Monthly Archives

March 2009

Rad Radin Rocks the Bush

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He was awesome. Performing with his band a veritable selection of audible treats, Radin indulged us in some Scrubs classics such as Winter, and Closer combining it with new material from his new album Simple Times.

The pace of the gig was refreshing – unsurprising perhaps from an artist who consistently produces sub 3min songs, helping him get through a good chunk of the back catalogue. Joshua kept us entertained throughout 90 min set, serving the songs up with with a healthy helping of banter and endearing storytelling along the way. A lovely treat for a Thursday.

Bona fide.

Pizza Express 2 for 1 – a ‘Pizza Express Finger’ scandal unveiled

By | Conjecture | 2 Comments


pizza express knife trouble, originally uploaded by benaston.

I just don’t ‘get’ Pizza Express. When you’re standing outside, the minimalist interior looks appealing. Step inside, close your eyes, and with the din and laminate furniture, you’d be forgiven for wondering if you were actually in McDonalds. The difference is, McDonald’s doesn’t give you the dreaded ‘Pizza Express Finger’.

It’s the seemingly perpetual 2 for 1 deal that first made me a suspicious. I know that in these crunchy times, it is prudent to ensure one is always appropriately armed with a badly printed voucher to maximise frugality. But aren’t all vouchers just a ploy to get you through the door?

Cue the knives. It’s quite simple really, the knives aren’t up to the job of taking on ice cream, yet alone pizza. You could spend all evening trying to cut through the crust and you’ll never get anywhere – you’ll just get Pizza Express Finger. A sorry state where index fingers are cramped and thus incapicated due to overuse in cutting ventures.

As the picture shows, the Pizza Express ‘knife’ isn’t really a knife at all – it’s lacking any serrated capacity. And that’s precisely the point. With everyone arming themselves with vouchers, Pizza Express has to make their money somewhere – so they’re making it difficult to eat their pizzas.

Around the restaurant people furtively and with increasing desperation continue their efforts to cut through their pizzas. All the additional effort required is deliberate; they’re thirsty after all the fruitless cutting action and so stay longer, hoping and waiting for their Pizza Express Finger to wear off.

In a last ditch effort, they realise the only way to conquer the pizza is to forego cutting altogether and instead employ the cutlery as levers, crudely prising the pizza apart into bite sized portions . But it’s too late. They’re now on their third Scillian lemonade, and £6 poorer for it. The crunch has bitten back.

Scandalous.

The National Geographic charity appeal

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Probably the best CRM I’ve received in a while – let’s take a closer look.

1. ‘Dear Member’ – A disappointing start. I’m not sure exactly what I’m a member of. I thought I was a subscriber. And I’d prefer to be known as Ben, especially when they’ve kindly put my name on the direct debit form.

2. ‘…a few short months’ – Wooah there. My subscription doesn’t run out not until August, that’s 6 months away. And what’s short about the months March to April?

3. ‘Renewing your membership today helps us keep your membership fee low by eliminating the expense of sending you additional renewal notices.’ – Hold on. So you’ll start charging me to send me renewal notices? NB – this is the 3rd I’ve received in as many months.

4.’Your cooperation…’ This must be the important bit. It’s in blue. Why am I being asked to cooperate? It was a magazine subscription, now it’s become a charity appeal. By buying it, I help reduce the cost for other people. Now what kind of strange logic is that?

5.’Compare the price…such lavish color photographs…five double-sided map supplements each year.’ The final paragraph is a final ditch attempt to re-iterate the rational value arguments while finally introducing some emotive rhetoric.

I think it was the lure of those lavish photographs that got me. And the maps. It’s all too much. Must resubscribe.

Maybe.