Belfast Telegraph

How the Co-op became silly sausages over label

By Robert McNeil

loved the idea of an “ambient” sausage roll. Why the Co-op has apologised for printing the word erroneously on its labels for the sweetmeats, I have no idea.

As someone who'll grasp any excuse for eating stuff that's bad for him, I'd have bought an ambient sausage roll in a trice. It sounds so wonderfully New Age.

I see myself in soft focus, ambling bare-foot through a field of flowers towards a stream. Butterflies tumble in the sweetly scented air, bumble bees buzz, bluebirds tweet. I sit down by the water, dangling my feet. A warm sun overhead strokes and soothes my face. I am in heaven. Full of bliss, I take out my ambient sausage roll and munch into it, spilling flakes of pastry on the grass. Then the birds and bees fall silent, and everything goes dark and cold.

No one knows how the word “ambient” got on the label. I like to think it was somebody having a laugh. What can we expect next? Numinous steak pies? Elysian pasties? Celestial donuts? It all sounds so super. We all know that everything that tastes good is bad for you. That infuriating paradox is grist to the mill of those who believe life on Earth is actually Hell, which I'm discovering at the moment, as poverty has forced me to cancel Sky Sports.

If the Co-op had any marketing sense, it would reinstate “ambient” on its sausage roll labels, allowing us the additional joy of irony as we clog our ethereal arteries.

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