I was thinking about hankies today. You know, handkerchiefs.
I think I always had one as a kid, stuffed in my pocket, a largish square of white cotton like a surrender flag.
I say this because I've noticed that modern kids don't carry hankies. Even worse they never have any tissues.
This is significant as colds and snotty noses appear to be on the rise.
A snotty nose without a tissue or a hankie is an open tap that will not stop. I know. My own nose is always damp.
Grotesquely, modern kids are happy to wipe their noses - wait for it - along their skool jacket sleeves! Yes, its an incredible sight, like something off the X-Files, to see a trail of slime appear along a dark sleeve as if a snail had just won the lottery!
I'm often asked for tissues. Most of the time I carry spares for this very reason as I can't stand to see runny noses. It makes me feel queasy. Alas though, sometimes I have to hand over a 'used' tissue. Now I always choose as unused a tissue as possible in these instances i.e no dried yellowing. Preferably completely white although a bit stiff in places.
I'm forced to take this action as there are never any clean tissue to hand at work.
Not so in my Sixties home. Cotton hankies were everywhere back then. They were given away like candy at Christmas, always in flat oblong boxes with about four in, neatly folded, two on each side. These boxes always had pictures of galleons or racing cars on one side to disguise the fact that basically it was a carton of washable snot-rags!
For that special someone like Mum or more often than not, Dad, hankies could be monogrammed with their initials. In my own Dad's case it was JCW. I can see them now. Capital letters in something like Times New Roman italics embroidered at the top right corner far away from all the snorting action to come. Someone somewhere will collect them and their boxes. I often used empty ones for keeping gum cards and other trinkets in. I still have one somewhere, a time traveler from the Sixties when nostrils were wiped.
I always found it odd that hankies, one of the most disgusting bits of garb we have, were afforded the luxury of stitched initials. It seemed a bit over the top for swatches of cloth that mostly lived in pockets and out of sight. Maybe the breast pockets of shirts, yes I can see that. But the hanky? Its like putting the family crest on your socks!
Still, a monogrammed hankie is better than none at all and with the rise of the runny nose modern kids would do well to be given the true gift of nasal cleanliness this Christmas.
Were you a hankie kid readers and are you still of the kerchief?