We've all experienced the frustration of a retailer discontiuing a line - but St Andrews University students Isabelle Bousquette and Tomi Baikie felt so emotional when their local Tesco stopped selling their favourite salted popcorn, they felt moved to write a sonnet, a sort of ode to popocorn. Then they sent it to Tesco chairman Sir Richard Broadbent.
The sonnet, which lamented the fact the supermarket had said it had "no plans to restock", asked whether they had "Butterkist my true love goodbye?", and finished, in classic Shakespearean form, with a rhyming couplet: "Let this be a dream. Restock when I wake/I live with salt in my wounded heartbreak".
But alack, alas: not only did it languish on Broadbent's desk for nearly two months - but when the reply came, it was bad news for the heartbroken students: "Alas dear ladies (Baikie is a man, but we'll forgive them the error) your woes are continued/The popcorn in question has been discontinued". To ease the pain, the supermarket also attached a £10 Tesco gift card, and added: "Your favourite popcorn is waiting for you/Across the Tay River, no really it's true!".
Sadly (or happily, if you're an investor), it's unlikely Broadbent, who resigned last month, had been procrastinating when he should have been ruminating on a way to plug the supermarket's £250m accounting black hole. The sonnet came from "Frances Hickley, Chairman's Office". Oh well.
Bard criticism or were they just feeling (pop)corny? Both poems, in full, below:
Dear Sir Richard,
I write to offer my congratulations
On a truly impressive achievement:
Selling us salted popcorn sensations,
Yet this praise is not without bereavement.
I found no real solace to my upset
When I went to the shelf popcorn sits on
And just found the lump in my throat you get
When something you love is there, then it's gone.
I live in St Andrews, thus the issue:
"No plans to restock," you said with a sigh.
So answer this, or hand me a tissue:
Have I butterkist my true love goodbye?
Let this be a dream, Restock when I wake
I live with salt in my wounded heartbreak.
Dear Ms Bousquette and Ms Baikie,
Alas dear ladies your woes are continued,
The popcorn in question has been discontinued
At least from St Andrews in old Market Street,
As nobody wanted to buy this sweet treat.
The product in question is not one they chase,
Just when on offer, as limited space
A decision was taken though not in great haste,
To de-list this item 'cos it ended in waste.
However dear ladies, please dry your tears
We'll still sell you popcorn for many more years
The only thing is that you may need to travel,
To find your true love for this tale to unravel
Your favourite popcorn is waiting for you,
Across the Tay River, no really it's true!
Our product is stocked in both Perth and Dundee,
And I've found a way you can have it for free!
Please smile again 'cos the sun's coming out,
You don't have to worry you'll not go without,
We know it's been stressful, we know it's been hard
But you can still buy your popcorn, here's a £10 Giftcard.