Wednesday, 22 May 2013

So The Maplin Catalogue Arrived...

Every time I buy something from Maplin (click here for my latest Maplin update) they ask for my postcode. ‘So we can send you some vouchers,’ says the chubby dreadlocked guy who looks like a Game of Thrones extra. But what Olaf the Pieeater really means is: ‘So we can send you yet another of our sale catalogues.’ And the most twisted part of this whole deal is that I actually look forward to the bloody thing arriving.

The catalogue never varies, of course, which is perhaps why the Rainman part of me quite enjoys it. There are always bargains to be had on solar panels to power your caravan and glitter balls for your mobile disco. The last page will always have great deals on AA batteries and that satisfies me in a way that’s really so psychologically deep that I can’t really explain. It’s like looking at pictures of the early Bardot sunning herself naked on the Cannes beach. I know the reality will eventually become either a far-right cat woman or my Sky remote packing up after only a couple of weeks but I love both with the same inexplicable passion.

This month’s exciting addition to the Maplin lineup is a Mobile IP Spy-Camera Tank. Why the hell I would want a Mobile IP Spy-Camera Tank I’m not sure except, perhaps, to recreate those scenes from the Moore-era Bond films when Q usually locates 007 lathering up a tall blonde Russian spy in a bathtub. However, since I’m lacking a blonde Russian spy, £109.99 seems a bit extravagant for a camera on wheels that would probably end up being used to annoy the neighbour’s cat. I wouldn’t pay more than £70 to annoy the neighbour’s cat. Maybe £75…

Apropos of nothing: I notice that they've got a new male model in this month’s magazine. Facially, he’s a bit Ross Noble but in the waistline he’s more Peter Kay. What message does this send out? I’m not sure except I think they’re acknowledging that the people who shop at Maplin might not spend very long hours in the gym, which makes the obsession with disco equipment all the more surprising... I just can't imagine this guy dancing disco.

Maplin catalogue

And apropos of something else: I still see they have the cheap Ultrasonic cleaner on sale. I sure fell for that ‘better buy it before the sale ends’ line that Sven the Pimpled sold me a few months ago. Not that I’m complaining. It’s been a godsend unblocking my Rotring Isograph nibs and clean my dip pens… Sorry. That did sound a little too enthusiastic and I don’t want to put you off from coming back... And I was doing so well disguising the fact that, yes, I have very little of interest to talk about today.

I’m actually a bit 'written out' having dashed off 1,300 words with accompanying cartoon about the new Xbox One which was unveiled last night. Tomorrow, I’ll post both the article and cartoon which this morning I sent to ‘The Guardian’ for possible inclusion in ‘Comment is Free’. I really don’t know why I put myself through that ordeal… Why do I put myself through that hell? Thoughts, please, in the comments below. As long as it doesn’t include the word ‘penis’, ‘pill’ or ‘pump’, I’ll publish them. Hell, I’ll probably publish them anyway… In the meantime, he's a old cartoon from my notebook.



  1. I'm also a Maplin fan but could you explain fog machines to me? What are they and why do I need one?

  2. Thank you Gordon. I think I'd have preferred if you asked about penises, pumps, or pills. I have no idea why anybody would want a fog machine except, perhaps, to lay down a thick blanket of smoke when conducting illegal operations in your neighbour's garden. Actually, that sounds like a very good use of a fog machine. My neighbours have wind chimes. Nothing special, you might say, except they were fashioned from Satan's baby teeth and make a noise like milk bottles rolling in the gutter. I hate them. A smoke machine would make perfect sense. And whilst I'm over the fence, I could do something about the fountain which trickles all night. Plus the solar lights. And the mock Victorian lamp post... I might need help. Perhaps I'll need two smoke machines. And some mechanized infantry but this is getting complicated. Hope I've answered as many questions as I've raised.