The Fisherman’s Friends


“Can I have that Dad?”

“Can we get those Dad?”

“Dad, can I have some?”

It was non stop. When they were growing up, the boys were little consumers and a marketing man’s dream.

They wanted everything they saw on TV, regardless of price. So their stream of “Can I get . . . “ was mostly followed by a “No you can’t” from me.

But one day that changed . . .

We were sat on the settee watching TV and an ad for Fisherman’s Friend ‘sweets’ came on. As if by magic I received the usual “Will you get us some of those Dad?” in stereo.

“Yeah, ok.” I replied this time.

“Really Dad?! When?”

“We’ll go to the shop now and get you some.”

“Yeaaaah! Brill Dad.”

So off we toddled to purchase the divine candy known as Fisherman’s Friend.

Now I don’t know if you’re familiar with said product, but if you are you know once tried, never forgotten, so the boys will never want them again. And maybe this could be educational, in the fact that it may help to teach them that not everything on TV is what it seems.

We returned with the freshly purchased packet and I sat in the middle, with Ben and Joe sat excitedly on either side of me.

“There you go.” I offered the open packet and they took one each, popped it in their mouth and the fun began.

It took a few seconds but the wait was worth it.

Joe’s face changed from excited to “What the **** have I got in my mouth?!” and it looked like he would have easily won the county ‘Gurning’ championship, as his face became the skin and bone equivalent of a black hole. He looked like he’d been Photo-shopped using the ‘Warp’ tool. How he got his face into some of those positions is beyond me, but it was more than a little amusing.

Ben looked like he’d accidentally eaten dog poo, as he coughed, spat and spluttered . . .

“Dad, vese are orrible.” Cough.

“Why didn’t you tell us? What the hell are they?”

“You’re not a fisherman son, they are not your friend.” Tears rolling down my cheeks as my eyes jumped between them both, savouring the beauty of the lesson.

Joe was still battling with the involuntary spasms of his by now flushed face, as he tried to comprehend what was happening.

“Why would anybody want to eat these? They’re hangin!”

“It’s an acquired taste son. You have to get used to them.”

“No I don’t. I’m never having another one ever in my life.” As he spat the last bits into a piece of kitchen roll I’d hurriedly given them both.

Then Ben floated back into consciousness . . .

“THEY are the most horrible things ever. Why Dad? Why?”

“Why not son?”

Ok, I understand it was a little bit naughty of me, but hey, they didn’t ask for anything else on TV for a good 3 or 4 days. Mainly because it hurt to speak.

Nice one Coleman.