THE success of Bavarian-style Christmas markets is due to a phenomenon that makes crud desirable when placed in a rustic-looking shed.
Psychologist Tom Booker has been investigating the ‘shed effect’ since he visited a Christmas market last year and inexplicably purchased some salad tongs made from old sticks.
Booker experimented by placing worthless items inside a shed, at which point they seemed to magically acquire value.
The crud became more desirable still as the shed was decorated with fairy-lights and fake snow.
Booker explained: The turning point came when I put a urinal cube in the shed, and my assistant offered me £30 for it. It defied any rational explanation.
He believes the effect may also explain the popularity of mulled wine: Why else would you voluntarily drink what is basically a scalding hot Glade Plug-In?
Meanwhile, sheds have been vanishing from gardens all over the country as unscrupulous traders cash in on the effect.
Roy Hobbs from Croydon tracked down his stolen shed to a Christmas Fair on Londons South Bank: I went down there to ask for it back, but ended up buying a novelty clock for my wife and some toys made of wood for the kids.
The worst part is, without my shed Ive got nowhere to hide from them.