Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Miscellany : Divi, Time And A Curly Tash

DIVI : The various comments about the Brooke Bond Dividend Tea advert in the background of my Sepia Saturday post set my mind thinking about the way retailers used to tempt customers in the days before supermarkets had so-called loyalty cards. There were all sorts of savings stamp schemes, but by far the best system was the Co-operative Society which used to pay a dividend to all its' members based on how much they spent over the year. Each local area had its own Co-operative Society and each member had his or her own "number" which was quoted whenever a purchase was made. At the end of the year all your purchases would be added together and a dividend (often as much as a penny for every shilling spent) was paid. As a challenge to all my British readers of a certain age : can you remember your old (or your parents' old) Divi number? I will start the process off - ours was 12880.

TIME : I have just downloaded a new iPhone App which provides a constant read-out of decimal time. Decimal time - based on each day being divided into 10 hours, each consisting of 100 minutes and each minute being divided into 100 seconds - has always appeared to me to be a far more logical way of telling the time. Why it has never caught on, I cannot imagine : but I am determined to conduct an experiment to see if I can live by decimal time for a week. This will be the little man of vision standing proud against the establishment. I will report back on the results of my experiment  - which will start at 4:15:00 today - next week. (come to think of it, why should there be 52 weeks in a year and not 100? I had better make that a separate experiment or you will never know when I am due to report back).

CURLY TASH : Does anyone know how to train a moustache to go curly at the tips? In June I will be making my first proper trip to the United States and I feel that I should make a start on preparing myself for the experience. A caddish curl to my moustache would, I believe, present the American people with something more in the way of what they might expect of an English gent. Do I need to apply hairstyling gel on a regular basis or must I selectively prune in order to train the pattern of growth? Any helpful suggestions would be more than gratefully received. By the way, does anyone know where I can acquire a pair of Plus Fours?


20 comments:

  1. I remember going to the Co-op with my mum's 'divi' number.
    I always liked the Co-op, they had decent products.
    The Brooke Bond tea, well my daughter still has the chimp from the advert in the seventies. My neighbor was a representive for the company and was able to get her one, only as a promotional perk of course.
    The 'tash', your on your one with that one :)
    So enjoyed this post !
    ~Jo

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  2. Alan: wax is what makes moustaches curl.

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  3. CB : Do you have to buy special wax or will the drippings from an old candle do?
    Brit : But can you remember your mum's number?

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  4. moustache wax alan...my grandfather used to curl his...it always fascinated me as a kid...

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  5. Alan - not sure where the wax comes from, but I don't think it's salvaged ear wax.

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000052Y6A/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_1?pf_rd_p=103612307&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00278IQBI&pf_rd_m=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&pf_rd_r=0VP9GW80QSTTFJDHWGTK

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  6. Thanks CB, I have just ordered some.

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  7. Alan - I will support your move to a 100 week year.

    The week would be 3.65 days long, but for simplicity we'd make it 4 days - 2 working days and 2 weekend days.

    Naturally we'd need leap weeks of 3 days' length every so often, with the dropped day being a work day.

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  8. Hmmmm... The hours/minutes/seconds version of time I can definitely see going decimal. But the 12 months, 52 weeks, 7 days in a week/365 days in a year thing is less susceptible to decimalization; they're all based on the movements of the Moon around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun, and none of those movements, especially synchronized together to crete our yearly calendar, conforms to a 10-based system. Mama Gaia's dance can't be confined in a machine-centered matrix.

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  9. I remember my grandmother collecting S & H Green Stamps. She let me paste them in the redemption books for her.

    Yep, it's wax that hold the mustache in place!

    Where in the U.S. are you heading, Alan?

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  10. Tess : We are on a cruise and call in at Port Canaveral, Charleston, New York, Newport, and Boston. Sadly, not to Ohio. But I will be back, without the big boat next time.

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  11. I think the Co-op still do a kind of Divi, but it's card-based now. What I most remember was those suction tubes - they put your payment into a can and sent it up a tube to a cashier somewhere in the bowels of the building. So exciting to a child!

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  12. All I remember about Brook Bond were the chimpanzee advertisements. The stars lived at a little zoo in Twycross where we used to meet my southern grandparents half way sometimes. Strange serendipity, Jeffscape and I were pondering the silliness of time and why there are 30, 31, 28 days in a month or 7 in a year, who thunked that up? I believe the curly tash is achieved with wax rather than gel and lots of navel gazing and twiddling at the end. You're off to the US? Awww . . .wish I could sneak away in your suitcase.

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  13. Yup, moustache wax. It is still sold! At Caswell-Massey for one.

    You know, I'd never heard of decimal time.

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  14. Wait, just read your comment, did you really buy moustache wax? The other day I saw a gent near my house with the MOST amazing curly-ended moustache!!!

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  16. Jennyfreckles beat me to it! I, also was going to comment on the suction tubes. They were fascinating.

    I remember the divi, but not our number and, unfortunately, Mum isn't here to ask anymore. I could try asking Dad, but, although he can reel off his RAF service number and the registration of every car he's ever owned, I somehow doubt that the co-op divi number will have stuck!

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  17. Alan, I have the perfect organization to assist you with mustache (or moustache) styling. And membership is free! It's Beard Team USA.(see link here: http://www.worldbeardchampionships.com/compete/beard-team-usa-nationals/) They will be competing in the 2011 International Beard and Moustache Championship in Norway in May. What a blogging opportunity this would be.

    As for the metric clock, this would be a great boon for employers who pay by the hour.

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  18. I was going to mention the wax but you already got the word. We had a board member of our school board who wore his twirls daily. I think his wife finally said no more.

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  19. I once had a 'curly tash'. Regular twiddling is necessary, between thumb and forefinger. I believe wax has been used to train those tashes with minds of their own.

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  20. Isn't decimal time divided into 24 mins. with 100 mins. in an hour and 100 seconds in a min.?

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