More Argos poetry

I thought I’d have another skim of the Argos site and see if there were any more poems waiting to be formed in the customer reviews. Turns out almost every page teems with them. 

The first product I tried, at random, was the Qualcast Corded Rotary 1300W Mower and 320W Grass Trimmer.  And almost immediately there was another little story – like the one I found about the massage chair.

Here’s cb20 in Scotland (with a few line breaks from me):

In middle of cutting grass
when mower stopped working. 
On to computer
and saw this mower
and decided to buy. 

Easy to use
and adjust height to cut. 
Found it very efficient
and light to use.
Great produce.

We can be fairly sure that cb20 meant ‘product’ at the end, but it seems important not to monkey with the source text.

(I love the idea, too, that cb20 simply abandons his stalled mower in the middle of the lawn, marches into the house, gets online and buys a new one.)

Then, a few comments down, I find that Darius2 of England (mower customers apparently favour broad geographical locations) has beaten me to the punch. His review is already broken into lines of breathtaking concision.

Again, we must assume 'Goog’ is a slip. But fair play, Darius2.

The poetry of Argos

In my day job, I’ve been writing some copy for British retail institution Argos, and have discovered the treasure trove of customer reviews on their website.

The enthusiasm of customers for what are often the simplest of items is pretty remarkable. The comments on these white pasta bowls, for example, are well worth a trawl. 

Jojo from Somerset tells perhaps the world’s shortest quest story:

‘I've been looking for bowls this size for years and these are perfect for me.’

Meanwhile, John from Merseyside celebrates the bowls’ most essential nature, recommending them if you ‘need a good-sized pasta bowl which is “bowl-shaped”’. 

Argos chair.jpeg

Reading one of the comments on the Power Massage Leather Recliner Chair, it struck me that one could add some line breaks and create a sort of poem – albeit a tongue-in-cheek one – from some of these comments. (Raymond Carver did it with Chekhov. I do it with Argos. I know my place.)

So here’s my first experiment in the form. See what you think.


Power Massage Leather Recliner Chair - Chocolate.  

My mother brought this chair
but used it only as normal chair
she recently passed away
so have taken to mine
for my disabled partner. 

On doing so I have found the plug
for massager is not there, 
after asking if I can purchase one
am told no as can't give me
contact details of manufacture
as they are overseas 

so perfect chair
as long as nothing goes wrong
for example needs
replacement lead

due to loss or damage
as the chair
will become
just that 

an armchair