Tag archive: Owls
As promised, I have returned from Venice with a Venetian manky toy in tow, though it took a fair amount of concerted effort to find anything suitable. If coloured glass and porcelain masks are your thing then La Serenissima serves your needs admirably and abundantly. If you’re an avid collector of low-quality, low-cost toys, however, it might be best to think of alternative destinations for your summer hols.
It was actually on our final afternoon, while ambling through Campo Santa Margherita, that I finally spotted a shop where the factory-made masks and assorted geegaws had been shunted aside to make way for some rather terrible toys.
After a detailed browse I was about to opt for a set of crappy, non-swashbuckling, plastic pirates when Jess spotted today’s offering. At first glance it appeared little more than another dull gun game set, with which cheapo shops (the world over) are liberally stocked. Second, third and fourth glances, however, revealed riches that couldn’t be ignored.
We’ll come to those in a moment. The first order of business is to acknowledge the care and attention lavished on my modest purchase by the shop’s keeper. Upon handing over the object she asked me a question I didn’t understand in Italian. My tactic in such situations is to gamble on a “yes” in the local lingo and see what happens. The result of my affirmative answer can be seen below.
It was almost a shame to rip up and rip open such a fine wrapping job…but it had to be done. Behold the contents:
As suggested above, first impressions may provoke shrugs of shoulders and exclamations of “So what?”. Look closer though, look closer. The mankiness is (as ever) in the details, and the details are hilarious.
First up is a bold claim:
The power is matchless? Hmmm…perhaps I’ve been turned into a battle-hardened old cynic by all this manky toy investigative journalism, but I had my doubts. Four brand new AA batteries later and a better slogan suggested itself:
The power is absent!
Well the burglar guy you’re supposed to shoot with matchless power did, in fairness, laugh menacingly a few times but he soon gave up. The gun, emblazoned with the macho phrase “Happy Baby” (see above), never even farted half-heartedly into life…
Despite this rather depressing result we’re assured that the item is, in fact, “the latest to appear on [sic] market”:
Taking notice of the helpful instructions, “Shoot the infared ray, and in the clout the target”, I tried again. Not a peep. Perhaps I wasn’t doing it right. I glanced once more at the box, only to find it roaring impatiently: “TARGET IN THE CLOUT!”
By now my failure to locate the “clout” was becoming embarrassing…
Flipping over the box for clues on how to continue I was confronted by the following alarming image. Bird lovers are advised to look away:
We’re now moving into (evocative and intriguing) cryptic crossword territory: “Beating the Inside Target”?, “The Eye Give Out Light?”
And look at the face on that kid! He’s “beating the inside target” with demented and perverse joy.
Let’s allow our eyes to travel further down the box…
After blowing the legs off a defenseless owl our manic little friend turns his attention to those other great foes of Venice (and mankind): Pirates!
A cry (honouring our hero) goes up around a grateful and relieved city:
The pirate were beaten the inside to can call!
Hoorah! Their glass and porcelain masks are safe once more. Maybe the power is matchless after all, despite my continued inability to unleash it…