This week I’ve had to come to terms with how gullible I really am – Gaby Soutar


It seems that gullibility might increase with age.

This weekend, I’m in recovery from April Fool’s Day and its accompanying comedy press releases.

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It’s only a matter of time before one slips through the net and is published after the event, simply because I’m the wide-eyed village simpleton.

Indesit dog with his washing machine

It worries me how, each year, it takes a beat longer for the penny to drop, as if I’m an ancient and sticky gumball machine.

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Mother’s Day is here, but must they be subjected to afternoon tea? – Gaby Soutar

As the world gets stranger and less predictable, and my brain cells turn to dust, I become more vulnerable to being bamboozled by utter tripe.

It’s lucky that I’m a bit too old and skint for the Tinder Swindler’s attention.

I used to be able to sift out the email nonsense just from the subject line. Not any more.

This week, there was a message from cosmetics company Arran Aromatics.

They were releasing a plaid hand wash, which came out of the bottle in a tartan pattern – ‘suitable for all clans’, they said.

It seems vaguely amusing now, and I’d love to tell you more about it, but I deleted the email in a temper, when I’d realized how much credulous thought I’d put into the logistics of such a creation. Well, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility, since Aquafresh’s toothpaste is stripy and you get boiled sweets in a Saltire design, is it?

Worst of all, I really wanted some. I need it in my bathroom, so I can distract guests from the smell of mold.

The burger company, Byron, also lied to me about pickle beer. So what? I’d happily drink that. I down straight vinegar out of the beetroot jar sometimes, just for funsies.

I also fielded an email about The Hoff teaming up with SodaStream to save turtles, which may have been real, though I deleted it anyway.

At least I didn’t fall for the new Indesit dog-friendly washing machine, with Paw&Go technology, so they can switch the thing on and wash their own blankies.

I’m not THAT far gone. Mind you, if someone told me about a pasta tree, I’d be straight along there, trying to harvest spaghetti for dinner.

It was Panorama that came up with that old chestnut in 1957, and eight years later, the BBC also promised smell-o-vision. Viewers sniffed their tellies and reported that it had, indeed, worked. I would have been one of them.

It’s difficult to transition from wind-up merchant, to windee.

In my younger days, my proudest moment was convincing a friend that they had bred epidermis-free chickens, so that cooks didn’t have to remove the skin. They just have a thin transparent membrane, I said, to keep the organs in, but you can still see the internal workings jiggling around.

I only fessed up that it was a joke when they were dialing the RSPB number.

Anyway, to illustrate my point, this column has been infused with scratch and sniff technology.

Try my face. I know – strawberries.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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