Saturday, 28 November 2015
Just by Chance
Hubby rushed off at the crack of dawn this morning, delighted that small son had phoned to say he driving over from Cape Town, bringing friends to fish, but would have to return before lunchtime. They duly went off with our boat and I decided to walk down to the local craft market, have a mooch round and then walk to the Yacht club to meet them. As usual I drifted to the second-hand book stall, as I had forgotten to bring my own book to read over coffee as I waited. I picked up a favourite author, Ian Rankin, whose detective Rebus novels are set in Edinburgh, Scotland, the land in which I spent 5 years as a student and which I still revisit in my dreams. For once, I actually read the introduction, mostly because it was just a few pages. He wrote this book in 1994. (Mortal Causes). His last comment caught my eye: readers' reactions to the book often referred to his 'joke' at the end of the story. What did the punchline mean, they frequently asked? As Rankin says, "...if you didn't watch the TV adverts for fairy liquid in the 1970s, you'll still be bamboozled by the punchline", a real joke related to the author by a friend:
"For Hans that does dishes can feel soft as Gervase, with mild green hairy-lipped squid".
I was still in England in the early 70s, and I remember this ad so well - it was surely one of the best ever for any product because of it's catchy tune, once heard, you never forgot it. I wonder if it can be found on Youtube? Anyway, the words were:
"Now hands that do dishes can feel soft as your face, with mild, green Fairy Liquid." -
I hum the tune as I type...