Friday, November 19, 2010



Stone the crows, how bad can things get in a man's life? So bad I had to write a letter to a well-known supermarket chain, complete with random CAPITALS and BOLD TEXT:

Dear the Co-op

I am writing to inform you of the unpleasant - yes UNpleasant experience I have suffered following the purchase of a 300g packet of Co-operative Rich Tea Biscuits. You know: The red packet with the comedy 'serving suggestion' picture of several so-called 'Rich Tea' biscuits sitting wanly on a plate in the middle distance.

Rich Tea? VERY POOR TEA, more like.

Within two days of purchasing your product, I should inform you that I have suffered the indignity of soggy Rich Tea biscuits snapping in half and falling into my otherwise excellent beverage with only the briefest of dunkings - thus completely wrecking my tea break - on no less than three occasions.

You have no idea how angry this makes me, but I'll tell you: A LOT. No man should be forced to live with the affront and humiliation of soggy biscuit defeat through the complete tectonic failure of what I wrongly thought were an acceptable Rich Tea purchase. On THREE occasions. I'm so cross I can't even go to the toilet properly.

Subsequent cuppas were made of tea, water, milk, HATE and FURY, and tasted much as you'd expect. For eg: TERRIBLE.

In order to get any pleasure from dunking my Rich Teas, each biscuit has to be individually wrapped in cling film first to ensure structural integrity before they are inserted into the tea. Hardly adding to the biscuit experience, I can tell you for nothing.

We have also experimented with dunking two biscuits at once, but we find the staples and glue get stuck in the poor, dead biscuit taster's throat and we're left with the all-too-common 'Dump another body round the back of the industrial estate' problem that has plagued serious biscuit testing down the years.

Clearly, there is a design fault which your highly-paid snack food boffins should address with all due urgency. May I suggest the EU Standard Baked Biscuits, Confectionery and Cake Stress Procedure (2003), which your product has quite clearly failed?

Sort it out, and make it (oh-ho!) snappy. And if you're planning on sending me free biscuits, make sure they're good ones, and not wafer-thin Rich Teas made out of structurally suspect biscuit stuff and the tormented souls of the dead.

Your pal

Albert O'Balsam

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