ANGRY LETTERS

 

As written by Messrs. S. Veins and T. Wilson (aka ~x~),

under the noms de plume O. M. Vinegar and A. Christie.

 

Published hereafter under the imprint of The Rhexis,

a subsidiary of the Bisexual Semiotic Pollution society.

 

Further correspondence recorded in links beneath opening letters.

 

Complaints

Premier Foods

Premier House
Griffiths Way

St. Albans

AL1 2RE

 

Dear Sarson’s,

 

Following the consumption, in a public house, of a bowlful of marginally over-salted potato chips, liberally doused with your Original Malt Vinegar, I noticed a startling claim on the packaging of your Original Malt Vinegar – a claim that claimed, startlingly, that your Original Malt Vinegar had an acidity of five percent – and I quote:

 

“5% acidity”

 

What, if anything, does this mean?

 

I am not by any means an expert in the measuring of acidity in Original Malt Vinegars, but was under the impression that the acidity/alkalinity of Original Malt Vinegar, or indeed anything, was usually measured in units of pondus hydrogenii, or potential hydrogen – a term referring to acidity being due to a predominance of hydrogen ions in an aqueous solution.  However, I suppose that the “5%” acidity of your Original Malt Vinegar could mean that an acidic substance has been diluted with a ratio of 1:19 acid:Original Malt Vinegar in your Original Malt Vinegar, but that does not answer for the acidity of the acid itself, only its strength in terms of dilution.  Perhaps also, this Original Malt Vinegar acidity percentage scale matches up with a pH scale of your own devising, with 50% Original Malt Vinegar acidity matching up with pH 7 – acid/alkaline neutrality.

 

Please explain, in brief or detail, precisely or vaguely, what an Original Malt Vinegar “acidity” of “5%” denotes, and by what means you arrived at the conclusion that your Original Malt Vinegar has an “acidity” of “5%”.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

O. M. Vinegar, Esq.

 

       as yet no response

 

 

Complaints

Britannica Customer Support
331 North La Salle Street
Chicago

IL 60610

United States

 

Dear Encyclopædia Britannica,

 

Having immensely enjoyed chapters A—W (in particular chapters O, M, and V) in your latest novel, entitled “Encyclopædia Britannica”, I was disappointed by plot development in chapters X—Index.  In fact, chapter Index was little more than a glorified rehash of the earlier work.

 

Did you run out of ideas?  If so, might I suggest rewriting the ending, to finish with the discovery that Zywiec dunnit?

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Agatha Christie (no relation)

 

      z

 

 

Editorial Dept.

Secker & Warburg
Random House UK Ltd.
Random House

20 Vauxhall Bridge Road

London

SW1V 2SA

 

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

After the purchase and inward readance of the book “1984”, written by a “George Orwell” under your imprint, I wish to take issue with a number of glaring historical inaccuracies located in Parts One, Two, and Three, chapters One through Eight, One through Nine, and One through Six respectively.

 

The events described therein were quite unlike those which actually occurred during the year specified.

 

The text is so deeply flawed as to be almost a work of fiction.

 

I suggest that, pending investigation into the historical reliability of the work, you withdraw it from the high street immediately and now.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

O. M. Vinegar, Esq.

 

       no response, but I have been drinking a lot more gin and deliberating with upsetting regularity on whether full stops should be put before or after closing parentheses…

 

 

Complaints

Met Office
Fitzroy Road

Exeter

Devon  EX1 3PB

 

Dear Met Office,

 

I should like to complain about the unnecessary frequency of weather in my immediate locality of southern Buckinghamshire.  In the past week alone, weather has occurred almost every day, ranging in style from sunny to drizzly (via overcast).

 

Might I suggest that other nearby counties, such as Berkshire and Oxfordshire, be made to share some of the burden of weather that has been unfairly forced on us by what can only be a clerical error in your office?  On a recent sojourn to Chipping Norton, I noticed that inhabitants had escaped almost three days without having to suffer a single occurrence of weather of any description.

 

Failing that, could a giant umbrella be erected in the South Bucks region, possibly atop Amersham Hill?  Might I suggest a paisley design?

 

Yours meteorologically,

 

O. M. Vinegar, Esq.

 

      still raining on our parade

 

 

The Letters Page

New Musical Express
25th Floor
King’s
Reach Tower

Stamford Street

London

SE1 9LS

 

Dear Madam/Sir,

 

After reading stolen copies of your magazine over the past several months, it has dawned on me that you are running short of superlatives.  May I take the liberty of suggesting some more?

 

1.          Rock-and-rollerest

2.          Fuckest uppest

3.          Averagest

4.          Normalest

5.          Mediocrest

6.          Run-of-the-millest

7.          Second ratest

8.          Commonplacest

9.          Pedestrianest

10.     Lukewarmest

11.     Nothing-to-write-home-aboutest

12.     Tepidest

13.     Routinest

14.     Conventionalest

15.     Samest

16.     Clonest

17.     Insubstantialest

18.     Plasticest

19.     Fakest

20.     Tidiest

21.     NMEest

22.     Flash-in-the-panest

23.     Woodiest

24.     Ennuiest

25.     Meaninglessest

26.     Superlativest

27.     Estest

28.     Estestest

29.     Estestesterest

30.     Bestestest

 

Yours faithfully,

 

O. M. Vinegar, Esq.

 

      as yet no response – Mr. Veins’ brother has been scanning the NME for the letter

 

Complaints

NSPCC

Weston House
42 Curtain Road
London

EC2A 3NH

 

Dear NSPCC,

 

Isn’t it about time you stopped dossing around in the “National” category and became the “Royal” Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children?

 

Also, have you ever considered that grown-ups have problems too?  Problems beyond “OH NO DADA PUSHED ME DOWN DA STAIRS BOO HOO”, and more along the very serious lines of “HOW AM I GOING TO GET THE BLOOD OFF MY SHIRT”?

 

Grow up.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

O. M. Vinegar

 

      No response, oddly enough.  I live in daily fear of the CPA, however.

 

 

Complaints

Pampers

Procter & Gamble

The Heights
Brooklands
Weybridge

Surrey KT13 0XP

 

Dear Pampers,

 

I regret to inform you that your sanitary towels are the least discreet I have ever used.  May I suggest that the absorbent region be reduced as, due to the evolution of womankind to a point where menstrual fluids are no longer secreted from the thigh, full-pelvic coverage is no longer necessary?

 

I have included below a diagram of what a prototype new-form sanitary towel might look like.

 

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Ms. O. M. Vinegar

 

      no reply has been leaked

 

 

HM The Queen
Buckingham Palace

London

SW1A 1AA

 

Dear The Queen,

 

After purchasing an number of your (frankly Narcissistic) coins, 1972 – 2006, I have noticed that, over the years, you have become several degrees older.

 

How did this happen?

 

Yours sincerely,

 

O. M. Vinegar, Esq.

 

      no response as yet

 

 

Geoffrey Travis

Rough Trade Records
66 Golborne Road
London

W10 5PS

 

Dear Mr. Travis,

 

With regards to the musical mystery “Can’t Stand Me Now”, written under your contract by artists known as “The Libertines”: as a physicist, I feel I simply must take issue with one of the less well thought-through lyrical lyrics.

 

The line in question, appearing on “The Libertines’ ” eponymously self-titled album of the same name, “The Libertines”, in addition to the single/EP “Can’t Stand Me Now”, states that following “the boy’s” vicious lashing out at “the world”:

 

“The world kicked back a lot fucking harder now.”

 

Now, as a Cambridge graduate, I am sure you are aware that Newton’s Third Law would suggest that the force exerted by the world (A) on the boy (B), far from being a lot fucking harder, would be equal and opposite to that of the boy (B) on the world (A): see figure (i).

 

figure (i)

 

I await your thoughts on the matter with baited breath.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

O. M. Vinegar, Esq.

 

      no reaction

 

 

Complaints

RSPB
The Lodge
Sandy

Bedfordshire

SG19 2DL

 

Dear Royal Society for the Prevention of Birds,

 

I feel I must take issue with your prevention of birds.

 

Whilst I am not adverse to the prevention of birds, having myself been a prominent proponent in the extinction of the dodo, I feel that your advocation of such could lead to cruelty to birds.

 

Whilst I am not adverse to cruelty to birds, having only last Christmas captured, shaved, and centrifuged a particularly irksome robin, I feel that unnecessary cruelty could arise from your programme.

 

Whilst I am not adverse to unnecessary cruelty, having only last Thursday taken part in a cockfight, as a competitor, I feel that its promotion could give rise to cruelty for cruelty’s sake.

 

Whilst I am not adverse to cruelty for cruelty’s sake, having only last night insulted a cockatoo’s choice of gaudy featherage, whilst at the same time belittling its sexual potency with cries of “You can’t get it up, you bird,” I feel that such promotion on a national scale could lead to a shortage of birds to promote cruelty toward.

 

Whilst I am not adverse to a shortage of birds to promote cruelty toward, having just this morning caused a kingfisher to take his own life, by assuring him that there was one more male kingfisher left than female, and telling him he didn’t even have a chance with the hussy kingfishers, because his breath smelt of fish, I feel that a shortage of birds across the board combined with national campaigning for cruelty toward them would result in black market bird sales and national bird-hatred competitions.

 

Whilst I am not adverse to black markets and national bird-hatred competitions, having only this afternoon purchased seventeen kilos of heroin and presided over the National Eagle-Bating League Semifinals (like Eagle-Bating Union, but without the scrum), I feel that promotion by a royal society could lead to the desecration of royal birds.

 

Whilst I am not adverse to the desecration of royal birds, having a mere thirty-five minutes ago given a full-body tattoo to a swan and left it bleeding at a royal sentryman’s boots, I feel that widespread acceptance of such activities could result in an armed avian insurrection.

 

Whilst I am not adverse to an armed avian insurrection, having only after paragraph four shot a pigeon-fancier, I feel that as a human slave in an avian nation, my bird-bashing pastime may be frowned upon by our feathery overlords.

 

Whilst I am not adverse to frowning, having only twenty-three words ago frowned at my use of “avian” twice in the same sentence, I fear that birds frowning – when they are so clearly devoid of eyebrows – could lead to a degree of communicatory confusion that might preclude the establishment of interspecial harmony between ourselves and our flying sovereigns.

 

It is for this reason (eyebrows) and this reason alone that I urge you to reconsider your activities.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

O. M. Vinegar, Esq.

 

Click here for response

 

 

HM The Queen
Buckingham Palace

London

SW1A 1AA

 

Dear The Queen,

 

After purchasing a number of your “New” Pence, I have noticed that many of them are several years older than I.  Might I suggest that these “experienced” members of the fiscal fraternity be renamed “Distinguished” or “Elderly” Pence?

 

Yours sincerely,

 

Agatha Christie (no relation)

 

      we are not amused

 

 

G. Costa & Co. Ltd. (UK)
Aylesford
Kent

ME20 79A

 

Dear G. Costa,

 

What is “caking”, and why must it be avoided?

 

Yours sincerely,

 

O. M. Vinegar, Esq.

 

      Now I know.

Click here for response

 

 

Complaints

Sunny Delight Beverages Co.
6000 Creek Road
Cincinnati

OH 45242

United States of America

 

Dear S. Delight,

 

After a brief tongue-related encounter with the orangey goodness of your “Original” style electro-orange sugar lake, I was shocked – nay, mortified – to discover a discrepancy ’pon the packaging of the aforementioned citrus-impostor diabetes-grenade.

 

 

As I am sure you are aware, any such wave, whether oceanic or fresh, to approach so closely a stellar body (e.g. the Sun), would be immediately, quickly, and very fastly indeedy transformified into its vaporous cousin, Steam.

 

Any counterargument claiming that the picture is of the water just before it became Steam is clearly bunkem, because it could not have gotten so close without being turned into Steam already, even if it was really, really cold.

 

I hope to hear from you shortly with regards to this aberration of the Natural Laws of the Universe.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

O. M. Vinegar, Esq.

 

      not responded to

 

 

Tony Blair
10
Downing Street
London

SW1 2AA

 

Dear Mr. Blair,

 

I realise that you are a very busy man.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

O. M. Vinegar, Esq.

 

       too busy to respond