Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Garden Show!

Yesterday, was one of those days when we guys, do the things women want…you know what I mean, a conversation would be like this…”Darling lets go to the soft furnishing store and look at new cushions for the sofa”…”but there is nothing wrong with cushions they are fine”…”no they are not…they don’t match and you brother dribbled all over the blue one last time he was here”…but honey, he was upset, she was leaving him”…”and why did she leave him?”…”cause she was an insensitive cow”…”Nothing to with you and him and two bottles of Famous Grouse, a mobile phone and drunken lets tell her what we think conversation”…”But that had nothing to do with it, she was seen in town with another man...John told me so”…”Is this the John we are talking about who had no idea who her brother is and he that he was visiting from out of town”…”John is a mate…don’t you say anything bad about him”…”Why because he gets you free green fees at the golf club?”…”No he is a mate”…”OK, what is wife’s name?”…”I don’t know do I? She doesn’t play golf!”
This goes on and on and in the end we give up because we run out of things to say…which of course women never do…So yesterday I spent the day at Birmingham NEC for the annual BBC Garden Show. Now before you guys start on about “What a sucker”… I like the garden…I like my BBQ area, the sweeping lawns (excellent for chip and put, and the odd drive) I also like to sit in the garden with my music blaring out of the pool house speaker system, going from the pool to the lawn soaking the rays, bottle of Rose or two, with the smell of BBQ marinated meats, cooking gently on the Sunlegend 4000 or the Canadian Sterling (we are a two BBQ family) days like that cannot be beaten. Bring me the Nile, the Amazon or GOD forbid Lanzarote and I will beat any of them.
Part of the enjoyment are the colourful displays and varieties of flowers which brings this place to life…but it is the stuff in between which I don’t like…the weeding, digging, watering and bloody hard work. So when you see the Dermot, Monty and Alan blabbing away on telly, don’t be sucked into the wife’s comments “look how easy it is”…”no Honey it is not…they have a contract with JCB, a staff of 5,000 standing by, paid for by BBC license fee’s and when the camera is switched off this army of people come and do the boring stuff. Alan, Monty and Dermot sits down and sips Pimms whilst the minions are digging away…That is how it works.”

Back to the NEC, I thought that I could go to the BBQ sellers, the Honda, Stihl and Husqvarna exhibitors, which I did and guess what??? Disaster…In my looked up alarmed garage (just in case you intend to visit when I am not home) I have a Westwood, Stihl, Black & Deckers and Husqvarna…proper stuff, man stuff, petrol, two or four stroke, none of this girlie cables electrical Barbie stuff.
In my garden when I do gardening you can smell burning fossil fuels and if you are lucky you might even have a go…it is a dream for city folk coming to the country for the weekend…So when I entered the Stihl exhibition I expect a bloke who can talk horsepower, attachments, gadgets and saying things like …“this will cut through a 27 inch log like butter on a sunny day!” …because at the end of the day…women are not going to be talking to these guys about getting a ride-on-mower for your 100ft garden (I personally could sell one to anyone, just on the basis the when I am finished you would think that you need one, if not for cutting the grass, ride it down to the Co-Op, it’s the country and it is cool). So these guys looked more like they would be happier at the Barbie section at Hamleys than selling power tools to guys at a Garden Show. Who trains these people…health and safety???
Don’t they get it, wives will bring their husbands and whilst they are dealing with crocus and tulips, the next colours in gardening, guys looks at shiny things…their stand was shiny but that was all…run a sports bar for the guys (it is the World Cup after all) buy a chainsaw, get free drinks watch a game whilst the Missus is shopping green stuff and soft furnishings for the garden and they would double sale…I would have bought a road sweeper from them they had it been on sale yesterday, sales is about marketing and capturing your audience. What did you guys need yesterday to sell a Road sweeper? A bunch of Barbie salesmen dressed in Stihl shirts at a shiny stand with visible product placement and easy access…NO not at all you needed a bar, plasma screen and some “Totty” to serve…THAT is what it is all about?

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