A legion of new poppies has sprouted, thanks to some rather dubious rebranding.There’s no denying that all monies raised are in aid of a very worthy cause, but shouldn’t a little more respect be paid to the timelessly understated and universally recognized, bog standard Royal British Legion poppy? Personally, I prefer the traditional paper and plastic version, but…
It all began with the larger-sized, more elaborate blooms – a sort of ‘mine’s bigger than yours’ war of the Poppy-fancying populace. A self-made millionaire (recently sold the limo hire business) might have paid a few extra quid for a car poppy, only to find he’d been outdone by Liverpool’s Poppy Appeal version, which took two men to hold erect. Then Victor Meldrews started wandering around Sainsburys with poppy jute bags, whilst their fragrant wives purchased colourful poppy scarves (now out of stock).
Recent additions to the poppy fold have included designer brooches of the type worn by X-Factor judges and Z-Factor celebrities. The uniquely ornate Kleshna originals have already been replaced with slightly toned down crystal encrusted Buckley poppy brooches, which are said to be ‘attractively boxed’ too.
The executive who wishes to wear his poppy earlier than anyone else may now opt to display one all year round in the form of a poppy golf umbrella, a poppy lanyard… or in extreme cases of OCPD (Obsessive Compulsive Poppy Disorder), perhaps even the British Legion’s 90th Anniversary instant hand sanitizer.
There’s a sculpture for arty types as well – and Poppy Man (Wicker Man’s country garden offspring) has been recreated on a mug – although it appears that this is out of stock too (do poppy collectors know something we don’t?)
Good causes gurus and members of the younger generation may be tempted by the Max Res arm band, or decide to download the 2011 offical Poppy Appeal single – The Soldiers with Robin Gibb, singing I’ve Gotta Get a Message to You.
But, with the exception of the must have (aka out of stock) poppy spoon rest, the ultimate accolade in poptastic cool goes to the Barclays sponsored poppy-clad Boris bike, as modelled by poppylicious Christine Bleakley…