We Aussies are known for our colorful – and indeed off-color – language, and where we Americans will call a spade a spade, we Aussies will call a spade a #$%^ shovel.

This penchant for straight talking also goes through our very lives. Don’t kid a kidder, and don’t, whatever you do, bull(*&0 a bull&^#$er. Say what you mean, and mean what you say. Not a bad tenet on life, I can assure you. Everyone then knows where they stand and moving onward and upward is an action without being fraught with pitfalls and potholes.

I had cause to go to the beauty salon on the weekend where the establishment was holding its occasional shampoo by the liter sale. Last time this event took place, I grabbed a bottle liking the sound of it (oh Annie, for heaven’s sake!), and have rued the day ever since.

This shampoo is supposedly suffused with diamonds and pearls. Hello? Did I come down in the last shower? Did I not work for De Beers (the diamond miners of fame), I ask you? Do I not know, in my heart of hearts, and in my frontal and leftal and rightal lobes that to rub crushed diamonds into ones skull could render you hairless and bleeding? Sir is follicularly challenged and so a liter of shampoo lasts and awfully, awfully long time in our household. I can’t believe I fell for the tripe on the bottle. I wish I had had the presence of mind to actually open the thing up and sniff the contents.

See, this is where the spade/shovel comes into the mix. This shampoo is so fruity, I feel I should insert a straw and a little paper umbrella into it every morning, throw in some liquor, and I would have a good cleansing drink. Fruit salad, is, after all, not shampoo. Gardenias maybe, lavender certainly, and jasmine for sure – but, come on, pineapple?

What marketing guru decided that everything we wear should reek of fruit, I ask you? I don’t want my hair to smell of mangos and strawberries, and I certainly don’t want my skin to give off eau de pomegranate. Have you ever had a pomegranate? Frightful things they are, full of hundreds of pits and basically inedible in my book.

And don’t get me started on medication – I can immediately bring to mind that awful fake banana and fake cherry flavored cough syrup. I mean, even my dear old mum used to crush tablets up between two spoons and mix the powder with home-made strawberry jam to make it more palatable. I can honestly say the medicinal flavors bled through the fruity overtones, and frankly ruined both. Not that I advocate the taste of raw medicine, but gee you’d get it down fast enough without leaving one with the sense of betrayal that you could never look a banana in the face again.

So let’s call that spade the shovel shall we?

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com.