KFC Zinger Crisps – A Walkers Complaint

Dear Sir or Madam or Non gender specific entity

I don’t want to sound aggressive and please don’t take what I’m about to say as a personal attack on yourself or the fine work I’m sure you do for the Walkers customer service department, but what the flipping hecking heck are you playing at? I am literally apoplectic with rage, anger and confusion.

I am writing this by dictating to my wife as she was a touch typist in the 1970’s, and I’ve got myself so worked up I’ve had to go sit on the bonkett for 5 minutes until I’d calmed down. My wife points out that things like this shouldn’t get me so worked up and I should get a little perspective. But i‘ve just been sick on my slippers because I’m so vexed.

What’s caused such a reaction? Well let me tell you, I’ll try to keep it brief, but I realise by simply saying this I am extending this letter, taking up more of your precious time than needed. Two hundred and twenty six pardons.

Every Thursday morning my wife and I shop at our local Tesco (other super markets are available, but Tesco is the most super of all the markets). We won’t use the self scan devices because I loath and fear technology and also I don’t work for Tesco (more’s the pity) so why should I have to do the work of a till girl. And yes I know the term ‘till girl’ may be old, outdated, sexist and just wrong in this modern time, but come on. They’re all women on the tills. Have you ever seen a till boy? No is the answer!

I digress. My wife and I were walking up and down every single isle of the store, because my wife likes to do that. Even if we’re only in there to get milk, cheese, yoghurt, cream, Smamptons and butter she’ll insist on going up and down each section because “you just never know what you’ll see”. Yes Margaret, I do! We eventually arrived in the snacks and nibbles section of Tesco. I am an adventurous man, I like to try anything special and different. I’ve tried Bombay mix with and without raisins (with raisins is an abomination unto God himself). I’ve tried salt and vinegar pork scratchings (it wasn’t for me). I’ve even tried some seaweed nonsense (utterly vile). So when I see a new range of crisps I snatch them up like Boromir would snatch up the one ring given half a chance. But the one ring would corrupt him, even though he would wield its power for good, through him, it would do much evil. Much like me and my wife. She’s not evil per se, just very grumpy and overly emotional, like all woman.

I’m sorry I’ve gone off my point again. Thirty five pardons.

So as I say, I was walking down the snacks and nibbles isle I saw your new walkers ‘range’ (can it be a range if there are only 2 flavours?) of KFC flavoured crisp snacks. The Kentucky fried chicken flavour and the KFC Zinger flavour. I of course immediately put a bag of each in the trolley. This did mean I had to put back my 4 pack of mini double deckers, I’d gone over my snack budget. It also meant I wouldn’t get my sherbet fountain or foam shrimp and bananas, but I thought it a worthwhile exchange if I could try some new crisps. My wife gave me a withering look, like I say, she’s a right grumpy cow. But I was steadfast and held my ground and insisted that I be allowed to have these new and exciting snack treats. By the time we’d reached the frozen pizza section she had stopped telling me to put them back and allowed me to buy them.

We got to the tills and the man serving said that these crisps were very nice but very strong. Actually so not all till people are female. Maybe I need to change my world view? No, he was an anomaly I’d warrant. He said I might want a beer to go with them, so I looked at my wife, in a forlorn fashion, but the glance I got back from her would have been enough to put terror into anyone’s soul, so I backed down. You have to pick which hills to die on and I could see that would have been a painful loss. The till man said “oh, obvious who wears the trousers in this relationship” to which I pointed out that I was clearly wearing slacks and my wife was in her formal shopping skirt, so it was indeed obvious.

I packed up the shopping while Margaret talked to the man about the best way to wash a greasy oven tray (with washing up liquid). I didn’t like the flirty way they were speaking to each other so I ‘accidentally’ threw a packet of rice at his wrist, claiming it had slipped from my fingers. My wife called me a blithering idiot and the man said he never drops anything, he claimed to have the grip of a gecko. I don’t know if geckos are known for having particularly good grip but he seemed quite pleased with himself so I didn’t question it. Margaret went back to the conversation with the man so I just sadly and quietly put the shopping in bags. They’ve gone up to 20p each, can you believe?! What a world we live in! 

I had 15 hiccups on the drive home!

When I got home I hid my new crisps in the vegetable cupboard so my son wouldn’t find them. If he did find them, that would be the end of that and I wouldn’t have ever even smelled the crisps, he’d wolf them down. And no amount of crisp intrigue would entice me to smell one of his burps!

I wanted to eat these crisps on my own, but I also can’t abide eating a snack without watching some form of entertainment such as a film, movie, TV program, play or street theatre. But how to watch one of those activities without my wife or son with me? I’d either have to get up very early or stay up very late.

So I decided to get up early as both my wife and son are right lazy little beggers. I set my bladder for 4am (a simple trick, just drink 2 glasses of water half an hour before you want to wake up, so I set my alarm clock to get me at 3:30am so I could drink the water that I’d placed next to my bed, which it did and I did) like a charm I woke up at 4am, snook downstairs into the kitchen and retrieved my crisps then realised I was desperate for a widdle so I went to the little boys room (I mean the toilet, just for clarifications purposes) I then snook into the living room and slipped on my noise cancelling headphones (Sony WH-1000XM4 Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth NFC High Resolution Audio Over-Ear Headphones, intelligent and intuitive, which bring me closer to the listening with no distractions. Sony, tech which brings you pure sound, available at all high end audio outlets) and popped my watercolour challenge DVD into the player. Within moments, I was whisked away to a beautiful streamside in Devon where 3 amateur artists prepared to render the scene in water colours. Martin did a terrible job but at least he tried which is more than I’ve ever done.

It was time, I was ready for a new taste sensation. I got the Kentucky fried chicken flavour bag and slowly opened it with all the excitement of a small boy waiting to receive his first satchel. The bag opened! I moved it towards my face. The smell began to fill my nostrils. Mmmm savoury. Tentatively I picked up a crisp and looked at it. It was a delight to see, tight crisp ridges, waves of flavour sensations and an aroma that was fresh, exciting and appealing. I held the crisp close to my eye giving me the view of as if I were stood on a large crisp hil side, where my only view was crisp as far as the eye could see. I imagined a world where everything was made of crisp. Trees all crispy, chairs, pure corn snack and people walking round just munching on whatever they felt like. In the end it seemed like it couldn’t work, a crisp wouldn’t have the structural integrity to power the internal combustion engine. I snapped out of my crisp fantasy and placed the Kentucky fried chicken flavour crisp inside my mouth. My tongue darted hither and thither, seeking out pockets of flavour and textures. I began to chew, letting my aural cavity fill with the various sensations, flavours and scents of this new food product. After eating 8 – 14 crisps I decided they were a bit too salty for me. Nothing special.

So I moved onto the KFC Zinger burger crisps. The packaging was bright and eye catching. After the slight disappointment of the first bag of crisps I wasn’t in such reverence at this next packet so I didn’t open them with the same level of enthusiasm. I dove right in. To my shock the ridges on these crisps were much wider and after a tentative sniff I put one in my mouth. It was damn hard to crunch let me tell you! A very sturdy crisp! And the taste? It was so savoury! So damn savoury! I’d never had such a taste sensation in my mouth! And the more I ate, the more intense the flavours became! This was indeed a zinger! A zinger, dinger and minger as the youth say! What a delightful crisp you’ve invented! It’s absolutely divine.

It was so amazing I had to wake my wife up and get her to try them, and after she had stopped berating me (14 minutes of nagging) she ate a crisp. She almost immediately began crying because it was so delicious. I didn’t wake my son up to try them because he can be a right little shit early in the morning.

My wife and I went back into the living room and just sat on the sofa weeping and eating these crisps.

Boy howdy, what a game changer! Since that morning, we’ve had a bag of these every single evening. I can’t say my bowel has been particularly happy with this but with a taste so flavoursome, who cares?! Plus it gives my plumber friend some stable work.

But why were you so angry that you’ve got sick inside your slippers? Well, this past week our local Tesco hasn’t had any in stock. I just assumed the demand was so high that they have all flown from the shelves. But a Tesco urchin told me that they no longer stock these crisps and he wasn’t even sure if Walkers still made them. Well, I just burst into tears there and then! I don’t feel shame admitting this. I cried like a school girl who’s just had her Easter bonnet stolen by Gladys Horsham-Batley in the Easter parade while Vera Pattersby laughed and threw blancmange at her.  My wife tried every supermarket in town but to no avail! Everywhere we looked they were gone. They still had the Kentucky fried chicken flavour (of course, because no one was buying these salty flaps) but not a single packet of Zinger burger flavour were to be found anywhere in town.

This is your salt and cracked black pepper crisps all over again! When will you stop hurting me Walkers?! What have I done to deserve this? Why do you tempt me with these delights, only to tear them away from me when I have fallen so very hard for them? You achieve such culinary glory only to snatch them away from your loyal, dedicated and hungry customers. Why do you always stop production of the best ones? You’re as bad as Cadburys with the Spira chocolates!


It’s 2 days later now, I’ve calmed down. I got so angry dictating this letter that I left a little light headed and I dropped my ornamental shire horse that I was holding for moral support. It’s lost another hoof! I didn’t mean to get so angry. A 1000 pardons.

Please tell me you’re going to bring this flavour back, I love it so and I really don’t want to go to a KFC to see if they sell a zinger burger because I’ve seen the kind of people who frequent a KFC and I don’t want to be near them. They are mostly youthful and tend to mock my sandals. I hope you can bring the joy back in my life and marriage, as my wife and I loved these crisps more than we love Countdown and that’s saying something!

All the best!

Cecil Thax

Walkers reply

Dear Mr Thax

Thank you for taking the time to do

Sorry, but I’m not a patch on you

You made me smile with your wit today

And letting us know and have your say

It’s great to hear you’re such a fan of this flavour

But I’m afraid you may have to waiver

Because it’s one that will no longer be

Around for all to taste and see

These flavours were just for our promotion

They’ve certainly created quite a commotion

So I’ll pass your praise and comments on for you

You never know, what they may do

I’ll now bid goodbye and on my way

And wish you, Margaret and Martin a very good day

It’s great to hear from people like you

Who are grateful for all that we like to do!

Kind regards

Consumer Relations

Application for position of Consulting Practice Director

Hello Dear blog reader, I, Paul Thax have been tasked with bringing in some money to the house. So I’m aiming high and being a go getting jet setter. I have applied for the job below, read my application.

Application for the position of “Consulting Practice Director – superb comp – £150-£300k pack 

Our leading Financial Services Consulting firm require a Consulting Practice Director to lead one of their rapidly growing Divisions in Europe – you may be a practice lead, or team lead or senior manager/manager in consulting at the moment. 

You will have experience ideally in providing Consulting Products to Financial Services, Capital Markets / Asset Managment sectors – you may come from a performance, strategy, compensation, reward, benefits or other sector which is similar – bottom line is you must have experience of running a Practice, be superb at growing a Consulting firm (not necessarily only in FS, but ideally) and as such selling Consulting services and products. 

If you wish to find out more about this extremely exciting possibility to move forwards in a market leader with enormous plans and potential for growth in 2015 then please apply on the button. 

Compensation is huge – base salary expected £140-£175k + bonus + benefits – total pack £200k-£250k – this is a huge opportunity for a Consulting professional. 

Apply on the button if this fits your skills and wish to have a conversation – we will call you right back to talk further – this role is ConsultRPM and we look forward to hearing from you.”


Dear Sir or Madame

Hello, I am writing you this letter on ‘spec’ as they say. I am not entirely sure what ‘spec’ means, I think its short for ‘Spectrum’ like the old computer from the 1980’s the ZX Spectrum. However, I am writing it on a windows based computer. I don’t know which version of Windows it is that I am using, I do not know if this will affect my chances at all. So I am writing you this letter on ‘Win’ and this letter is a winner!!

I am a person who has a father who has ordered him (me) to “get off your (mine) arse (bum) and go and get yourself (myself) a job”. He was really shouting and he went bright red so I could tell he meant it.

I have not attached my CV to this submission because it would be detrimental to my application. Let’s just say, I went to a school, sat all the GCSE’s and technically didn’t fail any of them. I then went on to college where I undertook some training for a period of time, which then ended, in 2001. Since then I have kept myself busy by consuming as much entertainment as possible both in the mediums of television and digital computer renderings.  This has kept my mind sharp and my finger on the pulse of the nation! I’m more with it and ‘down with the kids’ than almost all members of parliament! I am only down with the kids in the sense that I watch a lot of big cook, little cook and old tapes of Playbus. I will not watch Paw Patrol! It’s too modern!! Same goes for that Peppa Pig bullshit!

I would like to apply for your job ‘Consulting Practice Director’ as advertised on the internet. I adore film; all genres of cinema keep me entertained. I like world cinema like around the world in 80 days (Jackie Chan is superb in that), I like art films such as The Brave Little Toaster, I know some people frown upon cartoons, but it’s drawn or painted therefor it is art!

I think we are seeing a real renaissance in cinema at the moment, the quality of film and the wide variety of subject matter on show lately is a vast broad spectrum. Just think of the top earners there are films like Captain America 3, or Ant Man, or Thor 3, or Jurassic World (Jurassic Park 4) The Justice League (essentially Superman 3) the sixth Spiderman film, Wonder Woman and Black Panther. A Dazzling array of topics, biopics and myopics. Therefore, as you can see I have huge knowledge of film and cinema, which would make me well good for your job as Director. I cannot and will not watch a film with subtitles! You should not read films! If I wanted to read something, I would buy a Beano!

I’m not entirely sure what a ‘consulting practice director’ does, but I assume he (me) talks with other directors about their films and give them advice on how to best motivate their actors to do their scenes, my best answer would be to get them drunk. Nude scene? Do it drunk, everyone likes to get their bum out when they’re boozed up. Emotional scene with tears and all that? Do it drunk, everyone gets weepy on the fifth bottle of wine! Scary stunt driving? Do it drunk, not so scary anymore!

I have made a few short films in my life, all of which have been very very well received by their audience. Dad really loved my film about ageing. Its themes were of ghosts of the past talking to possible ghosts of the future, loss, love. Themes of neglect, fear, hope. Themes of the fracturing of the generations in an increasingly disparate society. It also used the theme from Jaws. It was called “The Fallen” in which I had made a montage of all the times I’ve caught on camera my father falling over or slipping, all played in slow motion, while I narrate over the images, talking about his life and which crisps are no longer with us.

Act nine, scene nineteen, a shot of when Dad slipped over trying to make a snowman in the yard while some classical music is played, in the voice over I said in a slow and sombre voice “Life, that’s the name of the game, and I want to play the game with you. Life, can be terribly tame, if you don’t play the game with two. ”. The two being Dad and the snowman, which as Dad falls, he grabs for it’s head and the snowman crumbles to death. It still brings a tear to my eye even now!

I like that you’re trying to grow your rapid divisions in Europe. The business market in Europe is booming and I can’t see any possible reason why this may change. I’d be more than happy to go on any and all business trips in Europe. I have been to France, Italy, Germany and Spain. I can’t speak the languages but know a few places to get a nice lunch if we’re in the places I went on holiday. Actually, you’d probably want me to do a coffee run. I don’t really drink coffee, it makes me poo more than I would like. If I got the job I would have to insist that any drinks we had in meetings would be either tea or Pepsi Max. Water at a push! On the subject of meetings, if we do have a lot of meetings, could we get mini muffins? Mum got me some for my birthday once and they were lovely, I could fit three in my mouth at once. NO RASINS!!

You ask for experience ideally in “providing Consulting Products to Financial Services, Capital Markets / Asset Managment sectors” (you spelled ‘Managment’ wrong btw)  I don’t have any experience in any of this! Is this going to be a problem? Google is pretty good at providing answers these days. I mean I don’t want to put myself out of a job already but I bet most of the things I’d need to know, I could just google (other search engines are available, but honestly, who uses them? Outside of TV or in a film, does anyone actually use Bing? Do they heckerslike!)

You ask which sector I come from “performance, strategy, compensation, reward, benefits or other sector” I would say I come from both the ‘benefits’ and ‘other’ sectors. I have been on the dole since 2002 but I mostly get disability now because of ‘that smell’. You talk in your advert about a ‘bottom line’. My bottom line is massive! If it’s bottom lines you’re looking for then, like Micael Jackson says  ‘this is it!’ If you picture Queen Victoria towards the end of her life, she was a big lady, buxom yes, buxom and big. My bottom line is probably comparable to hers. Obviously not as regal! I look a bit like a young Brian Blessed but without the beard or ability to speak loudly. If I were to direct, I’d need one of those old timey megaphone/cone things they always have in 1930’s style films.

I see you put “ If you wish to find out more about this extremely exciting possibility to move forwards in a market leader with enormous plans and potential for growth in 2015” I can only infer from this that you’d been advertising this job since 2015. That’s 3 years ago, your search is now over! You have found your ideal candidate. I’m Ruth Badger to your Sir Alan Lord Sugar! Your Candice from that BBC Baking show. Badger to your Bodger. Paul to your Barry Chuckle. Ball to your cannon. Bobby to your Davro!

Listen, I may not know what half the words in your advert mean. I’m not sure what a practice is or how you grow one, but I’ve got get-up-and-go. Get up and go and spunk. Lot’s of spunk! Plucky get up and go spunk! Plucky spunk that is getting up and going! I will apply myself really hard, I’ll start at nine o clock sharp and work all the way through till 5pm, but I’ve got to be home by half five as mum has tea on the table (knee trays while we watch cheers on DVD) and she will start without me! I like cheers, it’s just got to where Kirsty Alley comes in. She does look young and not a little saucy. Though she doesn’t now. She seems to have gone the way all older woman do who try to fight the fact they’re ageing and tart themselves up with makeup and all the face drugs. No one thinks the frozen slightly startled, un-moving, tight skinned, overly made up look is pleasing to look at, you’re fooling no one, more often than not, you look like you’re recovering from a stroke! Grow old with some dignity. Dame Thora Hrid didn’t mess around with her face and she was a delight till the day she died! Actually I’ve just looked at pictures of Kirsty Alley as of now (2018) and she’s alright. I think I was thinking of someone else. Maybe Pete Burns, I always get those two mixed up!

Now your job advert says ‘the compensation is huge, £140-175k + Bonus and benefits’. I don’t know what the bonus’s and benefits would be but I have a few things I would demand from the job

  • Home before 5:30 (4pm on Fridays)
  • My own shelf in the company fridge
  • At least two cups for tea that no one is allowed to borrow
  • At least 2 weeks holiday a year
  • The use of a company pen
  • Business cards (vista print do a few cheap deals so It won’t be too expensive)
  • Ideally an hour for lunch, 45 minutes minimum!
  • I’d like to be paid every two weeks as this is how I normally get my dole money so it’s just what I’m used to.
  • If there are company meals out (at Christmas for example), I do not want to have to have a salad.
  • My work booth to not be near a draught
  • I won’t stay in the same room as a tomato


To sum up, look, I may not know much about being a Consulting Practice Director, what one actually does, how one does it, why one does it or if they will ever get to meet the queen. But I’d really like to give it a go. What do you have to lose? I’m putting it all on the line here, my bottom line, I am hard working, I can work by myself or as part of a team (so long as the team don’t have very good senses of smell) and I’m willing to learn new things. I think I’d be good. I have two ties and could buy a third one if that would sway things! If you want to see me for an interview I do not drive and don’t have any money to get a train so could you come to me? My mum makes a lovely cup of tea and she’d give us the front room for half an hour, though if it goes on any longer then we’d have to move things to my bedroom, not in a sexy way, it’s just mum likes to sit in her chair a lot, she is over 70!

If you hire me, you’ll be getting someone who can bring a fresh perspective in directing. I am currently re watching all the carry on films, so I could easily direct a new one of those.

Give me a chance, please!!


Paul Thax GSCE GNVQ (int)

Another complaint to Walkers crisps!

Hello Walkers crisps, It’s me again Cecil Thax (86)!

I have no idea how to begin writing this letter, I am literally convulsing with rage! I am so furiously angry not only for reasons I will outline soon but also for the fact that this is third time I am writing to you about this subject!

 Why am I writing to you once again? Well, once again you’re going to have to use your thought pocket (brain) to picture the scene in your mind eye!

 The morning: A Tuesday

The weather: Hot and wet

The toupee: My best shopping toupee

The shopping list: Forgotten and left on the kitchen counter.

 I had walked to the shop all on my own as my wife (Margaret 77) was having a hot flush (she was winning at her weekly poker morning and didn’t want to leave) so I got to do the shopping all by myself. If my wife comes shopping she will keep a tight hold of the purse strings (she should just keep her purse in her handbag). She also won’t let me look at the list or chose any shopping I want. I have one function and that is to pick the heavy items from the shelves. That and pack the shopping, so I have two functions really. Well and I have to carry the bags home too, so three and do all the unpacking too. Despite my four functions what I am not allowed to do is chose what foods we buy. So imagine my delight when I had free reign to purchase anything I wanted. 

 I got the trolley and bought my weekly essentials bran flakes, biros, bingo wipes, magnets, deodorising spray, smamptons, odourising spray and movie night snacks. It has been many years since I’ve been allowed to shop on my own. Mostly for my propensity for buying magnets (they just mystify me, how do they work!?). So this time Cecil was allowed to buy the movie night snacks! Every week for 3 years we have watched a film on Saturday night and every week my wife has chosen the snack. It is always raisins! At a push it will be seedless currants! But not this week! This week Cecil gets to choose! Almost instinctively I made my way to the crisp isle.

 In the long long ago, during the before time, I would buy myself a bag of crisps a day and eat them with the glee of a Golumn clutching his precious. This was something that gave me great joy. I have eaten every crisp known to man (assuming that man shops in UK supermarkets). Walkers crisps, Smiths crisps, KP Crisps, Quentin Crisps, space raiders, quavers and monster munch, the list is nearly endless. Though I can’t and won’t ever try these ‘vegetable crisps’. Who in their right mind wants to eat a salty crispy slice of beetroot?! I’m sorry I’ve lost my train of thought! It had fallen off the tracks of imagination and crashed into the sidings of longing and remembrance.

 Essentially I knew what crisps I wanted and those crisps were Walkers salt and cracked black pepper sensations (or other brand salt and pepper crisp analogue). But I knew Walkers has not made salt and cracked black pepper sensations for very many years. They’d gone the way of Pacers, Spiras, cheese snaps, country crock, the USSR, hot dry summers and my wife libido. I.E. they simply no longer exist. I have finally come to terms with this, I’d seen that most of the sensations line is no longer in production, all I ever see are the Thai sweet chilli and the chicken ones. I always hoped that one day you would bring back Walkers salt and cracked black pepper sensations but clearly is it never ever meant to be.

 For as I was walking down the crisp isle, I spied something which at first filled my heart with joy. There was a ‘new’ line of sensations crisps. Could it be? Could they be back? Was I about to be reunited with a once dear and delicious friend? A once lost companion brought back from the dead to be returned to my elderly bosom?

 Was I chuffers like! The new flavours are Japanese sweet wasabi and ginger and chargrilled steak and Chimichurri! I was agog, aghast and a forlorn when I saw these new baffling flavours! Why would you do this!? Who would prefer wasabi and ginger on their crisps to salt and pepper?! Where are you doing your market research? I’ve asked upwards of 1 people if they’d like to try wasabi and ginger crisps; both of them admittedly said yes, but only on the proviso that they were free. Don’t even get me started on chargrilled steak and chimchimcharoo. I can’t even pronounce it! When I tried to my false teeth nearly fell out!

 There are other salt and pepper crisps on the market, so they are obviously a popular flavour combo. But none of them stand up to the deliciousness of the Walkers salt and cracked black pepper sensations. No other crisp has the delicate light crisp, they all have a chunkier thicker crisp and usually an oily overtone.

 So as I stood in the isle looking over at these new horrors, I began to get angry. Why did my beloved crisps have to go away? There was a time when my wife left me that they were all I had to look forward to. I began to weep. Forgotten memories came flooding back to me. The divorce, the house sale, having to look after my son, being the only one in the house who would answer the land line and/or the front door. I knew that however bad things got, I could console myself with a bag of Walkers salt and cracked black pepper sensations. Then they were taken away from me forever.  A staff member came to ask I everything was ok; I had been stood in the crisp section for fifteen minutes.

 I have purchased both the steak and the wasabi crisps. I shall be trying them tonight. I suspect I will not like them, but I shall keep an open mind. I hope they’re not as revolting as the cheese, cucumber and salad cream crisps you put out last year, they were so disgusting that they made my son leave home! So I shall stop writing this communication now and report back to you post taste.

 (The taste test shall be done on movie night which this week is the film ‘Hostel’. I used to go youth hostelling in my youth so I am very excited to watch a film about youth hostelling)

 Well we have tried the Wasabi crists and the overall consensus is ‘meh’. They are nothing special. The physical crisp was light and crispy but not too thick or oily, just right but it was the flavouring. It was a bit bland. Like a weak, watered down mustard. And like a scene in a Harry Potter that does not feature Ron Weasley, the ‘ginger’ was nowhere to be seen. They were a 7 on a scale of 1 to deliciousness (deliciousness being at 100 and not 10 as you might have thought).

 I will have to wait until the next movie night to try the steak ones. As a side note, Hostel is not about youth hostelling at all, it’s horrific!

 It is now several days later and I have had time and opportunity to try your steak and chim-chimeny crisps. My verdict, and the verdict of my wife, son and family friend Jeremy (who had come round to let us borrow his Kong: Skull Island blue ray disk) is that they are the most revolting sensations we have ever had the misfortune of tasting. We couldn’t even finish the bag of crisps! They were that unpleasant! We tried to like them but if I’d been served a steak that tasted like that in a restaurant, I would send it right back and then leave the establishment! Which I am sorry to say is what I am going to have to do to the sensations line of crisps. I.e. I am going to leave them and never come back unless the salt and cracked black pepper ones are reinstated.

 I realise this is a harsh thing to say and do; but I feel very strongly about this matter! Obviously if my actions start putting people out of work then I shall reassess my feeling for the Thai chilli ones. So I shall watch the broadsheets for news of your company.

 I hope my once again harsh words on this matter will make the big walker wigs see sense and reinstate the salt and cracked black pepper crisps I so long to once again sample!


Letter to Bic Razors

Dear Bic

Good morning to you, I hope this communication finds you well. May I begin this email by saying that the following comments are of course not aimed directly at you, the poor customer service rep who has to deal with such matters.

I am a man of not very many means, I don’t make b’trillions of English pounds, I hardly make enough to makes my ends meet or ends meat. This month, due to a holiday meant that my pittance of a wage was paid a week early, thus meaning I have 5 weeks between wages. The cause of this means I have to spread what little money I have over a long period, I’ve had to forgot certain luxuries, for example I’ve had to cut back on topping my olive loafs with gold leaf, I haven’t been able to buy this month’s copy of collars and cuffs magazine (about shirts, it’s nothing blue), I’ve cut right back on the Smaptons and I’ve all but stopped the helicopter lessons. It was only a small remote control helicopter that a friends son was teaching me how to fly, but still it was £7 an month.

Also I’ve not been able to buy the Mach 3 ultra-turbo razors I normally use. I don’t grow vast quantities of facial hair, I can go a week without needing to shave, but this month I needed to shave, I was going to a funeral for an enemy of the family (we’ve had a three generation long rivalry between the Coleswells, because Pearl Coleswell in 1913 accused my great grandfather of being from Norfolk, thus a bitter hatred was born, but we have a mutual respect for each other so when Bernard died (of natural causes), I felt it only honourable that we attend his funeral and pay our respects) I needed a clean shaven look. But I couldn’t afford my usual razors, so I bought a bag of 10 single use Bic razors. The morning of the funeral I set about shaving the 2 – 4 mm of beard hair from my lower face and chins.

My shaving technique is perfection, I lather up using the wettest water Yorkshire can supply, apply conditioner to my powerful man face so the hairs are soft, supple and full of volume, I then spread on an even layer of shaving cream foam, I then use the razor and go with the grain of my face fur, not applying too much pressure to ‘raze’ the hair away. This is a technique that has stood me in good stead for many a year. But using your single bladed Bic razor, I knew something was wrong! The facial hair was certainly coming away but so was something else, my facial skin was also being slightly shaved off! I reduced the pressure but this meant that the razor wasn’t shaving my hairs off, so I increased the pressure. I couldn’t find a balance betwixt applying too much pressure and scraping the skin of my chins or not enough and just removing the shaving foam cream.

At the end of the shave I looked like I’d gone 10 rounds with some very angry Lilliputlians. My face was covered in tiny bleeding dots. Within seconds of washing the remaining shaving cream off, there were bloody trail marks all down my face, I looked like something from one of the horror films! I tried to stem the flow using dots of toilet tissue, but there was too much blood. I held a towel to my chins and after five minutes all was well. It stung very badly but the bleeding had stopped. I applied aftershave, but only behind my ears, I’m not Macaulay Culkin, the young house bound child.

I went to Bernard’s funeral and during the hymn ‘Morning has broken’ my chins began bleeding again, my son thought one of the Colewells had slit my throat and he screamed at Colbert Coleswell, Colbert (who is a qualified masseuse) jumped at me, but not to punch his enemy when he saw him weak, no he jumped at me and held a hankie to my neck, he didn’t take a second to think for himself or any blood diseases I might have, it could have been Ebola for all he knew. But no, he jumped at me and stopped the bleeding and stayed with me till I felt better. This senseless and honourable act united our families and ended the three generations long feud! We all went to the wake and made our peace not only with the deceased, but with the Coleswell’s.

So I thank you for making cheap plasticy razors that take a layer of skin off along with facial hair!

All my love

Cecil Thax

Bic’s reply (which couldn’t be more cooperate and boring if it tried)

Dear Mr Thax,

We have received your email concerning the BIC   Razors you purchase and we apologise for the delay in responding. We value all consumer feedback and appreciate you taking the time to write to us.

We are sorry to hear of incident which occurred whilst using this razor. It is standard in relation to a query with a product that we would ask for the item(s) to be returned to us.

Please let us know if these razors are still in your possession and we will send you a protected envelope for the return.

We will then forward them to our Quality Control Department in France for to be closely inspected, and replacement product will be sent to you.

Thank you for your custom, and we hope you will still remain a valued customer of BICÒ

Yours sincerely,

Cheryl McLeod

UK & Ireland Credit Controller

BIC UK & Ireland Limited

Complaint to walkers 2

Dear Sir/Madam

I have written to your company once before, that time I was so angry I was visibly shaking with rage, well this time, my anger is so great that I have gone beyond shaking and am still as a really calm mill pond, but don’t let that deceive you for what I have just witnessed in my local Tesco is so utterly offensive to me that I don’t know what to do with myself. It’s half past nine at night and I don’t know if I will sleep tonight, the rage is so great. Fear not though, I am not a violent man in anyway, I will not lash out at anyone, if anything I will turn the anger into something creative, I may write a song about all this in the end!

But please allow me the honour of explaining the cause of my rage. I have previously written to you about walkers decision to cease production of Salt and cracked black pepper sensation crisps as can be read here

“Dear Sir/Madam of the walkers crisp conglomeration

Forgive me if my spelling goes awry in this communication as I am literally shaking with rage at the unforgivable actions of your company. Firstly I wish to make it plainly clear I am furious at the actions of the company and not the poor individual who has to read and respond to this letter. I bear you no ill will good sir or madam, it is not your fault I am in such a rage. Please don’t take the tone of this letter personally, you have to work and replying to such communiqué is your job, I know in these recessionary times we all have to do what we can to make end meat. I hope your day is going well, personally my day was going very nicely, that was until I saw what I saw, which I suppose you would be interested in knowing as this is the whole reason I am writing to you.

Picture the scene in your idea purse (brain) I was happily doing my usual Monday morning shop at my local Tesco, getting the essentials sundries such as anchovies, cooking chocolate, vegan beef, staples (I don’t own a stapler but I like the way staples look), dragon fruit, dog egg bags, wheat free wheat and of course Smaptons. As I say, just the essentials!

Then I thought I would treat myself to some of your delicious crisp based potato snack items. And this is when things took a turn for the unpleasant. Now let me give you a little back ground on me, Cecil, I’m not a young man, I’ve been around a few blocks, I know how the world works more or less and I have come to term with the fact that some produce go out of production. It’s a sad fate to be sure, I still weep and pine for a Cadburys Spira! So several years ago when your company in their infinite stupidity decided to cease production of the salt and black pepper sensations crisps, I literally rued the day! It was a black day when I walked into my Tesco and saw the rest of the sensations range, but no longer my beloved salt and black pepper sensations. I wanted to write and complain there and then, but I was simply too upset. It was what started off a great depression of mine, and try as hard as my beloved wife did to recreate those crisps with your ready salted and her own black pepper, they simply weren’t the same.

Years passed and I still couldn’t bring myself to write to you and voice my shock and disbelief at this baffling action. I assume they weren’t a good seller, but they always were the first to sell out in our Tesco. Because they were simply the best crisps ever made! And that’s taking into account Brannigans roast beef and mustard! So then imagine my horror when as I was walking in my Tesco this morning I spy a new flavour of sensations, at first my heart sang with the joy of a thousand cherubs in spring! Then as I adjusted my glasses and read the flavour on the packet my heart sank, like a Titanic in April. This new flavour still wasn’t a return of the Salt and black pepper deliciousness. It was some prawn based taste, I don’t know specifically because I’ve forgotten! Why are you constantly bringing out these dreadful new flavours and not reinstating a classic?! Nobody I know cares about onion based crisp flavours! And on closer inspection these crisps were from you ‘Extra crunchy’ line. I have no idea what the thinking was being this product line, who wants thick crisps!? I did a short survey and 3 out of three people said ‘no’ they didn’t want crunchy crisps! And if that’s the feeling across the nation, you’re backing a losing product line there!

So I write this to literally beg you, Walkers crisp people, I beg you like Braibbian would beg his Alfontae in summer, please bring back the salt and black pepper sensations type, pleeeeseesseeessaseeeee!!!!!!

If you do bring them back I will literally sing your praises.

Dear Cecil

Thank you for your recent email regarding Walkers crisps and our company.

I have noted from your email that you have raised a number of different enquiries and I hope to be able to address all of your questions in turn.
I would like to start with our Walkers Sensations crisps, and sadly, I do have to disappoint you as we have no future plans to re-launch the Sea Salt & Cracked Black flavour crisps within this range at this time, though I shall certainly be passing on your feedback regarding this flavour to my colleagues within our marketing and developments team.

It is always a difficult decision for our marketing teams when they have to discontinue a flavour, though you are correct in that this normally is the decision that is made when a particular flavour is not as popular and not selling as well as originally anticipated.

Thanks once again for your email.


Karen De Burle

Customer Services”

So then, knowing how I previously felt about Walkers decision to stop making the salt and cracked black pepper sensation crisps, you can imagine my utter inconceivable horror when, while perusing the crisp isle at my local Tesco, my eye came up Walkers Market Deli.

I would just like to know when the flying flippery is going on a Walker?! Why would you do this to me? Have I offended you in some way? This seems like the biggest slap in the face anyone could give me! Not only do you clearly still have the salt and cracked black pepper flavouring but then you refuse to put it on a normal crisp, instead you dust in on an abhorrent tortia. I honestly, I, there are no words to describe how flummoxed I am at this decision.

I just stood in Tesco, looking at these things, a look of shear horror and disbelief on my face, because for 3 wondrous brief seconds, I thought Walkers had reversed their idiotic decision and brought back my most favourite crisps.

I of course had to buy and try these tortia nibbles, when I got home I knew it wouldn’t be like it was with the sensations, a tortia is a very brittle, bland snack also a very dry snack. I knew as soon as I’d put one in my mouth it was wrong. It was making an insipid mockery of what I had loved. This is the phantom menace all over again!

So once again I am begging you to bring back the salt and cracked black pepper sensations crisps, enough with this Walkers Market Deli nonsense, they’re too posh, too elitist. If I wanted a highbrow crisp I would go to Marks and Spenser, except I would because I don’t want an overpriced bland crisp, I want my beloved salt and cracked black pepper sensations back!

I guarantee these posh crisps will not sell well, with in a year Walkers will cease production of them, nobody likes a snobby crisp, don’t get ideas above your snacky station, a crisp is the go to snack for the common man (or woman), we don’t want to feel were being judged by a crisp.
I’ll not sleep tonight because of all this!

Thank you for your time

Cecil Thax

It’s the day after I wrote this and thankfully I did sleep very well, but the bag of Market Deli tortias sits on my table, with 70% of them still in the bag, mocking me at what could have been!

Begone vile tasting non salt and pepper crisps!
Begone vile tasting non salt and pepper crisps!

Complaint to Tesco

Dear Tesco

I hate to start any communicate on a downbeat and sombre tone, but I simply must on this occasion.

I am utterly baffled, miffed, confused and quite frankly outraged at something that has happened in your stores! Why oh why oh why have you seen it fit to stop producing the Tesco’s own brand of salt and vinegar rice cakes?! I have another complaint which for the life of me I can’t remember what it is now, I’m so enraged at the rice cakes issue! I’m sorry to be so indignant but I am incredibly cross! Please, allow me the time to explain why your action has vexed me so!

I am not a thin man, my son is also the wrong side of round, we both live together and since my wife left me both our emotions have gone down in a shame spiral faster than an airliner over Russia. We’ve both been incredibly depressed and we’ve taken to over eating, which is odd because when I was a younger man, when I got upset or depressed I would stop eating, but not this time. Last night I had two cheese cakes (full size) and my son ate a full leg of lamb, before his Smamptons were ready I might add! Without my wife, my life has become an empty barren wasteland of self-loathing and anger! This was until several weeks ago, when I had taken my son to a local gymkhana. We don’t like horses, I have had a fear of horses all my life; I find them to be very judgemental creatures. But we went because my son heard there were free cakes.

While there I got talking to a lady called Pearl, she was a ripe old bird, flirty as the day is long and twice as sassy. She’s a cockney, I’m a northern man, her coarse acerbic wit tickled me pink. She also had a daughter, who she lovingly referred to as ‘Titty’ on account of her resemblance to a small bird. We spent the whole afternoon talking and mocking the people riding on the back of horses, but Pearl is a very thin lady, she didn’t eat a single atom of food all the time we were together, neither did Titty. She did however; make several snide yet amusing comments about mine and my son’s weight. My son is a social hermit, he can’t even look a lady in the eye, let alone talk to one, but Titty went and sat next to him all afternoon, she spoke to him and didn’t seem to mind that he couldn’t reply. Needless to say he has fallen in love with this girl. But the comments about our weight stung, sticks and stone may break my bone but words will also very certainly hurt me!

That night after my son and I got home we vowed we would go on a diet and lose some of our tummy flab and woo these ladies, who knows maybe a double father/son wedding is on the cards. I meant we’d be marrying these ladies, I don’t want to marry my own son, I want to make that perfectly clear.

We went to our local Tesco (Bridlington, East Yorkshire) and looked at the healthy foods, after at least an hour we decided to buy your own brand salt and vinegar rice cakes, I have tried none flavoured rice cakes before and they were bland and unpleasant but the idea of a flavoured savoury rice cake intrigued me!

These salt and vinegar Tesco’s own rice cakes were like delicious disks of savoury joy, each mouthful was a ballet on the pallet. The salt and vinegar taste sent my tongue into a revelry, never have I known such flavoursome delights! The only problem with this was that they were too nice and we had to go back to Tesco that very afternoon to purchase another 4 packets! It wasn’t the best start to a diet, but when something tastes this good, who cares.

Within a week we had eaten at least 10 packets each, though I’d not gained any weight or lost any, we had discovered that adding a topping of your own brand Brussels pate to the rice cakes was maybe the best thing I have ever eaten in my life. No, not maybe, it was, it was the nicest thing I have ever eaten in all my years!

I knew it wasn’t the healthy way to consume these low fat snacks, but I was quite depressed so they brought me comfort.

So then imagine my horror and upset when on the same day Pearl told me she didn’t want to see me anymore (and Titty similarly wasn’t interested in my son) we also found out that Tesco no longer make the salt and vinegar rice cakes! It was a black a day as I have ever known!

I’ve tried the expensive name brand rice cakes and I’m sorry to say I tried the Morrisons version, neither of these came anywhere close to tasting as nice as the Tesco version.

I just want to know why Tesco, why would you take it away after I’d only just found it? Everything we had, the time we spent together, was it all for nothing? Please bring them back, I long to hold them in my hand again, to taste their salty crunchy disks, the thrill before I bite one as my taste buds get ready to receive they ricey/salty/vinegary goodness. Please say it’s not over, please say they have only stopped being stopped temporarily while you make more.

Thank you

Cecil Thax

My other complaint was that sometimes I feel like your self-service robot voice is a little too keen for me to “please take your items” it’s like she doesn’t want me there, I feel she should say something like “Please, in your own time, take your shopping, but only when you feel comfortable doing so, there is no pressure from me, would you like me to tell you a joke” it would lighten the mood and a nice (but not smutty) joke would be a lovely end to a shopping experience. Such as jokes like these

“So what’s the deal with old ladies paying for things using exact change?”

“What do you call a shop when it’s very busy and everyone is fighting over things? A shopping maul”

“Did you see the film about retail? No but I saw the prequel! Ah you’ve seen pretail?”

Very amusing jokes I’m sure you’ll agree!


Tesco’s reply

Dear Cecil

Thank you for your email.

I am sorry that you are outraged, and confused that you can no longer get the delicious salt and vinegar rice cakes you and your son have come to enjoy, I am sorry this item is temporary unavailable, in store and online.

If when in store next please ask at the Customer Service Desk for a product request card and you will be able to fill this in, and pass it back to the staff who willl pass your request to their stock control team to try to get this product back into the store , they will certainly try their best to do so.

Regarding your social life and the double wedding you have planned and still may happen, it sounds very exciting, and I am sure you will both make the day when it comes a fun day to remember, with a spouse on each arm of course and not your sons.

Even though Pearl and Titty are no longer on the scene,I am sure there will be other vivacious woman for you and your son to woo in the future, something to look forward to.

Did you have a great time at the local gymkhana, with plenty of free cakes it sounds a yummy day out and not to ignorred.

I have noted your comments regarding  our self -serve voices on our checkouts, they are a little robotic in the way they come over, but I have logged your comments in full, and this will be fed back to the relevant department for future information, I do agree with you a little humour goes a long way and cheers the day up no end.

Thanks again for contacting us Cecil, its been a pleasure, and an experience I have thoroughily enjoyed, and your quirky sense of humour is a real treat.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Janine Haines
Tesco Customer Service

Galaxy Bites complaint

galaxy bites








Dear Galaxy customer service representative

Good morning to you, I hope I find you well and in fine fettle! I have a small complaint to make about one of your products, but please, let me paint a picture with words about the whos, what, whens and whys of how I became slightly disgruntled with one of your products. I implore you, dear customer service representative for Mrs Galaxy and her delicious silky chocolate, to not take any comments I make personally, they are aimed solely at Mrs Galaxy, I realise reading complaints is part of your job but it can’t be nice having to respond to disgruntled customers every day, so I apologise for my negative tone, I hope it doesn’t impact on your day!

Picture the scene, I am looking for some snack foods for myself and my wife, it is our 53rd anniversary (not our wedding anniversary, but the anniversary of the first time we saw Gone with the wind together, a pivotal moment in our relationship). I was walking up and down the chocolate isle in Tesco desperately trying to decide which sweet treat we could have. I wanted something we could share, preferably something in a bag so that our hands would touch on occasion while we were both going to get some of the said snack, it may not sound like much but it’s little things like this that keep the romance alive. At first I thought about getting a pouch of M and M’s as they are meet all my other criteria (large number for sharing, in a pouch, easily edible, meltable chocolate), but alas they don’t seem to make just the chocolate ones anymore, just the peanut ones (I can’t eat peanuts, I’m not allergic but they give me too much energy and cause my legs to spasm in bed) and the with new “crunchy” M and M’s the last thing I want from a snack is something that’s going to break my precious teeth.

So I looked at the Cadburys pouches of chocolates, but they have priced themselves out of the market, they’re very much a high end luxury chocolate now and I don’t know why their chocolate has gone downhill since Kraft took them over, heaven knows why they are now putting crackers covered in chocolate on sale, it’s the very definition of madness. So Cadburys was out, I obviously will have nothing to do with Nestles due to their abhorrent practices. So my eyes drifted from one shelf to the other, the colours and smells sent me into a revelry, my head was spinning, I wanted to get the perfect chocolates but the choices were overwhelming. Then I happened to move down the aisle slightly and came across the galaxy range of chocolates. Galaxy chocolates are not something I would ever think of buying as it is exclusively a ladies chocolate as your adverts attest to. I once ate a Galaxy ripple bar and while it was delicious and silky the embarrassment I felt eating ladies chocolate was too much for me, especially as my son and a family friend were mocking me as I ate it, they suggested I become an attractive young lady living in a loft apartment in new York who hides lumps of chocolate around my apartment for when I want to have some ‘me time’.

But ‘no’ I thought, it was nice, it was smooth, silky and tasted just right so I threw caution to the wind and decided to buy some Galaxy chocolate product, but which one? Your range is not something I’m familiar with, there were Minstrels, Counters and Bites in pouches. I’ll be honest, they all looked identical to me, the only difference I could see was the slight change in shape, one was a sphere, one was an circle and one was a flattened sphere. I didn’t have my reading glasses on, I didn’t think I would need them, I can see fairly well without them, I only need them for reading small print, so I decided that the shape of galaxy chocolate I wanted was spheres thus I went for the Galaxy Bite option.

So the time came, my wife and I sat down to watch Gone with the wind and as Clark Gable made his first appearance we opened the Galaxy bites. The delicious smell wafted from the pouch and we tucked in, both popping three of them in our mouths. A few seconds later a look of confusion came across both or faces, the chocolate coating had melted but there was a substratum of caramel hidden beneath the chocolate crust. My wife and I abhor caramel! We were expecting solid chocolate balls but in reality we got a hidden globules of chewy caramel. We couldn’t eat them, the caramel plays havoc with our false teeth! We looked at the packet and it took us some time to see in the top right hand corner, in very small pale brown letters the words “chocolate caramel”. Had I seen this I certainly wouldn’t have bought them, I would have gone for one of your other pouch based chocolate products. So the nature of my complaint is that the words “chocolate caramel” needs to be made easier to read, lest someone else fall into the trap of expecting solid chocolate but getting a nasty hidden chewy surprise!

The only upside to my wife and I not wanting the chocolates was when my son came into the room I offered him the chocolates and said “Paul, you can have these if you want, but be warned they have chewy caramel in their centre” to which he, quick as a flash replied “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” which if you don’t know is a reference to a very famous line in Gone with the wind! Which made us all laugh. He then snatched them from me and took them to his room and apparently at them all in minutes.

So there you have it dear customer service representative, if you could pass that on to whom so ever designs the packaging also I shall make sure in future I fully read what the food I’m buying actually before I make the same mistake.

Thank you for your time in reading my rambling electronic letter, I hope you have a lovely day



Their reply

Dear Mr Thax

I was sorry to learn of the problem you have experienced with our Galaxy Bites. Thank you for taking the time to contact us; we appreciate all feedback that we receive about our products.
Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience that may have been caused. If you would like to forward your full postal address and further details from the product, for example best before date and batch code, then I will ensure that full reimbursement is sent to you. I do hope that this has not affected your confidence in our products.

Yours sincerely

Wendy Smith
Consumer Care Team

My reply to their reply

Good Evening Wendy, First of all let me thank you for your very rapid reply, as a customer I feel very cared for!

Secondly I would like to thank you for the offer of an reimbursement for the Galaxy Bites but that is not at all necessary, because A) they were eaten and very much enjoyed by my son and B) I has thrown away the packaging. And as I noted there was no fault with the food in itself, simply the poor contrast of the text on the cover of the wrapper, the word ‘Caramel’ needs to be in a darker hue.

My confidence in your products has not been affected by this, unfortunately I’m still a staunch believer that Galaxy chocolate is lady chocolate but a silky smooth chocolate second only to Cadburys of the mid 90’s, and while I’m confident that it is lovely, I’m not so confident in my own ability to read labels anymore, yes my confidence has taken a knock, it has slightly affected my marriage, Margaret has been mocking me for getting chewy chocolate all day. She made me a cup of tea while Bargain Hunt was on and gave me a toffee instead of a biscuit! We only have those toffees for guests. I didn’t speak to her for 20 minutes, and only then because the contestants had bought a tea caddy very similar to one my mother owned.

If you feel the need to reimburse someone for the disappointment my wife and I have suffered then by all means make a small donation to a charity of your companies choice instead!

Again thank you Wendy for your swift, short and succinct reply!

Yours sincerely

Cecil Thax

Dear Phileas

Dear Phileas Fogg

Good morning to you Mr Fogg, I’m very sorry to besmirch your good character and have to communicate with you in such an infelicitous manner, but good sir, you and your actions have angered me greatly and can no longer withhold my feelings any longer.  Originally this communique was to be one of praise and appreciation at your new range of snacks and nibbles.  I dare say that on your adventure round the world, you happened upon such an array of new spices, taste and sensations that you simply had to share with the people of this fine country. For that I highly commend you. In fact until recently my communication unto you was to read thus

“Dear Phileas

My dear friend Philieas, though we have never met each other in person I feel a great deal of love toward you, you have always provided me with a wide range of enchanting snacks. Your new range of exotic nibbles are perhaps the most delightful I have ever tasted. I have tried your full range and can say with some glee that your Cheese and New York deli relish are the second best best crisp snacks I have ever tasted in my entire life, first place of course being the roast beef and mustard Brannigans crisps, that are sadly no longer with us.  You must have been in quite a revelry sampling all the flavours and foods the world has to offer, if only you’d had longer than 80 to try everything!”

And while those opinions are still very valid and I stand by them come hell or high water, I fear I cannot  issue you these compliments without also informing you of my deep upset and which I feel to be an utter betrayal!

These are harsh words I know, please let me explain from whence these opinions come.  Until recently I was enjoying your range of snacks on a bi daily basis, that’s every other day and not twice daily. I had tried every type of nosh in your new range, and came unto the conclusion that the cheese and New York deli relish were the nicest, as I’ve stated, the nices crisped snack I have ever had the pleasure to consume, after beef and mustard Brannigans. So I would only eat this flavour as I literally couldn’t get enough of them! Then last week or there abouts (1st of October ish) my local Tesco store simply stopped stocking this flavour! I was aghast! At first they claimed to simply be out of stock, but now, they have removed the range all together!  I have gone 15 days since my last crisp! We’ll I’ve tried other brands, but they simply pale into comparison compared to yours my dear Phileas!

What am I to do, no other outlet in my area stocks them! Have you ceased production of them? If this is the case, how could you, how can you take them away from me after we such a short time together. The sense of loss I feel is palpable! This has happened before, to the beef and mustard Brannigans crisps I keep mentioning. These were the best crisps in the world, so flavoursome, why the company that made these stopped production is something that baffles and deeply upsets me even now.

Oh where are your cheese and relish crisps Phileas? I now spend my days, lost in an air of despondency and downheartedness, I’ve tried making my own version but they are just cheese melted on walkers crisps (a far inferior brand by a country mile!). Oh what am I to do Mr Fogg? I simply have to taste them again, their subtle spicy flavour with the crunchy bubble texture is something my mouth longs to consume again.  Help me Phileas! I crave them so!

Yours Crispily


Cecil Thax


Their reply

Dear Mr Thax
Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding our new Phileas Fogg range, which we are pleased to learn that you enjoy. Our records show that this product has been purchased by Consumers at Sainsbury & Asda.  It is possible that your Tesco have decided not to take this new product, if they are no longer available at the promotional price.
Brannigans crisps are still in production, these are usually available from independent retailers or public houses, as these outlets obtain their stock from wholesalers and Cash & Carry.
Unfortunately, we are unable to pin point stores in your area, you would have to check at store level.
Joanne Jones
Consumer Services

Phileas Fogg bubble crisps
Phileas Fogg bubble crisps


Complaint to Chicago Town Pizza

Dear Chicago Town (Company, not an open letter to the citizens of Chicago)

Good morning, I hope my communication finds you well and having a nice day at work, hopefully you’ve had a nice coffee (or tea, or other beverage of choice) and are maybe enjoying a biscuit or 4, unless of course you suffer from diabetes in which case you still could have special biscuits, they make diabetic chocolate now, so a whole world of sweet non sugary goodness is opened up.  I myself am currently chomping on a ginger nut.

That was the ‘bread’ in my complaint sandwich, in which I compliment you, then give you the unfortunate negative nature of my complaint then I shall once again compliment you so that my stinging comments on your company are slightly lessened by my pleasant statements. So please don’t take the following complaint personally, it is aimed solely at the company for which you work and I hope you don’t take anything I’m about to say personally.

On the 7th of August in the year of a lord 2013 I was perusing my local Tesco retail house, this day was a special day, my wife and son had gone to the auctions to have a look for some replacement model railway trees and foliage after quite an horrific pile up on the lines, this was mostly due to a neighbour’s cat getting on the railway and trampling St Swithens station and my B725 engine. So my afternoon and lunch time was free and also I had the rare treat of being able to choose my own lunch, usually I will have to share my wife’s riveta or rice cakes.  Generally I don’t mind this, but their bland cardboard taste gets a little tiresome.  Though I’ve never actually eaten cardboard, but I assume it’s fairly bland.  So it was with a skip in my step that I walked down each isle of Tesco seeing what treats might catch my eye for my special solo lunch.

I also did a bit of shopping while I was there, Bee’s wax, cardamom pods, and anti-travel sickness wristbands, just the usual everyday sundries, but while I was walking around the store, your Chigago Town ‘The deep dish’ meat combo mini pizzas caught my eye.  Not literally caught my eye that would be incredibly painful, but rather the packaging attracted me and drew me in.  The pizza looked like a delicious disk of meaty, savoury, bread based cheesy goodness. I simply had to have it! My mouth began to water at just the thought of such a savoury snack. My wife would never, not in a year of blue moons or any amounts of months of Sunday allow me to have such a delight for a lunch time.  But she wasn’t here she was still at the auction and would be for some time. So I made my purchases and quickly walked home filled with glee at my impending rare and delicious lunch.

I got home, the house was empty, I put away my shopping and went about unpacking the pizzas from their cardboard housing.  But that’s when it happened, that’s when everything changed.  I slide the pizzas out of the box and ponst to the worktop, and what a sight I was presented with.  Rather than two circles of meaty goodness I was presented with what I can only describe as cheese pizzas not the meat combo pizzas shown on the box.  The box clearly shows a pizza literally smothered in bits of various types of meat, I counted them, on the box the pizza shows (roughly) at least 20 meat disks, 14 mini ham monoliths and 11 brown meat ‘lumps’.  Whereas on my pizza, the one in the picture on the right only had 4 meat disks, 3 (maybe 4) meaty lumps and 13 mini ham monoliths. So while the ham seemed about the right about, the other two meats were vastly lacking and this I’m sorry to admit upset me, I was welling up to be honest.  I’d had a bad week as it was and this was the meatless straw that broke my proverbial camel’s back. What with the train incident and the cracks developing in my Smapton case it had been a bad week and now my pizza topping which I had been so looking forward to, was I’m sorry to say, simply not up to the high standard I was expecting, if it was any standard, it was ‘sub’!

My hopes were dashed but like a trooper I carried on and cooked the small cheesy pizza, and do you know what? They were still delicious, but there was a distinct lack of meat in my mouth.  I don’t know why this happened, perhaps your pizza making robot was having a bad week too, perhaps it’s joints need oiling, it saw a depressing documentary about obsolete robots or its internet connection is too slow.  It’s a realm I have absolutely no knowledge so for me to hazard a guess as to why there was hardly any meat on the pizza is pure folly of the highest degree!

I’m sorry to be negative about anything and hope my comments haven’t stung your cooperation too badly.  I’m sure this lack of meaty goodness was just a glitch.  Thank you for taking the time to read my electronic letter, I hope you have a lovely rest of day at work.  Do you get free mini pizzas served to you at lunch time? Maybe once a month that would be nice, not every day though, unless you also do a lot of exercise but even so pizza should be a rare treat given its high meat content (well, usually).


Thank you


Cecil Thax



Pineapple on a pizza is abhorrent and should be illegal!

Oh for a pizza this big!
Oh for a pizza this big!

Thoughts on One Direction

The following is a complaint letter/email I sent to Hornsea Freeport, a local retail conglomeration. Read and enjoy do!

Dear Sir/Madam

Last Saturday on the 13th day of July myself and my family (one wife, one son) took a trip and/or an excursion to your land of retail dreams (Hornsea’s free port). I am unsure as to the specific time that we were there due to the retail revelry I was in while walking from shop to shop, browsing the dizzying array of wares on offer! I really must congratulate you on this capitalist enterprise, it’s the retail hub of east Yorkshire, a bargain to be had at every corner!

As we are planning a return trip to Italy in September my family and I were looking to get some new travel wears (new luggage, a handbag, mini travel pottles, hand fan, kilt and Smaptons) most of which we found and at a bargain price to boot! Speaking of boots, I returned a pair or walking boots to the Regatta shop this day and the manager there couldn’t have been more helpful, a quick and cheery exchange was made without fuss or a plum. Which is quite the opposite experience I had when once returning an item to the Mountain Warehouse, it was a very unpleasant experience with their manager, very unpleasant!

By and by we came to the section of the Freeport I dread! The lower area where the book shop and ‘youth’ clothes shop used to be (I’m glad this clothes shop has gone, I was always terrified I’d be mugged in or near there). Now just to tell you a little about me, I don’t like to read, the written word will often fill me with anger. I prefer a picture book. So usually when my wife goes to the book shop I will wait outside and have a delicious ice cream from Thornon’s. Which is exactly what I did on this occasion.

So with one mint choc chip ice cream I alighted on one of the many convenient benches just outside the book shop. That’s when it happened, that’s when everything changed. Usually the music piped throughout the Freeport has been the Beatles or similar, while not my particular fovorate, these have always been tolerable (I’m a blues my myself). But now, for some unknown reason, there was modern kiddy pop being forcibly squeezed through the speaker and reluctantly into my jaded old man ear pouch!

As I sat there basking in the summer sun, consuming the sweet cool iced minty cream, I was forced to listen to this ‘popular’ music. And try as hard as I did, I couldn’t not hear it. And that dear Sir or Madam is why I am writing to you, to complain about enforced listening of dross music. And music with a very sinister undertone. As I sat there, I couldn’t help hear every single word of this song, which I suppose is a testament to the production of the album, the lyrics were very clear.

At first I thought it was a song from a children’s televisual program, it sounded so simplistic and child like, I thought it might have been the theme tune to some kinds of child’s urban youth centre, like a modern day Bikers Grove theme tune, it was that kinds of naff, simplistic, soulless, computerized nonsense that seems prevalent these days. But I was clearly mistaken it was a song, from the hit parade!

I have done a bit of inter super highway web research into the song and found the lyrics to make double sure I heard correctly! I did! This song is called ‘Live while were young’ by the young boy band ‘One Direction’. As a gentleman in his 80’s I feel that the way they portray ‘living while young’ to be deeply offensive. I’ve done more living in my 60’s than I imagine these whelps have done in the 15 years they’ve been alive, if they’re even 15 they look like children to me.

On further listening to this pop vomit this lyrics literally beggared my belief. Let me take you through a few of the more baffling word nuggets and see if together we can reach some further understand of the human condition.

Firstly as far as I can tell this group consists of 5 young boys, all singing this song to one woman/girl, which going by the hedonistic sub text in this song speaks volumes about what their plans are with this poor young girl.

The first verse is Liam telling the young lady to come out of her window so they can have a celebration, though the specifics of this celebration is not specified, maybe he’s finished the last Peter and Jane book and had moved up to the next level of reading, or he went a day without going in his nappy, I don’t know. This verse speaks to me of the classic Romeo and Juliet, where young Romeo would ask Juliet to let down her hair so he could climb into her window and have his wicked way with her. It’s a classic tale so I shall forgive them for plundering these literary depths.

Then Zayn (Zayn!?) chips in with telling her that they will be ‘doing what they do’. I’m still unclear as to what this is. I’m hoping homework or helping out at a local community centre, maybe bob-a-job. Though I suspect it’s more likely to be happy slapping, or buying an asbo or getting quango’d or whatever the youth do these days. If they’re anything like the little devils near where I live they will be sitting on the town hall steps, playing heavy metal music’s and probably worshiping the Satan or a devil.

Then all the gentleboys sing together about going crazy until they see the sun, and we all know you should never look directly at the sun, but then if they are suffering mental illness all night then the last thing on their minds would be damaging their retinas. What’s worse is then that they declare they only just met this poor girl, which suggest that they went to a window and saw a girl and started singing at her to entice her out of her bedroom, like male boy sirens. Then the next line claims they will never stop, for anyone! Which totally contradicts their intentions a mere two lines ago (to stop when they saw the sun), which would corroborate their ‘crazy’ mental state. Then they declare they are going to ‘get some’, some what I don’t know, I can only assume by the debauched nature of the song they mean reproduction. They then continue to tell us they are going to ‘get some’ and ‘live while we’re young’. Because if they do make it into their 40’s they will, what exactly? Die? Watch news night review while eating a selection of cheese with French bread, with their wife, snuggled on the sofa. Which is just as much living as anything else, and one of my fondest memories and one of my fondue memories!

Later Zayn tells this young madam “Don’t let the pictures leave your phone (oh oh)” is this (oh oh) a veiled threat that if she did go to the press with photographic evidence of celebrating all night (while young of course) there may be dire consequences. The sub text would certainly suggest so.

And that’s pretty much all there is to this song, save to say that Harry only gets to sing the line “And live while we’re young” and nothing else. I assume he has the most severe mental problems and could only be coaxed to coherently sing just these 5 words.

Needless to say there is constant repeats of the refrain of ‘living while their young’. There is also a large nonsensical section of Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh, where they clearly have had a mental breakdown in the recording process, or maybe Harry was getting particularly aggressive and they were trying to satiate him with soothing tones. I personally hate songs that have gibberish in, if a group cannot think of any words to fill that melody then they shouldn’t bother at all!

In summation, why do these young men feel the need to only live while they’re young, does it speak of the fear of growing old, the lack of job prospects in the modern world, the isolation of all humans as we continue down this electronic communityless isolated modern society, perhaps they all have degenerative conditions and will all be dead by 23, maybe this song was their dying wish? I simply don’t know.

Why can’t modern music be like it was in my day, we had classics like Be-Bop-A-Lula, Bama Lama Bama Loo, Razzamataz-Jazzamataz, Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Rocko m’clocko and Plastic mambo. Those songs had clear meanings, none of this modern nonsense.

These were just the thoughts as I was forced to listen to the utter utter drivel while eating my ice cream. And my wife and son took ages in that book shop, and in the end they didn’t even buy anything.

So please, in future can you think about your song selection, I’m sure most if not all people of my age would have the exact same thought if they listened to this song, and they would feel even more isolated from the world because old age is seen as something to be feared, like a foreign land, slowly moving to invade your young and supple bodies and ravage them with frailty, immobility and bowel issues.

And you know what’s worse? My wife and son then wanted and ice cream, so they had one and sat on the bench. Luckily my wife didn’t stop nagging me about getting some new trousers so I couldn’t hear the next song.

Though I do have to say, now at Hornsea Freeport there is very little choice in gentlemen’s garments. Yes there are many shoe based shops, and a couple of places to get walking trousers, but if like me, the thought of trousers made from that cagoule type swissy material makes you physically sick then, you’re stuck for choice. I like my trousers polyester and beige or at a push cream. And sadly I cannot get these at your Freeport any longer. Where have all the old men’s shops gone? Long-time passing!

Thank you for your time, I hope you’re well


Cecil Thax

Live while you're young
Live while you’re young