Monday, March 17, 2014

Cigarette Cards

For the topic of this week's post I am indebted to a couple of my Twitter followers - namely Katie and Laura who gave me the idea for a suitable subject. I was complaining on said social media site that I was struggling to think of something to write about this week since nothing of any importance had happened. Sure there's a potential flash point for the commencement of World War Three in Crimea and the fact that Malaysia flight MH370 still hasn't been found after more than a week. (The only theory about the fate of those two hundred and thirty nine souls that hasn't been put forward is that they have been abducted by aliens.) These events pale into insignificance compared to the news that my male staff has contracted shingles (Amazing really, since he hasn't been to Brighton beach since April 1979. You'd have to be British to understand that little gag.) He now has a burning, scabby, angry rash diagonally across the lower right side of his torso and across the top of his right thigh. It's very attractive. The rash on his thigh gives him a jolt of sudden stabbing pain now and then too, which is fun to watch, especially when he's holding a cup of hot tea because it causes him to suddenly leap about a foot in the air - not dissimilar to a guinea pig popcorning as it happens, except that he has yet to master the one hundred and eighty degree turn in mid-air.

Anyway, on to my main topic today. The above mentioned Laura and Katie suggested that I could forgo any text in my blog post this week, and instead just feature cute photos of myself, Boris and Baci. This reminded me for some reason that when my male staff was about nine years old he collected cigarette cards of British football players. They were called cigarette cards but they actually came in little envelopes tucked in a football magazine he subscribed to. This is just as well, because if they had actually come with cigarettes my male staff would not have collected many cards due to his steadfast refusal to smoke. He'd watch his fellow nine and ten year old school mates lighting up behind the bike shed, taking a long drag, coughing and throwing up their school lunches and said to himself "Wow! That looks cool, I must try that.........NOT" No, not my male staff, he'd be behind the other bike shed showing his willy to Sally Brown who was a year older than him and therefore a real woman and who would reward him with a flash of whatever it was that she kept in her knickers - sometimes her pet newt, or if he was really lucky a partly chewed toffee which she would share with him.

These cigarette cards featured a photo of a famous footballer and the idea was to stick them into an album that also came with the magazine. The album had a short biography of each player, above which one attached the appropriate photo. Kids would take them to school and swap them.
 "Hey Jimmy, I've got three Bobby Charltons. I'll swap you one for a Gordon Banks."

Here's an example for you.

Peter Bonetti. Chelsea and England goalkeeper.
The only first division goalkeeper to complete an entire season between the sticks without conceding a single goal. This was entirely due to his enormous ears, which when fully unfurled completely block the goal. He is known by Chelsea fans as "Peter the Cat". Fans of other teams are less generous, calling him amongst other thing "Bonetti the Big Eared Bastard". 

I have therefore produced cigarette cards of my own family. Please feel free to swap them amongst your friends, or use them for darts practice.

Billy The Pig. 
Handsome and charismatic, Billy has always been a hit with the ladies. He was the first cavy to grace this house, arriving on a free transfer from a little girl down the road who had too many pets already. A rare illness known as "squashy bottom" hampered his early career, but once his staff had forked out hundreds of dollars in vet bills his "squashy bottom" cleared up and he became the superstar he is today.
Boris made the move north from his home at The Cavy Cottage Rescue Centre late last season and very quickly established himself as a valuable if rather hard to understand member of the team. He still has a very strong German accent due to the high concentration of Sauerkraut that he was fed at the rescue centre. Boris' main claim to fame is of course his ability to endure (and seemingly enjoy) hour upon hour of cuddles from humans. 
This has earned him the nickname "Der Schnuggle Meister."

Baci is the rookie of the squad, coming to this household as part of the deal that also brought Boris. He is working his way up through the junior ranks and has already made his first team debut during which he sustained a cheek injury (When Boris bit him.) that kept him out of the team for a couple of weeks. Now he's back training and is going from strength to strength. His extraordinary speed and agility makes him a nightmare for humans to catch, but once they have him he enjoys a cuddle almost as much as his childhood hero Boris. 

Paolo is the ultimate senior professional and the longest serving member of the team. He is named after that famous fascist lunatic (but very exciting footballer so all can be forgiven) Paolo Di Canio. Paolo has outlived three other budgies and is still going strong. His pet hate is accidentally flying out of his cage when it's being cleaned. This is because he never learned to take corners and always flies into something hard and unyielding like a human's head.
 Paolo has the uncanny ability to shoot his poop through the bars of his cage and halfway across the room, though nobody has actually seen him do it. His ambition is to land it in one of the humans' coffee mugs, preferably while they are drinking from it.

Boris' Bit

Ptoohey! Ich schpit on der verdammt zigarette karten. Der only sink vurs collectink is der cuddles und der schnuggles.

1 comment:

  1. We love the idea of the cards! Mom says you all look very cute and she would collect your cards! We a little jealous. We love u guys anyway. Until next time! Homeslice & Steve