Tuesday, 17 March 2009

What's new, pussycat?

I have upon my main dining table an array of coasters, you know, those tough little mats that stop cups and glasses from coming in contact with beautiful surfaces. However, I often come in for comments from guests because I leave my entire complement of the things on the table, all the time. My reply is that they all feature, in one form or another, the shape of that designed dream of an animal, the cat.

I don’t see why my collection of cat-mats should be locked away, deprived of air and light, and depriving me of the daily joy of contemplating the little darlings. There they are, receptive to any drink you may care to plonk upon them. This has set me thinking; why are we so unimaginative in our attitude towards coasters? The first set I ever saw was when I was a little ‘un and visiting a neighbour’s house. I was astonished by this picture of horses, hounds and huntsmen in red coats gracing their table, several times over.

Down through the years, I’ve seen them all; country houses, wild flowers, US presidents – I’ve learned, at least, that all the coasters in a set do not have to look the same. There is so much more we could do with coasters. Why not have LCD ones where punters can watch cartoon animations or even feature-length movies? Or even mats that play a musical jingle every time someone puts a drink on top? The possibilities are endless. In these stricken times, the Crazy Coaster Company may provide the basis for some designer’s business empire.

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