Monday, May 07, 2007

The cretinous jobsworths strike again


SO IF YOU walked into your local branch of Gregg’s for a mid-morning cheese pasty livener and saw, nestling amongst the iced fondants and chocolate éclairs, a confectionary item labelled “Pig Tart”, what would you think?

Would you think “Hmm … there must be pork contained within that delicious concoction of eggs, sugar, butter and pastry”, or would you think: “Oh look – they’ve called it a Pig Tart because there’s a little piggy’s face etched into the icing”.

Similarly, were you to come across something called a Robin Tart, would you really expect to find real robins on the list of ingredients? Of course not. You’re not a moron. Despite the nursery rhyme about four-and-twenty blackbirds, your life experience has equipped you with the gift of logic and the ability to reason. That’s why you don’t expect to find pieces of a swarthy Welsh sheep-botherer in your microwave shepherd’s pie.

Yet some cretinous jobsworths in the Trading Standards department of Dorset County Council have told baker Val Temple that she can no longer use the names Pig Tart and Robin Tart as descriptions of her pastries. There must also now be a long list of strictly accurate ingredients listed as well. Goodness only knows what they’re going to do about Fairy Cakes.

Now I actually listened to the bloke in charge of the Trading Standards department concerned on the wireless the other morning. While admitting that no-one would seriously expect to find beaks and feathers in their Robin Tart, he was resolutely immovable: “It’s the law … new legislation … people are paying more attention to their food ... blah, blah … like it or lump it.”

Well it might be against the law (very little isn’t these days), but it’s also a complete and utter waste of public money and council time. But that doesn’t matter to the Turkey Army, Gordon Brown’s massed forces of Vote Labour Or Lose Your Job public servants. They have to at least try to justify their pointless and expensive existence, so off they go, finding out what makes people happy and then banning it forthwith.

The new Roundheads are amongst us, folks. Give it a year and we’ll all be wearing sacks knitted out of yoghurt and beating ourselves with twigs every time an enjoyable thought pops into our heads.

ANOTHER NONSENSE from last week was this demand for stricter legislation to stop parents giving children under 15 any alcohol – not even that thimbleful of wine with Sunday lunch. Why? How many drunken toddlers are running riot through Suburbia, disturbing gentle snoozing to Songs of Praise? Absolutely none. It’s the teenage hoodies swigging cheap cider outside the off licence who are the problem.

It should be a question of balance and common sense. I don’t presume that any of you would think it right to have a two-year-old sitting in his high chair with his mitts wrapped round a pint of wife-beater and singing “Roll Out The Barrel”, but what’s wrong with letting your well-behaved 14-year-old daughter (there must be one somewhere) have half a glass of Chablis with her vegetarian chops and tofu?

Doesn’t demystifying the alcohol experience lead to a more sensible approach in later life? Do these interfering idiots really want to see young girls puking up blue alcopops down the High Street every Friday night? I suppose it would help them justify the appointment of another three Vomit Containment Outreach Workers at the taxpayers’ expense.

IF WE’RE talking about confused consumers, then you’ll have to count me in. Walking around Waitrose the other morning, my eye was caught by something called Cat Milk. Yes, Cat Milk.

My first thought was “How on earth do you milk a cat? I do hope the poor sod who has to do it gets danger money.” I was then further baffled by the thought of who might want to drink it. It was fully three minutes before I worked out that it was milk especially FOR cats, not FROM cats. What an idiot.

Then I wanted to buy a razor. My current model has, I think, three blades. The new one I was eventually persuaded to buy has six. Yep, five on the front and another one round the back. A six-bladed razor, with a battery that makes it vibrate as well, just in case you’re too sober to shake for yourself in the morning.

I remember my dad’s shaving kit that he brought back from National Service and used until his death at a ridiculously early age. One plastic shaving mug, check; one badger bristle shaving brush, check; one safety razor, check: and when the blade went blunt – Eureka! – you just put in another one.

Now we’re surrounded by over-engineered nonsense that none of us can work and which is obsolete in a month anyway. Check out your kitchen cabinets. I bet you’ve got a once-used breadmaker, a redundant smoothie-maker and one of those Goerge Formby grills. I know I have.

Mind, it’s not just me. In front of me in the queue at the garden centre on Sunday was a young woman with her mother. They were trying to return one of those fancy sundials because, the woman stated, “The arm’s stuck. Look, it won’t turn round.”

Perhaps she’d been on the blue alcopops.


9 Comments:

Blogger Chris said...

Battery operated razors? Why in the name of Jehovah is that necessary?

As for pig-tarts, what about toad in the hole, or a local delicacy down 'ere: lava bread?

12:33 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

"Spotted dick, please... and a full list of ingredients.........oh that is the list."

1:21 AM  
Blogger David Hadley said...

Ah, the
George Formby grill.

6:28 AM  
Anonymous Mr Mad said...

I bought a cottage pie the other day, and was there a cottage in it NO.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Did you miss this one, Barry?
Name warning for dragon sausages

5:37 AM  
Anonymous tc said...

Mmm doughnuts - oh, wait - no nuts! And hot dogs - oops, no dogs (at least I hope not!) How far will they take this? What about Hamilton Academicals - are there any academicals at the club or should they be renamed? How about Porridge Wogs FC? And then there's Arsenal FC: I doubt they make or store weapons (although "Gooners FC" might still be ok as a name)!

11:45 AM  
Blogger ian said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:35 AM  
Blogger ian said...

Crunchy Frog, anybody?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy6uLfermPU

2:40 AM  
Anonymous Theo Delight said...

I am amazed that the woman did not return the sundial because she had discovered thst it did not work at night.

12:29 PM  

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