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Not Poodles

I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, ‘We serve no red-coats ‘ere.’
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed and giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again, an’ to myself sez I:
Oh, it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ ‘Tommy, go away’:
But it’s ‘Thank you, Mister Atkins,’ when the band begins to play –

The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
Oh, it’s ‘Thank you, Mister Atkins,’ when the band begins to play.

But have no fear Tommy! You might not get your pint but Golden Wonder have a treat in store for you…

Pot Noeldle is a festive fusion of turkey and stuffing and 2p will be donated from the sale of each pot to pay for Christmas phonecalls for troops abroad.

A Christmas dinner-flavoured Pot Noodle goes on sale today following a trial with British troops abroad.

The Pot Noeldle is a “festive fusion of turkey and stuffing with all the trimmings”, according to the company.

A donation of 2p from every pot sold will be made to the RAF Association’s Wings appeal to support the Miles More Minutes project, which gives troops posted overseas more time to telephone their loved ones over the Christmas period.

The flavour was developed and trialled last year for personnel serving on 27 Squadron after member Sergeant Ian Hobbs said troops regarded the brand as a home comfort.

Squadron Leader Stuart Balfour, head of RAF licensing, said: “The snack is enjoyed by so many of the troops and it’s great to know that every pot sold will help them keep in touch with loved ones at what is a really important time of the year.”

Pot Noodle spokesman Tom Denyard said: “We’re especially proud of the Pot Noeldle. It’s been 12 months in development, with several taste tests involving the troops themselves. It’s the first time we’ve produced a flavour from a homegrown story.”

The Pot Noeldle will sell for £1.10.

Where to start? It sounds ghastly for an opener. I mean really. Is that the best a squaddie can hope for after a hard day being shot at by bearded lunatics half a world a way from Catterick? Is that the best we as a nation can do for folks doing a frankly (in the circumstances) impossible job give them a Pot Noodle. A Pot fucking Noodle! Students don’t even eat them any more. I was a student and I have seen some sights in shared kitchens. I have seen things you people would not believe. A mate of my mate stole a frozen chicken from Sainsburys and my mate proceeded to defrost it by jamming it behind a radiator. This would not be of much note but Andy (I shall shame the guilty) was a student of microbiology. He then jammed the semi-defrosted chicken in the dubious gas oven and got stoned, passed out and the tragic bird incinerated sending black smoke billowing down the stairs – it was like Dresden in ’45. My wife, by the way, has just informed me that she witnessed a similarly unedifying spectacle involving a chicken but this time perpetrated by a trainee chef!

Anyway. That is not my point. I bet you’re glad it isn’t. My point is… I know I sounded sniffy about Golden Wonder’s attempt to help the lads and lasses at the sharp end but if I did it was because they shouldn’t have to. You know what worries our troops deployed abroad most? It isn’t coming home in a flag-draped pine box, it isn’t being maimed or captured. It’s being dumped. We live in an age where we expect communication with our nearest and dearest to be simple, cheap and just there. It isn’t for soldiers out in Helmand. It ought to be. I once had a trans-atlantic relationship and it’s hard but we could speak on the phone and send emails. This is not the C18th where folks would go off exploring and come home to the missus three years later (possibly with “interesting” diseases) but now and our troops have already been given a kick in the gusset by George “The Boy” Osborne. Why no bugger in Whitehall thinks (as I do) that a couple of hundred Super Tuccanos for CAS in the ‘stan might put the fear of Allah up the beards is beyond me. I keep saying it but clearly Liam Fox takes no notice. That’s another issue but even if we can’t do that we can at least, as a minimum, ensure adequate communications for the troops with their wives, husbands and kids. Surely that is doable for a relatively small amount of cash?

I, despite my trans-atlantic relationship, cannot imagine what it is like. Well, I can imagine but I can’t really feel it if you know what I mean. People must be returning after a tour totally alienated because they have seen things and shared things with their platoon that they haven’t been able to share with their family. War causes casualties and amongst those is divorce. If we are going to send the soldiers in to chase gits up hills in a place which if not exactly the arsehole of the entire Universe is at least well within farting distance of it then… Actually it is the arsehole of the Universe and I’ve been to Middlesbrough. More to the point my Dad visited Middlesbrough in the ’60s when it was so polluted the River Tees used to spontaneously get exothermic. I guess though that meant they at least had jobs back then.


  1. HSLD says:

    I’m involved ( in a small way ) with an independant group of people ( all shooting enthusiasts ) who send care parcels to British troops in Afghanistan.

    We’ve been at it for a few years, and the contents of the parcels are the result of feeback from the recipients.

    Guess what ? Pot Noodles are one of the most highly prized items. Why I do not know, but they are.
    I can’t even look at the contents of the care packages without getting mild indigestion, there is some ghastly stuff in there :)

    I wonder if Golden Wonder are aware of how popular the Pot Noodle is with squaddies in Afghanistan, and that’s how this all came about ?

  2. HSLD says:

    Oh, I just read the link, which explained everything – Doh :)

  3. JuliaM says:

    ” Students don’t even eat them any more.”

    Oh, I think they do, even if just ironically…

  4. permanentexpat says:

    I’m a pretty accomplished hobby cook & can whip up a gourmet meal with little effort. I also like Heinz BBeans on toast….and pot noodles….although it’s easy & much better to make your own with Chineses egg noodles & add what you want. Just over 4 minutes!
    Field cooking is, naturally, the overriding factor where sheer convenience is what counts.

  5. NickM says:

    Well, yes, and I guess as well. Odd thing appetite. It does sort of adjust and kinda demand what the body needs. I work IT support so I would be the size of a small house if I ate what a soldier can burn off in a day lugging a machine gun round Helmand in 30kgs of body armour and all the rest. I mean “I had to turn that screwdriver quite many times” doesn’t exactly rack up with I had to sling a wounded pal over my shoulder and zig-zag back to the Chinook despite withering AK-47 fire.

    But my original point still stands. If we really care about the troops enabling them to stay in touch with their families is something that is disgraceful that the MoD don’t enable already.

    PS I almost said this in the original post but it didn’t fit. I was watching Mastechef: The Professionals and they had the head chef of the Ark Royal. He could cook very well and said when he left the Navy in four years he aspired to own his own restaurant. He ain’t got four years now.

  6. Lynne says:

    The greenies offering of lentil and broccoli Cup-a-Soup was turned down though.

    Knorr reckoned our lads had enough to contend with without their feeling guilty over farting up a global warming fuelled tornado…

  7. permanentexpat says:

    Knorr is, of course, a German company….although it doubtless produces in the UK as well. Lentils play a substantial part in the German working man’s regular diet….Linseneintopf being a favourite…but then, they don’t like baked beans.
    So, take your choice….lentilfarts or beanfarts…the results are, rest assured, pungently similar. LOL

  8. JuliaM says:

    Confession time: I am rather partial to Vesta Paella and Chow Mein.

    I like real food most of the time, of course. But occasionally, once a month, I like to indulge my passion for reconstituted…something

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