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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Waitrose: Making McReadie Cry

Waitrose made me cry a bit yesterday. There I was, minding my own business, reading through my copy of Radio Times when - all of a sudden - I stumbled across a rather moving story, reproduced in full below.

The Heartwarming Tale of the Sad Little Boy and the Horse That Came Through the Letterbox

When you are almost 4 years old and you lose your very mostest, bestest ever toy, your world falls apart.

Alas, that's what happened to young Thomas Avent.

It was a little plastic horse that came in a farmyard set. Thomas took Horsey everywhere. And when Horsey went missing, Thomas was inconsolable. Rooms were searched, toy boxes emptied and sofas felt down. But Horsey had, as they say, done a runner.

Thomas' mother rang the supermarket where she'd bought the present. But the news wasn't good.

Regretfully, they no longer stocked the set. They suggested she tried Customer Services at their Head Office. The Assistant she contacted understood the seriousness of the situation and set to.

Over the next few days she made dozens of calls. And every one of them drew a blank. In desperation, she called the department store in London that was part of the same group as the supermarket. Could someone, she asked, go into the stockroom and have a rummage around?

So someone did. And there, joy of joys, at the back of a shelf were a few dusty plastic farm animals - including Horsey. He was cleaned up, dispatched in the internal mail to Head Office, placed in a jiffy bag addressed to Thomas and popped in the post.

Ecstatic is the only word to describe the look on Thomas's face when he opened the envelope. Indeed he even wrote a little letter to the Customer Services Assistant. It said "Thank you for finding my Horsey for me. I was really happy when he came in the post looking like new. Love Thomas".

Sniff, sniff. I'm going all emotional again. How dare a major supermarket manipulate me with their cute little stories? And, typing it up now, I just noticed that reading the first letter of the first line of each paragraph spell Waitrose. Who's doing their advertising now, for Chrissake? Derren Bloody Brown?

I'm not even sure it's 100% true, despite the reassuring "The above incident was recounted by a customer of Waitrose Food and Home, Salisbury". And, if that is genuinely Thomas' letter, then he's a precocious little sod. "Looking like new"? What kid says that? Other than, perhaps, a kid who was plunged into private school at age three. And, let's face it, his parents are shopping at Waitrose in Salisbury. Not exactly Tulse Hill Somerfield, is it now?

And with all that said...

Thomas got his Horsey back! Awwww... Sniff, sniff.


  • At 11:38 AM, Blogger Fizzwhizz said…

    Um, I take your point about the cynical and blatant news-creation of this story, but to be fair to Thomas, it is not unusual for parents of four-year-olds to write their kids' thankyou letters on their behalf , which may explain why the letter in question was such a more eloquent description of Thomas' feelings than one might expect from a child of his age.

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