Printer Friendly

ADAM WALTON: Forget the flash car... just give me a manual for my mobile phone.


WHAT do you buy for the man who has everything he wants? That was the dilemma facing my wife the other week. For inexplicable reasons that can't have anything to do with a diminishing of her luminescent beauty, she has been dreading each successive birthday since her 30th, and now - because I am so materially content and, therefore, difficult to buy presents for - she has learnt to dread my birthdays too.

It's not as if I'm Donald Trump or even within a light year of that level of wealth and ostentation.

The closest I've ever been to having a Jacuzzi involved a kidney bean-heavy vegetarian chilli followed by a soak in the bath. The rubber ducks revolted that night, I can tell you!

I can't decide whether this materialistic apathy is due to a Zen-like level of spirituality, or due to a chronic lack of ambition.

When you have acquaintances zipping about in sleek and shiny sports-cars, and your idea of something nippy is to catch a single-decker, rather than a double-decker bus you know that something is either very right, or very wrong.

Tellingly - with one exception - it's only acquaintances of mine who own sports cars.

My friends and I, it would seem, are unified in our lack of motor vehicular materialism. Yay, for us! Still, if my dad ever tires of his E-Type, he need look no further than me...

It's not as if I never spend any money. CDs and food are my vices. However, the former are the bricks of my trade, and the latter is my addiction. I can't eat rubbish no matter how hard I try. And I've tried, trust me. I've given McDonalds and Burger King second, third, fourth and fifth chances - in the last fortnight, but their vegetarian choices taste like deep-fried pigeon poop no matter how hard I wish that they didn't.

I probably spend more on beer than I should, but Guinness is a social oil, and seeing as takeaways are sadly lacking in essential B vitamins I need the iron from the Guinness or I would quickly turn into an anaemic rake.

Still, for the wife, who honestly has none of these problems, the dilemma remains, 'Listen, if you don't tell me what to buy you, I'll surprise you!'

Few threats of such an horrific magnitude are known to man. Maybe 'Do what I say or I'll tie you to the sofa, pin your eyelids open and force you to watch the corpse of Big Brother as it putrefies,' comes close; and there's always the one that comes in an Italian American accent, a gaudy shirt and mentions concrete wellies... yep, that one's almost as scary!

I wasn't a materialistic child, you see. Some of the kids I grew up with, lovely as they were, ached for the latest trainers or Sta-Press trousers, or Wham 12 inch.

Admittedly, this isn't an extreme level of materialism - it's not exactly St Tropez marina at the height of the summer season - but it is materialism all the same. I didn't care what footwear I had on, or how sharp the creases were in my pants, and I certainly didn't give a stuff for any extended mixes of George Michael's dayglo, disco nonsense.

My wish list when I was a child was a simple one. I wanted a den on stilts, a haversack and a walkie talkie. I also wanted to be an astronaut ice cream man.

The other day, when I was tramping through town, the realisation that I had all of the things that I'd yearned for as a child slapped me in the face like a well-thrown Powermac G5.

My house is my den, although it isn't on stilts. Luckily, I can't remember why the stilts were important.

Maybe I foresaw global warming, or giant, radioactive rats... who knows?

The haversack is a canvas shoulder bag courtesy of Ben Sherman.

When I was a boy, I wanted something in which to keep fossils and semi precious stones that I might stumble across. These days, it's good for CDs, books I'll never finish, my posh pen, and this notebook. It makes me feel very bohemian.

The walkie talkie is my new mobile phone, but even when I was buying that my material modesty confounded the sales assistant, 'I want a mobile phone, but I don't want to pay for features I don't need and won't use - just something I can talk into, please...'

She was beautiful, this sales assistant. In a demonstration of professional loyalty the likes of which I hadn't seen before, she had coloured her skin to match the name of the company she worked for. She still looked at me like I was soft, though, 'But all of our mobile communications interfaces do so much more! Basic phones are very old fashioned, you don't want to get left behind, do you sir?'

'I still listen to the Everly Brothers, being left behind isn't something I worry about ...'

'Are they the ugly ones who play for United?' she asked, sensing common ground, wrongly, 'Just show me your most basic model, would you?'

So, I went from being the man who had everything he wanted, to being the man who had everything he wanted with Bluetooth and a built-in 1.3 megapixel digital camera thrown-in for good measure.


'Yes,' 'I think I know what I want for my birthday,' 'What is it, Abbles?' 'A book that tells me how to use my phone!'

I'm still waiting for a reply to my Ben and Jerry's application form


Acquaintances have sleek and shiny sports cars, but some of us lack motor vehicular materialism
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2005
Previous Article:Feted by their peers but only in the North.
Next Article:Police not told of prisoner's escape.

Related Articles
Now cars can trap their own thieves; Invention will lock and stop vehicle.
Message falling on deaf ears; LICKEY HILLS: Police crime plea.
Hills are alive with police patrols; LICKEY HILLS.
Walkers warned on break-ins; LICKEY HILLS.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters