A world of shrinking Cornettos.( The poor stay poor)

The ever shrinking Cornetto

The ever shrinking Cornetto

It is no longer to be denied. Old age and shrinking are synonymous. My grandson (politely) asked my dear wife; is Opa still bending over SO MUCH? Oh yes, more every day. “I am stooped over like buggery and shrinking in front of your eyes”. I could have said. I should have admonished them further, “yes, that’s what happens when you kids give us so much worry, but I didn’t”. In any case, why spoil such delightful curiosity. Some years ago, when same grandson was about 4 years old he asked a very bent-over man at the local supermarket wearing many war medals on his jacket; “What is wrong with you?” Fortunately the old man was deaf, very wise, or pretended not to hear it.

Perhaps, bent over men, now features very much in grand-son’s perception of ageing and realises his granddad has now reached a similar level even without wearing medals. It is really amazing how acute the power of observations are with children. They still see things without too much prejudice or inhibited by societal imposed restrictions. That, together with their innate creativity is what sets children apart from adults who for the most have learnt to behave and toe the line, which in the process often leads to conformity and losing creative ability.

Even more ominous than shrinking granddads are the signs found in the world of consumables, especially the divisions of ice cream, hamburgers and toiletries. Yesterday we were in Sydney again to look after our grandsons. One was (feigned) sick, the other had to be picked up from school as their mum would be working late. The heat and humidity were both impossible and on high alert. The trees were listless, birds depressed and gathering storm clouds on the horizon bode for an exciting day. You know when that sort of electric crackling atmosphere heralds the sirens starting up of the State Emergency Service getting ready their ladders, chainsaws and fluoro jackets to deliver first aid to torn roofs and uprooted trees bending over the Porsches and Mercs of the well lubricated patrons of sailing clubs and members of prominent golf and bowling clubs.

My stooped Grand-parents

My stooped Grand-parents

At exactly 3.10 PM both Opa and Oma with sick grandson took off to pick up grandson from school. My wife thought it would be nice to shout a cold treat, not least because of the heat but also as a way for time to keep moving on. The heat was now seen to vibrate above the bitumen roads and some dogs had already fainted in front of an air-con shopping mall were people had managed to crawl into.

The timing was perfect. No sooner we arrived our grandson run towards our car. He was bright red in his face and I could tell he desperately needed an ice cream. We parked around the corner near a shop that without school kids’ generous contributions of pocket money, would have carked it long ago. It was run by a forever smiling Chinese family who improved it even further by placing some small tables and chairs outside. Summer-heat is a gold mine for those sort of little corner shops. Mothers and grandparents, both with hanging fore-arms, are cajoled into ice cream buying as never before.

Helvi and I rarely eat sweets or ice cream. I prefer salty stuff, sliced salami or herrings and Helvi a sturdy soup with lentils and celery. Everybody knows and that’s how it goes.
TThe poor stay poor,
The rich stay rich
Everybody knows.

Leonard Cohen.

This time we all went for the frozen stuff. Helvi chose the Cornetto and granddad and grandkids all had Gay-time ice creams. All of a sudden and this happens more often lately than not, we came to the same conclusion when studying the Cornetto, it had shrunk in size. The bastards, the maddening way we are all exploited by the Emporiums of Capitalism gone mad. Instead of increasing prices, consumables are now made smaller. Imperceptible to the novice but not to canny grandparents.

The shysters have done the same to hamburger patties. Go to the Golden Arched Big MacDonald’s and take the tape out. Measure the diameter of the minced patty. Even a shrinkage of a millimetre works out at millions more profit for shareholders. The same with toilet paper. Here the most favoured brand of toilet paper is the 4 ply ‘Symphony’ brand. I often see shoppers carrying huge 24 pack rolls to the basement car park. I smile and am pleased recognizing soul mates in the choice of at least that item. Sadly, the manufacturers have narrowed the width of the rolls. Have you not noticed? Or did you perhaps feel that there was a widening of girth in some areas? No, it is the Symphony toilet paper that has narrowed. Rest assured.

We are all being exploited.

The storm afterwards was fantastic. We had a nice day.


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23 Responses to “A world of shrinking Cornettos.( The poor stay poor)”

  1. Carrie Rubin Says:

    Ah, yes, the honesty of children. So refreshing. And so often embarrassing…


  2. Andrew Says:

    The old chap could have said it was his war medals weighing him down. On shrinkage, the biggest con now is “mini-bars” which are barely visible to the naked eye. But not all shrinkage is bad, Gerard. Think of mobile phones. The first ones were the size and weight of a brick and they came in leather cases with massive antenna poking out. Now I can lose mine in my pockets. We must move with the times. Except of course where toilet paper is concerned.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes. A stand has to be made on toilet paper. Still, I remember in a public toilet in Amsterdam a lady would give you a number of sheets which then had to suffice. I am also sure you actually had to give some money as well.


  3. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I just left a long comment and then I had to sign in to my blog with my password. By the time I got back my comment was goen.

    Just take a good brand of calcium about 1-2000mg per day. Get a bone scan to make sure you do not have osteoporosis and you will not be a hunchback.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Well, your comment has arrived here very well. I am stooped but do not lack calcium. More to do with trying to find an answer to life which I can’t do without a restless wandering with reflective downwards pose. I do now try and walk upright find answers in the clouds instead. However, angels and heaven have let me down so often.
      How are you going? Hope you are well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. M-R Says:

    You could do a whole lot worse, Gerard.
    In re the cornettos – the same has happened to RyVita !!!!
    Sighh …


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      WHAT? The RyVita as well. That’s it…

      “Everybody Knows” by Leonard Cohen.

      “Everybody Knows”

      Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
      Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
      Everybody knows that the war is over
      Everybody knows the good guys lost
      Everybody knows the fight was fixed
      The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
      That’s how it goes
      Everybody knows
      Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
      Everybody knows that the captain lied
      Everybody got this broken feeling
      Like their father or their dog just died

      Everybody talking to their pockets
      Everybody wants a box of chocolates
      And a long stem rose
      Everybody knows

      Everybody knows that you love me baby
      Everybody knows that you really do
      Everybody knows that you’ve been faithful
      Ah give or take a night or two
      Everybody knows you’ve been discreet
      But there were so many people you just had to meet
      Without your clothes
      And everybody knows

      Everybody knows, everybody knows
      That’s how it goes
      Everybody knows

      Everybody knows, everybody knows
      That’s how it goes
      Everybody knows

      And everybody knows that it’s now or never
      Everybody knows that it’s me or you
      And everybody knows that you live forever
      Ah when you’ve done a line or two
      Everybody knows the deal is rotten
      Old Black Joe’s still pickin’ cotton
      For your ribbons and bows
      And everybody knows

      And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
      Everybody knows that it’s moving fast
      Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
      Are just a shining artifact of the past
      Everybody knows the scene is dead
      But there’s gonna be a meter on your bed
      That will disclose
      What everybody knows

      And everybody knows that you’re in trouble
      Everybody knows what you’ve been through
      From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
      To the beach of Malibu
      Everybody knows it’s coming apart
      Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
      Before it blows
      And everybody knows

      Everybody knows, everybody knows
      That’s how it goes
      Everybody knows

      Oh everybody knows, everybody knows
      That’s how it goes
      Everybody knows

      Everybody knows

      Liked by 2 people

  5. rod Says:

    Some would claim their portions are smaller in the interests of public health – fighting the obesity epidemic. Making more money is just a by-product.


  6. Lottie Nevin Says:

    I too thought everything was shrinking until I went out to supper at a friends house last night – 5 vast courses, I’ve never seen nor eaten so much food. I spent a sleepless night, tossing and turning, appalling farting, chronic indigestion and heartburn – that’ll learn me to stray off my modest lentil and celery diet ‘a la Helvi’. My youngest (Theo) is in Sydney right now – he was telling me how hot and humid it was on skype yesterday. I shall recommend that he gets a tiny Cornetto down him fast.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I think you have to get into Mylanta. The bottle is huge and will last a long time. Cars have increased is size. In Australia many now drive double story cars with huge wheels that when parked next to me are intimidating and making me cower behind the steering wheel.
      I am not sure lentils prevent “Dutch Oven”. under the blankets.

      What is Theo doing in Sydney? We were in Sydney yesterday and had a bonzer storm. Local flooding and another one on the way now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lottie Nevin Says:

        He finished school here in the UK and wanted to go travelling for his gap year. He’s been in Sydney almost a month and is enjoying it but says it SO expensive! he’s living in a hostel and taking whatever work he can find. I think it’s quite tough but he’s enjoying it.


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Sydney is expensive, especially accommodation. Outside Sydney is cheaper but less work. Backpackers and youth hostels are the best.


  7. Silver in the Barn Says:

    Back in the seventies when my daughter was a babe….and Afros were in vogue….she loudly proclaimed “Look at that man’s funny hat!”

    You really notice shrinkage when cooking using older recipes which ask for 16 oz. of this or that assuming the contents of a can would always be the same, I guess. And now it’s only 12 oz. for that can of tomato sauce. Sigh.


    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, ‘size creep’ it is called. Smaller and less but the same price. Afros have gone but now spikey unkempt look is popular. It cost a fortune to now be dressed and look derelict and get this special ‘having slept under the railway bridge’ look. Diesel is selling jeans that have been assaulted,mishandled and manacled with a chainsaw and angle grinder. They cost $495.-!


      • Silver in the Barn Says:

        And back in the seventies, we took such pride in our worn and beat-up jeans but the look was achieved over relentless wearing and wearing….I walked the cuffs right off my bell-bottoms. So cool was I. Of course those jeans cost $15, but who’s counting?

        Liked by 1 person

  8. petspeopleandlife Says:

    In reply to your question of “how am I doing.” I’m in same boat as Andrew with an upcoming surgical procedure of sorts to “zap/fry some of the electrodes that cause the heart to beat too fast/irregular. Andrew’s is already scheduled..

    I’ve put mine off for reasons. I’m often in touch with my two blogging buds both of whom just happen to be expats but are British. They have given me wonderful moral support.

    Thank you for asking. Take good care, Gerard


  9. berlioz1935 Says:

    Of all the shrinkages, time is the biggest offender. What used to be a week, seems to be a couple of days. What used to be a month, seems to be a week. Christmas is coming around every month, so it seems. Life’s slippery dip is getting faster.


  10. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    The ‘grand rustic’ loaves of bread at our supermarket are now very petit. I agree that it is all a money making ploy. If it only applied to junk food and sugary drinks, it might be good for humanity… but loo paper? I don’t think even the trees will benefit and we’ll just get through the rolls more quickly… I could go on. Thanks for a Cohen that I had never heard before.


  11. chris hunter Says:

    Oh yes, I’ve been on about the ‘thinning’ toilet paper, you need a yard of it for each effort – multi-folded. A good shrinking hamburger comparison is to compare Hungry Jacks with MacDonalds. Jack’s seem to have kept to their original size, but that doesn’t account for the whole picture I’m sure.

    When your burger is smaller than your wrist watch, will you order a dozen? I’ll have a dozen hamburgers with one chip thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Narrower and thinner toilet paper and if they dare give l it “symphony”. brand. It certainly doesn’t include the bassoon. more like a piccolo.No wonder of late; a cacophony more than a symphony.


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