14 April 2010


The letterbox rattles. Something drops to the mat. What could it be? An evocative postcard from faraway? One of those nice envelopes from "ERNIE" that tell you you have won £50 on the Premium Bonds? Or perhaps one of those regular official letters you have to deal with - car insurance up for renewal, water rates break down for the year, "Student Finance England"? No my friend - none of these - it's yet another mailing from a food takeaway establishment somewhere in the darkest depths of this city.

Recently, it's been happening almost every day. It's as if some machiavellian expert in psychological torture is sitting in a high rise turret planning my downfall by sending out menu after menu, mailing after mailing - expecting my blood pressure to rise to bursting point. How many more times do I have to trot out to our paper recycling bin with these things? And in a world where we should all be striving to cherish the planet's natural resources why should we be bombarded by these unwanted pieces of folded shiny paper? It's such a waste.
Then you turn to the content of the damned things. I mean, who in their right mind would want to buy this "family meal" for £13.95 - "Any 2 x 12inch pizzas, any 12inch garlic bread, a portion of coleslaw, a large portion of chips, a large bottle of fizzy drink" ? Can you imagine? "Children! It's dinner time. Come and get it!" In my humble opinion, anyone providing their families with such crap should be arrested and charge with cruelty. For £13.95 you could prepare a truly delicious and nutritionally worthy meal from scratch using fresh ingredients and still have change for a nice bottle of wine.

Regarding pizzas, I have never seen the point of them. Lumps of flabby dough with gunge smeared on them. Doner kebabs are a well-known health hazard. Those huge meaty cones that turn for weeks on end maximising the salmonella bug count. As well as announcing the "express" delivery service, leaflets should provide directions to the closest Accident and Emergency facility!

I'm planning to form an urban retaliation group. We will inundate all the takeaway establishments of Sheffield with our own irritating leaflets about nutrition, food poisoning and legal services for failing takeaway businesses so desperate to stay afloat in a time of economic recession that they think it is perfectly acceptable to invade our homes with "Mega Deals", "Sunday Specials", "10% Student Discount", "Tubs of Chilli or Garlic Mayo", "Potato Wedges" and "Mediterranean Delight" pizzas. It's time to fight back before we are all suffocated under vast piles of takeaway mailings.


  1. Anonymous9:36 pm

    So, did you go to Valencia and come back a changed man?
    If not, someone is posting on your behalf on My Dad's a Communist.

  2. YP these are called flyers(don't ask me why)and it seems to be a direct marketing phenomenon just about everywhere in the world.
    Brighton has recently outlawed flyers.A licence is needed from the town council if someone or a company wishes to distribute them in mailboxes or on street corners,Malls etc.Personally I've been appalled by the waste of paper for years.
    How did you handle the Tapas & the odd eating hours in Spain?

  3. LUCY ANONYMOUS After five years of blogging I thought it was about time to update my picture having been nudged some time back by Madam Franks, the author of "My Dad's A C"
    JEAN Well good on Brighton! I wish more cities would target flyers. Tapas? Well the last time we were in Spain we hit upon a super tapas bar in Santiago de Compostela but this time we never really struck lucky. In fact we had one small tapas dish that seemed to consist mainly of discarded bits of a sheep's stomach in a pungent orange-coloured sauce. Neither of us could eat it so we hid it with a menu before leaving. We didn't find the eating hours very odd. Sitting down for a meal at 21.00 is fine by me. And thanks for dropping by again.

  4. Elizabeth10:16 am

    I so agree about flyers, YP. I got one through the door last week that read,'If you cannot read this leaflet, this leaflet will tell you where to get lessons'!!
    And I absolutely agree that good, wholesome, far more nutritious meals can be cooked up for a fraction of the cost. Manufactured pizzas with spray on garlic and basil are rubbish, but a good home-made one - I do a wholemeal bread base, homemade vine tomato filling, toppings of roasted seasonal vegetables and slices of fresh, melt in the mouth goat's cheese (not buffalo mozarella)- can actually be a good wholesome meal, providing protein, carbohydrate and vitamins in one sitting. I know of only one place in Yorkshire where they do anything nearing that...but even then it's not the same - it takes too much time and attention to make it commercially viable. x

  5. One of the bonuses of living in a small village is that no one wants to deliver take away meals to us so no flyers arrive. My kids would profoundly disagree with my opinion that this is A Good Thing but never mind.

    Reidski seems to get a dozen at least every day of the things.

    It's such a mystery why we have an obesity problem isn't it with the profusion of junk food that you don't even have to walk to collect?

  6. "Who in their right mind would want to buy this 'family meal' ..."? I must admit I do get them from time to time. Friday night, in particular, when I'm too knackered to be bothered cooking. I know they are rubbish and probably contain more cholesterol than a barrel of lard, but they are, well, so convenient. And down here in Oz we get them for about half that price if you pick them up yourself. But I do hate junk mail, and think those who send it should be forced to eat their own products every day for a month.


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