Jump On The Bandwagon

Ladies and gentlemen. I have become someone I vowed never to be.  I have buckled under the marketing pressure. I have been ensnared  in a trap made from system boards and modems. I will soon be one those people whom I have always scoffed at nonchalantly , mocking them for their lack of originality,  whilst feeling safe  and content in the knowledge that I am not one of them. Or should I say  that I was not one of them.

I am writing this on my vista equipped , panoramic sized, so heavy nobody could steal it fast enough, laptop. I am replacing this martyr of a PC – a pioneer in its heyday – with a sleeker, lighter and significantly smaller  device which moonlights as 1 of my 5 a day. I am leaving this loyal and faithful housewife of mine , for a younger, hotter more talented model.

I have – Jumped on the Bandwagon. The one overflowing with juicy apples fresh from the factory, shiny and ripe. Best before – the next system upgrade ( or best before it bends right !?)

But where did the bandwagon originally come from and where along its journey did we come across it and hitch a ride ?

Bandwagon’s were  – would you believe it – the wagons for the bands which traveled with circuses back in the mid 19th century. To herald their arrival in a new town, circuses would parade down the main street with their bandwagons – if you’ve got it flaunt it right?  But if anything these circuses had nailed marketing 101. By showing the  town’s people a  sneak peak into what the circus had to offer –  what freaky delights, what wild creatures, what  travelling tricks they had – the parade was prime opportunity to drum up interest and enticed locals to part with their pennies. It took half a century for people to realize that they had fallen for the allure of the bandwagons and the flamboyant displays of advertising they encapsulated.

And of course if there’ something we all know about advertising, it’s that there’s always an ulterior motive somewhere; a secret agenda, an unlicensed ingredient, an unknown sponsor. And like most good ideas in life, it wasn’t long before politics began to manipulate the innocent  wagon’s  of the circus folk into  prime campaigning real estate. Bandwagons began to be used by aspiring politicians as a means of getting in touch with the people and for delivering false promises  to them  (in politics this is known colloquially as a delivering a  “speech.”)

The earliest reference to jumping on the bandwagon was in political speeches made in the late 19th century where the public were warned not to ” jump on the opponents bandwagon in haste.” So the saying originally didn’t mean to follow the trend and what’s popular, but rather it was a token of advice , a scaremongering political move to warn people not  to listen to the politician on the bandwagon from the opposite party. But alas politicians no longer parade the streets in open topped wagons , and the saying now is used to describe the act of following the majority and what’s a la mode.

So I have jumped on the bandwagon. I will be another drop in the ocean of fruit loving fanatics.

I shudder at the thought that I will begin to defend my purchase with the classic ” but  they don’t get viruses.”

That’s right, because my new laptop will be up to date with its vaccinations. So here’s hoping the old saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away is true. Because I sure have hell have paid for this apple – bandwagon and all.

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