Monday, 20 October 2008

Corporate Marketing Persons should be boiled in oil!

Prime quality first pressing oil lovingly squeezed from plump ripe olives hand-picked on sun-drenched Italian hillsides by blushing virgins from gnarled antique arboreal masterpieces that were mere octogenarian saplings in Michelangelo’s time, naturally.

But boiled, long and hard, they should be. Regularly.

What does Uncle Phil have against marketing wonks? you may well ask. Siddown. Pour yourself a drink. Bend an ear.

I wanted some toothpicks. Not a great and ennobling ambition, you might think, but if a chap’s gnashers need picking, they need picking. It’s allowed.

We were in our local Tescos . A veritable ├╝ber-Tescos this, so vast that I reckon it regards itself as the centre of the universe, and talks loftily of ‘our little local city’ You need a cab to get from one end to the other. I’ve never dared to venture further than Aisle127 for want of native bearers, and I hear tell that there’s a sign down the end somewhere saying ‘Here Be Dragons – Tescos will not be held responsible if customers get roasted’

So while Susie was stocking up on her weekly container-load of cleaning materials (as I may have mentioned before – we have a menage-a-trois, her, me, and Mr Muscle) I went on a toothpick hunt.

I wandered a couple of aisles down, to the section called (somewhat prissily, but no matter - it gets worse) “Oral Health”.

Toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash, in other words. And in theory at least, toothpicks.

It should be noted that I had my driving glasses on, as opposed to the reading variety. (I tend to need about five pairs of specs, all with different focal lengths, which means that I invariably have the wrong ones on for whatever it is I’m doing. And if by any chance I have the correct pair on, I’m probably doing the wrong thing. ) But I digress, Revenons a nos cure-dents.

It should also be borne in mind that toothpicks by their very nature are not very big, and even bought by the hundred (when I was a lad you could buy them individually, like Woodbines, but that’s progress for you) they come in a very small box. With, by definiton, very small writing on.

So I went up and down the aisle for about twenty minutes, peering intently at lots of little white boxes, all of which seemed to contain dental floss. But toothpicks, I couldn’t find.

By which time Susie came looking for me, shoving a creaking trolley-full of curtain polish and such, and looking relieved to see me. I think she may have thought I’d ventured down to the dragons end, by mistake.

“Suse”, I said, “I can’t find any bloody toothpicks. Have a look for me, there’s a love – I can’t read a damned thing with these glasses”

She looked. For about ten seconds. And waved a little white box at me.

I took it from her. Took my glasses off so as to see better. Did it say “Toothpicks” on the front?

No – it bloody didn’t. Tescos don’t sell toothpicks any more. Their marketing people have, in their wisdom, renamed their product “Freshmint Flavour Interdental Woodsticks.”

It’s worth remembering that, in Coventry at least, half the population struggles with basic English, it not being their first language. “Toothpicks” they might just be able to work out. But “Interdental Woodsticks”? Do me a favour, Tescos – get real! And anyway – why “wood” sticks? Are there any other kind?

As I said – boiled in oil.

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