Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Sunday, 16 August 2015
Don't take no for an answer, but just say no to ketamine
H.I. has gone to the cinema and I am a trifle bored. I cannot imagine any of you being so bored that you would go to the Victoria Gallery here in Bath, just to look at its fine collection of early drinking glasses, but that's what I am planning on doing.
This permanent collection is a prime example of how obsessed with the things that some people can get, as well as being fine and diverse examples of the actual things.
It was donated to the gallery by the widow of the collector. He was an insurance salesman (I think in the 1920s or 30s) who travelled the country and sat in his client's living rooms whilst conducting his business. If he noticed early drinking glasses on the mantlepiece or in the cabinets of his clients, he would badger them until they agreed to sell them to him, making many return visits if he had to. This was at a time when there was plenty around, and at reasonable prices.
The prices in those days were probably less - in real terms - than their original owners paid for them. These days, he would be called a 'knocker' - a practice that is frowned upon by respectable dealers, if not actually illegal under harassment laws.
Some years ago, if I was as bored as I am now, I would resort to cocaine. Yes, even on a Sunday and even in the early afternoon.
On one such Sunday afternoon, I was sitting in the pub, on the look-out for anyone who might be selling it. A friend sitting next to me foolishly let it slip that he had a bit of the stuff in a drawer at his home, waiting for a rainy day or a boring party. I could never quite understand anyone who had the will-power to leave it alone, and not just demolish the lot in one sitting as I always did.
I pretty much frog-marched him to his house and forced him to give it to me - something I am quite ashamed of now.
This was the technique used by the insurance salesman glass collector. Brutal, but it usually works.
Last night I was in the pub, talking about the nasty drug ketamine, which was designed as a horse-tranquilser, but now used as a recreational substance by some very silly people. We all agreed that it was to be avoided by anyone who valued their senses or general well being.