No not blogging! This is the reaction of Paul when I have found something new to complain about! It takes a lot for me to complain about something but over the past few years my complaint quotient has rocketed - perhaps it's a sign of my advancing years :)
The first memorable complaint was to Marks and Spencer about some appalling grammar/spelling on a pair of slippers that I happened to see when looking for a birthday present for my Dad. The slippers were billed as "armchair referee" ones. One slipper had a yellow card and the second slipper had a red card with "Your off!" on it - honestly if Marks and Spencer can't spell things correctly.... I duly emailed M&S as I felt so outraged by the basic failure of their quality control systems. I got a nice email back saying they were sorry I felt so disappointed in them and that they would pass my comments on to the relevant person/department. It would appear though that they haven't learnt their lesson as I have felt the need to complain to them again recently....
The second complaint was to the BBC after an episode of "The Apprentice". It was one of the episodes where the candidates have to buy a variety of things as cheaply as possible. This particular one required them to buy a rabbit. The programme then showed them putting the rabbit (in its carrier) in the boot of the car - disgraceful! I complained to the BBC that they shouldn't be putting bunnies in car boots and that it wasn't a good way to promote responsible pet ownership, showing how easily you can buy a rabbit without any regard for the responsibilities involved in caring for one.
This especially riled me as rabbits are one of the most abused pets in this country. People think that they make good pets for children but then leave them stuck in a hutch 24/7. Yes rabbits can make lovely pets (I should know I've had several!) but they also take a lot of work and they need lots of space to run about in. Anyway I'll get off my soapbox...
The BBC duly replied that the rabbits hadn't stayed in the boot of the car for the entire duration of the task (well that's something at least) and that afterwards they went to pre-arranged homes. That's all well and good but I kind of feel they missed the point about promoting responsible pet ownership.
The third complaint was to the Advertising Standards Authority. In Manchester XFM were launching the radio station and there were many billboards showing babies/toddlers dressed as particular rock/pop acts. One such baby was dressed a Liam Gallagher and shown giving the "v" sign - you know the one. Well I don't know about you but I don't appreciate seeing anybody doing that anyway, let alone a baby (although I do appreciate it must have been photoshopped!) and particularly not every day on my way to work. Apparently I wasn't the only one as I think the ASA got about 170ish complaints although they didn't uphold them.
My most recent complaint has been to M&S again. And yet again it is for their poor grammar. I purchased Max some new underpants recently - a nice set in navy and grey with monkeys on them, somewhat appropriate for my monkey!! The first pair of pants were fine, just monkeys, nothing to upset me there. The second pair of pants were a different story altogether - here they are
Can you spot the problem? Yes it's an errant apostrophe. Just because it's plural doesn't mean it needs a flipping apostrophe. I have to admit to having a "thing" about apostrophes. I think it's because I wasn't taught how to properly use them until I did my A-Level in English Literature and one of our teachers was so astounded by our inability to use them correctly that she spent an entire lesson teaching us how to use them, rather than discussing Thomas Hardy's poetry. To be honest the apostrophe lesson as served me in greater stead than any discussion of Hardy.
I duly tweeted that I was contemplating complaining to M&S about the poor grammar on Max's new pants. I was somewhat surprised to receive a tweet back from M&S asking for the product code and advising that if I wanted I could return them to the store for a full refund. OK I am annoyed about the apostrophe but not quite enough to return all the pants!! How would I explain that to Max??