Saturday, October 29, 2005

An apolitical post

For once, an apolitical post.

I remember a time, maybe 20-25 years ago, when the UK was deluged by adverts from a new ready-cooked food company. It was McCain. Their TV adverts were beguiling. But by that time I was old enough to realize the difference between an advert and the product, so I did not immediately try their products.

However, the day came when I had an urge for some black pudding (known in the US as "blood pudding", a mix of congealed pig's blood, other ingredients, and a mix of spices unique to the manufacturer). The local shop, where I was doing my shopping, didn't have any of their usual unpackaged black pudding. But the urge was so strong that when I saw some McCain black pudding I bought it. It was fucking crap. Disgusting, vile-tasting crap. I resolved never to buy another McCain product again.

But, years later, as luck would have it, I was shopping and had an urge for some foodstuff (I cannot remember what) and the only variety available was from McCain. I debated with myself for many minutes. My first thought was that each of us are individuals with our own likes and dislikes. I reasoned that black pudding, the flavour of which is strongly dependent upon the mix of spices unique to the manufacturer, meant that just because I thought McCain black pudding was despicable crap I might, even so, enjoy McCain's other products. But on the other hand, if McCain's resident chefs thought that their black pudding was wonderful when I thought it tasted like pig shit gone sour, their tastes might not precisely correlate with my own. The urge won out. And whatever McCain foodstuff it was that I bought, it was just as fucking vile as their black pudding.

Over the years, this experience repeated itself several times. I had an urge for a particular foodstuff. The shop had run out of all alternatives but the McCain variety. Even though I knew better, I bought it anyway, only to be bitterly disappointed because it turned out to be disgusting shit I wouldn't give to my worst enemy.

Time passes. Once again I found myself with an urge whilst shopping. Once again, the only variety of what I wanted was from McCain. (And, once again, I proved that too much alcohol really screws up your memory because I cannot remember what it was.) I reasoned that if "Once bitten, twice shy." is a valid statement then "Twice bitten, don't fucking try it again." is another valid statement. But, in my urge to be fair, I couldn't see how McCain could have stayed in business for 15 years by selling disgusting, unpleasant, evil fucking crap and that they must have replaced their useless fucking chefs with ones who had a sense of taste. And anyway, the urge was strong. So I succumbed. Once again, this was the most disgusting crap I had ever tasted.

I have learned my lesson. For the past ten years there has been no fucking way that I would ever purchase anything made by McCain, unless it was to give it as a present to my worst enemy. McCain = total fucking crap. If my life depended upon consuming a certain foodstuff and the only manufacturer of that foodstuff I could find in the shops was McCain, I would resign myself to my death.

The McCain adverts are appealing, but the reality is fucking awful. The promises are beguiling but the reality is nothing but abject disappointment.

Note to anyone who thinks I am making a subtle reference to John McCain, Republican Senator for Arizona. McCain foods exists (see the link above). McCain foods have very beguiling adverts. Every McCain product I have ever tried has left me feeling that I have been sold inedible, disgusting crap. Just so I don't get sued for libel, let me point out that this is my personal opinion of McCain products. There is no fucking way on this planet I will ever again buy anything made by McCain because it tastes to me like total fucking crap.

However, to those who are still thinking of Senator McCain and the difference between his words and deeds, and comparing them to the gigantic void I perceive between McCain adverts and their products, if the cap fits, fucking wear it.

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