When I was a kid, I would show my grandma surreal cartoons that amused me, or read out bits of The Goon Show Scripts, or require her to watch the telly, poker-faced and mystified, while my sister and I rolled helpless on the floor in front of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. ‘Well,’ she’d say, attempting to respond appropriately, ‘makes you wonder who thinks it all up, dun’t it?’ I am so glad that I never said ‘well, actually it isn’t a matter of who thinks it all up, so much as of what thought-processes one might engage in, what associations of images, if you like, one might pursue, consciously or unconsciously, in order to ‘think it all up ‘, as you put it. Yeah?’
She was right, though, as on so many occasions when I refused to give her the credit. I mean, who does come up with such ingenious ideas as mayonnaise and coffee, for example? There must have been a train of logic, so how did it go? Mayonnaise was most probably an accidental discovery, but if you dropped your shopping on the floor and smashed six eggs and a bottle of olive oil, would it occur to you to whip the resulting mess up into something to dip radishes into? Same applies to coffee. Did two Ethiopians sitting by a coffee bush muse as follows?
A: You know what?
A: See them berries?
B: Yeah. So what?
A: I reckon if we was to roast em, smash em up an boil em, that’d be nice with a digestive biscuit.
A: Fackinelle. Go for it.
Now look at the cartoon I chose for the header: a couple of cats diligently ironing strawberries, bananas and carrots into flat, blowzy objects like vests, stockings and knickers for the obese. Like the lady said, makes you wonder who thinks it all up, dun’t it?