The Consumer | Anorak - Part 51

The Consumer Category

We bring you the chic and unique, the best and most bizarre shopping offers both online and offline. We offer you tips on where to buy, and some of the less mainstream and crazy, individual and offbeat items on the internet. Anything that can be bought and sold can be featured here. And we love showcasing the best and worst art and design.

This’ll annoy The Greenies: India needs supermarkets

IT’S a general theme here in the UK that supermarkets just ruin everything. You know the drill, you should buy your food from the local butcher and baker, patronise the high street, damn those clone towns and the industrial farming that supplies the out of town big box stores.

Except, there’s actually some point to these supermarket things with their logistics chains:

It hoped foreign supermarkets like Tesco and Walmart would come in and revolutionise India’s backward agricultural sector. Forty per cent of all Indian produce rots on clunky bullock carts and rough baked roads before reaching the market. When they arrive, farmers get a tiny fraction on the retail price as as they pass through at least five agents, each taking their cut. Of the eighty rupees per kilo they were selling for last week, the farmer’s share was just eight.

India needs new smooth roads, cold-chain storage and modern transport logistics to replace sweaty bullock carts, and direct sales from farmer to retailer to stabilise prices, increase farm incomes and reduce food inflation – one of the country’s most politically sensitive issues.

Maybe the supermarkets aren’t all that great: but not having them is much worse.

Posted: 4th, September 2013 | In: Money, The Consumer | Comment

Leads cast in Fifty Shades Of Grey… so start imagining them naked now

GOOD news everybody! The lead roles of Fifty Shades of Grey have been announced! You haven’t heard of them, but no matter, because the main bit of their job is to do a lot of sex, which is nice.

For those who must know, the British Charlie Hunnam and US actress Dakota Johnson will be taking their clothes off and talking to each other with clunky euphemisms, while Mumset tut about it all, before secretly frigging their collective pelvis off.

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Posted: 4th, September 2013 | In: Books, Film | Comment

Mother persuaded to let her 4-year-old finish her drawings reveals the great results

MICA Angela Hendricks shared her new sketchbook with her 4-year-old daughter. She didn’t want to. But the child told her: “If you can’t share, we might have to take it away if you can’t share.” Mica caved in. Her daughter set about finishing her mother’s illustrations. “Not surprisingly, I LOVED what she drew,” says Mica. “I had drawn a woman’s face, and she had turned her into a dinosaur-woman. It was beautiful, it was carefree, and for as much as I don’t like to share, I LOVED what she had created. Flipping through my sketchbook, I found another doodle of a face I had not yet finished. She drew a body on it, too, and I was enthralled. It was such a beautiful combination of my style and hers. And she LOVED being a part of it. She never hesitated in her intent. She wasn’t tentative. She was insistent and confident that she would of course improve any illustration I might have done. …And the thing is, she DID.”


Mica Angela Hendricks



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Posted: 3rd, September 2013 | In: Key Posts, The Consumer | Comments (2)

Man drinks corpse toe and gets $500 fine to boot

toe drink

PEOPLE complain when they find a fly in their soup. Imagine for a minute, if you ordered a drink at a bar and there was a cadaver’s toe in it.

Well, one customer at a hotel was fined $500 after he swallowed a human toe at the bar.

The severed bit of corpse had been dropped into a shot of whisky as part of a tradition in Dawson City, Canada, where everyone is clearly mental.

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Posted: 1st, September 2013 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment

En Puntas: Ballerina dances on sharp kitchen knives atop a piano


JAVIER Pérez has created this video of a ballerina, “whose pointe shoes are extended by a set of sharp kitchen knives, dances and twirls insistently until reaching exhaustion, fighting to maintain balance on the lid of a grand piano set on a stage. The theatre with its red velvet warm lighting, resembles an oversized music box. The camera turns around the dancer revealing the opposite side of the room: an empty and painfully bare theatre.”

The ballerina appears as an eerie figure expressing effort, sacrifice and pain in her strive for perfection. Both fragile and cruel. Initially shy and hesitant, her steps become more and more emphatic, menacing and not exempt of violence, scraping and cutting into the delicate surface of the piano with her sharp pointe shoes.

Through this work, Javier Perez investigates and reflects once again upon the human condition. Using a strongly metaphorical language rich in powerful symbolism, he reveals the weaknesses that become the boundaries between seemingly irreconcilable concepts such as: beauty and cruelty, fragility and violence, culture and nature or life and death.

Keep dancing or else your ankles get it:

Posted: 31st, August 2013 | In: The Consumer | Comment

Presenting the Losers: Eastern Airlines 1970s advert for pretty, vacant and sexually available airline stewardesses

BACK in the 1970s, Eastern Airlines knew you wanted your air hostess to be pretty. But it;s not all bout the face. It’s also about the legs, figure, weight and hair. She should also be able to answer question of such matters as world peace and what’s she doing for dinner with a ready smile interested tone.

eatern airlines losers

Posted: 29th, August 2013 | In: Flashback, The Consumer | Comment

Bad Ad Watch: Status Quo for Australian shop Coles

BAD Ad Watch: Status Quo for Australian shop Coles:

Are you with the Quo or Adele, who said:

 “I don’t want my name anywhere near another brand. I don’t wanna be tainted, or haunted, and I don’t wanna sell out in any way. I think it’s shameful.”

Was Bill Hicks right – are the Quo now “off the artistic roll call forever. You’re another whore at the capitalist gang bang … Everything you say is suspect and every word that comes out of your mouth is now like a turd falling into my drink.”

Are the Quo selling groceries or just selling out?

Posted: 28th, August 2013 | In: Music, The Consumer, TV & Radio | Comments (3)

Glasgow man say racism is behind Edinburgh chip shop charging him for tomato ketchup

“I COULDN’T believe it. Every chip shop I know gives ketchup free of charge. A condiment is a condiment. You can’t offer one customer brown sauce for nothing and then charge another for tomato sauce,” says  Glaswegian Tony Winters of his alleged experience at the Gold Sea on Ferry Road, Edinburgh.

“I said I thought it was racist that if you come from Edinburgh you can get brown sauce free but people from elsewhere, who like ketchup, have to pay. It’s clear they’re discriminating and I don’t think it’s right. If something is morally wrong, I will shout from the heavens. I feel in this instance, it is morally wrong. We went to another chip shop and the guy was killing himself laughing when we told him. It reeks of racism. Just because we come from the west and tend to like ketchup instead of brown sauce. It’s clear they’re discriminating and I don’t think it’s right.”

Paul Crolla, owner of Gold Sea, counters:

“Fish and chips is an Edinburgh thing and people want salt and sauce on it – that’s the tradition. If you go west to Glasgow, it’s salt and vinegar. Salt and sauce goes with fish and chips, anything extra should be paid for.  It’s not just like we offer two sauces, we do it so customers have a choice. For this guy to suggest it is discriminatory takes the biscuit. It’s like going into a car dealership and saying you want an electric sunroof instead of electric windows, it’s ridiculous.”

The matter will be settled by trading standards.


Posted: 28th, August 2013 | In: Reviews, The Consumer | Comments (2)

Essex garden centre sells out of weed

weed sales

ESSEX-based plant shop selling dandelion plants at £3.99 and stinging nettles for £7.99. If you have any spare, let them know. Stocks are low. A statement on the company’s website reads: 

“After many demands from customers, we’ve now added this selection of wild flowers to our range, some call them weeds, but we don’t want to hurt their feelings – after all a weed is only a plant in the wrong place, much like finding a tulip in a salad.”

It adds that these plants were “all the rage” at this year’s Chelsea Flower show.

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Posted: 24th, August 2013 | In: The Consumer | Comment

Lion starts barking in Chinese zoo

THE Chinese are known for their duplicates. Even the nation’s zoos are trying the same tactic:

A Chinese zoo’s supposed “African lion” was exposed as a fraud when the dog used as a substitute started barking.

Come see the barking cat!

Posted: 17th, August 2013 | In: Money, Strange But True, The Consumer | Comment

Brompton Road Tube Station: photos of the secret bunker in the smart part of London

FOR Sale: The Brompton Road tube station, a disused station on the Piccadilly line between South Kensington and Knightsbridge which is owned by the Ministry of Defence. Opened in 1906, the station closed 30 years later. Why? Too few passengers, so they said. When war broke out, the station was taken over by the 1st Anti-Aircraft Division. They say this bunker was where Rudolf Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy in the Nazi Party, was brought to be interrogated after being captured in Scotland in 1941.

It would make a terrific torture chamber; or storage room for a wealthy local woman’s handbags.

EMBARGOED TO 0001 AUGUST 7. Ministry of Defence property surveyor Julian Chafer, ascends the spiral stairwell in the former Brompton Road tube station, a disused station on the Piccadilly line between South Kensington and Knightsbridge which is owned by the Ministry of Defence and which has been put on the property market.

Ministry of Defence property surveyor Julian Chafer, ascends the spiral stairwell in the former Brompton Road tube station

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Posted: 7th, August 2013 | In: Flashback, The Consumer | Comment

Marmite advert ‘mocks’ child protection agencies and fat police


AD Watch spots this Marmite advert which parodies the work of animal welfare officers. It has attracted an impressive  250 official complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

A spokesman for the ASA said complaints vary from the ad being in “poor taste” to being “deeply offensive” because it “trivialises” the work of both animal welfare charities and child protection agencies.

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Posted: 7th, August 2013 | In: The Consumer | Comment

Massive bus-sized lump of fat blocks London sewer

London sewer  fatberg

THAMES WATER has found and removed a huge limp of fat from the London sewers. The lump was as big as a bus. It was a blend of food fat mixed with wet wipes. It was located beneath London Road in Kingston, Surrey.

The water company wants its customers to know how valiant it is, reporting that had it not been removed it “could have led to sewage flooding many homes, streets and businesses”.

Others may well wonder how Thames Water let such a revolting mountain of gunk grow?

Gordon Hailwood, waste contracts supervisor for Thames Water, is not listening. He says:

“While we’ve removed greater volumes of fat from under central London in the past, we’ve never seen a single, congealed lump of lard this big clogging our sewers before. Given we’ve got the biggest sewers and this is the biggest fatberg we’ve encountered, we reckon it has to be the biggest such berg in British history. The sewer was almost completely clogged with over 15 tonnes of fat. If we hadn’t discovered it in time, raw sewage could have started spurting out of manholes across the whole of Kingston. It was so big it damaged the sewer and repairs will take up to six weeks. Homes and businesses need to change their ways, when it comes to fat and wipes, please remember: ‘Bin it – don’t block it.’” 

Or why not just check the bloody sewers more regularly and not wait until residents in nearby flats complain that they couldn’t flush their toilets?

File under: PR stupidity.

Posted: 6th, August 2013 | In: Strange But True, The Consumer | Comments (3)

Woman who can’t see feet called ‘fat tub of lard’ by sofa company


NICOLA Day, from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire says she was called “a fat tub of lard” and an “ugly little rat” by someone at Huddersfield-based Equinox Retail.

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Posted: 5th, August 2013 | In: The Consumer | Comment

In 1965, Jack Kerouac and his mother were On The Road to New Orleans

**FILE** Author Jack Kerouac laughs in this 1967 file photo in Lowell, Mass. The Cape Cod house once owned by Kerouac is up for sale. James Upton, the present owner of the three-bedroom, two-bath house, said that with his three children now grown, he no longer needs the space. He bought it in 1986 for $115,000 and is now asking $356,000. (AP Photo/Stanley Twardowicz, File)

IN 1965, Jack Keroauc narrated his a trip to New Orleans with his  mother (“Memère”) for the May issue of Holiday:

There’s hardly anything in the world, or at least in America, more miserable than a transcontinental bus trip with limited means. More than three days and three nights wearing the same clothes, bouncing around into town after town; even at three in the morning, when you’ve finally fallen asleep, there you are being bounced over the railroad tracks of a town, and all the lights are turned on bright to reveal your raggedness and weariness in the seat. To do that, as I’d done so often as a strong young man, is bad enough; but to have to do that when you’re a sixty-two-year-old lady … yet Memère is more cheerful than I, and she devises a terrific trick to keep us in fairly good shape—aspirins with Coke three times a day to calm the nerves.

From mid-Florida we roll in the late afternoon over orange-grove hills toward the Tallahassee and Mobile of morning, no prospect of New Orleans till noon and already fair exhausted. Such an enormous country, you realize when you cross it on buses, the dreadful stretches between equally dreadful cities, all of them looking the same when seen from the bus of woes, the never-get-there bus stopping everywhere, and worst of all the string of fresh enthusiastic drivers every two or three hundred miles warning everyone to relax and be happy.

Sometimes during the night I look at my poor sleeping mother cruelly crucified there in the American night because of no-money, no-hope-of-money, no-family, no-nothing—just myself, the stupid son of plans all compacted of eventual darkness. God, how right Hemingway was when he said there was no remedy for life.

Spotter: Longform, via Sully

Posted: 3rd, August 2013 | In: Books, Flashback | Comment

The 22 greatest vintage guns for kids adverts

WHEN did you lean to like guns? As Lileks says:

I’m not saying it’s the be-all / end-all of ideological tests, but you can tell a lot about a person by their reaction to these ads. That was then, to understate the case. Nowadays we’ve done away with these dangerous violent antisocial pseudo-guns, and replaced them with merry-makers like Nerf guns and Supersoakers and other items whose makers encourage you to point them at your friends.

If a Nerf gun more likely to appeal to a nascent serial killer than a Daisy? What about a victual gun on Tour of Duty? There will be studies:


comic book guns 21


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Posted: 3rd, August 2013 | In: Flashback, Key Posts, The Consumer | Comment

JK Rowling crime writer identity was revealed over a Twitter chat

rowling book crime

WE know JK Rowling was ‘Robert Galbraith’, writer of the crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling because a friend of a solicitor at Russells, her lawyers, told someone on Twitter.

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Posted: 31st, July 2013 | In: Books | Comment (1)

Prince Charles cashes in on Prince George with a range of tat and drugs paraphenalia

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Posted: 31st, July 2013 | In: Royal Family, The Consumer | Comment

THIS is an undated image showing a circa 1780 newspaper advertisement by the slave-trading dealership of Austin, Laurens and Appleby announcing the arrival of African slaves to the American colonies at Ashley Ferry outside of Charleston, S.C.

THIS is an undated image showing a circa 1780 newspaper advertisement by the slave-trading dealership of Austin, Laurens and Appleby announcing the arrival of African slaves to the American colonies at Ashley Ferry outside of Charleston, S.C.

slave advert

Posted: 29th, July 2013 | In: Flashback, The Consumer | Comment

1900: The smallest shop in London

IN 1900, this was the smallest shop in London – a  1.2 square meter shoe shop.

smallest shop london

Spotter: collectivehistory

Posted: 29th, July 2013 | In: Flashback, The Consumer | Comment (1)

50 Shades of Rainbow Dash: My Little Pony erotic fans fiction exists (extracts)

15786393 (1)

MY Little Pony fan fiction is a thing that exists. It’s 50 Shades of Rainbow Dash.

These are a few extracts from the genre:

Rarity’s Erotic Massage by ZeroJanitor

“Hello to you too, Rarity.” said Twilight. “I came by to inform you that there’s going to be party at Sugarcube Corner at six o’clock tonight, hosted by our very own Pinkie Pie! There’s going to be food, games, movies, and between you and me, I think Pinkie’s going to make her ‘special’ punch.”

Twilight just stared at the ironing board in confusion. Rarity noticed the flustered look on her face.

“Oop! Hold on one second, Twilight!” Rarity activated her horn and pulled one of the dresser drawers open and lifted a screwdriver out. She used this to loosen the screw at the focal point of the board’s legs at about the speed of a power drill. The legs started to collapse, causing the ironing board to fall closer to the floor. At about 20 inches off the ground, Rarity drilled the screw back in and put the screwdriver back in the drawer. “There! Much better!”

Twilight hopped onto the table. Her legs dangled over the side, almost touching the ground, as her face was pressed firmly into the throw pillow. “You’re sure about this?” she asked, in a slightly muffled voice.

Though Rarity was a bit disgusted by the idea of Twilight’s lubricant getting on her ironing board, she enjoyed the idea even more.

Missionary position is tricky for ponies, but perfectly doable, evidenced by Rarity now pumping with more vigor than ever

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Posted: 29th, July 2013 | In: Books | Comment

The 1931 cooked hot-dog vending machine

IN 1931, you could buy a warm sausage from a German vending machine, like this one.

You can buy pretty much anything from a vending machine: live crabs, tax discs for prostitutes, gold, drugs, used panties, breasts, lobster, toilet paper, eggs, iPods, flowers, cars and caviar.

Would you eat this sausage? Not now. It would be in its 80s. Then. It looks a lot like the machine is is going to the toilet. and this sausage model, the good hot dog owner, is collecting its waste to chuck in the bin…



Posted: 28th, July 2013 | In: Flashback, The Consumer | Comment