Monday, June 07, 2010

Like No Aspirations You've Ever Had Before

Not long after giving birth to the Blue Kitten I was comparing notes about the whole gruesome affair with my old friend Becky.

Never one to mince words, Becky observed that in her experience (three infants to date) 'it's difficult to maintain any kind of dignity when some bird is doing embroidery in your minky'.

This word 'minky' was new to me, although its meaning all too painfully apparent. But then Becky has her finger on the pulse of modern argot, whereas I like to model my conversational and writing style on detective novels of the Golden Age. (You'd never hear Lord Peter Wimsey uttering the word 'minky', at least not to denote the precious flower of the female nether bits. It probably meant something different in the 1930s.)

For those who are similarly untutored in the vagaries of modern parlance, rest assured that the Urban Dictionary backs Becky up, providing no fewer than eight user-generated definitions of 'minky', three of which refer to the precious flower of the female etc.

So it was not without some merriment that it later came to my attention that there is a company called Minky, whose business is the provision of mops, pegs and other humble domestic essentials.

But Minky, a company - its own name notwithstanding - with its finger on the pulse of the early 21st-century Zeitgeist, has realised that in our narcissistic age, there is no room for humility in domestic matters. Just as buying an air freshener or a tea towel is now an important lifestyle choice, so the purchase of a new ironing board cover must be imbued with a sense of excitement, panache and social self-betterment.

Replacing one's worn-out ironing board cover can no longer be conceived of as an act of tedious but inevitable drudgery, no, but as a gesture symbolic of the renewal of hope and enthusiasm, of the recapturing of lost youth, beauty and energy, of a better life to come.

In short, it must be seen - along with everything else - as aspirational.

So while 'minky aspirations' may sound to my friend Becky like the kind of febrile affliction that besets a million pub-bound Nuts readers up and down the country every Friday evening, to the marketing department of this venerable British brand it represents nothing short of the complete re-imagining of domestic drudgery as something suffused with glamour and desirability.

And for attempting to instil those qualities in a metallised ironing board cover while having a name that is a rude word for a lady's secret place, I salute them.


Tim Footman said...


Haven't read it yet but



Tim Footman said...

OK, read it now.

I wonder, could one deck out an entire house entirely with Minky, Smeg and some of the dafter IKEA pieces, like Nob and Fartful? Maybe filling in the gaps with this Thai cleaning product brand.

Boz said...

Minky sounds inviting and cosy enough for me to completely reconsider my lifestyle choice.

By which I mean abandoning the Vileda Supermop rotting under the sink.

And nothing else.

HelenF said...

Wasn't familiar with the term having that meaning - to me it brought to mind a type of whale, although I now know that is spelled 'minke'. I had visions that somewhere there was a great sea mammal with ambitions to tend to my crumpled laundry.

Dave said...

I can't imagine Lord Peter Wimsey buying an ironing-board cover, either.

Bunter would, no doubt, relish the challenge.

Arabella said...

All I know about the minky is you have to have a license for it.

Henry Dandelion said...

Didn't Peter Sellers once talk of a 'minky'?

Billy said...

I always think yummy mexican place Wahaca sounds like some innuendoish slang.

Christopher said...

Hooray! She's back! Undiminished! Thank you for tiptoeing elegantly past the domestic minefield of childhood genital nomenclature (I write in the style of Edmund Crispin) and for allowing us to wonder if aspiration is also a method of inducing birth?

patroclus said...

Well hello everyone, and thanks for dropping in. Surely there can't really be IKEA items called Nob and Fartful, can there? Although if Fartful is a cupboard, I can imagine it might contain a packet of an erstwhile French breakfast cereal called Crapsy Fruit. Lord Peter Wimsey would be quite at sea.

Also yes, apparently Inspector Clouseau referred to a monkey as a minky, and aspiration (via ventouse) may indeed be a valid way of assisting birth, although it remains to be seen why one might need a metallised ironing board cover in such circumstances.

Tim Footman said...

Nob was a shelving system, and Fartful is a desk on wheels. Could add Jerker and Lyckhem to the mix.

patroclus said...

I've done some of my best work at a Jerker.

Anonymous said...

Hurrah! You're back!

Younger daughter and I were convulsed by an advert for these:

Anonymous said...

You get minky nappies, too (it's a kind of furry fabric, though poss spelt minkee), which I suppose is more disturbingly apt than I had realised.

Stef the engineer said...

As someone who watched strange (& improbably glamorous) midwife do embroidery in wifey's minky, can I just say . eargh!
(Just found time to check blogs again - can I say congrats yet? Can I? Can I?)

Anonymous said...

loved the Minky post, must also tell you about the flyer recently posted through my door advertising opening of new hair salon - 50% off your first cut and blow dry and free binki wax - Left me wondering what a binki could be?