Do things talk to you? You know, THINGS, do they address you with plaintive tales about their origin, the treatment that they should get, a recital of their finer qualities, a subtle urging to purchase more of their little friends?
With all of the buying going on, I think that I must have just run into more of these than I was previously aware of. Some marketing genius apparently figured out that having garments declare that “any variations in color or texture are results of the artisanal nature of the fabric and the individual creative process” gets them off the hook when the purchaser spots a dropped stitch in the sleeve of a hand-knitted sweater or a turquoise streak down the back of a navy skirt…after it’s been carted home and checked off the gift list, of course.
It’s borderline cute when the talking tag is on a stuffed creature of some sort (Not you, Uncle Elmer), a teddy bear, say, a plush puppy or those once-upon-a-time must-have sensations, the Cabbage Patch Kids. Soft, clearly-toy items are at least tolerable. The mind boggles at the thought of what one of the farther-out Barbies (Frontier Dermatologist, for instance), might tell about herself…don’t go there.
Just this last week I bought a dwarf Alberta spruce tree–cute little thing, nice shape (We’re back to the Barbie-thing, sorry), perfectly suitable for spiffing up my front entrance. Now, admittedly, I did not check the tag on it carefully (I know, you’re Shocked, SHOCKED at that one ), but when I looked on the reverse ( Or is it obverse, I never know the difference) side , here is this miniature piece of greenery speaking right up, saying “I am a living tree .” The diminutive piece of fauna goes on to tout its investment value as a feature in my home’s landscaping…and issue a directive: “Care for me, I’m Alive!” The means of doing this is outlined–watertight container, soaking the root ball, gradual introduction to the great outdoors after being inside a sheltered environment, that sort of thing. Then it got personal : “I like small cool ‘twinkle lights’ for decoration.”Makes me think of that song by Carol Channing in the 1949 musical, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”, “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”–small, cool, twinkle–it’s all there; the tree is angling for commitment of a permanent nature. This is no annual floozie here; we’re talking Picea Enana Alberta with an attitude.
So I caved. It’s sitting by the front steps–with small, cool, solar lights (No twinkle)–covered with snow–isn’t everything?
And speaking of ice…the diamonds, you know…we’ve got plenty and a warming trend would be appreciated, so…if heat can be invoked by dancing, maybe if we all hummed “There’ll Be A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight” (Written in 1896 for the McIntyre & Heath Minstrels, it was popular among the troops during the Spanish-American War and was the unofficial school song at Michigan before they adopted “The Victors.” It’s the only tune that the Hooterville Volunteer Fire Department Marching Band could play. Bessie Smith had a cool version)
The words of one version reference the Chicago Fire :
Late one night
When we were all in bed,
Old Mother Leary
Left a lantern in the shed
When the cow kicked it over
She winked her eye and said,
“There’ll be a hot time
In the old town tonight.”
FIRE – FIRE – FIRE
Worth a try.