Wednesday, October 10

Magnet Principle.

This morning I have decided to have a bit of a rant.
While I was over reading the lovely Muriel's post, about finding a family came to sit almost on top of them, on a deserted beach, it reminded me of what we, in our family, call the Magnet principle.

It seems every time we decide to go somewhere, or look at some item in a shop, the magnet principle comes into force.

The beach/park/bush track, will be utterly deserted. There will not be another soul visible for miles. But you can almost guarantee, the minute we decide we would like to sit on it, walk on it, or play in it, there will suddenly be hordes of noisy, nosy, obnoxious people, pets, & insects, who all suddenly discover a pressingly urgent reason to be in the exact spot we are.

What the hell IS that? Is it the natural herding instinct of the human race? Or a more sinister desire to have what others have? Or just an innocent need to want or seek company? Or some sort of natural 'clotting factor'?

We can go off shopping, & be looking at a deserted shop, with no other customers. Perhaps seeking some sort of item one might require or need once in a life time. A crotch truss or some other obscure item. (Not that we have ever needed one- are there such things??) The moment we begin to examine said Crotch Truss, there will be some, or many, other people who suddenly realise they need just such a Crotch Truss, right at this moment. They will stand close, peer over our shoulders, crane their necks to get a better view of the velvet linings. They will reach out to grasp the item the minute you look as if you might be going to return it to the shelf.

Same thing can happen in the Supermarket. Innocent & priorly deserted aisles of vegetables, need only attract our attention, to suddenly warrant hitherto unseen swatches of people. All panting after just the right leek- ie, the one I am holding. Or just that particular melon. Wrested from my grasp, it goes bowling down the aisle. Suddenly it seems, it is not nearly so attractive.

Same thing in the fabric aisles. Just the very colour I am needing will be flavour of the month it seems. Bolts will be hastily snatched from the shelves, & I will be left stunned on the edge of the frenzy.

DJ & I have often thought of offering our services to large stores to help move along stale stock, which has previously languished, unused, unloved, or even unwanted, for months on shelves. We could stand & ponder it, & it would be sure to suddenly be attractive & desirable to many, who formerly had not known they needed such an item.

It is SG's birthday next week, so we went out into the world of toys yesterday, to see what is currently 'hot'. We examined a lot of plastic junk! Think of all the oil that is used for the manufacture of useless trash. We also stepped up the desirability for quite a few things, just by picking them up to examine them!

I was amused to see some little Cowboy & Indian figures, which sit astride little plastic horses. I was reminded of such toys my Beloved Brother used to have, & how we used to play Cowboys & Indians. I suppose it is not PC now, & this is the reason they disappeared. I picked up one of the figures to look at it, it's legs permanently astride, so it could straddle the horse's back. I was a little surprised to see a huge hole in the,... erm,... seat area, of the figure!
Life must be very hard out there in the Wild West!!

Joe Cocker, Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood.


crafty said...

Ha ha Meggie.

I was -almost- guilty of this hovering thing the other day. At my local supermarket there is a trolley thing at the back that always has specials on it which I like to check (haven't ever actually bought anything from it tho') anyway, there was already a couple looking, I felt most affronted, and had to walk back up the aisle a few times waiting for them to leave it so I could look, and jeez it took them ages to make up their minds.

Goodness, we humans are silly beings aren't we?

crafty said...

OK, so I was guilty. Walking up and down aisles waiting my chance is hovering isn't it?

meggie said...

Crafty, Not at all! That is what I would call polite behaviour! The ones I am talking about are practically pushing me over!!

z-silverlight said...

Oh yeah! been there.
Goodness. I think it the 'grass seeming greener' thing.

Anonymous said...

Meggie , There must be a way to exploit this herding instinct and make money from it , Oh , there is ! -- its been done , ' seeding ' audiences of prospective buyers and such like with fake buyers HaHa . Its a universal thing isn't it ? Rather like very carefully ensuring there is absolutely not a soul within miles and then breaking wind --You can guarantee the crowd arrive just as the stench does !
I have photographic evidence that we did indeed play Cowboys and Indians as children -- I always wanted to be an Indian & had a bow and arrows and home made feathered head dress & you had your Annie Oakley outfit ( or similar) and sometimes carried, from memory ,a yellow plastic pistol ??!! if 'six shooters ' weren't available
Good Stuff !!

Katie said...

Ah yes! Just like when you are driving on a narrow deserted road, and when you have to pass a parked car there is a car coming from the other direction so you meet just at that spot! Always!

Jellyhead said...

A crotch truss?!!! Meggie you are a hoot!

Have I ever told you how much I love your blog? (a lot!)

smilnsigh said...

Please don't wait another minute to exploit this fascinating ability you have!!! -gigggles- Offer your *clotting ability* to far and wide. I'll bet you'll be in great demand, in the world of store openings, sales, holiday promotions, etc. -more giggles-

Trouble is, I'll bet it would sell! If you could prove it to the sellers, I'll bet they would pay you to 'do it' for them.


Unknown said...

Oh Meggie - you are a real tonic - I was feeling just a little melancholy about something that's happened today and I read your post and laughed right out loud - over here in the UK we have a Scottish Comedian called Billy Connolly - he's more than a bit close to the knuckle but is also very funny and always throws a different slant on the way he looks at life - your observations often make me think of his view of the world - thank you so much for lifting my mood from a downward spiral this afternoon - the medics should bottle you and give you out on prescription!

Linda G. said...

So many of the things I think about posting have to do with our local history and that includes a good bit about cowboys and indians. Then I think about pc and back off. Although a legitimate part of history, perhaps one shouldn't talk about it?
I agree that the "clotting factor" has to be, in some way, marketable.
If not, the manufacture and marketing of the velvet lined crotch truss is sure to be a money maker:)

Ragged Roses said...

Meggie your posts just get funnier and funnier. I think if anyone should invent a crotch truss it should be you. As far as the magnet principle goes I think you should be hired by all those corporate suits out there and make yourself a fortune!
Kim x
Ps Would the crotch truss be quilted?!

His Office, My Studio said...

All I can say is give me my space and get away because I am a bi*ch and I yell.

Melinda said...

Ha! I can see this as your job.... They give you the date and time of the sale, you show up and cruise around, attracting customers from one item to another! Getting paid to "shop".

Joni said...

Maybe just maybe if you neglected to shower a couple days or so.... LOL. I know when I do cross one of those stinky types I steer clear! No magnet principle there. The big yellow visitor was quite impressive!!

Ian Lidster said...

We have made the same observations a number of times. One time we were on a relatively deserted beach on Kauai and this family came and literally set up their mats immediately beside us. There were acres of sand at their disposal. We made a point of getting up and moving.

Mike said...

When I am in overly crowded places, I do everything I can to suppress the urge to yell "GET AWAY FROM ME." I know exactly what you mean about magnets.

Anonymous said...

Meggie , You may remember that Spike Milligan did indeed invent and make up a crotch truss for use when playing the trumpet in his band ( to try and prevent the onset of hernias ) -- He then had to sew an extra piece to the bottom of his jacket , to hide the result !
Cab Calloway Lived !!

Marja said...

Hi Meggie, I laughed when I read your post. Observed it as well. I think people are social animals, just follow the herd. Probably an instinct. I am from a stong wild rebellious line of people standing on the sideline watching it. Sometimes wanting to be with the herd sometimes not.

Tanya Brown said...


My theory is that you dress too well and look like too nice a person. Perhaps if you could affect a more eccentric appearance you'd find the aisles less crowded? I have found that wearing a ripped up hat tends to keep others at bay. If that won't work for you, perhaps you should consider donning a stained sweater with visible holes when you go shopping. Talking nonsense to yourself might also help.

Aunty Evil said...

It's funny you wrote this post now Meggie.

When MDH and I were trawling the old wares places on our trip back from Brisbane, we'd pull up and there would be nobody there. Within minutes, I was having people push past me, or I'd have to wait while they looked at something that interested me.

I commented at the time to MDH that we could hire ourselves out as crowd attracters.

Fairlie - said...

Ha! Too funny. I love your Magnet Principle!

I've definitely experienced it.

Ali Honey said...

Hi Meggie Magnet, If you really don't like it extend what Tanya suggested. Start acting strangely; walking funny; scratching get the idea.

I don't have that problem but I often get asked questions like, How do you cook that?"
Often little short old ladies ask me to fetch things down off top shelves for them, or to find things for them. Maybe I look helpful.

Andrea said...

This is SO true. And have you ever noticed when you go back to your car in a HUGE car park of about a million cars someone will be getting into theirs in the very next space. Bizarre ! You really should write a book - lol !

LBA said...

I can't remember what age SG is, but if you like the cowboy theme, I just love the "Woody" and "Bullseye" dolls from the 'Toy Story' movies.

They are available at all toy stores and variety stores like K-Mart etc...

velcro said...

When we lived in the Netherlands there was a cash machine almost directly opposite our flat. We would look out the window, check that there was no queue and then dash down the two flights of pratcially vertical stairs and across the road to the machine. Every time you were guaranteed that by the time you got to the machine there would be a queue of at least 3 people all wanting to do their weekly banking. We took to calling them the actors as we were positive that they were paid to do this.

ancient one said...


You've been tagged for a meme... come play with us..

apprentice said...

Don't worry we all switch polarity in about a thousands years ;)

I loved cowboys and Indians too.
We spent whole summers charging around, and some poor bugger always got tied up and forgotten.
It's all to do with the limited freedom kids get now. Everything is organised for them, which is a shame. I listen to Jools Holland on the radio today describing how at 8 he got to go alone on the bus to Soho and buy his first blues 78.
We went across town by bus to go to the cinema at a similar age. I feel sorry for today's kids their lives are so curtailed compared to the freedoms we had.

Sheila said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sheila said...

You always cheer me up Meggie.
What is that makes people invade our 'space'. I read one where it is impolite to stand closer than 3 feet to someone unless you are having a conversation and/or know them well. I always seem to have people nipping at my heels while waiting at the cash register.
One day when in a not very accomodating mood, I asked a lady who was breathing down my neck if she had enough room.
Yes thank you dear she said, the remark totally going over her head..!