Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Post It

The title is not an exhortation to increase your blogging rate (some of you need no encouragement in that direction), but a reference to the ubiquitous Post-It sticker, which was invented in stages during the sixties and seventies by the American company 3M, and marketed from the eighties.  In terms of low-profile inventions that have quietly transformed the developed world, the Post-It must be up there with the barcode (whose pioneer, Alan Haberman, incidentally, died last week at the age of 81).

I attach Post-Its to the eye-level cupboards in my kitchen as aides memoires of various tasks that might otherwise slip my mind.  For some reason their frequency seems to have increased of late.  I haven't yet been reduced to 'WASH UP' or 'GO TO BED', though these may not be that far in the future.  In the meantime, here are half a dozen recent ones.  They all have rather mundane explanations, but I thought it would be amusing to invite you to submit your own interpretations, as imaginative as you like.  Think the 'definitions' feature in 'I'm Sorry, I Haven't A Clue'.

  1. EX BIKE
  2. BOL
  4. 2 STRINGS
  5. CAROUSEL, and last but not least:
 If I get any submissions, I will publish the true answers (if I remember).  If not, you will spend the rest of your lives wondering.


  1. I suspect number 3 was part of a series:

    1. Get Sick
    2. Get Well
    3. Hang around a inkwell

    I have to have instructions on my shampoo these days.
    1. Wash
    2. Go

  2. Get bike out of garage to go and buy champagne. Phone to see if in stock, no strings attatched, remember to go around roundabout not over it erm...remember all of the above.

  3. BOL?

    Larder, Back Of, SSSI, webs, spiders'

    Laughs, Bundle Of, Chepstow Races, lost 50/1 'horse'

    Lamps, Bleeding Oil, remember to trim wicks

    Leg, Blister On, unexplained presence of

    Lexington, Battle Of, whether shrapnel used?

    Leary, Bloody O', book Ryanair tickets

  4. Extreme effort on exercycle to work off emerging spagh-bol bolster.
    Find tiny ring with attached bell and ID disc which is not on cat collar which is not on cat but outside back door with remains of two strings of sausages.
    Look up lyrics of annoying Carousel song which keeps causing vague humming.
    When find cat collar write down name on a Post-it as reminder.

  5. Rog - you're doing it again! Comment is head and shoulders above the rest. (Not really, but couldn't resist it)

    Rosie - nice story, but flawed - you know I don't drink Bollinger.

    Christopher - that's the spirit! I'll probably waste the afternoon looking up the Battle of Lexington. US Civil War?

    ElizT - a couple of yours actually got quite close to the truth. Which of course completely defeats the purpose.

    I'll be back with the true answers
    after the break.

  6. I know you pretty well but you've got me on all but the bol which must relate to that north Italian pasta dish.
    Reminder is probably to catch the 10:33 to Penzance on Tuesday week.

    Reverting to Bess it is indeed an astonishing two places & a filmworthy story. Went there this week & our gobs were as smacked as they were by Carmina Burana ballet in Birmingham yesterday.
    But I'm sure I saw a Post-it in Bess' withdrawing chamber. She was a prolific letterwriter so quite possible she needed the occasional memory aid.

  7. And another thing..
    I haven't wikid (apostrophe in there somewhere?) it honest but how does something like that get invented over 2 decades? Did they get the size in 1962, the colour in 1969, the paper weight in 1974, the sticky bit at the top in 1976 (the year of the drought) & ecstatically the eureka of sticking them all together in a block in 1979?
    I think your next Post-It should remind you of :

  8. Soaring -
    1) You join ElizT in missing the point, which was not to guess what they really were but to fantasise about what they could have been.
    2) You really expect me to believe you haven't wiki'd it?? I know you pretty well, and that list is stretching it even by your standards.

  9. Can you give me a clue as to what Soaring is on about? This is going to take up my entire morning.

  10. I shouldn't worry about it Rosie, I had drunk my government-allotted* half glass of red wine when I Posted It (ha!)
    I didn't say I never wiki'd stuff, but I didn't wiki the spag bol.
    But wiki "Post-It" & you find the solution. It's just a damn shame Tim, you weren't a resident of Boise, Idaho in 1978 - think of all the money you'd have saved on Post-Its. I wonder if the 13 year old Curtis Stigers got any free samples.

    * When I say "government-allotted" it's not free, like the navy used to get their rum, what I really meant was recommended but I can't be bothered to retype it.

    My word verification for this post is "conshed".