Thursday, 26 August 2010

A New Home in the Sky - Saucy Goings-On

The sky, as viewed from our 7th Floor eyrie, is what hack novelists might describe as ‘slate-grey’ or ‘leaden’ – an almost uniform shade of dullness with no break in the cloud-cover anywhere. It could be November. The rain is coming down in stair-rods. Spare Change Guy, who normally sits at the bottom of the steps to the underpass has had to move to higher ground or be drowned (one solution to the problem of begging, I suppose)

IL4-hitman Terry has been very quiet today, engrossed as he is in the proposed new International Linear Collider (Large Hadron Colliders are so yesterday, it seems).

JH, a female colleague from another team, wanders in with an envelope.

“Look at this,” she says, proffering the white rectangle. “I got this in the post this morning. It’s dead weird.”  I see nothing particularly weird about receiving an envelope - a device whose very purpose it is to convey mail messages - through one's letterbox, but wisely refrain from commenting.

I look at it. It’s an unremarkable white envelope which is neatly addressed and has what appears to be the correct postage on it. I turn it over, see nothing amiss, and look inquiringly at her.

“No,” she says, “Open it.”

I hadn’t wanted to do this uninvited as it was personally addressed to her and the gummy bit on the flap had resealed it, making it appear unopened. Anyway…

Inside are two items:

  • An individual sachet of tomato sauce
  • A blank compliment slip from a caravan site in Wales.

No other note, no writing on the slip, no explanation.

Apparently JH did visit this campsite many years ago, but is that any reason for them to be sending random condiments through the post?

Is it some kind of promotional? (remember how lovely our sauce sachets were?)

It is some kind of very oblique threat? (remember how awful our sauce sachets were?)

Why on earth would somebody spend money posting sauce sachets to people?

The world is a most mystifying place at times.

And still the rain continues.


  1. Hah, hat neither of you realises is that this is indeed a threat: tomato ketchup is blood-red.
    The message is


  2. Jeeeezusss, I wish I could type!
    typo 1 - what
    typo 2 - !

    thanks for your extravagant praise, are you still trying to get me to join your lot? Perhaps, I'd better. Flattery will get you . . .etc.

  3. My life is complicatred.I cannot unravel it's mysteries or tie my shoelaces.My head will break if I let these new events into my brain.SoI'm sorry but I've got my fingers in my ears and I'm going Lalalalala...I can't hear you!

  4. Thank you Argent, I quite slipped away to your world whilst reading this. Utterly relaxing; in fact, I can't even be fagged to ponder the mystery of the sauce. Lovely.

  5. OH.. how I would love to recieve obscure random things through the post!.... and... OH how i would love to send obscure things to random people through the post... Speaking of post.. i still have a couple of those bloody c.d's of ours to send out... OH.. how I hate trying to be organised and remember basic things...

  6. Friko - You could be right about the threat. Not as graphic as a horse's head in your bed but... And, yes, I am trying to get you to join the Wordzzling mob, you'd do very well at it I reckon.

    TFE - More power to your elbow I say!

    Titus - It is indeed an odd little world, but quite fun to visit (not sure you'd want to live there).

    Watercats - Maybe we could start an art movement whereby we send random small objects to random people with no explanation. Only thing is, we'd not get to see their reaction. Being organised is boring, stay as you are - all arty and creative and stuff.

  7. I love it! And it sounds so frou frou to call it "sachet" to me - it would just be a plain old packet here. BOOORRRING.

    But seriously, really? Who does that?

  8. Bug - Frou-frou, eh? We tend to use the term sachet for things like this with a liquid content. Packet is more for dry thing - in my world, anyway. So you could sashay down to the store for a sachet of ketchup.

  9. A promotional effort, surely. Odd and misguided, but it probably seemed a good idea at the time to the person who sent it. If they sent out a lot, (a) how many sachets burst in the post (very messy)? and (b) did their bookings go up? (The proof of the pudding -or in this case the ketchup- and all that).

  10. My colleague has emailed the caravan site to ask them what's going on, but so far she's had no reply. I'll keep you posted.


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