About ten years ago, I went through … well, I guess you’d call it a phase … of writing spoof letters of complaint to confectioners in hope of receiving some free vouchers in return. The success rate is so close to 100%, it’s not worth doing any further investigation.

Starburst paid up when, in a letter that constantly referred to the product as Opal Fruits, I complained about the frequency and variance of getting a Strawberry and included a number of pages of observational statistics.

Rolos sent me free stuff when I took them to task about their claim that the customer services desk could help with “any question I may have” and submitted them a recent pub quiz.

Quavers gave me vouchers and pieces of plastic when I posed as a OAP confused by the Tazos that were included in the packs.

It’s great fun to scam them and even better when they hint that they know they’re being scammed in their reply — they’d never be so bold to make the accusation clear.

Anyway, hidden at the heart of all this wanton Thomas Foolery there was a serious distrust of confectioners who, for the last twenty years, have been reducing the size of their product while conversely increasing the price. Milky Way, it’s safe to say, are among the worst offenders in this regard.

So today, I was pleasantly surprised to see an old Milky Way advert on TV that took me back to my childhood and a time when the fluffiest of fluffy chocolate bars wasn’t so small that it could comfortably fit inside a Tom Thumb’s arse pocket.

While watching it, though, something struck me. They guy’s voice … that’s not the voice I remember from the 80s and 90s … so why would they go to all the bother of re-cutting the vocal when the music and the video are unchanged. Towards the end, I discovered the answer was in the lyrics.

The Red Car and the Blue Car had a race,
But all Red wants to do is stuff his face.
He eats everything he sees,
From trucks to prickly trees.
But smart old Blue, he took the Milky Way.

He’s looking for a chocolate treat,
Fluffy and light,
Coz he knows it will taste just right.

[Oh, no. The bridge is gone. Old Red can’t carry on!]

But smart old Blue, he took the Milky Way.

Can you spot what’s changed? Here’s the old version, which I think has the new singer, which complicates things but lets skip by that for now. Focus on the lyrics; particularly the self-righteous reasons behind Blue’s snack of choice.

It seems that over the years, the reason that Blue finds his Milky Way so irresistable during the race with Red has changed. It used to be to protect his appetite. Now it’s about taste? Are you kidding me? It makes a nonsense of the whole campaign. The whole chuffing point of going for a Milky Chuffing Way in the first place was so it wouldn’t bag him up in his race against fatso Red. Now, apparently, taste alone is what allows Blue to clear the canyon? IT MAKES NO SENSE!!!

So why change it?

We all know. Deep down, we know the reason. We can see the law suit landing on Willy Wonka’s (or equivalent) desk and I particularly know because in an old hard drive in my attic, there’s a draft spoof complaint, unsent, that was a forerunner for this scam. And now, someone else has picked up the torch.

After eating a Milky Way, someone, somewhere will claim to have spoiled their appetite and punitive damages will be well in excess of the few vouchers I scammed all those years ago. And ironically, due their current size, such an eventuality has never been so unlikely.

For shame.

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