Luv a Duck – it’s Magnetic Holisitic Slippers!

It’s that time of year again when a young male duck’s thoughts turn to the browner sex. Yes, its St Valentine’s Day, and gift buying is mandatory if you wish to maintain the affections of your fair-feathered ducky-love.

So what to buy? A few suggestions out there from the world of Quackland. Sarah Stacey, and her cosy tie-in with Victoria Health, had plenty of suggestions in last week’s You magazine – the colour supplement of the Mail on Sunday. Let’s start with the first and best…

Holistic Silk magnetic slippers, £65: these adorable brocade slippers are simply addictive; they’re not only gorgeously sexy but the magnets implanted in the inner soles had me skipping around the house at bedtime, doing all sorts of unlikely things such as the washing up and putting the rubbish out.

Now, personally, if Ms Canard Noir bought me a pair of holistic magnetic healing slippers, I too would be skipping as I put the rubbish out, but the slippers would be inside the black bin liner. There would then follow a traditional Valentine’s day row about wasting money and ‘you don’t understand me’ and tears and tantrums. Ho Hum.

I find it incredible that a grown adult could actually fall for this. Getting confused about the benefits of eating goji berries is understandable. Even herbal remedies have a chance that there might be something in them, but sticking fridge magnets in tacky slippers and then pretending you are getting a foot massage to improve circulation? And even the capability to improve the desire to wash up? I hope there is a tongue firmly lodged in cheek. Somehow, as there is a commercial interest here with the sellers, then I doubt it.

What is even more wonderful about these slippers is that Vicky Health sternly warn us not to wear these slippers if we are pregnant or have a pace-maker. Do pregnant women need to steer clear of magnets? Should we be removing that fridge magnet sexy-poem words set that is still spelling out ‘clean me you slow lazy fat fruit head’ on the door? Does my magnetic GB sticker on the back of my car risk harming my unborn ducklings? What about the Earth’s magnetic field, which would have more effect on my inner organs that some cheap magnets stuck to the bottom of my feet? We live in a dangerous world.

Moving on. we have much more quackery to offer our loved one…

  • Arms of Love flower essence (also available from Vicky Health) has the power to soothe, relax and turn around failing businesses. (No not, VH, I think they are doing rather well. read the article)
  • An Aroma Pen that can ‘lift the spirits and create feelings of love’
  • Love Rose tea that can ‘seduce the inner him (or her)’
  • ‘Pure Alchemy Passion Body Therapy’ – with libido lifting ‘essential’ oils. (I have always wondered just how essential these oils are.)
  • ‘Female Balancing’ Nourish Chocolate, £1.99 for 50g bar: Um, woudn’t a sneaky Mars bar be cheaper?
  • If you are feeling flush, why not treat your loved one to a trip to the ‘Ayush Wellness Spa, the first Ayurvedic destination spa newly opened at the Hotel de France on the shores of St Helier in Jersey’. Here you can get a ‘four-handed abbyanga massage’. Fortunately, we are told this involves two ‘therapists’, and is not some freaky mutant massage nightmare.
We are told that Dr Kerur, who runs the Jersey Spa, is also involved in a “study evaluating how India’s 5000 year old ‘science of life’ might be incorporated into the NHS.” Great, that should improve the NHS. Would that be the 5000 year old ‘science of life’ that left most babies to die before before their fifth birthday and the survivors to die by their late thirties? 5000 years ago, magnets had not been invented, let alone slippers to contain them. How did they cope? Were women always ‘unbalanced’ without their ‘Nourish Chocolate’. And as for Aroma Pens, were they lying idle just waiting for someone to invent a script to write “Roses are red…”? My guess is that any study will be much more about researching marketing techniques than science. Please prove me wrong.

There are a number of things in all this that I find rather alarming. First, supporters of alt-med are quick to chastise allopathic (i.e. real) medical practitioners for being too closely tied in with ‘Big Pharma’ and other forms of money grabbing, and yet this article is just a blatant plug for one or two retailers that the author has a clear relationship with. (Go visit the VH site, I won’t link as it will increase its Google rating!)

Secondly, I find it distasteful that so much of quack journalism is directed at women. I don’t for one moment think that women are more prone to delusional thinking than men. Maybe, its just that there is more scope for money making from toiletries and other pampering products. Men might be more prone to buying very expensive quantum-induced single-crystal copper with gold plated connectors, uni-directional hifi speaker cable – but I would not like to stereotype further.

For my part, I will be looking at treating Mrs Noir with silk slippers, bath oils, chocolates and maybe even a spa weekend, but I will not be insulting her intelligence with promises of mumbo-jumbo.

Then again, I might just get a set of speakers for her iPod. Always the best present – one you can use yourself. Am I doomed to have a row?

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