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It has been some time since I last wrote a review, and the item I have chosen to write about is a little odd, but it is so weird I just have to tell you all about it.
Anyone who reads my reviews regularly will by now be familiar with the fact that I have a very lovely, sweet nan, who occasionally goes out of her way to bring us all the most peculiar and bizarre gifts after she has been on a ‘trip’ with her friend Ruby and the rest of her Salvation Army pals – and last weekend night nan finally surpassed herself.
Nan had been on a day trip to Harrogate – she’s been loads of times and she really loves it. Dad collected her from the coach station afterwards and the plan was that she would come back to our house for her tea, as usual, and to tell us all about her trip. Dad dropped her off and mum made her a cup of tea while she finished making the our food.
I was in the living room with my boyfriend and nan proudly told us that she had brought us all back a love-heart ashtray. I was intrigued, especially as none of smoke in our house!! (Dad used to, many years ago but he gave it up). She went on to say that it needed batteries and she asked dad if he had any. She said she’d got it from a Help the Aged shop and the lady told her it had no box but had carefully wrapped it in tissue paper for her.
Nan handed the item to my boyfriend and me and together we unwrapped the ashtray. I was lost for words, really, I was. It was very obvious that this was no ‘love-heart’, but was in fact a pair of lungs!! I THINK I can see where nan was coming from with the heart thing. If you look at it with your eyes squinted then I suppose it does vaguely resemble a heart, but honestly it is very plainly a pair of bright red lungs!!
Nan didn’t seem put out by the fact that she’d got it wrong though and when I reminded her that none of us actually smoke, she suggested we could maybe pass it on as a gift to a friend!! Unbelievable!!
Underneath the ashtray is a tiny little compartment where the batteries s were meant to be slotted, but without a box or any instructions, none of us were very sure what was meant to happen once the batteries were in.
I scrounged around and found a couple of little AA batteries which had a small amount of life left in them and inserted them into the little compartment. Nothing happened. We pressed the red bits and gave it a bit of a bash, but still nothing. Dad suggested we needed a cigarette (or maybe that was just him), but as none of us smoke, we had none in the house.
We did, however, have matches under the kitchen sink. My boyfriend lit a match and then carefully placed it on the ashtray and it immediately gave out a piercing scream. Nan nearly jumped out of her skin and I must admit, the sound was very realistic. He then lit another and this time it coughed (yes, really). It seemed that when he put a match on the left ‘lung’ it screamed and when he put one on the right ‘lung’, it coughed. The coughing noise was also very realistic. It was a little temperamental though, and not every match worked. Mind you, that may have been due to the fact that the batteries weren’t new and I’d taken them out of a small pocket torch.
It’s not a particularly pleasant little object, it looks very cheap and tacky and nan said she’d only paid 50p for it. I’m afraid I haven’t a clue where you’d get them from new if you wanted to buy one (but would you want to?) or how much a new one would retail at, but I dare say you’d be able to pick one up at some gadget shop somewhere. It’s not big, approximately 5” x 5” x 2” and weighs a couple of ounces and is made of plastic.
I suppose if you were trying to give up smoking it might act as a minor deterrent if you stubbed your cigarette out in it, but I imagine you would soon get sick of the constant coughing and especially the screaming, so if it was me I’d probably just take the batteries out and light up anyway!
Probably not suitable for children (for obvious reasons), cheap, tacky but a fun novelty gift (but only if the recipient is a smoker). We thanked nan for the thought though, then hid it away. It gave us a laugh, if nothing else.