John Simpson, in the newspaper on Saturday:
Recently I was walking down the street with my four-year-old son Rafe on my shoulders. Gripping my hair with both hands, his own long hair blowing in the wind, he rode me like a mahout rides a baggy old elephant. ‘Oh, Mr Attenborough,’ said a passerby, ‘what a beautiful granddaughter you’ve got.’
John Simpson is likeable. (However, do keep in mind that he is not David Attenborough.)
On the subject of people called John in the newspaper on Saturdays, there was a readable thing about John Lydon, who probably is less likeable, a lot of Saturdays ago. (There is a mildly mysterious overuse of capital letters on the website, which I don’t think was deliberate.)
John Lydon, of course, has done some advertising on the television to encourage people to purchase butter. I rarely eat butter, through no fault of my own. (It, by which I mean “butter”, might be slightly overrated, but “slightly” is crucial there.)
When they are developing types of butter, what do they call the prototypes? I wonder. Do they use they word “beta”? Ha! (Unfortunately, “beta” is pronounced, like, “beater”, rather than “better”, according to convention. I do think that convention is all wrong, but such maverickish protestations are all futile. Still, “beater” is almost as close to “butter” as “better” would be. Also, it could be said that, in a way, the dearth of consonance/assonance gives this whole concept more artistic merit.)
On the subject of dairy product advertising, Yeo Valley Organic did its first television thing on Saturday, during the The X Factor programme. It was a particularly long, musical one, apparently. I smugly don’t watch that programme, obviously, and to that end I haven’t seen that advertisement, but I have seen this shorter instrumental chap, which I presume is also appearing on the television. It’s quite rather good, and you should watch it.
They have called their YouTube channel “YeoTube”. Of course they have. (In situations like this, remember that “genius” is not an adjective, please.)
Yeo Valley Organic’s yoghurt is all right. The packaging is interesting – it consists of a flimsy transparent plastic pot, surrounded by a recyclable cardboard thing that is great fun to remove at the end, prior to disposal. I think this set-up is advantageous because the plastic can be flimsier and more recyclable – certainly reusable – than it would need to be if it didn’t have cardboard wrapped around it. Also, they’re able to print endless waffle on both sides of the removable sleeve. I am not convinced about the extent of its advantageousness, actually, but I trust them. Trusting them is the only option.
“Tesco Value Low Fat Natural Yoghurt” is more common, here, because it is cheaper. It is perfectly edible indeed, but – presumably to save money – it does not include a proper lid. All that there is is an inadequate cauliflower-nosed floppy thing that is not resealable – the sort of chap that is normally found underneath the proper lid, a seal to prevent tampering, is here elevated to the status of being the only form of lid.
Is it a conspiracy, to discourage people from gradually eating yoghurt in instalments? Is the idea that we will either use an entire pot of yoghurt in one sitting, or simply piss the leftovers into the bin? It can’t be suggested that we’re supposed to leave the opening of the tub exposed, because if we did that an elephant might climb into the yoghurt and then there would be yoghurt everywhere.
It is all right, because all of the more pretentious types of natural yoghurt, to which we must turn when stocks run low, do have lids, and those lids can be reused. They are surprisingly often compatible with the Tesco Value containers, although there is not exactly a standard size. Maybe this is what they had in mind – we still have to buy one or two expensive yoghurt units, every so often, to bolster lid stocks. It’s OK, but I think that the world would be a moderately better place if Mr Tesco had a collection of lids from which we could responsibly help ourselves. Would that work? Would people be responsible? I think so. Trust me.
Would it be simpler to use cling film? Oh.