Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Playing Your Cards Right

Personally I blame those cigarette cards they used to issue, specifically the 'Great British Sex Offenders' series, for all these groping and sexual harassment allegations now coming to light.  I mean, you can bet your life that Boris Johnson and all those other Old Etonians who currently stand accused of touching up women collected the whole set when they were teenagers.  After all, as I recall, card series like that were carried by the posh cigarette brands like Pall Mall.  The working classes had to be satisfied with famous second division footballers in their packets of Woodbines or John Player's 'Famous British Cattle Breeds' series.  So yeah, I bet that Boris Johnson even had them mounted in the album that you could send off for.  I bet he and his chums spent hours in the dorm after lights out, slavering by torch light over the information as how Britain's top sex pests had harassed women.  They had probably spent months swapping the cards between themselves in order to get complete sets.  Is it any wonder they all grew up to be (allegedly) misogynistic bastards who treat women as sex objects?

But it was always the same with those trading cards, even the ones they gave away with packets of tea.  Like a lot of working class kids I collected the PG Tips series like 'The Space Race', 'Prehistoric Animals' and 'History of Flight', (I had them all mounted in the special albums, too), but if you were posh and drank Twinings, you got to collect 'Classic Erotic Art' and 'Famous Artistic Nudes'.  It's all about class.  I remember when petrol stations gave away similar cards, with the number you got depending on how many gallons you bought at a time.  Now, my father could only afford to put two star in the car, (petrol at the pumps was graded in those days, the number of stars - between one and four - indicating the octane level), which meant that I eventually ended up with the full set of 3-D endangered species cards (and album).  I was very happy with the set (I still have the album, in fact).  But I subsequently found out that those filling up with four star, (who typically drove Rolls Royces, Mercedes, Jaguars, Range Rovers and the like), got to collect 3-D cards depicting 'Great Nudes of the Renaissance'.  You see, even when you were filling up, there was no bloody justice.



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