Thinking Strange Thoughts - The Talking Scales

I’ve often wondered what a man who looks after sheep is called in Germany. Surely he cannot be called a German Shepherd, everyone would think you were talking about a dog. And what if the man who looks after the sheep, actually buys himself a German Shepherd as a pet. You could get the ridiculous situation of a German Shepherd taking his German Shepherd for a walk, it could cause tremendous confusion. Anyway we haven’t got time for that now. Regular readers(if there are any)may recall that over the years I have been writing these articles, I have discussed my bad back, bad hearing, ear wax problems and excessive nasal hair. Apart from that I am in superb condition for a man in his seventies , unfortunately I am a man in his fifties, anyway I was rolling along quite nicely and then my eyes went, it seemed to occur suddenly, I remember it was a Tuesday morning, I was just reading the papers when I noticed that the paper was pressed against my nose and the thought occurred that if the paper has to be pressed against your nose before you can read it, then it may be time for an eye test. And that’s it, yet another problem , now I need reading glasses. My wife’s only comment was “your just not the man I married” unfortunately her eye’s are worse than mine and she did not realize that she was talking to the lawn mowing man at the time. Credit where it’s due, he just nodded his head and agreed that he was not the man she married.

Mind you, one good thing, I have not put on much weight over the years, that’s often a sign of good breeding, though I’ve no idea what it could be in my case. Anyway that actually brings me to what I was going to write about, I knew I would get there eventually. I recently decided to buy a set of bathroom scales so that I could keep an eye on my weight. I went to the shop and tested some out and realized there was a bit of a problem. As I’m pretty tall, and as I mentioned my eyes are not the best, I could not read my weight on the scales. I tried leaping off the scales and bending down very quickly, but by the time I got down there the weight had gone, and then as I straightened up, my back went , so I decided not to bother. Day’s later I was reading a magazine that some guests from Norway left behind and I saw the answer to my problems, a set of “talking scales”, you stand on them and a voice tells you your weight. I immediately sent off for some and was delighted when a couple of weeks later a parcel arrived from Norway, I took out the scales, stood upon them, and there it was, a voice telling me my weight. At least I’m assuming that’s what it was saying, but since I do not speak a word of Norwegian there was no way of knowing really. I thought that was the end of it, but eventually, via the internet I was able to make a Norwegian penfriend, and now, when I wish to weigh myself, I stand on the scales, ring Olaf in Oslo and he listens to the scales and translates for me. There’s always a way around these things, mind you, I hope he’s telling me the truth because according to him I’ve put on 98 kilo’s in the last fortnight.

Of course, the “talking scales” are not a new idea, I remember when I was a young lad in England, my mom bought one. You had to put a battery in it and when the battery was getting a bit weak, the speaker would stutter a bit and say something like “you are f..f..f..f..fourteen stone” I remember that I never liked the way that it spoke, it had one of those sneering English upper class accents. You could imagine it saying “you’re a bit overweight my boy, whereas I’m so slender I can fit inside these little bathroom scales”

Once, Gladys’s from next door came round, she was what my mom politely referred to as “big boned” , I insisted that she try out the scales in the kitchen, she climbed on and the voice screamed “get off, your crushing me” Gladys was devastated. Later that evening I told my gran that I had made a “faux pas” in the kitchen, she said “I’ll have a slice if there’s any left” but that’s another story.

Steve Ainley

 

Back to Strange Thoughts Index