The truth about Post-Its

The reason I am doing this Zero to Hero challenge is to unblock my blog block. And now, having waited all day for inspiration, those nice people at WordPress have suggested I look again at my blog’s theme (footnote: this is what your blog actually looks like, as opposed to what your blog is about. Some blog “what they are about” themes include: my journey, religion, what I like to cook and then tell you about, grammar and the Oxford comma, or grammar, and the Oxford comma, whereas some blog “what do they look like” themes include: Passata, Tightfist, Gorgonzola, and Fitted Sheet)

So I am, instead, pretending that WordPress have suggested:

Today’s assignment: write about the day you first heard about Post-Its.

People in the 1980s only really had access to bits of paper and paper clips. (footnote: unless you wanted to take your stationery relationship to another level, in which case you’d commit to a stapler). We weren’t unhappy of course, because we were simple, and knew no better. After all, we had more than enough going on: shoulder pads, Kajagoogoo, Margaret Thatcher and Thundercats.

At the time I was working for the local Council and my job involved sending out bills to people. The bills were for dull things like hospitals, schools, roads and rubbish collection (that’s collection of rubbish, as opposed to really badly collected rubbish. That was given for free). Unsurprisingly, people disliked paying these bills, and so would come into the office and complain. We had three queueing options: Five Complaints or Fewer, Strongest Possible Terms, and Self-Service. This last one was simply a booth which none of us would attend to in the hope that eventually the rate-payer would simply get bored, leave and either pay their bill, or just get taken to court.

Each morning we would draw straws for Strongest Possible Terms as most of us disliked being abused. Back then I was still quite young and my only experience with swearing was when I accidentally overheard my father say the words “bloody hell”. My brother and I looked at each other aghast and could only deduce that the next plague to befall our family would be shop-bought cake. Derek, my boss, tried to be firm with us but he was basically a nice man who wore a fairisle pullover and liked Monty Python, and he tried as hard as he could to protect us from beastliness. In Leamngton Spa we hadn’t heard of motivational theory so Derek had no real concept of reward startegies, preferring instead to give us a gentle squeeze of the bottom whenever we did anything well. I have since studied Herzberg and Maslow and can find little to support his approach. These days his behaviour would have been viewed as both inappropriate and possibly abusive, but back then, he was just given a wide-berth. Our attitudes of course have changed radically: when I was about seven, I ran home and told my mum that a man in a white van had asked if I wanted to see his puppy but and when I looked though his window he showed me his penis. (footnote: I’m not sure if I used the word penis – we tended to refer to anything remotely in the area contained by underpants as “down below” so it’s unlikely I had any sophisticated language). On hearing this my mother smacked me and said it served me right for looking in men’s vans. To be fair, I’ve never risked it since.

I’ve no idea how Derek got hold of the first ever Post-Its. Maybe he had contacts in London? However they came to him, he knew he had something really rather special, and something we all wanted a bit of. We were spellbound by the stickiness – sticky enough to stick, but not so sticky they couldn’t be unstuck. I don’t think I’d ever been quite so entranced. Derek seemed, I don’t know, glamorous I suppose. Attractive and ever-so-slightly dangerous. I think I fell in love that day and suddenly I was volunteering to go on Strongest Possible Terms. Some people have a profound impact on our lives, and he was one of them. In fact I often think of Derek when I’m repositioning a note.


Anyway, where was I? Oh yes! WordPress give me something else to post tomorrow! I’m still stuck. And a little bit unstuck. And stuck again. Brilliant.


How to Intellectualise Shopping: Maslow Part 2

Dull people are more than happy to make sure that only their lower order needs are met. You will know these people as they are badly dressed and do not have lamps. Lamps are useful in the home as they create ambience, without which it is possible to see enlarged pores and dog stains. Many of us however, once we are satisfied that we are no longer hungry, and have a chimnea, seek out shopping opportunities that meet Maslow’s higher orders: self esteem, and self-actualization.


Many men love standing outside clothes shops. This is because they have not yet discovered that buying and wearing nice clothes makes you feel better about yourself. Nor have they discovered that when you are too fat to fit into anything, your self-esteem can be substantially boosted by the purchase of earrings, which always fit (footnote: for fat days there is always magic underwear. This is underwear that diverts all of your fat towards your ankles and creates panic when you (a) think its never coming off and (b) might be seen by a boyfriend). The acquisition of accessories is not a new development as even in the olden days women took a huge amount of pleasure in a new ribbon (cf Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn and how the bad ’un horse thief Jem woos poor Mary Yellan with a ribbon for her bonnet (footnote: this may have been a euphemism). People who live in places such as Boredom-on-the-Water and Slow-on-the-Wold are impressed still by ribbons but this is only because they have not yet discovered gladiator sandals) (footnote: Gladiators simply loved sandals. At first they found all the straps a proper palaver, but soon invented a zip at the back to make taking them off much easier, and more importantly, getting them on quickly enough to fight lions and Kirk Douglas. When the Romans invaded Britain they only thought to bring sandals and it has been suggested that the fall of the Roman Empire was in part due to the fact that Ugg boots hadn’t yet been invented and the British winters were parky)

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