It was with a sense of dread that I received an invite to a dinner party from an eminent scientific ex-colleague of mine. Although I "love her to bits" in a one to one situation, (NO that isn't a euphemism for something salacious!!!!) her dinner parties can be a bit of an ordeal.
Anyhow, we accepted and come the fateful evening out we set. The amuse - bouche (hint- pretentious canapés that didn't come from Kwik-Save) were hard, tasteless and filled by a miser, the pre-dinner conversation was about as turgidly painful as my attempts to hold in any errant nervous flatulence which would be inexcusable in such a social setting.
The assembled 12, me included, sat down to a passable dinner after which the post prandial conversation turned to less prosaic things. Strangely, some of the scientific community finds it interesting that one of their number should become a "vintage radio salesman" and so it was with the portly wife of an ex Milk Marketing Board Engineering Director who went on to regale me with a tale of being importunely propositioned by a radio amateur on a train.
I discovered that after tiring of frenzied squelch twiddling of his hand held ( again, NO that isn't a euphemism for something salacious!!!!) he made some perceived improper comment in an improper manner to this lady. I made sympathetic noises of outrage and assured her that not all radio amateurs and vintage electronics enthusiasts were like that whilst simultaneously wondering if Harvey Weinstein was both myopic and a radio ham? The dowager promptly went on to serve her opinion that people with such interests were weird - me included I suppose. I politely demurred and the conversation, like the evening rolled on interminably.............
On the way home as I replayed the evening's events, I have to agree, some of the people in our hobby can be quite strange although I would counter that surely none of my past, current or potential future customers fall into this category(!) and reasoned that our passion, fervour and focussed interest in what is a technical subject may make us appear eccentric to some.
Imagine then my delight when a few days later, I chanced upon this interesting advert from 1924 for a .... yes,... wait for it.... an ECCENTRODETECTOR no doubt bought by the eccentric radio enthusiast.