The coronavirus pandemic has caused time to seemingly stand still, hours seem like days, days seem like months and there is no real sense of what month it is anymore – just the sense everyone will be glad when 2021 comes around.
It has led to reflection and realisation that some friendships are dead, some paths can no longer be travelled. But also that there are some second chances, some opportunities still to be grabbed and experiences to be had.
One of these experiences came to me (as is the way these days) in a promoted tweet from Cadbury’s advertising an orange Twirl pre-sale on August 18.
This was the date of my friend’s daughter’s birthday and also, coincidentally, the birthday of the woman he may have married if life had been very different.
It also seemed, it would appear, to be the date I would get my hands on something that eluded me last September.
Back then in pre-coronavirus times I was reading an article on a website, which had been promoted on Facebook, about how Cadbury’s had launched an orange Twirl that day and – as is tradition with that kind of high quality journalism (not a criticism, I used to do it myself) – it included a lot of tweets from people about how nice it was.
Setting myself the goal of tracking one down on my way home I started off in a mini Tesco, then a Waitrose, then a bigger Tesco and then three corner shops. Every time I walked through the doors full of hope and expectation but would be met with puzzled looks when I asked if they had any orange Twirls.
For the next few days I would check in every corner shop I saw, hoping beyond hope the shopkeeper had picked up a box of the orange wonders at the cash and carry.
Time moved on and I had moved on until I saw that Twitter post. Would I be one of the 5,000 given a special code to buy one during the pre-sale?
After hours of searching last September I thought it would be harder than it was – but it turned out all I had to do was reply to the Cadbury’s tweet with the not so secret words #orangetwirlpresale.
It should be with me now but what I hadn’t accounted for was being so excited about being able to buy one I didn’t read the instructions about where to enter my discount code to make it free postage instead of £3.50.
Instead I thought I’d effectively paid £4.19 for the chocolate bar and postage and only realised my error a few days later when I was wondering why nothing had arrived. Thankfully – I think – I have rectified my error and it should be with me soonish.
Will I eat it when it comes? I don’t know whether to keep it in the fridge for ever as a symbol of how things can always (at least mostly always) be achievable (I’m the kind of person who buys a record and then keeps it in the shrink wrap for ever, just pleased to own it) or just eat it as soon as it comes through the letterbox.
There are some orange Twirl bars on Ebay already (of course there are) and it makes me think how orange Twirls wouldn’t be the phenomenon they are without the internet.
Without the internet there would not have been the well-placed articles in September effectively being massive adverts for the chocolate bars. There would not have been any way of people discussing with strangers from across the UK where they got their bar from.
Maybe, just maybe, Cadbury’s would have had to release proper mainstream advertising and so would have needed to produce enough bars for all shops.
But if there hadn’t been the internet then there wouldn’t have been Fiskal Policy about orange Twirl and that’s obviously the highlight of the week!
In other highlights, I saw the Baywatch movie for the first time on Friday and it’s exactly as good a crime caper as I imagined.
Stay safe for another week!