“I hope the thoughts you have will be lovely…”

September 24, 2007

My wife and I moved back to Dublin a while back. We thought it seemed like a good place to bring up kids, and it is, but we both miss London too much. But something happened today that makes me wonder if we should stick around after all.

Basically, my wife walked in holding a letter and a ‘Robt. Roberts Luxury tea-bag’.

“Read this,” she said, handing me the letter.

Here’s the text in full.

The Carpet Cleaning Company

Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning.

Helen, what a funny time of year…

Dear Helen,

What a funny time of year. So much going on, memories, perhaps of years gone by, school days, either love them or hate them.

Children going to school for the very first time, the excitement, tinged with sadness, hope, worry, it’s all there.

It might be sheer relief at getting the house back to yourself and a chance to get things done, maybe even the carpets and upholstery cleaned.

Of course the football season is in full swing, rugby internationals coming up soon. If you’re a sports fan you’ll probably love this time of year.

Autumn, the evening closing in, perhaps time to get reading again. Night school and the chance to do a course you’ve always wanted to do.

Years ago………..

A man told you “you should always take a few moments every day for yourself”.

Have a cup of tea, with our compliments, take a few quiet minutes for yourself, I hope the thoughts you have will be lovely.

Sincerely yours,

Mick Doherty

Managing Director

P.S. Use this letter to avail of up to 50 euro off your next cleaning appointment.

P.P.S This offer ends on Friday 28th September 2007 at 5.30pm sharp. Please quote ref: 31
Isn’t that delightful? Completely mental, of course, but delightful. I especially love “a chance to get things done,maybe even have the carpets and upholstery cleaned.” Very subtle! Oh, Ireland! God bless ya!


  1. This is an old trick much utilised by those looking for their first job in the media industry. In my experience a photograph or a teabag stapled to a CV would pretty much guarantee it landing in the bin about three seconds after the opening of the envelope.

    Tis a cruel, cruel world.

  2. Awww, that’s kind of sweet and brilliant. It’s the sort of preposterous only-in-Ireland thing that makes me love my native land, despite giving out about it all the time.

    Slightly OT, but my boyfriend has just had to read Dickie Rock’s autobiography for work, and it is also totally hilarious in an only-in-Ireland way, but not endearingly so. Dickie’s insights into the subtleties of gender politics have to be read to be believed. My favourite bit was when his description of the differences between men and women when it comes to children – apparently when women see a baby, we want to “pick it up”, but when a man sees a baby, although he will say (and I quote) “what a lovely baby”, he doesn’t really care one way or the other. Thanks for clearing that up, Dickie!

  3. You couldn’t make this stuff up folks. You could have every great comedian writing for a year and not create something like this. Mental.

  4. I hope your wife’s name is Helen, or maybe they’re psychic.

    You can just imagine that: “Hmmm, how can I make money with these extraordinary physic powers I possess? Of course, I’ll start a carpet cleaning business and impress them by personalising the flyers with their name and favourite beverage. Watch out Richard Branson!”

  5. Was the tea nice?

  6. Especially like the line about night school. I bet just as your wife was about to open the letter she thought to herself ‘Hmmm, I could really go for a cup of tea and some evening tuition….’

  7. Yes, lovely marketing gimmick. Actually pretty well done compared to some things I’ve seen, and some companies do it better than others.

    I recently received a packet of seeds with a mailer, telling me that from small things, great things could grow. I will be most impressed if they do so from where I sent them. My attitude is highly hypocritical, given that I work as a copywriter myself, and that I’m paid to come up with this kind of wankery myself.

  8. I have to say, what would Mrs Doyle have to say about such frivolous use of tea! Don’t answer that.

  9. Oh, that’s nice! In Canada, they never send tea in the mail while they’re groping around for your wallet.

    It’s supposed to be so polite here. Now I feel used.

  10. Oh god, that’s not nice at all. Cynical bribery and subtle coercion, all dressed up in flowery nonsense in an utterly contrived attempt to sell their service.

    Being a complete psycho and the sort of person that goes utterly bananas when confronted with such manipulative and direct marketing, I’d scribble swear words all over the letter and send it back to them with a nail through their “luxury” tea-bag.

  11. Oh, now, come on! It’s so ineffective you have to love it.

  12. That, Graham, is the kind of maudlin thinking that will ensure you’ll never leave Ireland again. Go on. make the call. Get those carpets cleaned.

  13. Well if that’s not a reason to stay here then I don’t know what is. If you ignore the weirdness of it (ie, the entire letter), then it’s just a free teabag. Weird as well, yes. But mmm, tea..

  14. I’m having lovely thoughts right now just thinking about that letter and that swell tea! Hooray for Ireland, home of gentle marketing!

  15. haha that is amazing, dont get that around here!

  16. If you’re not going to use that voucher, can I have it? My apartment looks like a crime scene.

    You can keep the tea.

  17. Well, it beats the huge roll of dirty carpet that ‘Robert Roberts’ sent to me last week.. Same idea though

  18. Ah, the Irish just love crack.

  19. I just got a flyer through from one of those Bric-a-brac collecting companies claiming to be a Third World charity despite being registered as a limited company (alarm bells). It ends with “God will reward you for your good hearts. Collection Day: Thursday.” !?!

  20. It’s the little (demented, pointless, backward) things, isn’t it? I just re-read the letter and noticed how it’s structured:

    “A certain event is happening in the news/our lives at the moment – you may or may not have an interest in it or an opinion about it.” (repeat as required)

    Ah sure you have to stay in Dublin – once you go, you won’t come back!

  21. Hi,

    This article is certainly very good, thanks a lot for the update…

  22. I guess when you spill the tea on the carpet, they’ll be of use.

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