There's So Much More In TV Times Part 11: Here's The Curtain Track You've Been Waiting For

So you're all set. You've cut that page out of TV Times, you've got your leftovers all nicely stored in the fridge, you've got your oversized novelty chef's hat on, and it's time to make whatever that recipe with Brucie was. There's only one problem, though - your kitchen looks grey, spartan and shabby even by the standards of the days of black and white TV, and doesn't even have a single shred of showbiz razzle-dazzle. To see it is definitely not nice.

Fortunately help is at hand. If you flick back a couple of pages through the magazine that, erm, you've cut a page out of, you can find all manner of cost-effective dazzling new utilities and decorating supplies to help turn your kitchen into a suitably hip and happening pop-art hangout for making a snack during the ad break of Fire Crackers...

It's On (Dr. Dre) 37°F Killa! Passive-agressive cross-utility smackdown time as a Bobbie Gentry-alike snorting a Rum Swizzle bemoans the fact that her fridge isn't quite as good as her sewing machine. Quite what indignity had caused Ian Singer to take so bitchily against the good people at Electrolux is sadly lost to history, but you really would worry about her ability to operate a sewing machine safely with all that booze flowing through her sinuses anyway.

No such chlorodifluoromethane-targeted outrage for Mrs Jacki Boardman, who apparently goes 'all the way' with her small artillery of white goods from Frigidaire's SheerLook 67 range; apparently the 'most stylish, most spacious, most 1967 fridges you ever saw'. Presumably they had a plaque commemorating Steve Chalmers' European Cup-winning goal for Celtic on the front, and played Sorry Mr. Green by The Walham Green East Wapping Carpet Cleaning Rodent And Boggit Extermination Association when opened. Meanwhile, we would never under any circumstances suggest that there is any direct correlation between her pose, her frenziedly delighted expression, and the rickety juddering mechanism of old-skool twin-tub washing machines. Because we get letters. We really do.

If you needed more time to devote to brow-furrowing over whether your fridge was literally orgasmic or just a poor substitute for a Ronco Buttoneer, you could always invest in some Marley Consort flooring. Boasting 'locked-in shine' in an early incarnation of that infuriating 'Such R.3! Many Hardluck Hall!' speech meme thing, it all but legally bindingly guaranteed that you would never ever need to actually clean it. A cat would probably like a word, then.

Out into the hallway, and you too could win a Big, Big Carpet! There are a mathematically bewildering array of prizes to be won, and no guarantee that if you sat down and worked it all out with a set square and graph paper, you wouldn't find that it essentially all added up to mean that absolutely nobody would end up winning absolutely anything whatsoever. Note also that said carpets are offered by a carpet cleaner manufacturer, who would presumably have reached straight for prizes that required you to deploy their product every three minutes, regardless of position on the 'big, big' scale.

Alternatively, you could opt for Polyflor, which probably requires more regular cleaning but at least is simple and straightforward enough for teh menz to work out. That's quite an extravagant way of congratulating him for successfully working out how to wield a mop, though.

An opportunity for a tacky observation about curtains matching carpet? No, because what we're concerned with here is the actual curtain track. It's strong, almost invisible, easy to fix, silent gliding, easy to clean, non-corroding, and presumably taken as read that it will also hold up your curtains successfully. Is, after all, the curtain track you've been waiting for, and despite the suspiciously keen look of the lady in the half-hearted John Squire-decorated t-shirt, almost impossible to contrive an untoward gag out of. Almost.

If you were looking to emphasise that revolutionary new curtain track with a nice fresh lick of paint, longstanding purveyors of finest substrate adherent Crown were hoping to attract your custom with this conspicuously modern-looking will-they-won't-they-choose-soft-khaki literally decorative couple. Quite what was amusing them in the first example of the campaign is sadly left unclear, while in the second one they appear to have wandered on to the set of The Trip. Touch the scream that climbs the walls... but make sure the second coat has set first. Yes, about three of you got that, didn't you?

Bizarre to think that it's now necessary to specify that the above gag referred to the highly banned Jack Nicholson-scripted 1967 big-screen freakout The Trip and not that thing with Coogan and Brydon sodding off to BSB in a go-kart or something, but there we are. Anyway, one thing that definitely won't be climbing any walls - providing they've been coated in the requisite quantity of confusingly named Walpamur Emulsion - is flies. This is the paint with the in-built 'Insect And Fly Control Agent', which probably did send a few winged buzzers tumbling undignified to the floor, but also quite possibly left three percent of your face attached to it if you ventured too close. Legal Disclaimer: this presumption is based on absolutely no evidence whatsoever. Apart from general alarm at the overall quite unnecessary wording and illustration of the advert.

Anyway, all the decorating is done, and it's time to move on to the furniture. And here's one of those standard-issue sixties foxy redheads pushing the need to replace old sofas with new with an almost propagandist zeal. Well, if there's one thing that Ian Furniture and the Furniture Industry Fatcats are going to have to come to terms with, it's the fact that we're all too psychologically robust and resilient to fall for cheap and tacky attempts to coerce us into parting with cash simply by deploying a str... sorry, was just looking at swivel chairs... am I supposed to be writing about Skiboy or something?

At a guess, I'd say that the mystery was why he considered this any more 'portable' than any other penny, especially considering the size of it. Anyway join us again next time, when we'll be looking at how TV Times plugged its very own small-screen stars in the most tenuous of tie-in features. At least two of whom appeared in programmes covered in entertaining depth in my book Well At Least It's Free, hint hint.

And if you want to see some of those programmes covered in 'entertaining depth', you can get Well At Least It's Free in paperback here or from the Kindle Store here.