Frickin’ Tescos Blogs from August 2004

2.00am And Out Come The Guts

It rains like a mother almost all the time but Edinburgh is one of those defiantly cool cities.

totty on Bristo SqaureWas very lucky to be up there for the festival this year. Only two days but a packed two days.

Saw a good mixture of funny, nearly funny, strange and downright disturbing.

One thing that stands out was a comedy butcher doing a routine with animal body parts at the notoriously rowdy Late ‘n’ Live. He had a turkey on string and operated it like a puppet, that is until the crowd turned on him. There were 500 people booing, one man grabbed the bird and threw it, hard, at the butcher’s head.

This didn’t put him off and he proceeded with his act. This involved a pig’s head and the entire digestive tract of some other large animal, again on strings. Someone yelled, “For the love of God, get the F*ck off!”

I imagine it deeply offended all the vegetarians in the room, the rest of were just bewildered at how bad the act was. Someone was incensed enough to wade up to the stage and harass the compere for five minutes before being escorted out by security.

Every year at the Fringe, people say Late ‘n’ Live has lost it’s edge and it’s not as rowdy as it once was. I ve sat through some that were no more rowdy than any other gig you might attend. I thought there was definitely some good old gladiatorial comedy that night though and I now think the secret to a raucous Late n  Live is a very carefully selected bad act.

Published: 18 Aug 2004

Fully Committed

Mark SetlockAnyone who lives in the London area who might enjoy an evening out at the theatre I highly recommend this one man play called Fully Committed at the Menier Chocolate Factory Theatre.

It’s been very popular and the run has bee extended.

Mark Setlock plays Sam, a young actor who mans the reservation hotline for one of New York’s most fashionable restaurants. It’s a gruelling job. The phone never stops, the Chef is a Primadonna, Naomi Campbell wants the lightbulbs by her table changed and there’s a mess in the ladies’ room that someone must confront.

Published: 22 Aug 2004

In the News Today, My Pet Peeve

Someone has finally noticed…

“The proliferation of chain stores across the country is turning the UK into a series of “clone towns”, a think tank has warned.”

Of course some of us have been saying this for years. British Towns are all the same. Individuality gone. This has an effect on our brians, our souls, our spirit. The same shops pop up every three hundred yards. Or you can go to an out of town mall and see them all again.

Sadly the damage was done years ago. This so-called ‘think tank’ has had a really unoriginal thought.

Another frightening development over the last 12 months has involved Tescos and Sainsbury’s battling to buy up all of the UK’s corner shops. So not only will our town centres be identical, so will the little shops at the end of your road.

Why should you care?

You should care because this will mean one or two very big companies will soon decide what you can and can’t buy.

An independant Corner Shop stocks what it wants to stock. You’ve been in one, the classic british corner shop, and usually there’s a million different types of canned drink, all good range of newspapers and magazines, sweets and food stuffs from local companies as well as many from the big global ones, sweets in jars, bread made locally, milk farmed locally. They have shoe laces, camera batteries, nail clippers, corkscrews, stuff that experience and an interest in local life has prompted them to stock…

When the supermarkets take over your corner shop, you will get, for example, sweets produced by just two companies, Nestle and Cadburys. You’ve been in WH Smiths and seen the selection. What I’m taking about has already happened there. You may say, hold on, what about Bassetts Liquorish Allsorts of Maynards winegums?

Bassetts, Maynards, Halls, Butterkist, Trebor, Trident, Stimorol, Dentyne, (Snapple and Orangina) are all owned by Cadbury’s.

If you want to buy confection that isn’t cadburys or Nestle owned it is very difficult. Nestle own Polos, Kit Kat, Caramac, Yorkie, Golden Cup, Rolo, Aero, Walnut Whip, Drifter, Smarties, Milkybar, Toffee Crisp, Crunch, Maverick, Munchies, Lion Bar, Quality Street, Matchmakers, Dairy Box, Black Magic, After Eight, Tooty Frooties, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, Mackintosh’s Toffo, Rowntree’s Fruit Gums, Blue Riband, Breakaway. They also own Buxton water and Perrier.

You may think that by buying an Appletizer you’re buying a rival to coco-cola. You’re not. If you buy coca-cola, appletizer, alive, calypso, cresta, Canada Dry, Dannon, Dasani (which is actually tap water from Sidcup), Dr Pepper, Evian, Fanta, Five Alive, Hi-C, Kia Ora, Malvern, Minute Maid, Oasis, Quatro, Sprite, Sunkist and many more… you’re buying something from the coca-cola company.

All these drinks and more have different names in other countries. So when you go abroad and see a cute sounding local beverage called Guarana Jesus, it’s just another coca-cola product, not some holy pep-drink which will enable you to walk on water.

What can you do to stop it? Well some would say, don’t shop at Tescos if you don’t like Tescos. Sadly it’s way too late and they’re way to powerful. If they want to buy up all the corner shops they probably will. In a year or two some ‘think tank’ will announce that all of Britain’s Corner shops are “clone shops.” It’ll get 2 minutes on the six o’clock news and that will be that.

Published: 28 Aug 2004

The Lavatories of Doom

The PC game Doom 3 has just been released and the question on everyone’s lips is: What are the toilets like?
Well, let me tell you, they are disgusting. This is the future, a corporate facility on Mars and the owners supposedly have ‘unlimited funds’ to do scientific research. These funds don’t seem to stretch to hiring a cleaner.The bogs of doom
Bog 1. Standard urinals. Chunky but no better than you’d see in an average West End restaurant. NB. There are no Ladies Loos as no females work on Mars. Perhaps this is because, as we are always being told, men are from Mars and Women are from Venus?

Bog 2. This one has part of a human shin in the bowl. No amount of flushing is going to get rid of that.

Bog 3. This is a landmark bog (surely skidmark? – Ed). Why? Well it’s the first loo ever in a PC game that actually has a *gulp* poo in it. Weirdly it’s more disturbing to see a stool in a lav than it is a human shin. Why is that? Any thoughts?Published: 29 Aug 2004

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