When Tyrrells Crisps Are Served with Ice Cream, Will R. S. Thomas Smile?

From the Daily Mail online.

From the Daily Mail online.

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.”

RS Thomas Welsh poet May 1993 1993

R.S. Thomas at the Maybank Hotel, Aberdyfi, Cymru, May 1993.

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.

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4 thoughts on “When Tyrrells Crisps Are Served with Ice Cream, Will R. S. Thomas Smile?

  1. Interesting choice of background image to RS … an example of “The Machine” which he held in contempt……. “the speedometer’s finger wagging” Are you sure they didn’t know who he was?

    • I’m not sure of much of anything these days, including the pesky snow that keeps falling outside. What I’m sure of is that my snowbound brain did not go click and switch me from antique auto to The Machine. Now I sense a blog post flying by . . . positioning my net . . . will wait and see if I catch it.

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