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Parapraxis in action

So, the garklet got a whole bunch of brightly-coloured plastic toys for his birthday and for Christmas, and most of them a) make electronic noises when you press buttons and b) have no off switch. Given that he's attracted to buttons like a wasp to jam (a case in point: I've taped cardboard over the power switch for the television, because he was trying to power cycle it a couple of times a second), we're pretty inured to said noises by now. I've 'fixed' the really objectionable ones with the help of Mr. Screwdriver; he'll get the batteries back in a few years time.

One of the toys is a cement truck (from ELC, I believe) which makes noises when you press the head of the not-Bob-the-Builder-honest figure. It says the following, in order:

  • "Where do you want it?"
  • "Let's get mixing!"
  • "It won't take long to set."
  • "Four parts sand, one part cement."

However, I've realised that I've been mentally translating the last phrase as "four parts gin, one part vermouth". My brain is clearly trying to tell me something...

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Blimey, a toy that can mix a martini! Do you think your son is going to become a mixologist?

PS Can it also make a gin sling and where can we get one???!!!

The toy in question is this, but I assume that the mixer is neither watertight nor gin-tight.

Not a Martini - with those ingredients, it's a Mortini.

Ah, the joys of getting presents for the children of friends and family!

I have wondered what we did to deserve this a number of times.

That said, some of the toys are dead cool - the businessman's communications workstations being a case in point: magnetic drawing pad (labelled as 'fax'), telephone handset with a number of ringtones and call transfer buttons, and an answerphone message recording facility.

Hearts full of youth,
Hearts full of truth,
Six parts gin to one part vermouth.

I have to admit, I prefer my Martinis (and Gibsons) rather less dry than Lehrer suggests. 4:1 are the normal proportions I'd mix.

I remember reading somewhere (I've a vague recollection that it might be in one of Stephen Potter's books, but I'd have to check) a recommendation that the perfect Martini can be made by allowing a glass of gin to stand, for a few seconds, in the shadow of a bottle of vermouth.

(I don't drink, though, so I don't have an opinion on whether this is a good idea or not.)

Winston Churchill was reputed to mix Martinis by putting gin in a mixing glass, and glaring at the vermouth.

fantastic - am on a Churchill jag ATM and have never understood the appeal of Vermouth so will adopt this recipe myself.

Bah. Vermouth is lovely.

I've never been - I'm told it's beautiful in the Fall, and the maple syrup is world class.

Badabum-ching! You're here all week, right?

J had an UTTERLY VILE Bob the Builder cement mixer that played many happy BtB songs, and various games, and had the most annoying voice ever, and even carried on making loud noises when you turned it off, allegedly under the guise of 'Saying Bye Bye'.

After a while we attacked it in search of a volume control, only to find that it had two volume settings and we had it on 'quiet'. What's worse, the batteries never, ever ran out; they were still working when I got round to selling it on eBay the other month. Its photo has gone into the album that will one day become the Tat Collage. It's a quiet photo.

It was a present from my brother, and I think of it every time I have cause to buy something for his first-born (now three). We found a Thomas the tank engine toy that spewed balls around the living room, for example; and for Christmas he got a K'Nex set with hundreds of bits. Ah. Sweet revenge. Do you think he's old enough for plaster of paris yet?

And when M was little, we explained to her that AA batteries were particularly rare and uncommon and so we weren't able to replace them in the toys that ran out. She still believes it a little bit.

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Very close - on a good day, he can take three or four short shuffling steps without hanging on before he faceplants.

My parents also got him a wooden trolley with bricks in, which he enjoys pushing around. He showed my mum how impressed he was with it by repeatedly ramming her ankles with it, giggling all the while.

This sounds like the work of Illuminati influence—a harmless toy, designed to brainwash a generation of young children with the core skills of freemasonry fnord.

Ah the Martini. Personally I favour the (I can't remember the real name so I'm just going to say) frozen Martini. 1 part Vermouth to 10 parts Gin. Pour the mix into as many glasses as you want and then place the whole them all into a freezer for a few hours.

They're very good...

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