Pot-pourri Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything


4 Conversations

Possibly the most pointless invention yet conceived by mankind, pot-pourri (pronounced poh-paw-ree) is a load of pencil shavings and tiny off-cuts of wood, mixed in together with some scented flaky bits, some dried up fruit and some burnt flower petals. It is placed in bowls for the purpose of either:

  • Making the room smell nicer

  • Hoping someone stupid will see that it's in a brightly coloured bowl and eat it, thinking it to be cereal

  • Making a nice talking point at any sophisticated cocktail party. See the following skit:

The Following Skit

Sophisticated Idiot One:
(grabs handful of pot-pourri and inhales) Ooooh, this smells nice. Wherever did you get it?

Sophisticated Idiot Two:
Oh, a little1 shop in the Loire Valley in France, they ship it over especially.

Sophisticated Idiot One:
Ooooh, really?

Sophisticated Idiot Two:
Yes, we went there on our holidays, and we met a simply charming couple there, in this simply charming little village...

Some More Thoughts on Pot-pourri

Use number two, outlined above, can be quite amusing, but if you have any taste at all you won't hang around with people that stupid anyway. And as for use number three, well... if you know any people who say 'Ooooh, really?' or even just 'Ooooh' on a regular basis, then you should and try make some new friends. Quickly.

However, if we choose to look at pot-pourri through less jaundiced eyes - try to see it positively - through rose-tinted (rose-scented, even) spectacles, then the featured skit, on reflection, may seem a little harsh. Pot-pourri does have a place in our hearts and homes. It looks pretty, it can temporarily hide the rotting smell found in teenager's and bachelor's bedrooms, and... it means well. The best thing we can say about pot-pourri then, is that it does its best to bring a little bit of flora, a little bit of the magic of the forest, into our lives.

Yeah, right.

1If Sophisticated Idiot Two is English and is trying to affect a trans-Atlantic vibe, then they might pronounce the word 'little', 'liddle'.

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