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Thanks for reading! Jamie.

Aunt Bessie.

Over the years I’ve become accustomed to seeing Aunt Bessie products sitting in the freezer aisle of my local supermarket. I’ve even bought the odd packet of Yorkshire puddings or roast potatoes. They are fine, tasty products and no mistake. My problem is not with the products, but with the latest advert from Aunt Bessie.

I’ve never given Aunt Bessie much thought at all until seeing this advert. I’ve become used to seeing her lovely old features emblazoned on the packet of quality frozen goods. In fact, Aunt Bessie has had a bit of a makeover to commemorate 25 years of the product line being in existence. And phwoooar, what a makeover. Quite the ABILF.

I digress. Here. Have a look at the most recent Aunt Bessie advert, entitled ‘Caring Is The Hardest Thing We Do’. (Clearly the makers of this ad have never tried home schooling two children at once, untangling headphone wires in the dark or wiping their backside with two broken thumbs).  


Now this is the full length, 1 minute version as opposed to the 30 second version that I see on television on an all too regular basis. Isn’t it homely and saccharine sweet, in a nostalgic and warm kind of way? NO. And I’ll tell you why.

This is “based on a true story”. To be honest, having a blind nan is pretty plausible. I don’t get to the end of this advert proclaiming “NO SHITTING WAY!”. Fargo, it’s not. What isn’t plausible, however, is that no-one in that family helps their beloved nan do a single fucking thing to help her cook a roast dinner for her husband and four grandchildren, although her actual children are noticeable by their absence, probably relieved to offload their kids for a few hours so they can a decent Sunday lunch in a pub with a couple of pints.

“I used to love my nan’s roasts”, proclaims our northern narrator. Note not his nan herself, just her roasts. How tight is that? “Never wanting help – that’s just how she was”. This is a blind woman in her late seventies at least, and her lazy bloody husband watching football and her ignorant grandchildren are either running up a phone bill or just generally causing themselves to be massive annoying twats by rolling around on the carpet or jumping on grandad (No iPads back then, obviously).

“How’s it going out there Joan, my love?”, calls Grandad from the front room. “Nearly there, sweetheart” replies Joan/Nan, probably thinking “Don’t be so impatient you lazy twat – I’m blind for fuck’s sake”.

“She ran the house, and always knew when I was up to no good”, our hero continues, remembering when he stole a lukewarm Yorkshire pudding off of a plate. Joan lets it slide, heartily chuckling “I can see you”. By letting it slide, however, this probably resulted in the kid stealing on a regular basis and getting into hardcore drugs, especially as it sounds like he’s Northern. Also, this is the point where Joan’s predicament is clearly more frightening as it transpires that she also has severe memory loss. By stating she can see the thieving little toe rag, unfortunately she’s forgotten that she’s completely blind.

“You don’t miss a trick, do you darling?”, yelps Grandad whilst unable to control any of the children. “Oh fuck off Ron, I hate you and I hate my life”, Joan thinks to herself. Probably.

FINALLY Joan brings in the Yorkshire puddings (by herself, obviously) having already brought out all the other food whilst avoiding falling over the kids that are being a massive pain in the arse by just being bloody kids, frankly.

And we have finally arrived at the point at which this advert really grinds my gears. The point at which Aunt Bessie’s disability inclusion campaign containing the slogan “caring is the hardest thing we do” reveals itself to be a complete sham and a stain on society itself. Joan has spent HOURS tirelessly in the kitchen and without any help from ANYONE preparing all the veg, potatoes, Yorkshire puddings, gravy and roast beef. SLAVING over the oven where she could have burnt or injured herself, running the hot tap where she could have scalded herself and reaching for the gravy granules from the TOP SHELF of the cupboard where she could have not only strained her back but anything could have fallen from that cupboard causing fatal injuries.

After all this toil, hard work and potential danger, Ron, that lazy football-watching, grandchild hating, bastard of a man has the fucking CHEEK to patronise Joan by telling her that “the beef is at 6 o’clock, the spuds are at 9 o’clock”. “And the puds are at 3”, chimes in one of the brats, unhelpfully. SHE’S MANAGED EVERYTHING HERSELF FOR HOURS IN A KITCHEN RIFE WITH DANGER – I’M PRETTY SAFE THINKING THAT SHE CAN WORK OUT WHERE FOOD ITEMS ARE ON HER FUCKING PLATE YOU BUNCH OF LAZY, PATRONISING ARSEHOLES.

The camera now pans in on Joan, and we’re supposed to think that she’s having a great time, surrounded by her loved ones, whereas I think that’s the final straw for her and she’s resigning herself to smothering Ron with a pillow when the kids have gone and he’s drifted off in his piss-smelling armchair so she can watch Call The Midwife with a bit of fucking peace for once in her life.