Sunday, 9 December 2012

Whatever Happened To...? 18

afro combs

who liked to abduct people

apple cider vinegar (Its availability in health shops clearly had no connection at all to the folksy paperbacks puffing its curative properties.)

Apple disc mice and the tinny little keyboards that came with them (They were both useless and disappeared very, very quickly but not before at least one person said “Get used to them, they’re the future”.)

baking parchment
Black and White whisky
black strap molasses
and black treacle generally

bonkers feminist rhetoric full of long words (Back, unfortunately, in this feminist revival we seem to be having.)

book clubs
Boots prints (maidens by JH Lynch, swans, ballerinas in tutus, shafts of light striking through breaking waves, beaches, swans, horses… Where can I find pictures?)

Brylcreem (Unlike Brylcreem, which had reigned supreme since the Roaring Twenties, Vitalis contained no grease and left the hair looking more like hair and less like the aftermath of an oil change.

bus-ticket machines (“Any more fares, please?”)

camera phones
(All phones have cameras now.)
car showrooms on high streets
Clearasil (Kyboshed by that rule that said you can’t sell medicated make-up.)
coal bunkers (under the pavement)
coal carts (and coal sacks)
collar stiffeners
congress tarts
(a type of artificial fabric)
cotton handkerchiefs
Cow and Gate
Crawford’s biscuits
cucumber relish
and hamburger relish in general
Cyril Lord (gent's outfitter)

Damien Hirst
(His star is falling.)
dolly birds
Dorothy bags
Dr Wernet’s tooth powder
(fewer people have all their teeth extracted)
earth colours
(for walls and woodwork, 70s)

flans (with a cake base and tinned apricots)
floor-standing collapsible wood and canvas sewing stands (Amazon)
floor-standing folders for the Radio Times
flyposting (the Internet)

(no good at reading character)
group therapy
gypsy tart
(the centre is made of condensed milk and brown sugar)

hairstyles that flattered your face shape (They all involved setting your hair on rollers and made you look much, much plainer. They were probably combined with “spectacle frames that flattered your face shape”. Small square glasses were not hip in those days.)

having to remember phone numbers
health farms
(they became spas)
Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle Henry Stapp of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California is one of the few physicists who still subscribe to this notion: we are "participating observers" whose minds cause the collapse of superpositions... There are many objectors. (New Scientist Sept 2012 Very popular in the 70s, but nobody appeared to live as if they really believed that we "create our own reality".)

idea that eating tuna is cruel to dolphins, or contaminated with mercury, or something
idea that energy-saving bulbs should be very dim (100 Watts? You planet slayer!)
idea that typing chairs should slope forward

ink eradicator
Irish coffee
(and going on about how you have to pour the cream over a spoon)
jewellery in the shape of horsehoes
(health and safety - the seeds are poisonous)
large square biscuit tins
laundry vans

leather covers for the Radio Times
(With elaborate tooling or leather embroidery. Why couldn’t you just leave the Radio Times lying about? Would it get tatty and tea-stained? Went with the kind of interior that had linen cushion covers and traycloths embroidered with crinoline ladies in cottage gardens with hollyhocks.)

lefty “carnivals” with drumming, stilt-walking, fire eating, juggling and unicyclists (They lost their funding.)

Mallcolm Lowry
(especially minute steak)
Mensa (still going)
mink coats
models printed on cornflake packets
(insert tab A into slot B)

nylon overalls in the shape of a coat (pale blue with a dark blue collar – also in green or salmon)
old-fashioned cheese salad
paper windmills on sticks
patent corkscrews
that were sooooooo easy to use (screwcaps)
peashooterspeople who warned that the Internet would never happen/would somehow be a bad thing (and they saw it as “connecting networks”)

Peter Dominic (wine merchant)
(When did the last man smoke the last pipe?)
Portakabins (like Prefabs, they were used as offices for years either singly or in stacks.)
premium-rate phone lines
radio phone-ins
(now Twitter)

sack races, egg and spoon races
(for children to play in)
Sidney Nolan (Australian painter)
soap figures of animals that grew “fur”
Stephen Leacock (humorous US writer)
sugar sifters (“Who sifts sugar any more?” Tim Wonnacott)

talcum powder
the fragility of the male ego

the South Coast Cast Concrete Company
The Times airmail edition
tickertape, telexes

Victor Lewis Smith (Radio4 “funny” man)
whistling (iPods)
white highlighter on the brow bone
whiting (fried baby fish – 80s posh food)
William Gaddis (American writer)
wine boxes with taps
More here, and links to the rest.

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