Sometimes in life you get fleeced, you know it’s going to happen and there is a tacit understanding between you and the vendor that you are about to be ripped off. This happened to me on an aeroplane the other day flying back from Morocco.
Trapped in cattle class, I was offered a cup of tea and my colleague asked me if I had enough to buy him one as well. Brandishing a five-pound note, I felt confident that I had enough money for two tiny cups of tea and a 4-fingered kit-kat to share. Six pounds later, I found myself enjoying my trifling taste of England, and although overpriced, it was just about worth it.
Odeon Cinemas on the other hand now have a permanent place on my Death List, along with Harry Ramsden’s of Little Chef. For you see, in each fascinating case, whose details I shall dutifully divulge, I was not just overcharged, but effectively robbed.
When you go to the Cinema these days, you generally have to smuggle in a packet of sweets from the local convenience store. If you don’t, expect to have your nasal passages permanently enlarged as you pay through the nose. My Wife likes the popcorn though, which is harder to smuggle in, and which the Cinema chains make an extortionate markup on.
But hey – the popcorn tastes good and the sweets are also tasty. The other week though, I ordered Nachos with cheese. What I was presented with was simply astonishing. An unopened packet of cold Nachos and some re-heated (microwaved) cheese sauce. Gingerly, I tried to dunk a Nacho, but alas the thick skin on the little pot of cheese had congealed into an impermeable rubbery seal.
The Manager of the Odeon agreed with me that it looked ‘pretty disgusting’ and he had the good grace to look embarrassed as he refunded the £4 that his Cinema had tried to liberate from my wallet.
Finally, we come to the case of ‘Little Thief’, sorry, I mean ‘Little Chef’. Forced to stop at a service station for petrol and some sustenance, I knew that I was going to pay over the odds. It’s just one of those situations in life, such as when your Wife orders a ridiculous ‘Skinny Mocha Latte’, and you just have to accept that you’ll pay over the odds.
Little Thief took the biscuit though. I ordered some ‘Harry Ramsdens’ chips, which came in a large cardboard box. Upon driving off, my Wife opened the box, to be confronted with….25 chips. Yes, dear reader, twenty-five chips. No refund was possible, it’d have required a long detour and that is the story of how Little Chef dispossessed me of my hard-earned cash.
In short then, there are many times in life such as at Motorsport events, when you know that you’re paying over the odds. It only becomes truly galling though when you pay a fortune for something truly terrible.