Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Fishfinger Travesty

I had a bit of a shock this week. I’d  been discussing fishfingers with my friend Stuart (we lead a wild, decadent, life of adrenaline-fuelled rock’n’roll up here on Teesside) and dreamily reminiscing of how the Bird’s Eye fishfingers of our 1970s childhoods were so violently, luminously orange that they could be used during power cuts to find the candles in the kitchen drawer.

Inspired by this, I decided to buy a packet of fishfingers to eat for my lunch – squashed between pale, trembling slices of glacially white bread and lashed with an encroaching swamp of tomato ketchup so acidic it could feasibly be used to clean engine parts and industrial lathes.

Imagine my dismay, however, when I opened the fishfinger packet to find THIS…

What unhealthily pale specimens! So when did fishfingers stop being so violently, luridly orange? The kind of colour you’d arrive at if you subjected Cheesy Wotsits to a dose of deadly gamma radiation? It’s little wonder that the kids of today can’t be arsed to go out causing trouble and smashing windows with so little tartrazine in their diet. I blame Jamie Oliver.  

Anyway, in other news, regular readers of these ramblings (both of you) may recall that on September 18th, in the comments about Acklam Shops, I pontificated thus…

“I wanted to buy my Gran’s old bungalow back last night, as if that would somehow make it 1981 again. I wouldn’t live in it though, I’d just keep all my bloody stuff there”

Well bizarrely, I noticed this week that my Gran’s old bungalow is actually up for sale. And it’s vacant. If Wiffle Lever To Full! had sold 119,950 copies then I’d be tempted to make an offer, but it hasn’t, so I can’t. If anyone fancies putting together a consortium though, let me know. There’s probably a packet of violently orange fishfingers still stuck at the back of the freezer somewhere, with a Best Before date of December 1982. I know how they feel.

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2 Comments»

  Dr Giles Parcel wrote @

This is a noted phenomenon within the knowledgeable world of Science.
In his celebrated 1991 monograph “The Selfish Spectrum” Emeritus Professor Kaspar Kippersluys refers to it (plausibly, if perhaps demonstrating a typically Continental dearth of imagination) as ‘Vergangenheitsrefraktion’,
The gist of his painstaking investigations was that the physical presence of a society and its living habits within any given narrow timeframe will have a quantifiable effect on the environment and that these effects in their turn must inevitably be visible in any scientifically captured representations of that time and place.
In the case of the example highlighted by Mr Fischer above, Prof. Kippersluys was surprisingly forthcoming. Urban and suburban Britain [particularly north of Towcester and south of Pittenweem] lay beneath a pervading fog of chromaparticles between 12th March 1967 and 31st August 1980. These particles were a reactive by-product of common elements including (but by no means limited to) the residues of hairspray and bay rum, statically charged bri-nylon/crimplene, moulding fragments from toy soldiers and model kits, Gold Bond tobacco and the ever-rising output of hyper-foamy carbonated drinks. These drinks contained a wealth of chemical ingredients that would be outlawed within one or two years. A full list would be impossible to make here but when all of these elements are present and combine with atmospheric and meteorological conditions plus pre-existing levels of pollution across all spectra, a refraction occurs in which the brown areas of the colour spectrum become dominant to the human eye. One frequently noted effect of this is that strong elements of green are subsumed into the brownness, leaving oranges far more vivid to the colour receptors of the eye than had been the case prior to 1967 or since the formation of Solidarity in Gdansk.
The notion that the chemical composition of contemporary photographs is to blame is a fallacious one, however tempting or persuasive it might appear. Prof. Kippersluys compared hundreds of photographs and slides taken around the same time; often photographs of the same model of Raleigh Grifter bicycle. Photographs taken in Bude and Scrabster had retained their true colour while those from the test area all demonstrated the effulgent oranges and enervating browns. Controls revealed that images captured within the test area but developed and printed in Flitwick were exempt from the phenomenon. Conversely, snapshots of Rothesay developed in Sneinton displayed the beige bias.
This monograph [along with many others funded by the University of Bremerhaven] is available from the Tissington Scientific Press.

  bobfischer wrote @

Good job I didn’t mention the Spaghetti Hoops as well.


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