as those of you who know me to any sort of extent beyond happening upon this blog at random will know, i carry with me certain expectations of standards whenever i visit the store they call Poundland. and it is, dear reader, Poundland - i have discovered that the other shop that i do not frequent is the "world" variation on the pound, look you see.
today was a day that my somewhat medium range expectations of standards were not met as such, but my interest levels were piqued, if not tickled, by an item they had on display in the hope that it would tempt both me and my fellow patrons into purchasing.
yes, you are seeing what you think you are seeing. no, this is not some exercise or voyage into the world of photoshop, this is all really quite real. Poundland are selling, for the modest price of a pound a box, something called easter crackers. six of them per box, no less.
i am, as you are, quite used to seeing crackers as being part of christmas festivities. this idea of easter crackers, then, took me somewhat by surprise. i guess i should choose my words wisely here, for whereas i don't particularly care if anything i say upsets of (*sigh*) 'offends' anyone, i do not set out to deliberately cause offence. there is some considerable difference between the two; a point some people out there might wish to bear in mind, but hey ho.
it can only be assumed, or concluded, that someone somewhere decided that just as the birth of Jesus is commemorated in the modern, possibly mostly first, world, so too the recalling of the resurrection should be celebrated by people pulling, or if you like breaking, crackers.
so did i purchase some of these easter crackers, then? but of course.
having bought them - somehow with a straight face, helped by the fact that the lady on the till at Poundland considered this to be a normal, routine transaction - i took them home and presented them, with some sort of semblance of pride, to my family. which is the point at which several dilemmas kicked in.
the first was, of course, where to put these easter crackers. we do no not, alas, have an "easter tree". whereas christmas crackers are traditionally stored on a christmas tree, no one has yet thought to sell an easter tree. oh dear. perhaps next year.
this picture is not so great, granted, but i think you can see just how serious the makers of easter crackers take warnings and precautions.
for a start, right, anyone between the age of 0 and 3 will instantly choke on them. there goes my grand plan of gesture to visit the nearby maternity ward with them, then.
also, children under the age of 12 should not be allowed to operate, handle or if you like detonate these easter crackers, due to the high octane, weapons grade level of explosives stored in them. this, i think is my favourite element of warning on the easter crackers packaging. have a look, if you will, at the images and style of them. now consider your average 13 year old. if you were to go up to a 13 year old with these, right, and tell them "congratulations, you are now old enough to operate one of these easter crackers", they are going to look at you blankly for a bit, tell you to "p!ss off" and storm off, presumably to sniff glue, paint their bedroom black, or indeed both.
did i, with all these warnings in place, hesitate in allowing a 5 year old and a 9 year old operate them? not, at the risk of having the constabulary visit, in the slightest. well, ok, my (considerably) better half and i tried one first to be safe. it turned out that they are somewhat tame and perhaps not quite as explosive as the manufacturers might have hoped.
and just what do you get in easter crackers? here you go, have a look.
can't quite make out the explosive, or instant choke elements in the picture? well then, let me help you out. a full rundown of each cracker - and all were the same - is as follows :
* a novelty hat (colours vary)
* a sticker, resembling the image on the cracker (nice touch)
* a joke
* that's it
the jokes were of particular interest. we seem, dear reader, to be getting it all wrong with easter, according to the jokes. the jokes all made reference to things like penguins, polar bears, ice and snow. very winter, sort of northern hemisphere timed christmas jokes. are we celebrating easter at the wrong time? or is it that they just bunged christmas themed jokes in easter crackers, figuring that it was same difference between birth and resurrection?
yeah, we probably should have waited until good friday, easter sunday or easter monday to detonate the crackers. unfortunately there were no instructions as to when to set them off, so we just went for it.
if for some reason you were considering buying easter crackers but were concerned about what you would get if you did so, well, i trust this has been of some use to you in your purchasing decisions.
i may well buy another box or two during the week.
be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!