Sunday, 28 September 2008

'Ee beunt from round 'ere, be'ee?

Photo copyright University of Reading

Sorry. The above phrase was the closest I could get to a kind of all-purpose Mummerset. Not sure where this is going? Well...

The Sunday papers plopped onto the mat a little earlier with the usual crop of inserts. There was an ad for laser eye surgery, a loan offer from one of the building societies that hasn't yet gone into meltdown, a brochure promising discounted kitchens, and a glossy little mag from Furniture Village.

Furniture Village, in common with DFS, always seems to have a sale on. Today, most stuff is up to fifty percent off, there's a zero percent finance deal, and hey, you can have it before Christmas if you order now! How is it that they can sell this stuff so cheaply? Could it be (dare I say it) that the discount price is a fairer reflection of the actual value? Quite clearly you'd have to be mad to pay full price for anything at The Village; there's probably one day a year when everything reverts to full cost, and an opportunity for H.M.Bateman (were he still alive) to produce a cartoon of The man who paid full price at Furniture Village. Take a look at Bateman's work here.

Yes, you'd have to be mad to pay full price. But have you noticed how these home stores actually admit to having lost their minds at sale time? "We've gone mad at CarpetRight!" they exclaim. "Crazy prices!" says another whose name I can't readily remember. So why don't Furniture Village go the whole hog? I'd like to see a fully-fledged Furniture Village Idiot in every store, smock-frocked, stinking of cider and equipped with a bladder on a stick, lolling on the Sealy divans or Montserrat sofas, and springing upon any customer unwise enough to linger in the aisles. "Ee beunt from round 'ere, be'ee?" He would drawl, tugging on their sleeves whilst explaining the benefits of a vi-spring bed or the latest interest free deal. At the end of the encounter he would pluck some ludicrous and unbeatable price out of the air and propel the customer towards a less insane member of staff to formalise the deal.

I'm at a loose end at the moment, what with being retired. I think I'll pop down to Furniture Village. I've got a proposition for them.


punk in writing said...

While other furniture dealers do the wacky, IKEA conquers the world by making cheap the new fashionable. ;)

If any village idiots showed up at the warehouse they'd be sent to the IKEA offices in the woods and emerge three months later as department manager. :D

chris hale said...

IKEA offices are in the woods? I thought they'd have felled them by now and turned them into MDF tables and chairs!

Janet said...

Two things come to mind, reading this post...

First is that oompletely mad guy who advertises (I think) windows or double-glazing or something on TV. The BOGOF guy - with the wild eyes?!?!?! He's disturbing.

Second is "Mattress Mack" from Gallery Furniture in Houston. While a really fine, upstanding citizen who does a LOT of charity work in the Houston area, his ads used to leave a lot to be desired. Although they have been toned down quite a lot in recent years, he used to end each ad by WILDLY jumping up and down in the air, with a fist full of money, shouting, "Gallery Furniture SAVES YOU *MONEY*!!!!!!"


PS Believe it or not, I've just discovered that Mack has a blog:

You can see him, in "American flag" shirt, and money in hand, at the top of the home page.

Stevyn Colgan said...

It would be nice to go and watch the Christmas panto in the Furniture Village Hall wouldn't it? Goldilocks and the Three Piece Suite perhaps? Or Aladdin and his wonderful lampshades? Or maybe even Snow White and the seven divans?

Incidentaly, there was one of those 'Watchdog' type consumer shows on earlier this year that proved that not one store in one of these chains ever displayed an item at 'full price'. To get around the law, they published a catalogue in-house containing full prices so that they could legally say 'half the catalogue price'. Cheeky monkeys.

chris hale said...

Janet - I've seen the BOGOF man. I feel sure I've had him sectioned under the Mental Health Act in another life.

As for mattress Mack, he may be a bit OTT, but he is indicative of the "can do" attitude that prevails in the US. Ask a UK company to deliver two truckloads of furniture on the day you buy it and I think I know what answer you'd get!

Stevyn - I knew I could rely on you! How about "Babes in the MDF"? Or "Mother Goose-down continental quilt for a surprisingly low price"?

punk in writing said...

Stop it, you're killing me! :D

But will we be surprised if "Aladdin and his wonderful lampshades" shows up in an ad near us this Christmas?

chris hale said...

Hi Punky.

Probably not the least bit surprised. Remind me...does Aladdin have a "Chintz Charming"?

I wonder if there's a support group for people who can't stop using puns? Answers on a postcard, please.