From out of the blue some unsuspecting grandmother’s phone rings, and two minutes later, her pension has gone. How unscrupulous salesmen can be when it comes to pedalling their wares knows no limits. But how good are they really?
They would sell their own grandmother if they could, but in order to succeed one has to be adaptive. There isn’t just one type of elderly person, after all. So what if they had to sell her in order to pay the bills? Here are a few doubtful examples.
Imagine finding an advert for one in a magazine in between the “how to satisfy your partner in bed” articles, and the horoscopes. What would be a catchy title? “Get her whilst she’s hot”? Unlikely, unless she’s just been for her weekly trip to the hairdresser. What about tugging at the reader’s heartstrings by suggesting that they adopt one, as they are an endangered species? Well, if they were on the decline, then none of us would have to contribute to a private pension scheme – unless you have fallen victim to a telesales company, that is. But it’s probably because you get a free pot of anti-wrinkle cream with each senior citizen sold. Elderly people have wrinkles.
The blue-toothed grandmother
There’s no use having messy cables in your home if they foul her Zimmer-frame; tripping her up will cost you a small fortune when it comes to paying for her hip-replacement surgery. So why not keep her sitting safely in her armchair downstairs, and buy her a Bluetooth wireless hearing aid when you want to speak to her? Indeed, if you upgrade grandma by increasing her memory – it’s not sure that she will want to be upgraded, though – you won’t have to repeat yourself all of the time. The colour-coordinated headset will also match the blue rinse that she uses in her hair nicely. A white (haired) elephant, I think.
Since she’s moved in with you your telephone bills have tripled, so you could raise revenue by auctioning her off. Going, going, gone. Shame.
As seen on TV
Yes, they work on TV but not when you get them home. The shopping channel that you have purchased the grumpy one from will not refund your card, as her 28-day money-back guarantee expired at least 80 years ago. There you sit the two of you, without an instruction manual; she doesn’t work the way they promise, and has definitely got a screw loose. But the seller on TV doesn’t have nearly the same amount of life-experience that a grandmother has, so if you are lucky enough to still have any of your (rather than their) grandparents alive, they are definitely worth it.
Don’t try and teach your grandmother to suck eggs, she’s heard it all before. I like old people.
First published on aftenbladet.no 01.09.08
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