Tanzanite from Tanzania – QVC, Sunday evening
Explaining how one ends up viewing QVC or any other shopping channel is difficult. But when the choice is Heartbeat, the women’s darts quarter finals on the red button every three dart average even poorer than 2007 finalist Phil Nixon managed this evening), the Antique Roadshow, and some stuff on other sides – flicking and encountering something shiny (and not Victoria Beckham glistening with a curious Sheridanesque orange glow in Spice Girls night on TMF) is enough to make one stop momentarily. When this is then accompanied by a man (a grey haired lothario I later learn is called Dale) proclaiming that “it’s an inch wide” curiosity is at least piqued sufficiently to view five minutes.
Having caught my attention with a shiny thing – so apparently it’s me that the children get that from – (according to the screen caption this shiny thing was a tanzanite snowflake) which involved some blue (or violet – Dale couldn’t make up his mind) stones in a hideous shape nestling above the cleavage and slightly to the right of an enormous pimple belonging to a Coulthard-jawed blonde with an apparent inability to communicate other than blinking S O S in morse code clearly to save her from the clutches of Dale. There was then some trick with a ruler where Dale confirming the inch wide girth of his hostage’s snowflake pendant guaranteed that our attention would focus on the “1” on the ruler, while brandishing the start of the measure some way off the other side of the pendant. The trick was then shown again in, what Dale called, “the metrics” (blurted out in a manner suggesting he was mispronouncing some Gallifreyan neural network) and that in this zone, presumably where the memories of Drax have been stored, 1 inch is 2 1/2 centimentres and the ruler again didn’t lie (although some may question Dale).
At this point the shiny thing went out of focus and Dale told me how easy it was to buy on QVC as text messages trailed across the foot of the screen like SKy’s BREAKING NEWS – apparently proclaiming undying love for Dale and a desire to sell houses and contents to buy QVC’s excellent range of products.
I knew that my time with Dale was coming to an end but before my trigger finger switched back to Michael Aspel complaining about the weather and eulogising everyone’s favourite yellow-toothed cockney the Queen Mum I managed to hear that African jewellery day had started with bongo drums at 12 and that Carol (or Cathy or some other identikit hostage) would be back with tigers at 9. As I paused to reflect that outwith zoos tigers tend to stay on the Indian sub-continent I flicked. I will not return.
Unless there is something really really shiny.