The Vibe from Abroad – The Bunting is Out

While in the newsagent’s recently, I was almost knocked over by the mountain of crisp boxes stacked high at the till. What caught my eye were the “South African sweet chutney” and “Dutch edam cheese” flavours huddling close to the “German bratwurst sausage”. But fighting for space was the “Spanish chicken paella” flavoured crisps. Hang on a minute, where is the “English roast beef and Yorkshire pudding”? I rushed home and logged onto and sure enough, there they all are – all 15 flavours of new World Cup crisps! 

To get into the supermarkets now, you have to climb over walls of beer, for fans to stay drunk over the entire tournament. If they are sober enough, they could trade the football cards on sale. Once you have tackled these obstacles, all manner of branded foodstuffs await. I could feel my arteries furring up, just wandering the isles, trying to work out what on Earth I was going to eat that wasn’t red and white and out of a packet. Lettuce leaves? Can those be branded?

This can only mean one thing; for those who never watch TV, log onto the internet, or share their thoughts on Twitter, the World Cup is coming. Like it or not, it is going to be very hard to avoid (unless you live underground). 

Normal social behaviour is suspended and invitations to attend parties and watch movies are politely refused. The local entertainment industry is taking a knock too as various events, for which clueless organisers struggle to sell tickets, will probably have to be cancelled due to the lack of interest.

In 2006, the World Cup was estimated to be worth £1bn to retailers and this is expected to grow by 20% this time around. I suppose we could do our bit by splashing out on an enormous TV screen and new home entertainment system. That will really pee off the neighbours!  I wonder if they would notice the huge flagpole I have installed in the front garden ... I’m just not sure which flag to fly.

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