Ironic gifts


porcelain ballerina pair

Today I made a couple of purchases from Vincent’s, a charity shop on the Ormeau Road. The first was a pair of china ballerinas at £3 each and the second a trad jazz CD (Bobby Hackett, Poor Butterfly) for £1. Taking them back to work, I displayed my treasures and invited comments on the pair of lassies in their tutus. Most people tried to be polite about them, although it was obvious that this kind of Victorian tat should be crushed under a steamroller driven by the late Fred Dibnah and the microscopic pieces used to pave the way to perdition.

That said, in the sunlit windowsill there was a certain something about their svelte forms in balletic poses. One ballerina appeared to be sitting on a giant chanterelle mushroom. Alternatively, it was a disabled toilet and we really shouldn’t be looking too carefully at what she is doing (according to V, a colleague). Most people, when prompted by my expression of contempt for this art form, agreed that the kindest thing one could do would be to smash them.

One person seemed genuinely keen on them, probably because they are the sort of thing his mother likes.

I hope that when I present this gift to my wife for her birthday tomorrow she will get the irony…the picture above does not represent the full horror of their kitschness. I may have to take a photo of the real McCoy…of course I won’t, I’m sure you get the idea. My wife loathes them – I’m so happy.


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