The Flora Food Company,
Burgess Hill,
West Sussex


Dear sir/madam,

I am writing to express the recent distress and concern caused to me by one of your products. I must confess that I have not purchased Flora for some time, being forced to economise on own-brand products instead. However, last week I was driven to buy a tub of Flora Extra Light Margarine in a period of severe larder famine. Little did I suspect the momentous change in packaging your product had undergone. Imagine my confusion when I innocently opened the lid to be confronted by the following eloquent little piece of prose:

if i love you then i need you
if i need you then i want you around

What could it mean? At first, I wondered if the supermarket assistant had had a crush on me and had scrawled the words inside the lid as a subtle hint of her desires. This brief hope was dispelled when I realised that the words were actually printed on the liner covering my virgin marg. I was thus doubly concerned as I had only just opened the tub and did not yet feel ready to commit myself to such an intensely emotional relationship with an unfamiliar tub of spread. Quite apart from the rather dubious physical connotations, the unconventionality of such an affair would surely test the credulity and moral prejudice of normal society, or at least that part of it so often portrayed by those happy families in your television advertising. I was quite sure that I would never be able to reciprocate the apparently deep feelings of my margarine in a public place, much less in the small confines of my kitchen. Even the mere thought of intimacy with a greasy, yellow substance made me hesitate (although I understand your product has much wider application outside simple bread dressing). And finally, I was happily involved with a young lady of my own species who would probably not take too kindly to being abandoned for a tub of Flora Extra Light.

It was then that I wondered if the message was intended as a reminder from the Flora Food Company of the simple joys of healthy romance. Were you, I asked myself, helpfully trying to prod me into reaffirming my deep commitments to those I hold dear? Grateful and relieved, I earnestly delivered the aforementioned ode to my beloved at our next meeting. After a moment's quiet reflection and consideration, she said "You got that off a tub of Flora!" and performed a savage act of unpleasant, but sadly increasingly typical, violence involving vulnerable areas of my anatomy and bony parts of hers.

I regret to say that our relationship since then has suffered something of a turn for the worst, with accusations of shallowness and insensitivity being levelled at me. Whilst I would not wish to hold your company responsible for what was, after all, only a kind if rather misplaced act of charity, I do however ask if you could possibly avoid such campaigns and stick to selling margarine in future. It is your traditional strength and area of expertise; dabbling in affairs of the heart, particularly other people's, is notoriously fraught with peril and will only lead to unhappiness and distrust on the part of your customers.

My best wishes to your business and its employees; I know this momentary lapse of taste is only a small stumble on your road to culinary acclaim. Remember: people spread margarine; they do not solicit romantic advice from it. Such matters carry more dignity than a food product can hope to aspire to.

Yours faithfully,

A.J. Rixon

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