A few weeks ago, I received my gas bill in the post (I don’t care for Direct Debits, there’s something rather common and mistrusting about them). Enclosed with the bill was a letter and with the letter, there was a sort of coupon or voucher. I learnt from reading the letter, that it was whence forth, to be referred to, as a “Bond”.
Later and with the help of the Hubble Telescope I was able to decipher the microscopically small print on the aforementioned “Bond” and learnt that I would have to spend getting on for £3million worth of gas, in order to get an extra whiff of it for free. In other words, if I used enough gas to heat, say Belgium, they’d give me enough to fill a lighter. So, a mere 2 hours and several Excel spreadsheet calculations later, and I was in a position to realise that this was never going to be worth my while and I opted to bin their “Bond” at the very next opportunity.
Now a few days later and I found myself at the wheel of my motor car, driving along. I was on my way to the establishment at which I work. My merry day-dreaming was interrupted by one of those commercial advertisements that are sometimes played upon the wireless. It was for British Gas and my ears pricked up. Age and years of custard tart abuse prevent me from clearly remembering the precise wording of the advertisement that was played upon the wireless within my motor car, but it was roughly along the following lines.
Stop what you are doing and pay attention, we are British Gas after all. If you aren’t a British Gas customer, you jolly well should be. We are so good to our loyal customers, just listen to our latest special offer.
For centuries now it has been the tradition within our land, that when one wished to bestow a gift upon someone, that you presented them with a goat. It’s a tradition that’s lasted for hundreds of years and has been passed down from father to son. But we are British Gas. We know better. We know what’s good for you. Gone are the old ways. We are sweeping away centuries of culture and tradition. Oh yes citizens. We have decided not to give you anything as worthwhile as a goat. Oh no, because we know best, we have decided to send you a worthless scrap of paper, which you will from henceforth, refer to, as a “Bond”.
You need do very little else. For if you possess the “Bond” all you must do is to try and heat up Belgium and we will send you the equivalent of a lighter full of free gas. Oh our generosity is endless. You may now all bow down before us in homage and gratitude.
Well it was words to that effect.
Well needless to say, that I was not impressed with this latest poultry marketing offer. And so I decided to communicate my feelings direct to British Gas as I was sure that they would want to hear from me, one of their aforementioned loyal customers, who was, as it happens, still in possession of one their worthless scraps of paper, hitherto referred to, as the “Bond”.
Age and many months of squealing in pain at the hands of violent women, prevent me from recalling the precise wording of my letter (I don’t hold with e-mails, there’s something terribly impersonal and Taiwanese about them). But this is the thrust of my communication to them.
Dear British Gas Marketing Department,
I recently had the opportunity to listen attentively to one of your new advertisement communications, transmitted to the wireless within my motor car. I was on my way to the establishment at which I work. If I am to understand the nature of the advertisement which I heard upon the wireless that morning, you have decided to completely do away with a tradition that is countless centuries old. I refer of course, to the age old ritual of the bestowing of a gift, in the form of a goat. In one fell swoop, you are eradicating years of culture and tradition. You are dishonouring the many generations who since time imememorial have seen the goat as a most fitting and suitable gift with which to show favour. And I for one do not hold with such dramatic changes. As you will have no doubt have noticed, I have returned to you the “Bond”, henceforth to be known as “the worthless scrap of paper” and, if it’s all the same to you, I’d like my goat instead please.
I can wait in on Wednesday, please let me know whether you can deliver it in the morning or in the afternoon. My house is easy to spot, it’s the one without a goat tethered outside.
Well some time has passed and do you think I’ve had any response? No of course not. I am now beginning to get worried and quite frankly, I fear the worst. Several things could have happened. One hears such horror stories these days. Has my goat been left in some warehouse by mistake? Has it suffered some bizarre delivery van incident? Or more likely, has my goat been kidnapped by British Gas employees (or their agents) for use in some bizarre British Gas goat ritual? To date there has been no ransom demand.
I’m sick with worry and not a little annoyed. I shall wait only a few more days.
I shall of course, keep you informed if there are any developments.