As I write this, the date is April 1st. Thinking back to my teenage years, April 1st was a day filled with trying to fool others and equally not to be seen to be fooled by them. I can’t really remember the details of the kind of pranks we did but I honestly recall them as being tame and innofensive.
In 2021 the challenges of home schooling, home working and in general not having any contact with any others has certainly contributed to an already diminishing tradition. If we are not in direct contact with others, a lot more effort is probably required, although social media posts I guess are an alternative…one could argue they are just one big continuous spoof and not to be believed, but that is perhaps a blog for another day.
Even TV and newspapers used to get in on the act. In the late 1950’s there was a BBC documentary all about the Spaghetti Trees in Switzerland complete with (faked) footage of farm labourers harvesting spaghetti from trees. As a trusted and serious broadcaster, many were indeed fooled by this. You also have to remember that pasta was not normally a part of the British diet in those days other than for those of Italian origin so people would really have no clue as to where it came from.
Fast forward to the 1970’s and the UK’s trusted broadsheet Guardian Newspaper did a whole pull out section of the paper about a new overseas holiday destination called San Serrife. There were actually lots of other printing related clues and puns embodied in the article. It was very well put together with articles on climate, entertainment, how to get there and so on. Many respected uk companies even had joined in on the article and had feature adverts on the pages. Again, bear in mind the period. People did not have home computers or word processors so there would be no familiarity with font names etc. that would give the game away. Back then you would have to be in the printing trade to have familiarity with San Serif, Arial, Times New Roman and so on.
But, these days we are all quite good about being chair side experts on so many matters…often to the immense frustration of the professionals who have worked tirelessly in their fields for a lifetime.
Crime detection and criminal investigation – CSI, Morse, Vera, Midsommer Murders, The Bill. Dramas and documentaries over the years have made us all well versed in the terminology, techniques and methods of police work. Cooking, and baking…well where do I even start on this.
But the icing on the cake, if you forgive the pun is house buying, selling and onward improving of them. Here in the UK we have several TV programmes that have turned us into experts on valuing property, the of marketing challenging houses that are difficult to sell…and how to turn the ugly duckling house that you have bought into a beautiful swan!
As someone who is just involved in this process at the moment, you might think this would be helpful and added armoury to guide me in the process. Well I am really not so sure…a little knowledge as they say, is dangerous. I now see hidden dangers everywhere….that pretty stream near the back garden…well that’s a flood risk; that nice outlook over the fields…well surely that will be built on; that quaint sloping ceiling from 1800…hmmm, is there subsidence; character property?…oh, it will be expensive to modernise; modern property…difficult to add character………and so on.
But these really are First world problems, and with good judgment and some paid for professional help we can clear our heads of the confusion and enjoy the next step of the process.
Going back to the world of printing, anyone who has ever had a mock up or outline of a document prepared by a printer or graphic designer will find it full of made up Latin Lookalike text called Ipsum Lorum text. It’s there really just to give an idea of the finished product once your own personal input is there.
A bit of a life message there I think!