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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Creme Eggs - even more revolting than before

Louise Thompson in some real Creme Eggs

Agent Triple P has never had a sweet tooth and remembers his father telling him that "chocolate was for children".  He has, however, associated with a large number of chocolate loving women and one of these was recently moaning about the ruination of the Cadbury's Creme egg by its hated American owners.

Now, personally,  we have always thought that the Creme Egg (first sold in 1963) was one of the most disgusting confections ever made; with sweet Dairy Milk chocolate enrobing (as much posher chocolatiers would say) an almost indescribable mix of sugary yellow and white fondant filling.   However, some women become addicted to these tooth-rotting treats.  We even knew a girl who would grant sexual favours for a six pack of creme eggs (at least to Triple P - we hoped she didn't do that to everyone she met).  Another girl we knew used a Creme Egg to recreate the notorious scene from Japanese erotic classic Ai no Korīda  with predictably messy results.  Creme Eggs are most unusual in that they have a fixed season and are only available from 1st January until Easter Day.  In this period Cadbury's sells more than 200 million of them in Britain.

Now, however, with the hostile acquisition of Cadbury by Kraft four years ago, it is now owned by its spin off, Mondelēz, which is one of those made up corporate nonsense names with no heritage whatsoever (see also Lexus, Häagen-Dazs, Accenture etc.) as opposed to Cadbury established by John Cadbury in 1824.  In fact, said young lady we mentioned before actually lived in Bourneville, the Cadbury company town established in 1879 near Birmingham.

The press over here has been full of the news that the Dairy Milk chocolate always used on the eggs has been replaced with an inferior type for this season.  Also, the boxes of six (which copy the way real eggs are sold, of course) have been replaced by packs of five.  Our young friend was beside herself.  "They have ruined them!" she wailed.  A big campaign has begun to try to get Cadbury's to change the recipe back.  We think the chances are slim (unlike Creme Egg eaters) not just because Mondelēz is an evil American multinational (another friend explained how Kraft had previously ruined the Belgian Côte d'Or brand), nor that Americans have no idea about what constitutes good chocolate (Americans are good at producing many things: space rockets, iPods, sports shoes but chocolate, no) but because we think that their fans are so addicted that they will put up with a lesser product as it is better than no Creme Eggs at all.  We would love to see a Coca-Cola style u-turn but sadly this seems unlikely.

Triple P has only had a couple of these in his life and doesn't really understand the complaint about the change of chocolate as the interior is so overwhelmingly ghastly that we are amazed that anyone can taste the chocolate at all.  But Cadbury's official Creme Egg Facebook page is clocking up hundreds of complaints.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Ra Ra Ra Patriots!

So, a very exciting Superbowl in the end, with the result not settled until the last twenty seconds (how on earth did Seattle lose that one?). This was the first Superbowl, it seems, where both teams had their cheerleaders at the game.  We don't know if the TV director was a Seahawks fan but you wouldn't have known the New England ladies were there as every shot of the cheerleaders seemed to be of the Sea Gals (good grief - easily the most cringe-making name in the NFL).  But the babes from Boston had the last laugh so here, to redress the balance, are a nice half dozen  celebrating afterwards.  Now guess who has overdone the spray tan!

Wed take the one on the right straight back to our jacuzzi at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel after the game, thank you very much, and treat her to a Tequila Sunrise!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Superbowl Cheerleaders: Seattle v New England


It's Super Sunday today and Agent Triple P will be staying up late to watch the Superbowl as he has done for the last thirty years (this is our thirtieth anniversary game).  Here in Britain American Football is still regarded with some suspicion and not a little derision.  Reasons for this include the winners of the Superbowl calling themselves the World Champions (so, which other countries compete, exactly?), the padding and helmets (Rugby players don't ask for all that protection) and the existence of cheerleaders.  Whenever the new regular season games take place in London much is made of the presence of cheerleaders because they are such an alien concept here.  About the time we started watching American football we had a girlfriend who had gone to college in Miami.  Her best friend (who was British) went to live there when we knew her.  She was a keen sportswoman but was appalled by the attitude to women in sports she found in the US.  As she said, women's role seemed to be to prance around on the sidelines, wearing very little and going "ra ra ra!"

New England

Recently we have been watching, in slightly appalled fascination, the series Dallas Cheerleaders making the Team now, somewhat surprisingly considering the repetitive nature of the show, on its tenth season.  This reality show looks at the hundreds of young women trying out every year to join the squad.  We had appreciated that cheerleaders had to be fit, attractive and good at dancing but the level of punishment these girls have to go through to make the team was surprising.    The worst aspects seem to be abusive dance teachers, constant monitoring of weight (they have to go through a body mass assessment), long hours of training and a viciously competitive selection process.   All for what are notoriously bad wages.  Most girls seem to earn about $5 and hour and some teams don't pay anything at all, despite the dedication required.  They only get paid for game day, and they only perform at home games and make around $70-$150 for that.  They don't get paid for the up to six hours a day practice required.  Some teams even make their cheerleaders buy their own uniforms.  


Even worse, the teams make a lot of money from cheerleaders merchandise with Dallas bringing in around $1 million a year (mainly from the cheerleaders swimsuit calendar).  The teams seem to think that because so many women want to be cheerleaders then why pay them properly?   The salaries for an entire squad for the season are less than half of one player on the non-playing practice team.

New England

Really, we are surprised that there isn't more of a storm about their existence at all.  To their credit only the New York Giants don't have cheerleaders for ethical reasons; the other teams who don't are located in very cold parts of the country.  

New England

Now Agent Triple P enjoys seeing fit young women dancing about but would feel happier if we felt they were getting paid for the commercial benefits they bring to very big business.  The teams, by seemingly arguing that they are giving the women an outlet for a dance hobby, are being hypocritical at best and exploitative at worst.  It's not like they are going to marry a rich footballer as most teams forbid fraternisation with the players. 


At least both squads get to travel to the Superbowl game.  So let's spare a thought for the other athletes working out for four hours today!