Home shopping catalogues..... Kays, Grattans, Freemans, Littlewoods, used to be a big thing in the UK where you could buy the unaffordable at 'affordable' prices and not only that, but spread the cost, if only we all had the sense to see that the affordable came with such a high price tag in terms of inflated costs and interest charges, which the peasants who used this medium for shopping back then didn't have a clue about, and largely they still don't today.
But the cost of things wasn't my guilty secret, yes the toy section was a big draw for me as a kid but as I got that little bit older and girls started to figure in my life, the biggest draw for me in the shiny glossy pages of these catalogues was the ladies - underwear section - there it is, it's out there I was a kid who perved over glossy photos of half naked women, I admit it .. and here is the photo that sent me back all those years:
it was taken from this article on the AOL home page entitled 'super-flattering shapewear' and I do have to admit for some unknown reason it took me right back to those days in the 60's when I ogled all those women in their knickers and bras when no one else was about. Ah memories and go on all you amateur psychologists start analysis , now ..... but if it makes me look any better I did move on to the likes of
Fiesta, Hustler, Knave, Mayfair (my favourite), OUI *, Penthouse, Playboy,
and instead of looking at half naked women I was looking at the 'real deal' Ah memories, in fact although I had a guilty little blush at the memory I do recall a short conversation with Ishbel's mother in the 70's.
We were in Berlin at the time and I was courting Ishbel. They were heading off to the American Sector to do some shopping in the US PX, the equivalent, but much better than our own forces NAAFI stores. Anyway Ishbels mother asked me if there was anything I wanted and I said, 'yes, can you get me an ooie*'. With a look of complete puzzlement she replied, 'what on earth is an ooie?'
I replied , with no shame, bearing in mind here I am as a 17 year old dating her 15 year old daughter (still an idiot now) asking her to get me an ooie - 'It's a magazine' I said. ' What kind of magazine' she asked. 'Just a magazine' said I, not thinking that if and when she discovered it she would see exactly what kind of magazine, probably drop the shopping, come home and boot me out of the flat and tell me never to darken their doorstep again...... But and anyway after a few moments she asked, 'how do you spell it'. 'That's easy' says I, 'OUI'
' We' says she. 'What' says I. 'No, you idiot' says she. 'We, that is how it is pronounced, O U I, it's French for yes, pronounced WE' I remember the look of despair on her face but I can't remember if she actually bought me the damn thing