A tale of two butchers

Tues. 08 May 2018

This time last week a butcher in Stoke-on-Trent was making the local news with his raucous street sign. When this came to my attention I remembered photos I’d taken of a butcher’s shop during my annual travels. It occurred to me that both butchers were employing novel measures to attract business: one with his suggestive signage, and the other with a choice stock of wine and other select booze (these are the pictures I have on display here).

First, the Stoke butcher. Stoke-on-Trent’s Sentinel newspaper (and online as Stoke-on-Trent Live) published an account of a butcher, Pete Lymer, who had achieved local notoriety with his sign that advertised the likes of “big breasted birds”, “big cocks” and “horny sausages”. I suspect now he’s achieved something approaching a national profile and minor celebrity status, all because the chief inspector of the local constabulary apparently took personal offence at the sign (it seems no member of the public actually complained). According to the Sentinel’s report, Mr Lymer was advised “to give careful consideration to what was written on the boards in case anyone took offence”. Fortunately, “no other action has been taken”.

Mr Lymer has been known for his risqué street blackboard for quite a few years and it seems this is the first time there’s been any trouble over it. Mr Lymer is reported as saying “I think times have changed a bit. I think political correctness is getting a bit out of hand”. And a proprietor of a neighbouring business said this: “More people seem to be offended nowadays or get upset about certain things. I have never thought [the sign is] particularly offensive but you can’t please everybody... I think it’s a bit much the police getting involved”.

Indeed, a sign of our times with its increasing personal fragility, moral outrage and resort to censoring. And on this, I find it interesting what Mr Lymer says about women being the most enthusiastic supporters of his signage. I’m pleased to note, however, that our intrepid butcher came up with a witty and entirely appropriate riposte when he replaced his apparently “offensive” signage with a new message: “have your rump tenderised before you leave”. That deserves a round of applause!

Now for my second butcher. I wouldn’t want to cause any embarrassment so I’ve concealed the exact identity of the shop, but it was in the Antipodes; I took the photos in January when I was there.

This particular butcher resorts to different methods to attract attention, and he does it with a display fit for a specialist wine merchant, as you can see in the photos. Besides a choice selection of wine, he also stocks a range of boutique gins, which seems to have become popular over the last couple of years both here in the UK and (much) further abroad.

I think these two butchers make a good pair; imagine if they both had their respective shops in the same old covered market or suchlike – we’d be spoiled for choice and entertainment. Now, here’s the link to the Sentinel article about Mr Lymer in Stoke: Butcher warned by police to tone down risqué signs advertising ‘big breasted birds’, ‘big cocks’ and ‘horny sausages’.

Bon appétit!

Mistress Geo

Important Notice: I am taking a short break for four days in May and will not be available for sessions from Thursday 10 May to Sunday 13 May inclusive. For a little more elaboration, see Important notice: I will be unavailable for sessions for four days in May.