Why don't they have those picture competitions in magazines where they photograph something from an unusual angle and ask you what it is anymore? I used to like them.
Then there were the 'handy hints' which were probably killed off by Viz Comic. My favourite Viz handy hints are: Stick down cooked sausages to your kitchen surface with brightly coloured tape to stop children from eating them, and Human sperm makes perfect scale tadpoles for use in the village ponds of 00 gauge train-sets.
I hardly ever go into a launderette these days, but they are the best places to read the magazines most likely to still have photo competitions and handy hints. I haven't been into a doctor's surgery waiting room for quite a while, but you could only ever find magazines of what the doctor was interested in when I last did, and these were usually car magazines or very old editions of National Geographic.
The laundry I used to use was run by an elderly lady who obviously had a life-time subscription to 'Take A Break' magazine. Either side of the torrid romance story, there were letters purporting to be from readers, describing how they had come home unexpectedly to find their husbands dressed in their underwear, and recipes for what used to be daringly adventurous meals such as Chicken Kiev and Hungarian Goulash. "If you cannot find paprika in your corner shop in Builth Wells, then just use some of that cochineal that has been sitting at the back of the cupboard for 40 years, and chuck that into the beef stew."
Of course, the 'break' you were supposed to be taking was a break from housework and, as we all know, only women do housework.
My brother-in-law used to run an old-fashioned haberdashers in the heart of the Surrey stockbroker belt, in the days when there really were stockbrokers, and not just international criminals sitting behind computer screens.
His best and most reliable source of income was from the adverts for cushion-covers which he regularly placed in 'The Lady' magazine.
These little adverts sat uncomfortably close to others trying to sell incontinence knickers and rubberised under-sheets. Perhaps the saddest inserts of all could be found in the Personal Classified columns.
"Live-In Companion sought by independent widow. Light housework duties. Non-smoker preferred."
It was the 'companionship' bit which was the most telling, but the warning that the arrangement would not be on an equal and democratic footing was imparted with the 'light housework' bit. Too poor to employ a servant, too desperate to insist on a non-smoker and too Christian to keep a slave.
For years, every time I visited Marlborough, I went into The Polly Tea Rooms for tea and cake. The place - during term-time - was (and still is) packed with super-rich school kids from the nearby college (fees second highest only to Eton) and their super-rich parents.
That in itself was very entertaining, but one day the place was so rammed with them that I decided to go to the traditional Castle and Ball Hotel, just over the road. I'm not sure what it is like now, but a few years ago it was straight out of the 1940s, with armchairs by the fire and every broadsheet newspaper hanging from a pin on the wall. There was even a ticking clock.
As the clock chimed the stroke of 4.00, a very prim and very elderly woman came down the massive oak staircase, and took up her place at a small table in the dining room. Tea and toast were placed in front of her without a any words other than "Good afternoon, Miss ******"
This lady actually lived in a couple of rooms upstairs, and had been for many years. She spent the Winter in Nice and the Summer at the Castle and Ball. The waitress told me that once she had kicked the bucket, there would be no more 'live-in ladies' or 'paying guests' there. I went back a couple of years later, and the place was a lot noiser. There was no sign of Miss ****** either.
I bet she subscribed to The Lady.