Fool’s Gold

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 27 February 2021, moratorium.

Got Too big for his boots, he misspoke,
All his clients withdrew at a stroke,
And their swift moratorium,
Did curtail his emporium,
And at last the poor chap went flat broke.

This one probably needs some explanation for my non-UK readers.

Way back in the 80s there was a guy called Gerald Ratner. He was a very successful jeweller, specialised in selling cheap-and-cheerful, tacky jewellery to the public. He had a string of shops right up and down the UK.

As a sought-after after-dinner speaker, Ratner got up at a speech one night in 1991 and described his merchandise as “total crap”. Which, in fairness, it probably was. However the story got out , the tabloids loved it, and the public took it to heart and stopped buying from him. It took a few years but the chain eventually folded, thanks to these comments.

Ratner himself, though, was far from broke. After jewellery, he moved into fitness clubs, which were just becoming popular, and made his millions, this time more quietly, all over again.


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