My email to Coles

Coles logoHaughtist Elizabeth Campbell wrote a couple of weeks ago imploring me to send an email to Coles on her behalf. She had just had the final straw land upon her back (yes, I am intimating that she is a broken-backed camel): during a visit to a Coles store a few days after Christmas she encountered a veritable Everest of hot cross buns awaiting mindless consumption.

She demanded an explanation from the store manager who gave her the old “I’m just the manager of the entire store” excuse and then came to me.

I’ve been meaning to write to Coles for months and so was happy to oblige.

Dear Coles,

My name is Jonathan and I have developed something of a reputation for writing emails to companies and odious people. Although I sometimes make self-deprecating public jokes about having jumped the shark, I am actually more popular than ever and receive many many hundreds of emails a day asking for advice and help from punters.

One of these emails recently came from a woman by the name of Elizabeth who asked whether I could send a piece of correspondence to you on her behalf.

Her email was witty and charming, and her case compelling. She began “Today I turned into my mother and it frightened me. What happened was this: doing a quick shop in Coles, I was hurrying through the checkout when I was confronted with a large and prominent table piled high with HOT CROSS BUNS. On the 5th of January.”

Elizabeth went on to detail the absurdity of this occurrence in some detail:

“In the liturgical calendar we have moved out of Advent and into Christmas, which ends on January 7th. We then go into Ordinary time, then Lent (when it might at a squeeze, be appropriate or bearable to see hot cross buns) in the last week of February.

“On this day, Jan 5th, the little baby Jeebus is still having private time with his mummy and step-daddy, and will not be disturbed from his milky slumbers until Twelfth-Night or Epiphany, January 6th, with the arrival of the three wise men and their impractical gifts. JUST HOW SOON DOES COLES WANT TO CRUCIFY THIS KID?

“I am not a Christian, but having just survived the Santa-season, tormented by Mariah and Bing at every turn, and attempting to have myself a merry little cwissmass despite the continual bombardment of advertising and hype, seeing hot cross buns was just too much for me. After 33 years of resisting, I crumbled, became my mother, and complained at length. The rather sweet but ultimately helpless store manager said that he gets it, and would like to help, but there’s nothing that can be done at a store level.

“An email must be written. I thought instantly of you. Will you be my champion?”

I went quickly to work, returning to my Bible studies for the first time since I wrote to the former tennis champion, now terrible lizard, Margaret Court.

I delved into the shadow world of non-canon apocrypha, the texts that never made it into any version of the Bible. My investigations led me to a little known text by the name of the Book of Norman.

Here’s what I discovered:

Turns out that after delivering the first part of his Sermon on the Mount – an absolute cracker, most agree, but a pretty long speech – Jesus went to find some water, because his mouth was dry from all the rule-making. When he came back, all the disciples, and the crowds, were gone and…

“Jesus said unto the vacant rocks
Where hath the bludgers gone?
And one of the rocks did duly answer him
and said unto him
I am still here, Lord.
And Jesus spake his own name very loudly
and did say unto God,
Father, You must warn me before ensconcing Yourself in local geological features.
And the rock said unto Jesus
But it is not God who hath spoken to you;
it is me, Norman, Son of Larry.
And a balding head emerged from behind the rock.
And Jesus said unto the nerd
Oh, not you again.
And Norman said unto Jesus
Lord, I know you find me irritating
and unpleasant to the nose,
but I desire to be your disciple.
And Jesus did say unto Norman,
It is true that your manner is a spark to the tinder of my temper
and that your odor brings great burden to my heart
but it is also true that mine other disciplines have pissethed off
halfway through my sermon.
And Norman did laugh with joy
and did open his thermos and did
remove a frankfurt from that thermos
and did eat that frankfurt as Jesus continued his sermon.
Blessed, also, are the supermarket owners, for the kingdom of heaven will definitely need groceries.
And blessed is the supermarket that stretcheth out the celebration of my birth, death and resurrection to a full nine lunar cycles.
And Norman said unto Jesus
Your resurrection?
And Jesus did dart his eyes and did say unto Norman
Look surprised when it happeneth.
Then Jesus did change the subject back to supermarkets.
Blessed is the supermarket that profiteth from that which is sacred.
And blessed is the supermarket that ruineth much-loved songs.
And that, with its advertising, annoyeth people as a threadworm annoyeth a dung hole.
And that treateth its customers like their wits have been halved.
And blessed is the supermarket that will one day vanquish the mighty TuckerBag
And will enter into a duopoly that lasteth a thousand years.
And Jesus said unto Norman
Now give me one of your frankfurts
For I am hungry from all this yacking.”

So it turns out you’re just doing the Lord’s bidding with your rampant commercialism and shockingly downmarket advertising. Well done, and sorry for doubting you.

Please ignore Elizabeth’s frivolous complaint.

Yours in flagrant blasphemy,

Jonathan Rivett

PS: Have you thought about using James Bond theme songs in your ads? The most recent one –Skyfall – was pretty good. It could go something like:

It’s not the end
We’ve gone completely round the bend
We said “down down” and then
We’re cutting prices yet again
For it’s not the end
You’ve shopped and dreamt this moment
Of butter, bread, de-o-dor-ent
You’ll nearly feel you’ve stolen

When the price falls, when it crumbles
We’ll reduce all
So Aussies save together
When the price falls, when it crumbles
We’ll reduce all
So Aussies save together
When price falls
When price falls…


Shirley Bassey’s Goldfinger is another worth some thought. The obvious applications would be to promote low prices on fish fingers or new store brand condoms – Coles Dingers.

Coles Dingers
They’re the brand.
The brand that you’ll want to touch.
We all want to touch.
…a bold dinger…


Read more haught emails


Haught fact of the day:

I always write the facts of the day last and often labour over them, only to come up with something half-arsed and self-reflexive.

Read more haught emails

…or click/poke through to one that takes your fancy below:
My email to Yarra Trams
My email to Metro Trains 
My (unsent) email to the Victorian Department of Transport
My email to Alan Jones
My email to Kyle Sandilands
My email to Gasp Jeans
My email to Jim Beam
My email to Ben Polis
My email to Hoo haa Bar
My email to Weis ice creams
My email to some tobacco companies
My email to Margaret Court
My email to KFC

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  1. Utter genius. So much fun reading the Coles “Price Fall” lyrics while having Adele sing along with the Sky Fall tune on YouTube.

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