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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Friday, October 07, 2005

Lady Bracknell muses on the dichotomy between utility and appearance

Lady Bracknell, as her regular readers are aware, perambulates with the support of a stout walking stick. She has recently been adding to her collection of sticks, as a result of the many hours which her editor has enthusiastically devoted to scouring the farthest reaches of cyberspace for sticks which are more than ordinarily handsome.

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.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a dichotomy for utility purposes and it has certainly helped my appearance.

Lieblings leser,

Wilhemina von Schadenfreude. Geburtsname Wilhem-Paul.

10:38 am  
Blogger marmiteboy said...

This is a fine object. I want one almost as much as the headlighted slippers. Alas as a sticky-crip the umbrella would be useless for me too.

9:44 pm  
Blogger Becca said...

Why can't they involve some extremely long pole, with handgrip approximately halfway down, with umbrella above and rubber ferrule below? It'd need to telescope or fold or dismantle in some way - just think of the damage you could do on a crowded bus - but hey, why not?

I'd also like an umbrella that attatches to a wheelchair without looking like a baby's parasol.

11:46 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Lady Bracknell, too, has mused on the possibilities of a Gandalfian staff with an umbrella attachment. She has seen - but cannot now find - an umbrella which attaches to the shoulder. However, she would rather be pointed and laughed at for being soaked through than for wearing one of the ridiculous things.

Becca may wish to check out the "hands free umbrella" here. Then again, she might suddenly decide that there are worse things in life than getting wet...

12:07 am  
Blogger Becca said...

...

Lady Bracknell is quite correct in her conclusion that getting soaked may be preferable to harnessing oneself with that... thing.

It looks rather like the device for carrying one's baby around, only without the nice baby, which is the only redeeming feature of such devices anyway.

9:48 am  

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