I wonder what R. S. Thomas would make of the use of his picture on bags of Tyrrells “Hand Cooked English Crisps”?
Potato chips, that is.
Would he fancy crisps with ice cream, as I do?
Something salty with something sweet. Pretzels serve the purpose, but just barely. There’s nothing quite like potato chips with ice cream.
It’s been Utz’s chips for me, ever since I went with my mother to the farmers’ market in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and the woman at the Utz’s stall handed me a few chips. Every kid, of course, got some.
Utz’s of Hanover chips and Pensupreme ice cream: that’s the ticket.
Something to make R.S. smile?
R.S. in a priest’s dog collar, looking as if he’s just tasted ultra sour Eucharistic wine, is being pictured on bags of Tyrrells sweet chili and red pepper crisps. Beside the picture, which appears to be superimposed upon an antique automobile, is a sort of poster with the words: “Win a fleeting look of contempt or £25,000.”
According to a company spokesman: “The picture was chosen solely for the look. We are humbled we didn’t recognize R. S. Thomas sooner.”
Also on the bag is this: “When we see an eccentric old photograph – like the one on the front of this bag – we can’t help but dream up a silly caption.”
My dream is of a November 1994 evening at the Bull Bay Hotel, where Nancy and I invited Ronald and Betty Thomas to join us for dinner. At dessert time, Ronald looked at me with a shy grin and asked, “Do you think they’ll have ice cream?” Sure enough, when the server asked for our orders, ice cream was on offer.
Ronald tucked into his ice cream with a smile like I must have worn when I had Pensupreme ice cream and Utz’s potato chips during the Second World War.
If his ice cream had been accompanied by Tyrrells sweet chili and red pepper crisps, I think he’d have given the server the look that Tyrrells is featuring on its bag.