Red (Rock) Letter Day

Imagine this: You have a craving, an intense desire for a particular food you love. You know exactly what it is you want but you know you can never have it again. That is what you’ve done to me, Red Rock Deli. Let me explain.

Each and every week when I would be doing my groceries I would excitedly grab one, if not two, bags of your vintage cheddar and red onion (VC&RO) crisps. Then, one week not too long ago, my grocery store didn’t have any on the shelf, just an empty space where they used to be. Distraught, I put my groceries in my car and bravely went back into the shopping centre to go to the other grocery store only to discover that they too were out. I’m not going to lie, I was scared. I didn’t let myself believe what I already dreaded… what I already knew…

Over the next couple of weeks I would optimistically round the corner into the potato crisps aisle with my trolley to again be hit with a pang of disappointment as there were still no VC&RO in stock. By the third week there was no longer even had a space reserved for them on the shelf. I had to concede to what I’d feared weeks earlier… that you’d stopped making my favourite flavour crisp of all time…

RIP Vintage Cheddar & Red Onion… sad face 🙁

I tried other Red Rock flavours again, my old favourite sour cream and sweet chilli just didn’t do it for me any more, and while the grilled chorizo flavour was nice enough it just wasn’t the same… they only dulled the pain of no longer having VC&RO on the shelves any more.

You’d reduced me to something akin to a crack addict, asking complete strangers if they’d seen them any where, pleading with family members the country over to keep an eye out for them. “I’m good for them” I’d exclaim to anyone who had thought they’d seen them somewhere but all I found were ghosts, empty shelf sections, people vaguely remembering seeing them at random places. My lowest point was phoning around all the service stations just to see if they had any hidden away out back… it was dark times…

Then, on a birthday trip to Sydney, the heavens opened up and heard my prays and gave me the best present ever! I was in a small convenience store down near Circular Quay picking up a few things when my eyes caught a glimpse of something… that familiar brownish purple packaging that is unmistakeably VC&RO crisps! I dropped my stuff and ran over. Few if any things make me cry any more, Optimus Prime dying in the original animated Transformers movie and not much else, but having found some of these crisps, my most sort after treasure, I did just that. I wept. I quickly bundled the remaining 8 bags into my arms and queued up to buy them. People laughed at me. The service attendant smirked. Asian tourists took photos, but I didn’t care, I had 8 packs of pure gold as far as I was concerned.

But I knew my windfall would be short lived if I wasn’t careful, I had to ration them as best I could. Sharing wasn’t an option so social events were out. I chose instead to reserve them for special television show occasions, the Game of Thrones season finale for example… with the use by date fast approaching I managed to eat 7 bags over about 4 weeks. I was happy. With only one bag remaining I knew I’d need to savour it…

Then I got cocky. If this small convenience store still had some who’s to say somewhere else wouldn’t? I had hope again. I’d already conducted a pretty thoroughly search online to no avail but this time i went further into the Google search results than anyone has every gone. Page 5, page 6… every result examined… page 10, page 11 and further! Then, I found an online shop that sold them by the carton! I promptly ordered 2 cartons (paying well above $6 a packet) but I didn’t care about the cost, soon I would have more in my possession.

To celebrate, i bought a nice bottle of expensive red wine and sat down with what was once my last packet. I ate the whole bag in one sitting and it was delicious. I was foolish not to wait until my order had arrived, what if withdrawal kicked in, or worse? What if they never arrived?

Next, tragedy struck.When my order hadn’t been delivered in the 2-3 day shipping window I became panicked. I sent off an email enquiring if my shipment had been hijacked by some crisp pirates who too saw the crisps as gold coins much like myself… no reply. The withdrawal shakes had kicked in. 2 agonising days later, a whole week from my initial order, a reply finally came. The email I’d been dreading. It informed me that they’d tried to order the crisps themselves only to find from the supplier that they’d been discontinued… the reality had set in, I had confirmation i would never again taste the crisp perfection that is Vintage Cheddar & Red Onion again.

So I write to you know, not as an enquiry, not as a request but as a plea, begging, please, is there any way, in the world, I am able to get even one more packet of the crisp perfection that is vintage cheddar and red onion, please… I am one step away from finding a dying child and stealing his make-a-wish… please.

On his knees,
Mitch Hawkins

PS If you doubt in any way my story find attached photos of the crisps I bought in bulk as well as links to the 4 flavours of crisps I entered in the Smith “Do us a Flavour” competition…

Smiths Crisps Flavour 1

Smiths Crisps Flavour 2

Smiths Crisps Flavour 3

Smiths Crisps Flavour 4

Previous Post
Bathroom Wee-Fart Ettiquette
Next Post
Tales from the Video Shop VI