Trip Advisor keep emailing me. They say they’ll give me a badge when I’ve done 5 reviews.
Now I don’t wish to appear ungrateful but the last time I ever had the urge to acquire a badge was many years ago. Put it this way, I was still at the age where I was troubled by double Maths on a Friday afternoon.
I had a stack of badges on my school blazer and they all had things like Anarchy in the UK, The Stranglers and The Jam written on them. There was also a large one made out of rubbery stuff, shaped like a rat. I was wild, you see. Anti-establishment and anguished. My badges, dog collar, safety pins and cropped, red hair said so. The tragic rebel image took a battering though when it rained and the food colouring I’d used to dye my hair ran all over my face.
By 16, I sported a fashionable, mirrored badge, from which Lenin gazed solemnly out. These badges crept round certain parts of the school, finding their way onto the lapels of those of us who wished to display their Communist tendencies. We were so hip, a cut above the rest. The elite, in fact. An irony which escaped all of us.
At 17, in a flowery smock, with embroidered jeans, rattling with beads and reeking of patchouli oil, my badges said, Make Love Not War and Nuclear Power? No Thanks.
Aged 18 I went wandering round Europe and one by one, the hippie badges dropped off, went rusty or were lost by the roadside.
The last badge I acquired was for my son when he was 10. ‘Jesus is coming,’ it said, ‘Look busy’.
Since then, forcing my dentist to promise he’d give me a sticker in return for being allowed to drill my tooth, is the nearest I’ve come to needing any sort of sartorial adornment to boast of my achievements.
So thanks, Trip Advisor, I’ve grown out of badges. But if you would like to reward my contribution to your website with a large shiny new camera and a ticket to, well, just about anywhere, I’d be delighted to accept.