Lady Bracknell muses on the dichotomy between utility and appearance
Lady Bracknell reasons that, since she must use a stick, it makes sense for her to glory in that necessity by using one which combines good looks with the unfailing ability to support her. Her ladyship's blue lucite stick attracts many compliments as, she has no doubt, will its green twin when it is first unveiled on an unsuspecting public.
A friend of Lady Bracknell's (who is, as it happens, also a friend of Dorothy) has paid to have all the metal parts of his wheelchair spray-painted sparkly purple, a financial outlay of which Lady Bracknell thoroughly approves. Why settle for ugly, utilitarian mobility aids when, if one's means are not too limited, one can have something which will be envied by one's similarly-enfeebled acquaintances?
The photograph to the right is of an elderly gentleman using something called the "Pathfinder Cane" . Lady Bracknell recognises that this is a practical item, and can appreciate that it could come in extremely useful for persons who are both physically frail and who have limited vision. And yet, personally, she would rather risk injury on a dimly lit stairwell than be witnessed actually using one of them. She is aware that her reaction to the cane is irrational. She had a similar aversion to the transparent plastic rain hoods which were favoured by elderly ladies in her youth, and which folded up into tiny, flat packages so as to fit easily into even the least capacious handbag. Nevertheless, she stands firm by her resolve never to be seen in possession of either.
The illuminated "Bright Night Umbrella", on the other hand, she finds rather appealing. Indeed, were it not for the fact that it is not possible to wield both stick and umbrella simultaneously, she would be much tempted to invest in one.
Lady Bracknell does not understand why she should find one of these products "groovy" and the other unspeakably hideous, but there it is. There is, it would seem, simply no accounting for taste.