A British sitting room, 1988. A father and his son are both watching a rental television, a Ferguson one, which was not supplied with a remote control. The child is sitting on the rug, whilst his father has dominion over the room in a very comfy chair.

The strains of “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” come through on the televisions single tinny speaker, boxed in by veneer. The son seems resigned in his role as nominal remote control, but puberty has made him less reliable than the standard infra-red version

Father: Turn it over.
Son: I like this.
Father: It’s a travesty. Using a great song like this for advertising.
Son: I like them.

The son gestures towards the on-screen image of claymation raisins.

Father: Turn it over.
Son: It’s like a cartoon.
Father: It’s an advert. They are just trying to get you to buy raisins.
Son: Why?
Father: Because its what they sell.
Son: No, I mean why are they using “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” to sell raisins?
Father: What?
Son: It would make sense if they were selling grapes.
Father: Raisins are grapes.
Son: What?
Father: Raisins. They are dried grapes. Hence the sun dried bit in the name Sun Dried California Raisins. Oh god forbid I have just memorised the bloody advert.
Son: So grapes are raisins?
Father: Raisins are grapes. And now the advert is over so its all moot. What’s on now?
Son: Airwolf.
ernie.jpgFather: Turn that rubbish over.
Son: No I like to see the old fat man in the jump suit.
Father: Ernest Borgnine. He’s like a sun-dried version of – er – the bloke who played Max in Hart To Hart.
Son: What are you on about Dad?

Airwolf comes on. Ernest Borgnine looks unhappy in the grey jumpsuit: probably remembering his Oscar winning days.

And whilst “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” is a clear soul classic by Marvin Gaye (as Tom and the gang discusses here in Popular), it will always remain to me the way I discovered that raisins were merely dried grapes. Latterly I joined my fathers dislike of animated anthropomorphic fruits trying to sell themselves for me to eat. So that’s the Munch Bunch right out. And that celery who wanted to be smeared in Salad Cream. Though I have always had a soft spot for the Green Giants “ho ho ho”.

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