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The mysterious disappearing Pizza Hut

It's nearly a daily occurrence to find flyers for various businesses and restaurants stuffed through my front door. (In the UK, most homes have a mail slot in the front door; the postman just sticks the mail through and you pick it up off your floor.) Mostly I get flyers for pizza delivery places, Chinese and Indian restaurants, people wanting to wash my windows or do odd jobs around the house, and during election season the unavoidable political "vote for me!" leaflets.

Recently a flyer for Pizza Hut delivery was pushed through the mail slot. The flyer clearly lists a business address and a telephone number at the top. (There's a lot more to the flyer, this is only one page!)

Pizza Hut Menu

I was very happy about this because our local Pizza Hut restaurant closed a few years ago, and I have really missed pan pizzas. So The Englishman and I decided to order from them last week. I rang the number several times, both before I left work and from my mobile, and got no answer. I figured it's a new delivery place, it's bound to be very busy, so I'll just stop in and order in person.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the address on the flyer, only to find a building site! That's right, just an empty building, looking something like a building site.

When I got home, I went on the Pizza Hut website and left a message expressing my surprise and disappointment. I asked why an advertising flyer was circulated when either the store was not open yet, or there was no store actually planned.

The reply I received was ridiculous, unhelpful, obviously cut-and-pasted from stock answers written by some nameless manager, and didn't even begin to address my question:

Ref: 156394

28 April 2013

Dear Mrs A------,

Thank you for your email regarding a Pizza Hut leaflet. I am sorry to hear
that you were dissatisfied with your experience and would like to apologise
on behalf of Pizza Hut.

Pizza Hut are firmly committed to providing great service to our guests and
customers, and we were concerned to hear this was not apparent.

We take all customer concerns very seriously and we would like to assure
you that your comments have been passed on to the Marketing Team in order
to address your concerns within the restaurant.

Once again thank you for taking the time to bring this matter to our

Kind Regards,

A--- M-------
Pizza Hut Customer Service Team

Pizza Hut are committed to providing excellent customer service. So that we
can continue to improve the service provided we would appreciate your
feedback by completing a short survey.
Please click the link below to complete the survey
Thank you for your time.

Pizza Hut Customer Service Team

Oh really? You're going to address my concerns in the restaurant? WHAT freaking restaurant? There IS no restaurant! Did anybody actually read what I wrote? Apparently not!

If anybody should have any bright ideas as to why any company would spend money on advertising a restaurant that doesn't exist, and apparently isn't going to exist for quite a while, I'd be really interested. I'm all for advertising "Pizza Hut delivery, opening soon!" but this is blatant false advertising. Oh, the flyer contains money-off coupons (or "vouchers" as the Brits like to call them) which expire in July. Good luck using them!

While I'm ranting about this, the postcode (like a US zip code) is wrong. It should be TN4, not TN14!

And that is my Pizza Hut UK rant over. For now, anyway!

I should point out that my irritation here isn't about the fact that the menu flyers were delivered early - mistakes happen. It's not about the fact that the store isn't open yet. My irritation is due to the absolutely useless "customer service" response.


Well, that was random.

My town has a reputation for being somewhat stuffy.  But sometimes it can really surprise you.

Yesterday on my lunch break I walked down into town, as I do most days, for a bit of fresh air and exercise and (obviously) lunch.  On my way back I could hear music so I checked it out.  And randomly caught a bit of total weirdness.

Firstly, bands playing this style of music aren't that common in the UK.  Washboard playin' is something you'd see in rural Alabama, but not so much in England, not to mention a ukelele and an upright bass!  Secondly, I randomly caught on camera a man who'd clearly had about 17 drinks too many attempting a little dance.  Watch for the woman pushing a stroller ("pushchair") to dodge out of his way.  He is disappointed when the song ends and carries on dancing anyway.

This was definitely one of those WTF kind of moments.  And it made me wish I had a real video camera, and not just a teeny camera that happens to have the ability to record video.

The band is called the Jive Aces and apparently they'd been hired to provide entertainment for an anti-drugs awareness campaign; volunteers were handing out flyers to folks stopping to enjoy the show.  I didn't see them approach the weird dancing guy.  ;)  Y'all enjoy the music.

If you build a better mousetrap...

One of the coolest things about living in the UK is that you occasionally stumble across something very interesting, very historic, very weird, or some combination of interesting/historic/weird.

On Monday we visited the village of Selsey which is on the southern English coast.  Those of you who are into astronomy may recognize that Selsey is the home of Sir Patrick Moore, host of the BBC's "The Sky At Night" which has just celebrated its 700th episode.

While in Selsey, I spotted this blue historical marker and thought it was quite humorous.  Build a better mousetrap, get a blue marker on the wall of a building.  Awesome.

blue historical marker

Gifts R Us

Friday night many of us slipped and slid our way through the snow to our annual work Christmas party.  It actually ended up being quite fun, which is unusual for Christmas parties with your workmates.

I was the winner of one of 4 raffle prizes.

I am not sure whether to laugh or cry about my prize.

(The wording inside the little red star reads, "Poo, pee and farts for every day of the year."  Make up your own jokes, please.)

raffle prize

Spock in a box...?

In honor of the fact that I use Mr. Spock from the Starship Enterprise (NCC 1701) as my LJ profile pic, I thought I'd share this little gem:  a diorama style mock-up of what Spock's Christmas might be like.


"Spock is up from his chair, and about the place the star on top of the tree using his patented Vulcan finger method. He’s so excited, it’s like Pon Farr all over again."

Don't forget to scroll further down the page and check out Captain James Tiberius Kirk decorating his Christmas tree.

CSI: England

I'm sorry it's been a while since I posted, but that's what happens when life gets in the way of blogging.

Here's a picture that I hope y'all can see OK.  I didn't have my camera and I took the picture with my mobile phone (e.g. cell phone).  I dodged traffic for this one!

The black van with blacked-out windows bears a sign reading: "D.E. FORENSIC DEPT.  When removing body parts, please ensure they do not get mixed up."
I wonder if the van is so labeled because such a mixup has happened before.....

CSI van


Stopping by woods on a snowy evening

The Englishman and I went walking with The Mutts through the snowy southeast English countryside today.  While wandering along a footpath near our house, I couldn't get the famous poem by Robert Frost out of my mind.

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."

 Snowy Kentish woods

For the original, non-LJ-squeezed pic, please click here.

Just like a circus...

There's all sorts of circuses.  I've been to the Ringling Brothers circus.  I've been to Circus Circus casino in Las Vegas.  I've been to the site of Circus Maximus in Rome.  I've been to Picadilly Circus and Oxford Circus in London.  I've avoided flea circuses.  I'd love to see Cirque du Soleil.  And sometimes my life is a circus, as is everyone's at times.

But until now I've never heard of a Chilli Circus ("chilli" being the British spelling of "Chili").

Alas, I did not attend this momentous event to find out what exactly the hell it was, because I had other commitments.  Oh well, there's always next time...

It's all relative.

I'm from the southern US states where it gets hot in the summer and it stays hot.  You get used to it and you learn to live with it.  One year on my birthday it was 114 degrees.  That's pretty freakin' hot, unless you're in the Mojave or Sahara.  Houston - that's hot.  Atlanta - that's hot.  Florida - that's hot from April til November.  In the south you routinely get daytime highs in the 90s with lows around 80.

in the UK this week the media is all a-flutter about the heat wave that's baking us all.  Today the Met Office (like the National Weather Service) issued a Heat Advisory.  By Friday they're expecting "dangerously high" temperatures and hospitals are being told to prepare to cope with the added casualties.

Today the outside temp where I am (in the southeastern UK) hit the balmy high of 82 degrees.  By the end of the week the thermometer might top out at 90.

For me, this is just a regular summer's day, and a downright pleasant one at that.

I guess it just goes to show that it's all about what you're used to!

When candy is inappropriate

Chocolate.  I love it.  Lots of people love it.  As a child I remember getting bags of Hershey's Miniatures.  Filled with individually wrapped bite-sized pieces of Hershey's and Mr. Goodbar and other chocolates, these bags were a real treat.  My brother and I would eat until only the "Special Dark" chocolates were left. Yum.

In the UK they don't have bags of Hershey's Miniatures, but they do have a yummy selection of bags and boxes and even plastic containers filled with individually wrapped bite-sized assorted sweets.  They have names like "Heroes" and "Roses" and "Quality Street".  My personal favorite is a nice box of "Celebrations" which includes goodies like Snickers and Milky Way and Galaxy Chocolate and Bounty Bar (like a Mounds bar).  Normally the Celebrations come in small boxes, or at Christmas you can get huge round tins, perfect for gift giving or sharing at parties.

WELL.  Recently in the duty-free shop in London Gatwick airport, I spotted THESE boxes of Celebrations.  The Celebrations Casket.

Now, I realize that the term "casket" is used here to describe the shape of the plastic container the Celebrations are in.  But really, what dumbass thought of combining caskets with celebrations to conjure up happy thoughts?  Has anybody ever thought of a casket as being a happy thing?  Is there ever a time when the words "casket" and "celebration" would end up in the same sentence - or even the same paragraph?  NO!

Perhaps a better marketing phrase for this would have been the Celebrations Treasure Chest.

This, to me, is really high up on the list of things headed "In Poor Taste".
(For a bigger photo, click here.)

Celebrations Casket