Tuesday, July 01, 2008


There's nothing like someone else's affectations to make you smile to yourself is there?

We're all different of course, but some go that extra half-mile to stand out just that bit more - and look daft in the process.

Ask someone the time and instead of looking at their wrist, they pull out of a pocket watch on a chain. No one needs to do this these days, even if it was great-grandad's. It's just daft and makes you look like a PG Woodhouse character, and not in a good way.

Pipes: Does anyone have a Condor moment anymore? When was the last time you saw someone smoking a pipe? When was the last time you saw someone under 40 smoking a pipe? I used to work with someone who did, but then he wore a Harry Worth hat too, so he was all over the place. And he always smelled of brown paper bags that had contained fruit. And sickly, cherry tobacco pipes. They're vile.

No, no one smokes a pipe anymore, thank goodness.

What about general smoking of cigars, rather than at a wedding or after a big dinner? Not cool.

The wearing of black leather gloves by men. Who do you think you are - Lynda La Plante?

People who say, 'Was it Churhill who said blah blah blah?'. Yes, and you know it was, but you're just showing off how well-read you are. Shut it.

I see someone some days on the way to work who dresses like he lives in the 1940s. He probably has a house that's faithful to the period, and likes the era. But it just looks mad on the street.

Not an affectation really, but those who grandstand about how much money they've got. isn't this just the worst thing ever?

I worked with a woman who was obsessed with money and always had to either a) tell you how much everything that she and her husband owned had cost them, or b) ask you what everything you'd bought had cost. Then she could do a quick comparison about who was richer and either fall silent with seething, bitter, status-anxiety fuelled rage, or showboat about her she wanted for nothing and how awful it must be for you to struggle, in so many words.

She once dispatched her husband to the Affordable Art Fair with orders not to come back with anything less than £3000. When I asked why it had to be £3000, she explained that there was no point coming back with anything under that, or what's the point in going?

I asked her why she didn't just frame £3000, beause the whole idea of going to art fair was so she could tell everyone how much the picture had cost.

That's enough affectations for now.


Clair said...

The money thing drives me mad, but that's only because I don't have any.
I also hate seeing Jonathan Ross puffing away at a cigar at all hours of the day, as that's an equivalent of the money thing, too.

I find the pocket watch thing rather charming, though.

Matthew Rudd said...

A close friend of mine has a pocket watch in his waistcoat which he has used as a matter of course for years as part of his brand of 'smart Goth' attire. He looks the business.

Benjamin said...

I like the pocket watch thing, too, Clair. I also think a flaboyant shirt doesn't go amiss every now and then.

Money show-offs are, indisputably, to be abhorred. People who go on and on about how cheap something was that they bought are irritating, too.

Planet Mondo said...

There's a time warp forties couple I see on the Fenchurch Flyer home some nights - I don't know where you could even buy clothes like that! He sit's there doing the crossword in a tank top and rolled up shirt sleeves. She knits all the way home.

Cardies were back last year, so it may not be long until driving gloves, pipes and pocket watches return.

I'm partial to a cravat (worn Steve Marriot style not Terry Thomas).

TimT said...

I have a colleague who carries a pocket watch with him. When I challenged him, he said he can't wear wristwatches because the metal causes an allergic reaction on his skin. He's not generally an affected person, so I tend to believe him.

So it seems there are good reasons to carry a pocket watch in this day and age after all.

Clair said...

I can't wear a watch 'cos I'm allergic, too and if I was a chap, I'd have a pocket watch. I use a mobile instead; I wish I was like Louche and could wear two simultaneously with aplomb.

Five-Centres said...

I don't wear a watch either, but I'd never have a fob.

I rely on the position of the sun, and i'm usually right.

Ishouldbeworking said...

My old jive teacher and her husband live in a complete 1950's world - a top-loader washing machine and old black and white TV complete with spiky indoor aerial. Apparently when it broke down a while back, she begged him to get a colour one, but he was having none of it.

They always look fantastic, but it'd be way too much effort for me.

Bright Ambassador said...

I feel naked without a watch. And I own a pocket watch, a half hunter, but it stays in its box.

I'd like to think that when I get older I'd have a pipe. Just so I can point with it and say 'And I'll tell you this...'

downhill dad said...

I was due to have an appointment with a customer. I duly pitched up to introduce myself and the fellow was wearing full highland regalia - tweed everthing jacket, socks, kilt the lot.

"been to a special event" says I, as usual not thinking - "no this is how I normally dress", straight faced and sincere. This boys cuts about in that garb all day, every day. Oh to be different!

rockmother said...

Hello Five Centres - jolly nice to meet you earlier this evening if not most brief. I bent the hands backwards on my dad's old pocket watch as a small child, never wear a watch and miss the hilarity of the "aaahhh...Condor" ads.

Five-Centres said...

Downhill Dad, Rockmother - welcome, and nice to meet you too.

*walks streets of London in full Sherlock Holmes garb*