David Moseley

Nothing appeeling in the ‘burbs

2015-08-06 14:00

David Moseley

You might remember Nedbank's attempt at an ethereal approach to banking a few years back – the ad where tubby white folk were jumping gaily off a pier while a dreamy voiceover asked "who are these people" who want to save the Knysna seahorse and whose associates travel to Helsinki for work and leisure.

"Who goes to Helsinki?" I think the narrator even asked. (Well, funnily enough, my gran, actually. But I think she banks with FNB).

The advert failed to get me to change banks (better the devil you know, right?), but the "who are these people" catchphrase stuck and every now and then it comes roaring back to life as I navigate the reality that is the twilight zone of Cape Town's southern suburbs. One such occasion was this past Saturday.

On the hunt for a potato peeler (my book, Confessions of a Middle-Aged Carbophile or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Chip Gatsby, will be out soon), I stumbled upon the mother load of "who are these people" paraphernalia.

Rummaging through the shelves even after two very friendly shop staff confirmed that no such item as basic as a potato peeler existed in their store (either the banters are winning, or the non-banters are hoarding Cape Town's potato peelers), I noticed utensils on display ready to pip, core, pluck, slice and dice every type of fruit or vegetable known to humankind.

All I wanted was a potato peeler. But, nope. Couldn't have one. What I could have, however, was a very particular set of utensils for some very particular purposes.

There was a lime green avocado slicer (knives are so 2010!), a green avo saver that looked like a tiny German's holiday footwear, a plastic ring doughnut that called itself a corn kernel remover - I mean, what on earth is a corn kernel remover when it’s at home anyway? Aren’t your teeth supposed to remove the corn from the cob?

There was an onion holder (finally, a replacement for hands), a yellow banana slicer (my god, how do savages survive on whole bananas) and a product called a lemon sprayer.

I don't know, guys. Last time I needed lemon sprayed I just squeezed one with my bare hands. It was traumatic, but I pushed through. I'm now stronger for it and know all about real-life struggles.

Naturally, there were corn holders – so that one's precious fingers never have to touch the corn – an apple corer and slicer, presumably so you never have to bite into an apple and actually eat the thing in unmanageable chunks, and, my favourite for sheer audacity, an egg slicer. An egg slicer, man! What? What is that? What is an egg slicer and what kind of person needs to slice an egg with one?

Don’t get me wrong, like most guys there’s nothing I enjoy more than using my artisan tapas board and mango corer on the weekend. But, a banana slicer – a slicer that slices bananas and nothing but bananas - that’s banana’s, man.

Coming in 2016 can we expect grape pluckers, which pull grapes off the bunch so your fingers don’t ever tire?

What about a toothbrush for the left side of your mouth and one for the right side (I actually think that exists)?

Separate hairbrushes for red heads, blondes and greying men? Why not toilet paper for your skin type – TP for smooth a-holes! TP for dry a-holes! TP for pimply a-holes!

Or perhaps – to take this madness to its logical conclusion - stew chewers, who delicately masticate your stroganoff ready-meal before regurgitating it into your welcoming mouth. It’s only a matter of time.

Seriously, though. Who are these people?

- Follow @david_moseley on Twitter.

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