Archive | November, 2012

The Paddle Pop Syndrome

15 Nov

I thought I would treat myself to a paddle pop last night.

A treat it was not.

As a matter of fact it was a disgrace. I first noticed something was wrong when I picked up the ice cream. It seemed to be significantly lighter and a lot smaller than I remember. Unfazed I unwrapped the paddle pop to find an off colour, pale brown micro sized version of a paddle pop. It looked kind of like chocolate so I checked the wrapper just to confirm and to my surprise it was. With little confidence I gave it a taste test.

Icy, flavourless and disappointing. The only thing that resembled a paddle pop was the stick.

I haven’t seen the Paddle Pop lion for a while but based off the standard of his ice cream you might see him cleaning windshields at a set of traffic lights trying to collect money to fix his mangy outfit. Poor old Paddle Pop Lion must be doing it tough if he is willing to push such a poor, inferior product our way.

Well no! After doing a little research I have found it’s Streets Ice Cream’s biggest volume item with $70 million annual turnover.

Shame on you paddle pop Lion. How can you look little children in the eye while you shamelessly promote such a second rate product? Aussie kids believing your lies as you sun yourself under a tree at the Skase residence in Majorca. I just had Humphrey on the phone, he didn’t say much but I knew he was bitterly disappointed.

I read on further to find out the real reason why the standard of paddle pops had dropped off.

Since 2010 they have been made in China. Basically we are eating a Chinese rip off that is being rebadged as the real thing. Not only that, it is 15% smaller.

Streets claim that reducing it by 15% makes the ice creams healthier. Of course it does there is less of it. I have a suggestion for you Streets, reduce the ice cream by 80% and it will be even healthier. Actually just pop a flavoured stick in a wrapper and you may solve Australia’s obesity problem.

What a load of bullshit. To even release this statement shows how little respect that Streets has for its consumer. Edwin ‘Ted’ Street would be turning in his grave if he knew what had become of the paddle pop.

But this fraud isn’t the only one being perpetrated on the Australian public.

There is a long list of casualties and they are growing;

The Big Mac should now just be called a ‘Mac’ or am I missing the irony in the name. Like when a big man is nick named tiny. Maybe McDonalds is having a laugh by calling it a Big Mac, possibly, but Australia is missing the Joke.

It seems fitting that they have a thief in their ranks. Obviously The Hamburgular has been picking the pockets of the Australian consumer for years. Well at least that distracts us from the fact that Ronald is almost certainly a serial killer.

Next we have The Killer Python;

They should rename this ‘the magic python’ because it has magically reduced size over the years and the price has tripled. Not even David Copperfield could conjure up such a trick.

The beer market has managed to do the same. The bottles went from 370ml to a boutique 330ml. I actually had someone explain to me that 330ml were the boutique beers and the bogan beers were 370ml. Well give me a flanny, some Winnie blues and a missus called Shazza because I would rather drink a bogan beer than swallow this bullshit marketing ploy that seems to have duped the consumer. And since when was Hahn super dry a boutique beer?

What idiot would pay more for a beer that provides you less volume?

Yours truly of course. Ladies and gentlemen I have two words for you.

The Schmiddy.

I hate the Schmiddy more than I hate Gangnam style.

NSW is the only state to perpetrate such a fraud.

A schooner was 425ml and the Schmiddy is 350ml and they manage to charge the same if not more for it. The worst thing is the consumer has swallowed it, literally.

‘Oh a schmiddy, oh it’s smaller, oh it costs more, oh well I am in a cool club I might be seen here, so I should pay double.

Here is an explanation from one halfwit (sorry beer consultant) about how the Schmiddy came into effect.

‘City bars are moving away from the traditional middy and schooner glass sizes for more boutique beer sizes. Beer is becoming a drink to be appreciated, rather than just guzzled,’ beer appreciation consultant Kirrily Waldhorn said.

Oh Kirrily Waldhorn I would love to punch you in the face. If I wanted to appreciate a beer I would like to have more of it. By cutting out 75ml and charging me more doesn’t help me appreciate the beer, it actually limits the amount of beer that I can appreciate. There was nothing wrong with the middy and the schooner. If you wanted to have a small beer (sorry an appreciation beer) you had a middy and a big persons beer was a schooner. The only plausible reason the schmiddy was introduced was to screw the consumer. Trying to sell me on the fact that being charged more for less beer is a form of appreciation is absolute tripe. And there is that word again ‘Boutique’. I’m almost as afraid of that word as I am ‘Tapas’.

Now Tapas there is another fraud.

Here is where they serve you up bite size portions of amazingly tasty food over the course of the night. Quite often there isn’t enough to go around and if you are in a conversation at the time the food is served there is a real chance that you might miss out on the few pieces they have placed on the table. But then you all look at the last piece of food sitting in the bowl because no one wants to be the person that eats the last bit of food. While secretly you all want to eat the last piece you kindly keep offering it to others until someone cracks and then you all sit in judgment of ‘fat guts’ that just ate the last piece.

Here is an idea. Put each serving on an individual plate and that way we all get to eat barely nothing, fairly. It is a novel idea, albeit outrageous.

But the reason this isn’t done is because if they served out the portions to everyone individually it would be blatantly obvious how little food you actually get served.

So they maintain their fraud by serving it in one bowl and letting the peasants fight for the scraps.

Then we come to the bill. As I finish my 330ml boutique Cerveza I politely und0 my pants, bend over and wait. Because after all it’s tapas you should expect to pay double and get half. But as I try to pay we are politely told by the waiter that we can’t split the bill. After a night of splitting the food the irony of his statement was not lost on me.

I am blinded by the red mist at the moment but what I think I am trying to say is, when did it become acceptable to reduce portion size or quality and charge more for the product. Now I am not that naive to believe that this practice hasn’t existed for a long time but it seems to be infiltrating all aspects of society. Quality and Value for money has been replaced with low grade inferior products. Back in the day you shopped at Franklins if you didn’t mind sacrificing quality but now you can’t escape it regardless of where you shop.

Of recent time VB tried to change the recipe of their beer. The consumer responded fiercely and Carlton United was forced to change back to the original VB recipe. Now we should all take a lesson from this merry band of Bogans. They didn’t quietly accept the changes that had been made. They all rallied and boycotted the VB brand until they achieved a result. If we all had boycotted the introduction of the Schmiddy or the substandard paddle pop we may have achieved a similar result. I respect the VB drinkers of the world because they get to enjoy their 375ml beer in quiet contentment as they watch the V8 supers roll around the track at Bathurst.

In this day and age where mortgages are through the roof and living in Sydney on one wage is barely possible, I would just like to come home to a full beer, a nice ice cream and not be reminded about how shafted we get in this country.

Some notable products that have become less than their best:

Golden Rough, Scotch Finger Biscuit, Milk Arrowroot, Milk coffees, Killer Pythons, Big Mac, Tonka Trucks, Bubble O Bills, Ginger Nut .

Please add to the list if you can think of more.

Rant on,


PS: I wonder what would happen if Mr. Street had a street named after him.