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Supermarket chain Waitrose hires poet Roger McGough to liven up its aisles


Posh supermarket chain Waitrose has turned to poetry in its latest bid to win over Britain’s shoppers. The Guardian reports Waitrose plans to display “poetry throughout its stores as part of a year-long campaign which, it says, is aimed at reducing the drudgery of the regular shop.

Amen to that! I can tell you horror stories about drudgery in supermarkets.

The poems, written by Roger McGough, will be deliberately lighthearted and appear in all 317 Waitrose stores. I hope they won’t just be whimsical, but dwell on the hard realities of supermarket shopping like why the salad goes off by the time you get home, why the bread is always out of date and why they offer trashy magazines by the checkout.

Here’s a preview of what the shoppers will see – no doubt inspired by Judith Kerr’s The Tiger Who Came to Tea.

Tofu and the Tiger’ by Roger McGough

If a tiger invites you home for tea

And offers you tofu

You can take it from me

He’s only pretending

Look at those jaws

Were they designed for chewing rice?

And those claws

For peeling bananas?

Take my advice

Stay calm, be polite.

Eat up your tofu and ask for more

When the feline is in the kitchen

Make a bee-line for the door.

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