Pink Babies, White Hands and Adjustable Insects

A little while ago I was invited to a Pink Baby Shower. I’m sorry I couldn’t go – I would have loved to see all those little pink babies pouring down, chubby bouncing ones of course, and none of them hurt on landing. David Jermann must have had a similar reaction resulting in this “Putti Pandemonium”:putti_pandemonium_mural-large

I chuckled at the thought of baroque putti drifting down like the snow that has been falling steadily these last few days, and then it struck me that you could have babies of every colour, a Rainbow Baby Shower, in fact. Or perhaps you just sit a bunch of babies in the bathtub and sprinkle them with a shower? Bring your own pink baby for that, of course. All very Anne Geddes, anyway!

It’s well known that once you become aware of a phenomenon it recurs frequently: when you are pregnant, every other woman you see seems to be expecting, and when you have a dog, you constantly meet other dog owners. So it is with this ambiguous use of adjective + noun + noun: the “black ladies’ gloves” syndrome. A day after the Pink Babies had happily showered in my imagination, I noticed the label on a box in the kitchen cupboard: White Hand Blender it says. Image0702 Is there any connection with the Red Hand Gang or the Black Foot Indians? What happens when you blend white hands? I’m still pondering that one.

And yesterday, flicking through one of those catalogues selling amazing gadgets that you never knew you lacked till you saw them advertised, I came across this: Adjustable Insect Killer.Image0744

Oh yes, I have seen insects of all shapes and sizes, but I hadn’t realised why. Now I know: they are adjustable. Are all insects adjustable, or only some of them? Obviously, adjustable insects must be dangerous, or why would anyone want to kill them? And if they are rapidly being exterminated, does that make them an endangered species, which we should be protecting rather than hunting down?

6 thoughts on “Pink Babies, White Hands and Adjustable Insects

  1. The term shower is often assumed to mean that the expectant mother is “showered” with gifts. The related custom bridal shower may have derived its name from the custom in Victorian times for the presents to be put inside a parasol, which when opened would “shower” the bride-to-be with gifts.

    I googled the above because I was curious where the expression “Baby Shower” came from. If the mother is going to have a boy, I hope she’s not going to get all pink gifts for the baby! But maybe she knows already that she’s going to have a girl. In the past it wasn’t so easy to guess the sex of the unborn one.

    During WW II, when we escaped to the country because of air-raids, there were thousands of flies in our dwelling. when we arrived there in September. We went catching them and drowning them in some water! We also used these sticky hangers. These hangers trapped dozens and dozens of flies in an instant.

    Maybe an Adjustable Insect Killer would have been very welcome!

    • That’s interesting – I like the idea of the parasol. Baby showers are an American custom but they also seem to be catching on over here. Yes, this mother-to-be knows it’s a little girl and is very pleased as she already has a lovely little boy.

  2. I am constantly amused at the advertising and words that appear on various products. The one I really love is 30% cleaner/softer etc. 30% more than what?
    And baby showers have indeed caught on here in NZ. But I hadn’t heard of a pink baby shower. Were you all given umbrellas/parasols to shelter you from the shower?

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