In this – it’s looking like – decade of austerity I thought I’d do my bit and think about the things I will definitely not consume. I don’t mean that in a literal sense, that I am one of those weird people who discovered they have the ability to eat bottles and forks and stuff (though it would be handy for the recycling run). What I am proposing is that I will never hand over my credit card and actually pay to own these things.
A notion that has gradually dawned upon moving to the land of melted cheese and moustaches is that the Swizzers are a people who don’t want things as much as the English or the Americans. There is a perfectly logical explanation sitting on the tee waiting for me to hit down the fairway of reason with my club of obviousness and that is that stuff costs so bloomin’ much in Swizzerland that it faintly ridiculous to even entertain the idea of buying half of the things you may conceivably want.
However, I think it is more a cultural thing; that the Swiss are less showy and accepting of the things they do have and other western cultures (the UK and the US) are much more cosumerist. That there is a culture of want. Propagated by advertising and…well, I am starting to talk out of my arse, so here is my list:
- Driving Gloves In my considered opinion there are only two types of people who wear driving gloves. The first are serial killers, hoping to conceal trace evidence from forensics after digging their last shallow grave but failing to realise that only about ten people a year buy driving gloves; only realising their mistake in the serial killer wing of their maximum security prison where they find the other nine idiots. The other type of person who wears driving gloves are knob-ends who bore you about torque and limited-slip differentials and how certain features on the car stereo can enable you pick up traffic reports and why certain types of peaty soil make such and such Scotch whiskey the best and how you can hear the sweat drop from the bass player of Radiohead when you listen on a AM-13 Arco Value Amplifier and I wonder: why don’t they meet the previous type of person in the glove shop and do us all a fucking favour? So, I ain’t never gonna buy driving gloves. Get me?
- A Mont Blanc Pen Pens and pencils are the tools of my trade. I heft a pen or a pencil and scratch it across a page, some leave nice marks and some have a nice weight and feel, but – you know? – if you haven’t got anything to say or can’t draw for shit then a pen is a redundant piece of technology. I imagine that Hemingway could still write a cracking yarn with a Bic and Picasso could whip up a masterpiece with an Argos half-pen. But, oh no, you spent hundreds of pounds on a pen that is way, way better than these crude tools. Hemingway is a mutt and Picasso just a scribbling buffoon – but with this pen you truly are an artist. Bollocks. A Mont Blanc’s only purpose is to say: ‘look at me! I have a pen that costs more money than you should ever spend on a pen. I am much more important than you. You are a peasant. Look at my expensive pen, you peasant.’ The only thing I like about Mont Blancs is if you take the lid off they are sharp enough to pierce the skulls of the people who buy them.
- A PC I am not saying that PCs are slow, or badly made or anything like that. I like XP, it’s the best system Microsoft have made and some HPs and Alienware PCs are lovely looking beasts. But Macs are so nice. They have big screens and simple software and they work seemlessly with iPhones, iPads and iPods and all the other gizmos a modern iconoclast must own. Windows is just so ugly and it keeps telling you stupid stuff and Microsoft has tried to make the new version look nicer – bless ’em – but it just looks like an advertisement for a ringtone company in Take A Break. I use a computer every day for work and if I spend that much time using one I want it to be nice.
- An Electric Juicer Okay, I have a confession to make. I already own a juicer. It is small, made of glass and goes in the dishwasher when I’ve finished using it. I have witnessnessed someone trying to clean an electric juicer and it was like someone dismantling the innards of a chronograph watch except with a series of meshes so fine that the only thing that could effectively clean them are legions of mechanised nanobots the size of an atom. Why would I buy something that achieves the same result with double the work?
- A (auto)biography by someone under the age of 60 I reckon that most ordinary people who reach the age of 60 have a few tales to tell. If you are in the public eye or lived a particularly colourful existence then writing an autobiography is as simple as stringing together some hair-brained adventures in a roughly chronological manner. But, when a (so called) celebrity releases an autobiography at the age of 21 my blood boils a bit. Matt Cardle recently released a book called, with inventive creativity, My Story. He won X-Factor and before that he was a painter and decorator from humble origins. Shit, I have just written the whole book for you and spoiled it. Sorry. It was a shit book anyway.
- A 3D TV (in their current state) I am a geek. There, I’ve said it. I love tech. I watch The Gadget Show and read Engadget and generally mooch around with a pair of horn-rimmed glasses on looking like a dweeb. But the idea of sitting on my sofa with my family looking like The Roy Orbison Appreciation society is a step too far. 3D is a bit whatever to me at the moment and I think I’ll wait for it to improve massively before I invest in it. By that time holographic televisions will be here and that’ll be that.
- A Caravan I point-blank refuse to drive around like a pikey looking for a holiday. I don’t care how nice it is inside.
- A Porsche How can I say I’ll never own a Porsche? [Makes nasal sounding voice]: ‘there is no better car that is a fusion between purpose and design, with a perfect balance of rear-wheel drive and weighted steering. Point-to-point no car can get you there quicker, with the same handling and grip. The Porsche is the ultimate driving machine.’ Yeah, yeah. The thing is there is a speed limit on the roads and – call me judgemental – the only reason people buy a road going Porsche is so people will see them in it and think: wow, what a total
arseholelegend. I bet they’re a real wankernice person and a shitgreat driver. I have a friend (you know who you are) who has a Porsche. It is not street legal because everything else has been stripped off of it because it is a racing car. He thinks a Porsche is only fun to drive when you redline it and hear the whistle of both turbos as the slick racing tires fight for grip on the exit of an apex.