash their shopping against the seated passengers. It's never the drivers who say sorry either. My sister is focusing this weekend on driver rudeness and exorbitant fares.

Today I'm feeling belated outrage on behalf of a friend, who told me that her boyfriend had given her a toilet brush for her birthday. When she showed her horror, he bleated wetly, "But it's from John Lewis!". She says he never understood what was so terribly, symbolically, tellingly wrong with his gift to her.

I can write this because he is now her ex-boyfriend... (and because she said I could)...

Note: The chrome toilet brush rusted surprisingly quickly and was given the heave-ho too. She's a sensible woman, my friend.

So, anyone else out there who wants to share their Worst-Ever Present story and treat us all to another opportunity for righteous indignation? You know you have one.

15 comments:

Isabelle said...

Ah, you're making me feel really lucky because I can only think of one present I really didn't like and that was a red and green umbrella (don't like red and green together) when I was about 15, and it was just an extra, from my parents.

However, my inelegant aunt once gave my extremely elegant mother for Christmas a large candle which was made to look exactly like an HP sauce bottle. HP sauce was never seen in our house and would certainly not have made its way to the table...

Fran Hill said...

Our washing machine used to be in an outhouse. I got bought a lantern for my birthday so that I could see to put the washing on. Oh, and the year before that, it was a cover for the ironing board. I must add that things have changed. They had to, otherwise ........

Charlotte said...

That has to be the worst present ever! I once got a jar of curry sauce from an ex-boyfriend and on another occasion Kendal mint cake! Maybe he thought it was my 79th birthday and I had a tartan blanket on my knees as I can't think of another reason why you'd buy anyone Kendal mint cake. He hadn't even been to Kendal!

mountainear said...

Both pretty bad but the bog brush beats all for the Green Ink Award. I felt pretty peeved when on my 17th birthday my parents gave me a school scarf and a school jumper. Urgh.

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I must be lucky because I've never had anything loo-brushy . Though I did get a book last year from someone who seemed to think that ,because I work with children , I'd like a book about child abuse .

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

Oh my, a toilet brush for her birthday - what was he thinking? I can't think of a really bad present I've received. I am either lucky or maybe easy to please.

Susan said...

One year early in our marriage my husband gave me (among other slightly better gifts)a bath mat. We needed one, he said. The next year, all gifts purchased after the office party. You can imagine! So I started the tradition of buying myself the present I most wanted so I would be happy no matter what. He has gotten absolutely terrific over the years in gift giving - but I still give myself my present :)

Making Space said...

First off, you gotta win some kind of award for Best Blog Post Title Ever Ever Ever In The Entire History Of Blogging. LOL

Second, no present I ever received comes close to a toilet brush. I stand (well sit) amazed.

BumbleVee said...

I once lived with a guy who bought me a vacuum cleaner for Christmas... wrapped it up most elegantly... ... (mostly because we needed one) but, also for a bit of a laugh I'm sure, because he knew how I felt about household appliances as gifts... especially for women... men seem to like tools and stuff... but anyway.... he got his giggle and then... while I was sitting there looking a bit miffed...grinned and said... awww it's okay, sweetheart... there is something else... ... check in the tree... and there was a tiny box dangling on the end of a ribbon ..... with a big sparkly diamond ring in it... so all was not lost....he was forgiven... and then we did have a laugh at my pouting......

lovethosecupcakes said...

One memorable lousy gift was a Christmas present from an aunt. It was a plastic toy tea set, cheap, nasty and bright orange. I was 17 at the time.

Linda said...

I do feel slightly sorry for the loo-brush man. To a certain extent I think we have to decide between the type given to wonderful flashes of inspiration, who will blow their/our last pennies on a wonderful gift, or those who know how handy a loo brush can be when you need one! And bought what he thought was the best!!!
Training - that's the answer!!!

Fourdoorsdown said...

Kind but misplaced pity. Surely, on a continuum of gift-buying men, there lies something between the 'last penny wonderful gift' and the toilet brush? Training could only be made available to someone around the half-way mark at lowest . . .

But I have a confession - as perpetrator of such an act myself. I once bought my brother-in-law a kettle for his birthday because he suggested it to me as a gift for his wife (my sister). Served him right.

Meggie said...

I think if someone had given me a toilet brush, I would have beaten them about the head- using the brush!
My MIL once gave me a hideous grey woollen twinset~ ugliest thing I have ever seen!

Kate said...

About 10 years ago, I was given a dust-buster in May for my birthday. I gave him a new toilet seat for his birthday in August. He got the message, and I've received mostly lovely gifts ever since.

pennygj said...

A dustbin and a set of kitchen knives? But reader, I married him!

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