Cinderella’s slipper was not made of glass

This is an interesting bit of trivia which I remember from my study of Ancient French at university. If you ever wondered how someone could have worn a shoe made of glass, well, the truth is, the shoe was made of fur.

An Ancient French word for fur was “vair” (variegated fur) which sounds the same as “verre” meaning glass. It makes more sense that Cinderella would wear a fur slipper than a glass slipper, wouldn’t it? But as the centuries went by the original description was replaced and the wrong description has been adopted.


Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters and elective surgery

How stupid can some women get? The latest trend in elective surgery is to have ugly toes reshaped and cut shorter. Why? So that they can look good in those ridiculous open-toed shoes with the stilt heels that are all the rage in the world of fashion. I last read about such operations in “Cinderella,” in which the ugly sisters cut off their toes to try to fit into Cinderella’s “glass slipper.” So nothing much has changed in the past three centuries.

I am particularly nonplussed about this cosmetic surgery stupidity because people don’t seem to realise how risky any surgical procedure can be. Let’s face it, if your biggest concern is the length of your toes, perhaps a brain transplant from an amoeba would raise your I.Q.

What happened to my husband a couple of weeks ago has made me even more aware of the dangers of all medical procedures. He went for a routine colonoscopy/gastroscopy, the sort that one is supposed to have every few years, according to the medical profession, that is.

Anyhow, the endoscope perforated his bowel and this led to major surgery. All medical procedures are risky and even though you sign a document saying that you realise that there can be complications, you never really think it can happen to you. Well, it can.

My husband had to stay in hospital for eleven days and will take a long while to recover. He had four specialists looking after him and a miserable time was had by all.

So should one have a colonoscopy or gastroscopy? Who knows? Quite frankly, I’m terrified of any invasive procedure, but when it comes to check-ups we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t.

The Best Laid Plans of Kevin Rudd

This week Prime Minster Rudd announced a rescue package for many Australians in need of financial aid. His intention was to give money to certain groups so that they would have more available cash to kick-start retail spending.

Well, in one small business with half a dozen employees only one of them qualified for Rudd’s generosity. She was a single mother who cheered on hearing about her windfall of $1000.

“You beauty!” she yelped. “Now I can book that holiday in Bali.”

So much for helping our Aussie economy. No doubt she’ll live it up in Bali, get herself pregnant again and be eligible for more government handouts.

Here’s hoping there aren’t too many people like this one or Rudd’s largesse would have been wasted.

Is Mercedes-Benz fascist?

There is a huge billboard in the Kew area of Melbourne advertising a new model of Mercedes-Benz. The wording beside the picture of the car is “The day Italians start dreaming in German”.

Has Mercedes-Benz already forgotten that this is not the first time that Italians have started dreaming in German? What about World War II and Mussolini’s alliance with Hitler?

Are the fellows in charge of advertising so immature that they haven’t a clue about history?

If we can be subjected to nonsense such as this one, no wonder the government is promoting a broader History curriculum. There is no time to waste or some ignoramus will create a commercial associating Kokoda and Changi with our Aussie passion for sushi.

Offensive Artline advertisement

For quite a while I have been scratching my head in wonder at the unethical Artline by Pelikan ad which describes their pens as “the pen more people pinch.”

This ad works on the assumption that Artline pens are so wonderful that everybody will pinch them. I would have thought that it would be unwise to buy a pen that will be stolen because I’ll never have it when I need it.

On an ethical level it teaches people that stealing is acceptable and I find that very offensive. Furthermore, I don’t want children to be taught that it’s okay to steal other people’s possessions, no matter how tempting they are.

There is definitely a sadistic streak in commercials today and that’s because they are created by those ridiculous men in pony tails or those whose hair is gelled together into some kind of Great Wall of China effect.

I’m also put off by the ad in which the woman kicks her date out of her apartment because she wants to drink the cup of coffee all by herself instead of sharing it.

There is also that terrible ad about a little girl lying to her mother about some incident and blaming her brother for bad behaviour when she is the guilty party. The boy is sent out of the room while she pokes her tongue out at him and has the treat all to herself. No doubt she’ll grow up into that woman who hogs all the coffee after a date. Very admirable…

I’ve already criticised that dreadful ad in which the schoolchildren rush to falsely claim a Kellogg’s LCM Bar that has been found in someone’s blue lunch box.

It all smacks of selfish and unscrupulous behaviour which is being promoted by these companies. Blame someone else, steal, refuse to share. Sound familiar? These are the mores of the thirty-something and under ME generation. No doubt they are amused by all these ads just as they are by hooning, swearing and intimidating the rest of the world. These are the same people who see nothing wrong with living off their parents forever while they travel, party and spend their parents’ super.

Those parents who think that they can depend on such offsprings in the future had better stop dreaming and wake up and smell the coffee. That’s if the coffee has not been all used up by some greedy parasite who sees nothing wrong with pinching pens.

What are the authorities doing about these immoral ads?

In case you are wondering if I like any ads on TV, I absolutely love the DHL Sea Rescue ad in which a number of lifesavers and rescue vehicles are featured going through their paces. The background music to it is melodic and it always makes me watch the ad even if I’m reading a book in front of the TV. And surely that’s how ads should grab your attention. It’s soft sell with a lot of class.
Good on you, DHL! You support a fine cause.

If it’s not for sale don’t put it in the window

I have just watched a Parkinson interview with Sir Michael Caine who is not only a fine actor but also an admirable man. He was telling Parkinson that his mother asked him what mini-skirts were, so he took her into trendy London to show her some women wearing them. This happened in the Sixties.

When he asked her what she thought about them she commented “If it’s not for sale, don’t put it in the window.”

It’s seldom that I would agree with the likes of Sheik Hillaly who described the clothes on some young “ladies” as being like uncovered meat. But in my opinion, if you send out an invitation don’t be surprised if some people accept it.

On seeing the occasional music videos with women spreadeagled in the pap smear position and so-called celebrities who flaunt it all makes one feel very ashamed for them. They are the first to scream rape and sexual harassment when they go out of their way to prop up, inflate and Lord knows what else to their body parts just to get some attention. When they do get attention, they complain. How hypocritical is that? I could be wrong, of course. Perhaps they do want that sort of attention.

Feminists would screech at me for saying that women should have some decorum. Feminists expect women to be theoretically able to wear whatever they like and behave in any manner they choose and then be respected no matter what message they send. Well, it doesn’t work like that. People have to earn respect. If you don’t want people to think you’re an idiot or a slut, then don’t behave like one.

Sir Michael Caine’s mother might have been a poor charlady but by George she was smarter than those Generation X-cess, Y-nots and Z for zero brains, who are parading half naked all over the place. That’s if they are not passed out drunk on the pavement. And she certainly had more dignity in her little finger….you know the rest.

An Australian Curse. May your cable provider be Telstra!

I would have written about the toaster yesterday except for the fact that neither our internet nor our Foxtel was working when we came home from Chadstone Mall.

We spent many hours on the phone to Telstra and Foxtel. We were told that there was an outage in our area. We told them that everyone else in the building had a working reception BUT they maintained that there was an outage and that it would be fixed by 4pm, then 5pm then 8pm, then 9pm and so it went on.

We tried to tell them that earlier in the day a Telstra operative had been mucking around with the cables. Telstra would not listen.

Today, another Telstra technician took a look at our cabling and discovered that our cables had been disconnected so that a new resident could have his connected. Apparently, there weren’t enough cables to go around and so the unscrupulous technician thought it was easier to steal our cables than install new ones.

The mind boggles at the unethical behaviour of one of our biggest companies. I wonder if Sol Trujillo, who heads Telstra, helps himself to someone’s else’s gas tank when he runs out of petrol.

PLEASE NOTE I phoned Telstra just now to complain about what happened to us and was lucky enough to have a sympathetic listener. He said he had never heard of anything like that before and that he would report it to the powers-that-be. He also reimbursed us part of our bill as a goodwill gesture. I demanded an apology from the company and requested that the thieving technician be disciplined. I was told that he would be “coached” which is the term they use in Telstra, apparently, to which I added “Don’t leave any bruises.” lol

Verdict on Lawson’s Bread and the latest toaster…sigh

Well, Lawson’s Bread is as good as I remembered it. I hope other people love it too.

For that reason we decided not to put up with the inefficient Sunbeam Toastum that was purchase number four. We wanted a toaster that can fit larger slices and which also doesn’t burn your fingers when you try to remove the toast.

So off we went to good old Chadstone Shopping Mall again (we’ll soon be charged rent there since we spend more time there than at home) and brought a slice of Lawson’s with us so that we could test the replacement toaster.

None of them, not even the very expensive ones had enough space for it. We searched further and finally selected a four slice Ikon by Breville which was the only one that could take the bread and which rose high enough at the end of the procedure.

Choice Magazine should take note of this. I think I’m becoming a reluctant maven on toasters.