Lawlessly Yours column

Bill Lawless.
Bill Lawless.

Spring fever is upon us – well, upon me – and is already producing some seasonal bargain benefits as various unwanted Christmas presents are recycled by unimpressed recipients.

Take a good look in the charity shops and car boots and you’ll see what I mean.

An alternative method of disposal is to put a pressie to a different use than the manufacturer intended. When my mate Charlie was sent about half-a-gallon of a particularly pungent deodorant from a vindictive auntie he sampled it then wisely decided not to drink it and gave some thought on what to use it for.

Under-arm application was obviously out. Then he found the answer by spraying next-door’s cat which stopped it crapping on his lawn. Quite possibly he stopped it from crapping on anyone else’s lawn because it was never seen again by anyone in the vicinity.

He then, very cleverly, contacted the auntie from hell and asked her where she got it because it was magic in the garden, stopped the excremental habits of cats and, moreover, slaughtered greenfly by the million.

Anyway, let’s get back to the consumer unendurables, objects like foot spas, electric carving knives, oscillating toothbrushes, battery-powered back-scratchers and the ever-popular tools for extracting boy scouts from horses’ hooves and from girl guides’ tents.

Always useful is an impudent little Albanian burgundy at a quid a litre that brightens up the grouting on the lavatory tiles and removes germs living underneath the toilet rim.

Toys always sound like a useful proposition but in fact most of these will be smashed beyond redemption by Boxing Day at the latest.

But charity shop toys are a problem area. Teddy bears, fluffy rabbits and other soft toys have been chewed so often they often appear at least half-digested and probably harbour enough germs to trigger a pandemic.

The grand-daughter of a mate of mine sucked her teddy so comprehensively that she brought up more hairballs than the cat.

So don’t just post early for Christmas, shop early too.

The charity shops, of which locally there are more than a few, are full of potential pressies with the main attraction of uselessness and bargain basement prices. You can get shut of those Mills and Boone paperbacks sent to you by daft Auntie Edith at the same time.