Regular Dollop listeners and readers (I feel as if you should be given a collective name, maybe Dollopees – suggestions welcome) will be aware that there are a number of recurring elements in these Dollops. Obviously each Dollop is unique, innovative and different (especially Dollop 140 – am I right Clair?), but within the Dollop framework there are a number of themes and characters that keep cropping up, so much so that it might be worth putting a glossary section on my website so that newbes can look things up if ever they think there might be a reference or in-joke that they don’t get. Then, if I ever make reference to kettles or teenage pregnancy league tables, they’ll be able to understand what the heck is going on.
As well as the many recurring themes, and of course the classic catchphrases – “I wouldn’t imagine it would taste very nice” – There’s all the regular characters who pop up: the aforementioned Clair, Chastity Payne and her tattooed nipple, Mavis Crumble (inventor of Mavis Crumble’s Fart Game), pedantic Jools, and sex obsessed Chloe.
Among the reoccurring themes and characters, is Michael Wackington’s passionate extolments of the co-op. Ever since I mentioned shopping at Sainsbury’s (my nearest supermarket) Michael has been trying to promote the virtues of the Co-op. Since I have been, albeit fictionally, banned from Sainsbury’s, this gave Michael the perfect opportunity to once again sell the Co-op to me (not literally, I’m not making that much money from folk; I might have to up my fee a bit, maybe ask for more money, and tell them that I’m happy to lose the standard sacrificial goat in return). But anyway, he’s not suggesting that I buy the Co-op, only that I buy from the Co-op. Here is Michael’s latest comment.
“I have just returned from the Co-ops agm in Manchester where it was revealed that in the autumn Co-op Members will get 5% of all own branded goods plus an additional one percent for a local community project. It will be worth your walk to the co-op now plus it will be great opportunity for you to conduct your social, good morning /good afternoon / good evening experiment.”
Well, Michael, even though my ban from Sainsbury’s is really just a fabrication, done for mildly comedic purposes, I think that I shall nevertheless reward your persistence and thus venture to the Co-op the next time I need to shop. And fear not people, for I know you are all interested in gcand excited by this development, I will record my Co-op-based adventure for the Dollop. So it looks like we’ll be going on another walk together soon, and I’ll once again be playing the “good morning” game, perhaps with the extra drama of doing the game at 4pm as opposed to 3pm (I’m always evolving, always innovating). I might also introduce my idea about asking people for the time, once they have said good morning, and then, once the time is given, say “good morning” to them again and see whether they still respond with “good morning.” But that will only be one element of that day’s Dollop, because there is even more excitement.
One of my reasons for shopping at Sainsbury’s, other than it being the nearest supermarket to me, is because it is a big store and they have staff on hand to help me around the shop. So, another element of the Dollop will be to record my time in the Co-op, meaning that you get to experience the drama unfold live, as I ask the Co-op staff for assistance. But the question is, will they live up to their name, and be cooperative? There’s only one way to find out: you’ll have to listen to the Dollop!
Unfortunately, you’ll have to be a little patient, because I’m away from home until the 5th June, so it’ll probably be the Monday after next when this special Dollop happens. If you’re a particularly busy person and you’re not a Dollop regular, make sure to mark the date in your diaries so that you don’t miss it. Monday, 6 June, Dollop 157.
Well done Michael, unlike the salesman who came to my door today, you know that to sell something to someone you need to have commitment, fortitude and be passionate about the product. And that my friends, is me linking very neatly and effectively to the next thing I planned on talking about today. This is the kind of slick writing that comes with the sort of experience you get when you write 146 consecutive daily blogs.
This morning, the doorbell rang. That’s right Dollop nerds, the weird haunted doorbell, as talked about in Dollop 33. In fact, the doorbell also sounds a bit haunted now, because the batteries are dying, meaning that the pitch of the tune drifts up and down in a strange spooky sort of way. It’s quite a long doorbell ring, about fifteen seconds, and it’s rather loud too. Often we’ll answer the door, long before the doorbell has finished its deafening, spooky tune, meaning that, for the first ten seconds after answering the door, we can’t actually hear what the person on the other side of the door is saying.
“Today, I answered the door just after the door bell had finished, to find that the man who’d pressed the doorbell was walking back up the drive. He saw me open the door, and turned back around, saying that he’d assumed there was no one in. But he’d waited less than fifteen seconds, which seems like a very short amount of time to stand there before deciding that it’s a lost cause.
The man explained that he was a salesman from Ringtons tea, and that they were visiting people’s houses to see if anyone would be interested in the Ringtons tea delivery service. Then, before I could say anything, he added, “I’m really sorry to bother you, and I understand it’s not for everyone, so I’ll leave you be,” and began to turn away.
I was so shocked by his diffidence and lack of confidence, that I nearly called him back to tell him that I did want to avail myself of the Ringtons tea delivery service. But then I considered that maybe this was his clever tactic. He was being an anti-salesman, pretending to be all shy and nervous, in the hope that it would blindside people into signing up to the scheme. So I let him walk off, and closed the door.
But a part of me was interested to know why he’d been so sure that I wouldn’t want his tea. Did he take one look at me and assume that I couldn’t afford it, possibly like the shop assistant in Sainsbury’s with the Muesley did, as mentioned in Dollop 9 (remember that Dollop nerds?)?
Or does this man think that he’s got a special power that allows him to deduce whether a person likes tea or not, just by looking at them? But he was wrong, because I do like tea. If only he knew that I am a big fan of tea, and have even written a song about it. If only he knew that one of the recurring themes of my daily blog/podcast has been kettles. Unless maybe he was aware of my Dollops, and assumed that it was pointless trying to promote his tea to me, thinking that, regardless of his sales pitch, I’d still just imagine that it wouldn’t taste very nice. So he decided not to bother trying to convince me.
Of course, there is another potential reason why he wasn’t particularly pushy about selling tea to me, which immediately sprung to my mind. You might have instantly thought of this yourself already. Maybe he’d seen the recent anti-rape video published by Thames Valley police, which uses a cup of tea as a metaphor for sex. In order to illustrate the point about sexual consent, it uses the analogy of giving someone a cup of tea. For instance, it explains that, if you offer someone a cup of tea and they accept then that is fine. But if you offer them a cup of tea and they don’t accept, then you shouldn’t force them to drink the cup of tea. There are a number of other scenarios outlined in the video. If you offer someone a cup of tea, and they accept, but then, once the kettle is boiled and the tea has been poured, they suddenly decide that, actually, they don’t want a cup of tea after all, then it is not fine to force them to have the cup of tea. Or, if you offer someone a cup of tea, they accept, but then once the kettle has been boiled and you’ve poured them the tea, they have fallen asleep, it is not acceptable to wake them up and force them to drink the tea, or try to force the tea down them while they are sleeping. The moral of that story is get a better kettle that boils faster, rather than relying on a stupid kettle which is controlled by a pointless phone app and takes ages to boil because it keeps getting disconnected from the WIFI network (which, as Dollop nerds will recall, we discussed in Dollop 38).
Maybe the Ringtons salesman saw this video, but for whatever reason never made it to the end, and so didn’t realise that the cup of tea element was just an analogy for sex. Maybe he wasn’t aware that it was an anti-rape video, and thought that the police were cracking down on anyone who tries to thrust tea on people. Given that this is the nature of his job – to persuade people to buy tea, using a variety of sales tactics – maybe he freaked out and lost his bottle, and so is now terrified to pedal his tea in fear that the police will arrest him. I guess we’ll never know the real truth.
Well, we’ve covered a lot today, haven’t we? I’m exhausted. I think I need a cup of tea.