Friday, 14 October 2011

21st Century Dodos

Man of many parts (and more than one name) Mr Scott Pack - publisher, author, erstwhile Head Buyer for Waterstone's - is here today as part of an e-tour promoting his new book, 21st Century Dodos.

As you'd expect, the book is about, well, things that have either gone out of fashion or gone out the window. Things like telephones wired into the wall, lemonade in glass bottles that you got money back for returning, that sort of thing. It's the kind of book that will inspire a warm glow of nostalgia, not a little regret and probably a whole lot of additional dodos and Scott - or 'Steve' as he's known for the purposes of this tome - is starting to find out. He writes...

One thing you quickly learn when you write any sort of lists book – mine is a collection of inanimate objects that are in danger of extinction – is that readers are all too eager to tell you what you have missed. 21st Century Dodos has only been out a couple of weeks and already I am receiving emails and tweets from readers who feel I have left something out.

So, for my guest blog post today here are some of the things that aren’t in my book.

Combovers. A good call, I think, you really don’t see as many of these any more. They aren’t extinct - there are still a few buffoons who are self-conscious enough to want to cover up their bald patches but aren’t self-aware enough to realise that everyone knows what they are playing at – but the are certainly endangered.

Supercans. I’ll be honest, I didn’t have a clue what they were till one of my other blog tour hosts, Catherine Ryan Howard, emailed me to point out the omission. They were, apparently, 500ml cans of fizzy pop that were popular for a short period in the early 90s. But not popular enough it seems. Although at last count the Facebook group asking for their reinstatement had a massive 44 ‘likes’. I admire such loyal dedication.

Afternoon Closedown. I include the evening closedown in the book – the fact that television used to shut down just after midnight, with each station having its own signing off routine – but completely forgot to mention that it once did the same thing in the afternoon. For a couple of hours every weekday afternoon there was simply nothing on the telly. Beggars belief now.

Of course, the book is packed full of stuff I actually remembered to include. Things like white dog poo, C&A stores, rotary dial telephones, typewriters, teletext and half-day closing. The things I missed out will just need to go into volume two. 

You can buy 21st Century Dodos here. To find out more about it, take a look at some of the other stops on Scott's e-tour. He was here yesterday, and he'll be here tomorrow. Catch him while you can. He's a busy man.

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