Aah, Suzanne, how you bring back memories

Television infomercials are shrinking.

Truncated versions of them are now being slipped into mainstream programmes, whanging their illiterate repetitive nong-speak into 30sec and 60sec bites.

This is cheating. The infomercial was designed for people with very small brains who had trouble sleeping, and were played at that hour in the night when ears are cocked for burglars, teenage sons returning from their first party, and Father Christmas.

Last week, dab smack in the middle of prime time, I saw an ad for the Aah Bra.

The Aah Bra. You cannot fault the marketing, it is a lovely and easily-formed sound.

Like Coca-Cola, only much better.

And in the dumbed-down world we are all drowning in, shorter. I have been looking out for the Aah Bra infomercial because I was tragically born a breast man, clearly the congenital aftershock from recalcitrant behaviour three generations distant.

And breastmanship is incontrovertibly congenital, one does not try and be a breast man, one just is.

Therapy and a shelf of self-improvement books have not helped a whit. I am condemned to this miserable existence.

It has affected my life greatly.

Once in Chicago at a giant used clothing store that made our Save Mart look like The Inch Bar, I found an Olympian mountain of bras that was four metres both high and wide.

I posed for a photo before that couturial feast like the man who had caught the biggest fish.

How was Chicago? I was asked when we returned.

I would produce the photo. No further words were spoken.

In the mid-1990s, breastmanship took me to the brink of serious money. Otago Daily Times photographer Jonathan Cameron and I had been running a lucrative and emotionally rewarding series of features on unusual people for an in-flight magazine, and drunk with power, we decided to look further afield.

Our research for high-paying magazines around the world (Readers Digest actually paid the most) led us to a publication which, I think, though it's hard to remember, was called Plumpers.

The magazine's blurb said they specialised in large breasts, and ran accompanying erotic essays written with sophistication and high intellect. Sophistication and high intellect was unashamedly my middle name, and Jono had some pretty big lenses in his black bag, so you can understand how schwarmerei surged from us like the mighty Manuherikia at the sight of this dangling carrot.

I wrote back. I think the magazine may have been called Blompers now that I give it more thought, and the editor replied immediately, offering us exclusive representation of the magazine, which I think may actually have been called Ganundras, for all of Australasia.

Our brief was to find and photograph the largest breasts we could lay our metaphorical hands on. The amount of money mentioned was significant.

However the editor also enclosed a copy of the magazine, and the part I was solely interested in, the sophisticated high-intellect essays, were just small photo captions, as in - "Hi, my name is Jane, I have always had large breasts and I really enjoy showing them off. I also love riding horses."

It was one of those What If? moments that will torture us in old age, but Jono and I walked away, our moral fibre intact, our wallets empty.

The Aah Bra is called that, according to the infomercial, because when you put it on, you just wanna say "Aah".

It does away with hooks, clips, straps and wire, stretches like a perjurer's testimony, and is sold here - are you surprised - by Suzanne Paul. Speaking as a breast man, I would also have to say it looks as ugly as an old pair of rompers.

But I do love the name.

The Aah Bra - you let the Aah out slowly as if slowly gliding in to land. If your delivery doesn't last one-higgledy-piggledy two-higgledy-pigggledy, then you're just not saying it right.

Actually, that magazine was definitely called Plumpers.

• Roy Colbert is a Dunedin writer.


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