This business of when it’s okay for things to be fake and when it isn’t puzzles me. I’m thinking mostly about grass.
Did you read about that poor woman who had her lawn stolen in the night? Opened her curtains one morning to see bare soil where her 90 square metre lawn used to be.
Someone had just come along and rolled up that £2,000 outdoor carpet in the night.
Dirty rotten scoundrels - hope someone grasses on them. Yeah, you’re right, that was a newspaper headline.
But there was a time, and it was about two years ago, when someone whose artificial lawn went missing wouldn’t have been making a fuss about it. They would have quietly accepted its loss, too ashamed at being the owner of plastic grass to let the world know how they had been wronged.
Or they would have been saying a silent thank you, the way I was when that broken treadmill was stolen from outside my front door a few weeks back. It was very heavy and I was going to have to ring the council, and probably wait a couple of weeks for collection.
Plastic grass until very recently was as naff as it got, in fact it just wasn’t seen unless in an old-fashioned greengrocer’s window, or perhaps on a football pitch. I’m guessing wildly there, football not being my thing, but I understand it has been known.
It was on a par with plastic flowers for evidence of atrocious taste. My nana had these all over the house, and she was legendary for her lack of interior taste. To be fair, she couldn’t give a monkeys. Marks & Spencer was her natural home.
Once, there was a house in Leeds where the owner had filled the garden with plastic flowers - I say garden, it was more of a back yard - and people would take detours to have a surreptitious stare at it. The owner was considered to be bonkers. But now, maybe he/she wouldn’t be. What’s the difference between a plastic lawn and a row of plastic tulips?
A recent quick poll of presenters of daytime chat show Loose Women revealed that most of them now sport fake grass. Linda Robson spoke of hers in tones so affectionate and warm, it could have brought a tear to the eye.
It’s the new status symbol, the must-have accessory of the day and it’s wipe clean properties are particularly attractive to dog owners, though I do not want to think about that scenario too deeply.
Some fake stuff meanwhile is definitely on its way out. Fake hair, for instance, has gone right down the pan. Posh Spice perseveres with the style beloved of footballers wives but in the real world the bob reigns.
The fake tan that invariably accompanied the tumbling fake tresses is definitely having a wobble.
Everywhere you look now, there are women sporting their natural skin colour, which can be a shock. I had forgotten just how grey we mostly are. I mean, I’m used to my own lack of colour, the shock of looking at my feet and wondering if I have died in the night so white are they. But I had forgotten others suffered similarly. Another area where the fake look is going down is floors. I know this for a fact. Back in the ’90s, when everyone was buying a bit of plywood with something roughly resembling a wood grain printed on to it, I bought some too. In fact I bought a lot. I covered the house in it.
And there it has remained. It’s great. Doesn’t wear out, doesn’t clog up with dirt and dust, it just sits there, looking fake.
In this era of real wood floors, hewn from a tree and then given the lightest of dusting downs with a bit of sandpaper, my floor looks so out of place I’m proud of it.
There have been people who have had to avert their eyes from the shiny, fake glare of it - well, my friend Rod. Who have lampooned me for still possessing it. Again, my friend Rod.
But I am standing firm. Mock me if you wish, but I have the rise of the once-derided fake grass on my side.