Revealed: The road to economic recovery

I hope the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the IMF and World Bank, and all you other financial institutions around the planet are keeping a sneaky eye on this blog. Because this could be the way out of recession. I should warn you that it involves front fastening magnetic bras. And jugs. But don’t go jumping to conclusions too quickly…

I got the idea from one of my favourite bloggy reads, Well Done Fillet – a waiter in Belfast. He was moaning about something other than rude  stupid customers the other day. What got his goat was the vote in the Northern Ireland’s devolved parliament in favour of making it compulsory for cyclists to wear helmets. The idea is that after a three year lead-in period, cyclists caught without a helmet would be fined £50 – a penalty they could avoid if they reported to a police station with a proof of purchase of a helmet.

It’s a safety measure, but cycling groups fear it’ll deter people from using bikes because of the extra expense or helmetish uncoolness – so they’re opposing it. I don’t wear a helmet on my sedate cycle trips, though my kids do. But then it’s a wonder I’m alive at all considering that as a child I was bottle-fed, didn’t wear a seatbelt in the back, travelled in the boot, was allowed out unsupervised for days on end and never ate an olive till yesterday.

So my reaction to this Northern Ireland Assembly cycling helmet diktat was – well, at least cycling shops will be happy. And that’s when it hit me. An idea I know you’ll agree is pure genius.

This is it: The passing of arbitrary laws to stimulate spending and manufacturing.

Let’s think… What about these?

1.  To make it illegal for men to leave the house between the hours or nine and five unless wearing a tie. (We’ll call that the Mad Men clause. A boost for clothing manufacturers, fashionistas and Tie Rack.)

2. All men must wear a hat outside the home. (Yeah, that one’s inspired by Mad Men also. Milliners will be made up.*)

3. All homes to have a musical doorbell. I recommend the opening bars of Sally McLennane. (Suppliers, hardware shops, fitters and ring tone download website will be coining it in.)

4. Against the law to be out after dark without  a torch. (Burning or battery powered. Up to you. This isn’t about micro-managing the minutiae.)

5. All homes to possess a small jug, in case a vicar or other religious figure should visit. Ah now – don’t tell me you just pour milk into the vicar’s cup of tea straight from the bottle? Have you no sense of decorum? No, I hadn’t either. But my mother-in-law supplied one. A jug that is.

6. All bras to be replaced by new front-fastening magnetically joined versions. These already exist. A French (naturellement) company makes them, but they haven’t really taken off (geddit?) yet. Just think of the time you could save? Fewer minutes wasted by women fiddling around behind their backs. An end to those endless fruitless fumblings by embarrassed blokes round those same backs. It could also provide a way for women to instantly know whether a friendship with another woman was doomed or blessed. Depending on the magnetic polarities in their bra fasteners, they’d feel either repelled by,  or strangely drawn to each  other.

7. All homes to have a copy of Lucky Jim. (Boost book sales and reduce depression. Would also mean I could read the hilarious passages about being drunk and then having a hangover without having to carry around my own copy.)

8. Any home with a garage to have a beer fridge installed within the garage. (Sure, exemptions for genuine teetotallers and on religious grounds available – and perhaps it should be a cool box rather than an electric fridge for environmental reasons.)

9. All homes to have available both the home strip of their local sporting team AND the nearest bitter rival – in small, medium and large – to ensure visitors feel welcome. (Unless it’s Man Utd or Chelsea – too rich and too smug already. In those cases a Derry City strip is to serve as a replacement.)

10. We could extend the same principles to religious iconography – which would boost… er… well those dusty little holy statue shops with yellow plastic over the window to stop colours bleaching in the sun. Not that the sun ever penetrates the narrow streets they collect on. (Actually, this one may not pass the economic stimulus test.)

So, before we get to the asterisk, can you supply an appropriately arbitrary replacement pump-priming piece of legislation in place of my weak effort at number 10?

(Next time I’ll get on to the bit about where all the money will come from that we’ll be spending to observe these new arbitrary laws. Did I say next time? I meant to say some time. Perhaps.)

OK, here’s the asterisk: *Definition of “made up” – just in case it’s new one on you, like it was me, when I first heard it. A mate told me a long involved gossipy personal story, to which I listened attentively, only to finish the tale with the sentence: “He was made up.” What? Whaddaya mean? So all that long long story you’ve just told was made up? Not true? Quite odd behaviour I thought, taking so long to tell a fake story that wasn’t even that funny. Now I know it can also mean – happy. He was made up = he was very happy. And now you know too.

Anyway – your ideas for new laws please.



Filed under blogs, life

10 responses to “Revealed: The road to economic recovery

  1. intriguing, particularly the bras! whimsical post – loved it!

    Your Pasadena, California, USA fan

  2. I am sure the rest of the post was great but could not get past #6. To the dickens with the economy. Oh, one other thing. How did you get that picture of my sister?

  3. You forgot the public hangings. People would spend a fortune to get in to these, particularly as they would be very familiar by now with the perpetrators. There would be an element of poetic justice and redemption in this suggestion. It might also give a boost to some little piece of NAMA property which could be used for the occasion.

    Of course this would contribute to solving the Southern crisis and might do less for the North. But we are taking Gerry Adams off you and that should ease the situation up there a little. And while I think of it, Gerry would have to buy up a load of books to understand what’s going on south of the border. Waterstones might not have needed to close down at all.

    • blackwatertown

      Thinking of Gerry – what about compulsory bearding? But only after, say, 6pm. Compulsory clean shaveness during the day to enhance clear thinking dynamism. Then hook your prosthetic beard over your ears for trips to the real ale house for long liquid sessions of pondering and putting the world to rights. The spread of false beards should inject a few bob into the economy, be a boon to acne sufferers and make speed dating more intriguing.
      Not sure about women – should the rule be universal?

  4. Number 8 does it for me. You can put beer, cola, milk for the baby, water — whatever.

    That way, you’re makin’ everybody happy.

  5. Over here on the far side of the Atlantic, the previous congress enacted their own version of compulsory capitalism (which the current crop is trying to dismantle) in the form of ‘health care reform’. Either purchase health insurance, or pay a fine. If that doesn’t boost the economy, I don’t know what would (although I rather fancy #6!).

  6. TaylorGooderham

    You had me with the hat and tie. I’m all for this.

  7. What happens when No 6 goes through an airport security scanner? I would offer to try it out, but my hip does enough singing by itself.

  8. OK – so number 6 seems as though it could be the place to start. Always begin with low hanging fruit, er.. easy political wins, they say.

    Though Grannymar makes a good point. Maybe those new imaging machines will dispense with the scanners at airports. Once when I was flying to Washington DC a few years ago, I was one of the first ones imaged at Heathrow airport. Out of curiosity I had a peek at the image captured – I could tell at once the attendant was showing me the wrong person. The naked figure pictured was bald, flabby and out of condition. Then I remembered that the pictures don’t show body hair. Then I realised… oh well… let’s say it wasn’t a good moment.

  9. …..”♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸.I’m putting on my top hat,
    Tying up my white tie,
    Brushing off my tails.
    I’m duding up my shirtfront,
    Putting in the shirt studs,
    Polishing my nails………”♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸ ♪♫•*¨*•.¸♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸.

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