New and improved, but says who?

“I’m curious,” writes Peggy, “that my cats’ biscuits are supposedly a ‘new and improved recipe’.

“How do they know they’re ‘improved’? Do they poll a number of cats? Are they cheaper to make than the old recipe? What do they base it on?

“My cats certainly don’t attack them with any more enthusiasm than the previous recipe.”

But Harry has an interesting observation on this very topic.

“I bought a packet of cat biscuits two years ago – I know because I still have it – and it says ‘improved recipe’ on the packet. So does the new packet I’ve just bought.

“Either they change the recipe regularly or the word ‘improved’ never goes away.”

Our money is on the latter.

Brenda laughed when her four-year-old granddaughter asked what was for dinner.

“YMCA,” Brenda replied.

“What’s that?” came the reply.

“Yesterday’s meat cooked again,” Brenda answered.

“It was something my mother was always saying to me. I knew my granddaughter wouldn’t understand, but I had a giggle to myself.”

Most of us probably have similar hand-me-down expressions. When I asked my mum what was for dinner, she always replied: “Pig’s bum and cabbage.”

Did your family have a similar tradition?

Tell us if this sounds fair and reasonable.

Graham bought a house and over the next 12 months, found a number of building defects, most of which would only be found once tiles or carpets were ripped up or you’d crawled around in the roof.

As an example, there is no waterproofing in the bathroom.

Graham wants to go to VCAT, but his legal advice is that he’ll be lumbered with a legal bill of around $20,000 and, even if he wins, VCAT won’t compensate him for that.

The most likely scenario, Graham has been told, is that VCAT will order the builder to repair the work, but you can imagine how enthusiastic and co-operative the builder will be about completing that task.

The third option is that Graham will lose. Given his list of complaints is extensive, that’s unlikely. Win or lose, he’ll still be $20,000 out of pocket.

And as for the building inspector who signed off on the work in the first place, well that raises another question.

Who remembers pulling a cord to turn on a light?

What about a car’s high-beam button being on the floor and you’d push it with your foot?

When cars didn’t have indicators and you’d use your arm?

Ice would be set in metal trays in the freezer?

Kids were given a regular dose of Hypol?

There was community singing in cinemas?

And the postie would blow his whistle at every stop?

We ask this because Josie has a recurring dream – she’s trying to dial a number on one of those phones that required you to put a finger in the dial and turn it.

“I have all sorts of problems. The holes for my fingers don’t align with the correct number, it spins around and around without stopping, I keep forgetting the number… it’s terrible.

“Do people who remember those phones from the 1960s and `70s understand what I mean and am I the only one to have such dreams?”

Do you have any stories or memories to share with YourLifeChoices? Do you know any interesting characters? Do you have a milestone birthday or anniversary coming up? We’d like to hear from you. Email or leave your comments on this article.

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Playing the discount game
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Written by YourLifeChoices Writers

YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.

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