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|Miss Pretty of Kleenaphone|
The ultimate sex symbol, she sweeps up from time to time in her little pink van to stimulate the frustrated imaginations of the massed ranks of C-P workers. She appears very early on in the strip, in August 1962, as announced by Bristow thus:
Bristow is rapidly disillusioned. Not only does she ignore him but Sampson of Sales goes on a date with her instead in a scene from Bristow (1966) . A rather similar episode follows when Fudge calls Bristow into his office just as Miss Pretty is about to service his phone and when he comes out she has gone strip 1606 But true love cannot be denied. The sight of her Kleenaphone van wobbling to a halt outside the C-P building stimulates another rush of hormones and Bristow is one again ready to throw himself at her feet. The trouble is that being in love does tend to interfere with other things - like work strip 4292 .
Just hanging round with a dirty telephone never seems to work. But Bristow has no more luck when he actually tries to talking to the delightful young sanitiser - he should learn not to pose as a brain surgeon strip 4521 . In any case on those days he has spent extra time preparing, he is more likely to be fobbed off with her plain (to put it mildly) colleague, Miss Dimmitty, whose fun in life is disentangling the knotted cords of the office phones. Meanwhile he is liable to find his colleagues doing the dirty on him behind his back - strip 2571
We never get to see Miss Pretty but thanks to the pursuit of her by the post-boy, we do get Bristow's description: a girl in a turquoise uniform with hair the colour of ripened wheat, dark fringed blue eyes and a rosebud mouth.
Miss Pretty pursues her career for many year, leaving a trail of moonstruck clerks clogging up the C-P sickbay with unrequited love symptoms. Then disaster strikes when Bristow hears one day that not only is Miss Pretty married, she has children. At a stroke his ultimate romantic fantasy has been destroyed. Savour this moment strip 10475
The fashion for engaging outside contractors to clean office telephones was at its height in the 1960s. Perhaps in the days of shared telephones there was a case for having a device that could harbour germs regularly "sanitised", as they quaintly put it. Though why the regular office cleaners did not do this is hard to understand. Those of us with longer memories may recall the days when uniformed young women would wander round the office, a-spraying here and wiping there. But fashions change and who bothers to have their phones professionally cleaned these days? And have we all died of the plague? Well no, or I wouldn't be sitting writing these words, would I? There is nobody now trading under the name "Kleenaphone" (as far as my cursory web search could tell), so an opportunity for some bright spark, but perhaps once there was.