MALLORY FLOWERS was at home. His mother had cycled off to her part time job in a bookshop and he had been charged to keep an eye on his ten year old sister, Violet, for the day and she had spent most of it upstairs on her mobile texting her friends.
Whilst Mallory was enjoying listening to his music selection on the audio system he had built himself he was getting a little concerned about the amount of time Violet had spent upstairs so he went up to check on her.
To his horror he found her in his room. On the floor was his blue, water repellent IDentiman top with the big ‘ID’ down the front and a basket of lanyards that his sister was riffling through.
‘Violet, what the hell do you think you are doing? You know you shouldn’t be in here.’
‘Chill out, Mal,’ replied the sister, ‘I was just looking under your bed and found these really cool things. I love the top.’
‘Forget the top. It is a just cycling jersey from the University of Idaho that I bought online ages ago,’ he lied, desperate to keep his secret identity away from his talkative little sister.
‘And these?’ she said, holding up two hands full of lanyards.
‘Those are what I make at work,’ said Mallory, picking up his IDentiman top as he did so and wondering where best to hide it.
‘Plain lanyards companies can have back in a day although the printed ones can take three days or more. They come in a big selection of colours and materials plus organisations can have their company logo printed or even embroidered on the lanyard. When they have conferences it looks good to reinforce the name of the company and the brand.’
‘Conferences sound boring’ replied Violet.
‘Well, big pop concerts or sporting events then, where VIPs are invited along together with people from the media, they will all have special passes that are attached to the lanyards so that they can get to the best places without being stopped by security people.’
‘How do the tickets get attached?’ asked Violet.
‘You can get simple clips, metal ring attachments or the really smart metal ‘pit pass’ attachments they use on the Formula 1 motor racing. You can have those shaped in a variety of ways and even have your own logo on it too.’
Violet looked impressed as she picked up a bottle of water she had brought into her brother’s bedroom.
‘And you see that plastic bottle’, said Mallory, ‘I have devised an eco-lanyard that is made out of recycled plastic. Think about all the stuff you have learnt at school about plastic waste in oceans, well now some of that waste is being converted into fibres for lanyards.’
‘So what are these?’ Violet pulled out some small multi-coloured tubes.
‘Those are my most recent invention,’ said Mallory. ‘They are called rainbow lanyard sliders and have been used by the police and international law forms to reinforce their pride in the diversity of the people who work there. They simply slide over the two strands of the lanyard. Think of the ‘Pride’ parade we saw when we were in Brighton, these were the same colours we saw there.’
‘Wow, Mal, you are just so clever,’ said his sister.
‘Thank you, Violet, now go downstairs and take the dog for a walk while I clear up all this mess you have made in my bedroom.’