While I was writing a rant to Hershey’s Canada on Friday, my mother was writing a tediously polite letter. She received the following reply:
Not reading that bit at the end, my mother did send a reply, which no doubt has gone into the void. How, then, to contact Natalie of Hershey’s to say what we really think of coupons (which, far from transmitting goodwill, keep us on the hook for more product)? Who knows. So we’re escalating things at LBHQ. When you want something done, ask Liquorstore Bear, right? And he’ll do it, unless he’s passed out.
OPEN LETTER PART DEUX
Dear Hershey’s Canada,
Thank you for offering my mother coupons to buy more of the product that caused my “Homemade Canadian Kahlua” project to be aborted, and resulted in an inedible cheesecake that offended the foodies in our house so very much.
I’ll be straight up with you. Personally, I didn’t care about our Christmas dessert. Neither did the kids, who prefer to binge on Wagon Wheels or other laboratory food. And the Kahlua wasn’t a big deal, because I got to drink a mickey of vodka instead. But coupons? OMG, Hershey’s, we struggle with the whole idea of coupons here. Heavy coupon use is a socio-economic marker we actively resist, living as we do in a demographic pocket of crazy-ass creationists and Honey Boo Boo devotees. We simply cannot embrace coupons, even if they save us money.
Now, Hershey’s, I don’t expect you to be sensitive to our squeamishness about couponing (it’s a verb if you have a basement full of toilet paper and cream rinse). You’re a gigantic company caroming around like a veritable galaxy absorbing smaller companies in hostile takeovers—who can blame you, with your surely rabid shareholders, for attempting to make a coffee-flavoured product without including any coffee in it? Not to mention, your administrative staff probably has its hands full quelling Urban Dictionary–style “word outbreaks” involving your brand. I can’t imagine what it does to your Twitter feed when someone coins a new Hersheyism.
Lastly, I totally understand the “do not reply” response letter you sent to my mother. If she did want to reply (and idiotically she did)—I mean, if she wanted to reply and know that someone would receive it—she would have to fill out a dozen or more fields on your customer log-in screen, then type her message into one of those little boxes that go to a person like Natalie whose job it is to mollify angry bakers at the least expense possible. If I received as many hate letters as Hershey probably does (especially, I would imagine, from seedy, grungy hotel owners), I’d hire a nice person like Natalie to mail out coupons as well.
What am I trying to say, Hershey’s? Bottom line: I’d be happy with some vodka, and my mum would probably be tickled to receive some good old milk chocolate Chipits (she’ll probably just pour them into her mouth). Or, if you have any other weirdo flavours, you could send us those. Do you have Bailey’s-flavoured ones? We would probably like those, unless they happened to be made without Bailey’s.
I’ll let you get back to your Twitter feed, my Hershey friends. Over and out.
My Fellow Inebriates,
What kind of astrologer would leave you to plan your Friday night drinking without zodiacal guidance? Worse, what kind of astrologer would start the forecast after the week has already started? What am I, Sylvia Browne?
Aries, your computer is sucking lately and you don’t have the techie smarts to fix it. Maybe you should call an expert, but it’s hard not to think of all the alcohol an hour of geek time will buy. Never mind that your computer pro will discover how much porn you’ve been viewing. You probably should try to fix the glitch yourself…then you can buy Frangelico, Kahlua, and Bailey’s with all that money you save. Of course, if your computer breaks, you’ll start phoning people instead of emailing, and thereby reestablish your human connections. But how will you get your booze horoscope?
Taurus, pull yourself together. This is not the week to hole up with a plastic jug of vodka. Love is waiting for you, but you have to go outside. The stars suggest taking a class such as wine tasting or beer making. You’ll meet people and have the opportunity to get drunk. But first you have to rein in those random emotions, so start cutting that vodka with 7-Up or you’ll remain a chaotic mess. (Wow, the stars are scolding you. I would ignore them and buy TWO plastic jugs of vodka.)
Gemini, you’re having one of those “Why me?” weeks. You feel paranoid and persecuted, inferior and hard-done-by. What you need is a good piss-up with friends. If you don’t have any friends, the stars suggest wallowing in your own bad feelings for the week, supplementing those crazy endocrine chemicals with lashings of Frangelico, amaretto liqueur, butterscotch schnapps, and vanilla vodka. Next week you’ll really feel sorry for yourself.
Cancer, you feel sleep-deprived but you don’t know why. Turns out that passed-out sleep simply isn’t the same as sober sleep. Not that you would know! If you can nudge yourself awake, you’ll notice that someone at work has a crush on you. But be careful—your co-workers have already observed the crush developing, and if you pursue it you’ll have a world of gossip to contend with. But that’s what Absolut is for, right? Keep telling yourself sleep is for wimps, and pound enough vodka to maintain your oblivious state.
Leo, you are stuck in a fantasy world, caught up with music and art, drama and fashion. Evidently there’s a lot of vodka in your bloodstream, and it’s inspiring you with profound new ideas! But be careful—enough vodka and you turn into a real tool. If you have a partner, you can expect a heart-to-heart and/or a big lecture. Does anyone sleep in the bathtub any more? You’re going to find out.
- Yukon Jack
- Jim Beam
- Apple schnapps
- White rum
- Triple sec
- Bacardi 151
Once you’ve bought all these items you can hit the stock exchange and blow the rest of your money.
Libra, you want to change the world, but perhaps you should change your underwear first. Start with baby steps like these and you stand a chance of meshing into society again. Not all at once, mind you; there’s plenty of room for peppermint schnapps in your life. Gradually, imperceptibly even, you’ll approach levels of normalcy your star chart hasn’t featured in months. BTW, the stars say your bike lock is shite and that you should buy a new one if you want to keep your ride. OMG!
You obsess about the future this week, Scorpio. Not the immediate relevant future (i.e., next week) but the far-distant future when everyone has forgotten how to make a proper Bloody Mary. Will people still wear clothes? How fast will your computer be? Will Venus be totally jammed with thetans? How much vodka will you be able to buy for a million dollars? Try to get out of the house, Scorpio. If you do, you might meet someone. As long as it’s not Tom Cruise.
Sagittarius, the high life continues another week, and you have charisma to spare. Strangers trust you within two seconds, and people are lining up to put you in their address books. You’ll be reaping positive rewards both professionally and personally for months. Not only that—you’ll also win the lottery, so start buying tickets. (Leave some money for tequila and Galliano.)
The stars are obsessed with vodka this week, Capricorn, which means they’re foisting it on everyone, even Capricorns who would normally opt for gin. Be sure to speak your mind when someone forces a vodka martini on you. You might not have the stones for it, though; your DTs are coming on strong, which is producing a lot of insecurity. Make sure you hide your booze in a flask.
Aquarius, this is a great week for finishing projects. Don’t worry about whether you finish things before your colleagues; just ask yourself if they’re able to accomplish as much as you with half a bottle of Kahlua in their Starbucks grandé. Of course not, Aquarius, because you rule. You’ll have an awesome, carefree week, and Friday will be the best day.
Somebody’s got to do it, Pisces, and this week it’s you. Yes, you’re the designated driver, and the stars are mocking you by recommending cantaloupe juice. Ignore the stars! They are ill-mannered douchebag balls of gas. Just go ahead and be the DD. We all need good friends like you to be our sober drivers, and next week it’ll be somebody else’s turn. Being sober is probably a good idea anyway, because you’ll need to support a friend with a medical problem this week. It doesn’t look good, Pisces, but neither do you with your DTs.
My Fellow Inebriates,
Here’s your booze horoscope.
Aries, your house is looking blah. You have a lot of boring colors on the walls—it’s time to go wild with paint. But how will you choose which colors? For starters, you’ll need some gin. Slosh it into a glass with an equal quantity of cheap white wine, then about half that much triple sec. Do not add club soda! You need to get away from your pastel sensibilities and into some harsh, jarring flavors. That will inspire you. Now…get a sober friend to drive you to Home Depot. Choose your paint. Shoo the sober friend away once you’re back at home and start painting. Yay! You will totally love waking up and discovering your new decor. Trust me.
Taurus, it’s time to switch gears and do something exciting. Make sure to visit bars every day after work (during, if you can get away with it). Then reel over to the all-night gym and don your spandex. Even though you’d be amazed how common acid reflux is when you’re attempting a heavy bent-over row after pounding a jug of Tequila, OJ, and Blue Curacao, it really is a good idea to get some exercise. Trust me. Any friends you lose this week due to (your) erratic behavior weren’t very good friends to start with.
Gemini, this week is all about meeting new people and widening your circles. But you’re not feeling open minded, so perhaps you’ll need to soften yourself up with some kind of gin-and-rum concoction. Once you do, you’ll have all kinds of adventures, especially on Friday/Saturday. Trust me. And take your toothbrush with you just in case you get arrested.
Cancer, this week you’ll meet someone from another planet, or at least someone claiming extraterrestrial origins. How cool is that? Try to get hold of whatever chemicals this person is enjoying. Failing that, be sure to up-end a big bottle of cheap sherry—close enough, right? A very sordid (and obviously not reality-based) relationship will ensue, with a dramatic break-up in August. And then, you’ll get a random phone call from a friend who was dying and isn’t now. How cool is that????
Leo, an old disagreement with a good friend is festering—why not fix it up this week? Once you realize how silly the whole thing was, you can go back to business as usual: i.e., drinking vats of brandy, blue curacao, and white creme de cacao (equal parts) with cream and lemon juice (trust me—also equal parts) over ice. But the two of you will have to talk first, so try to do that before you get the cocktail shaker out.
Virgo, if you’re in a helping profession, the stars forecast good times ahead. Yes, people will keep bugging you for stuff, and yes, you’ll still be underpaid. But other things—tangential things—will be good. For instance, you’ll gain a secret admirer (okay, this could be a stalker). You’ll also have a nutty yuccaflux party for all your co-workers. So find a bunch of fruit and invite everybody to bring whatever…brandy, rum, whisky, Benedictine…Trust me, yuccaflux is best with no rules.
After some drunken soul-searching you’ll discover you dislike your job, Libra. Like, a lot. In fact, you’re doing a lot of shit you never had any intention of doing. Start putting out feelers before you go apeshit; it’s far easier to get a job when you have a job. If you have a LinkedIn profile, perhaps you should tidy it up and make it more professional. If, for instance, you type a blog for a drunken bear but also want to be hired for serious freelance jobs, perhaps you shouldn’t mention that blog. Trust me. As for booze? The stars have you mixing equal parts Bushmill’s Irish Whisky and Bailey’s Irish Cream. What could go wrong?
No more relaxing, Scorpio. Key words are consolidation, responsibility, and accountability. Clear up old projects and hide any past f#ck-ups. Strive single-mindedly at least until August. Keep your buzz minimal and tone down that boozy aura by adding filling mixers like cream to your rum. Remember: If you put it in a coffee, you’re still ready for work. Trust me.
The next few months mark an exploration of your spiritual side, Sagittarius, unless of course you are an atheist, in which case you will have to stick with the (ha!) merely numinous or wig out watching reruns of Cosmos. Try not to get into any interviews with Wolf Blitzer; he will ask you why you’re not engaged in God-bothering when you’re busy trying to get the vodka/vermouth balance exactly right and debating olive vs twist.
It’s time to make a change, Capricorn, but it has to be a quick change. No thinking is called for. This is an excellent time to take over unceremoniously, insisting your instincts are bang-on and that qualifications are for pussies. You’ll exude so much energy and confidence that your whole team will applaud your coup d’etat and commence serving you elaborate drinks such as this one:
- 4 oz Bacardi 151
- 3 oz creme de coconut (the very stuff of a good dictatorship)
- 3 oz Kahlua
- 3 oz white creme de cacao
- 3 oz cream
Yeah, they want you to pass out so things can go back to normal.
Aquarius, you’re in for a remarkable week. Constellations are swirling into place and granting you extra powers. You’ll have radar for scammers and stamina when the shit starts hitting the fan (Tuesday). Do your best to keep self-doubt at bay, Aquarius; in August you’ll realize you were right about everything. You’ll also get lucky this week. So start pouring Benedictine and brandy, because that’s what the stars say to do. And how could insensate balls of fiery gas know that? Trust me, they know somehow.
Pisces, you’re starting to feel as though you share a brain with your co-workers; that’s how tickety-boo everything is going. This isn’t like you, Pisces; of all the signs you are the Master of the Cardboard Box, but hang with it because it seems to be working. You might even persuade deadbeats who owe you money to send a cheque. That would be awesome because then you could buy two different varieties of brandy plus some Bitters. Yeah! A proper bar at last. You deserve it, Pisces.