I didnt mention it at the time, as I was having attacks of the toobusies, but a couple of weeks ago, I spotted an advert in the weekend of a reputable national newspaper, and was so taken by it I was compelled to tear it out and keep it, neatly folded, in my diary.
The advert was for some remarkable garden implements – I hesitate to call them decorations – in the shape of four meerkats, one in a neckerchief. A neckerchief.
It (the ad) was notable for several reasons.
For the mad staring eyes of the usually adorable animals.
For the fact that one of them was depicted, for no reason anyone could tell, in a neckerchief. (A neckerchief!)
For the explanation that they were made out of finest waterproof polyresin – or Plastic, as most of us know it.
For the realisation that not only were they quite the most unappealling bush adornment since pubic scrunchies, they were also (be still my bouncing heart) ON SPRINGS. Surely the only thing better would have been to have them fitted with motion sensors so that they could slowly turn and watch whoever was walking up the path. Oh, and theyd need glowing eyes then as well, I suppose. Which may drive up the price a little, but I think it would clearly be worth it.
I was enchanted by the advert. These things were terrifying, drug-crazed bouncing abominational representations of the usually-cutest critters of African scrub, and against all rational thought, I loved them. And hated them. And also loved them. Whatever, I tore out the advert, and as I say, I folded it gently, and tucked in the back of my Moleskine.
If you look carefully, you can see that they have spelt the one thing they are trying to sell wrongly about five lines into the text. The mere cats sit individually Bless their socks.
I hoped I would see the meerkats again. Sorry, the mere cats. Apart from the next day, I mean, when I turned up at a pub to find that two other people I was meeting there had ALSO ripped it out to show to people, so great were those meerkats.
I mean those mere cats.
So anyway. Accompanying my mother on some errands around the Isle of Mull, we turned up at a nice ladys house to deliver some things, and just as I was peeking around the box of stuff I was carrying to negotiate the path, what should I see in the gateway but this.
A mere cat. A real one, on his spring, IN THE WILD.
This was brilliant. I shuffled up to the nice ladys door and deposited my box of stuff, making cursory politnesses while backing away, turning, and sidling and sprinting back to the car to get another box. Oh, and my camera. Thats why these are slightly fuzzy. They were taken covertly, snapping at my side while waving polite goodbyes to the nice lady.
The nice lady who bought the mere cats. The someone out there that actually did BUY the bastard things.
And, after all I said, the slights I visited upon the Neckerchief (NECKERCHIEF, though?!) I have to say this one, this shifty fellow doing something morally dubious in the long grass has to be tip top favourite.
Hes at least urinating.
And thats the least stomach-churning option Ive come up with, so you should thank me for keeping my quite vile imagination to myself.