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The Flat Cap on ... Artificial Flowers

Flat Cap on Artificial Flowers

Today The Flat Cap has been to his visit his friend Cyril who is laid up in hospital awaiting an operation on his haemorrhoids. Whilst there he noticed some plastic flowers in a vase, which prompted him to find out more about artificial flowers in general.

Cyril said the hospital he was in had banned real flowers on his ward because of concerns they could spread germs, cause allergies, or just create work for nurses who aren’t always very good at flower arranging. Anyway nurses are far too busy giving bed baths, making sure you don’t get the wrong tablets, filling in charts, and other complicated stuff to be worrying if roses can be in the same vase as daffodils, or if the tulips next to bed four need some fresh water. Plastic flowers on the other hand just need the odd dust from one of the cleaners; most of whom are on minimum wage.

The best place to buy artificial flowers is from one of those shops that sell everything for a pound. Admittedly they don’t always look that great or authentic, but if you’re on a budget they’re good enough and add a splash of colour to any home. If you have a bit more cash to spend then somewhere like Marks and Spencer does more expensive, and better looking flowers. And for those people with time on their hands you can go along to a hobby shop and make your own arrangements. And the madness doesn’t end there – you can buy artificial leaves, twigs, bushes, trees, and even wreaths. The Flat Cap joked with Cyril that if the haemorrhoids proved fatal he could make up a floral tribute with flowers from the pound shop. Cyril told The Flat Cap visiting time was over and that if he didn’t hurry up he would miss his bus – only he said it in rather more colourful language, which in turn woke up the man in the next bed and caused one of the staff nurses to have to come over. The Flat Cap thinks people with haemorrhoids should see the funny side of things and lighten up a bit. On the bus journey home The Flat Cap was thankful he didn’t have piles as there were plenty of road works and it was a particularly bumpy ride.

As well as plastic a lot of artificial flowers are made from silk. It takes fourteen silkworms to produce enough silk for a medium sized rose, but less than nine for say a daisy or other small flower. The silkworm is the caterpillar of the domesticated silk moth, and they love nothing more to eat white mulberry leaves. Because the silk moth has been domesticated it has impeccable table manners and will not talk with its mouth full. The Latin name for a silkworm is “Bombyx mori, which literally translates into “greedy little mulberry tree lover”. However because the silkworm pupae thrive in mainly Far Eastern countries they’re also much enjoyed by your average Korean, Chinese or Japanese fast food aficionado. They’re the sort of thing Ant and Dec would routinely feed to unwitting, and largely unknown or forgotten, celebrities in that “I’m stuck in the Jungle and need pots of cash, and desperately want to appear on prime time television again” programme.

You can use artificial flowers in pretty much the same way as you would use real flowers, and whilst they might look a bit rubbish and not smell like real flowers they do last almost indefinitely and don’t need much looking after. To see how much variety there is The Flat Cap went online and was amazed to discover the following real facts about artificial flowers:

  • There is a collection of glass flowers at Harvard University that depicts the flora of the USA. Valued at millions of dollars only the cleaners with very small hands are allowed to polish it

  • You can buy artificial thistles off the internet and “artificial thistle” is really difficult to say after you’ve been drinking alcohol

  • If you’ve opted to be cremated after your death be aware that plastic flowers aren’t allowed on top of your coffin as they take ages to burn and this could lead to delays for the next bunch of people waiting to come in to give their own loved one a send off

  • Top tip – have silk flowers at your wedding, then keep them safe in the loft. And if you’re still married twelve years later re-gift them to your loved one on your Silk wedding anniversary thereby saving money to spend on groceries

  • Researchers in the UK built fake flowers and coated half with marmite and half with sherbet to see if bees preferred sweet or savoury tastes. Unfortunately for the scientists the rain that is associated with British summers washed away most of the coatings and the experiment had to brought indoors

  • “Plastic Flowers” is a song by the strangely named band “The Front Bottoms”. So The Flat Cap decided not to delve any further as he is still unsure how to delete his browsing history

  • Paper Roses, which are also artificial flowers, is the title of a song recorded by Marie Osmond. Fed up at all the fun her brothers were having as pop stars she tried her hand at singing and instantly went to number one on the country music charts.

  • The oldest professional football club in Scotland is Kilmarnock FC and they play Marie Osmond’s hit song over the PA system before every big home game to intimidate visiting teams

  • Apparently the ancient Romans excelled in the art of imitating flowers in wax and attained a degree of perfection which has not been approached in modern times. There is however little evidence for this idle boast and because of the hot Mediterranean climate across much of Italy most of these wax flowers probably melted anyway

  • Soap can be carved or moulded into flowers. Because of the workmanship that goes into producing them soapy flowers are expensive and should be kept out of the bath.

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