In 1884 Michael Marks formed a partnership with Tom Spencer. It would have been impossible for the two to have predicted how the next hundred years would shape their legacy. Having successfully negotiated wartime rationing and subsequent domestic depressions, the company continued to move with grocery trends opening up their first stores on continental Europe in 1955 and floating the firm on the stock market in 1986.
"Things change so fast that it can be difficult to keep up with market fluctuation. We've had to do all sorts to sate the demands of a fickle, plebe continent- they want it all the easy way" reported Marks and Spencer M.D. Charles Brass.
56 year old Brass went on to clarify, in some chronological detail, his witnessing of hoi polloi gastronomic changeability with specific points of reference:
"Right... first the microwave came and suddenly no- one was bothered to want to cook. Next, people in Europe started to visit the U.S.A, Italy and the East and wanted all kinds of shit on their dinner table; farking nightmare for us, let me tell you... we couldn't get spicy chicken, hot dogs and pizza into cellophane quick enough."
A stroll through any Marks and Spencer food hall bears out the truth of Brass's account. The passage of time has inevitably made things convenience- based and it is now, apparently, possible to have everything prepared for oneself.
"The British are the worst," claimed Brass "As a nation we shirk at the idea of leaving the house and missing an episode of Loose Women to go and vote. It's no surprise, then, that anything that takes more than five minutes to scorch with a microwave or remove from its wrapping and eat, doesn't sell... apathetic swines the lot of us."
Widely available products, at Marks and Spencer now include: pre- grated cheese, pre- cooked meats, skinless veg' and toast. Yes toast. Butter and everything. Fools in the past used to spread butter themselves! Ridiculous.
"We decided at our last board meeting to just go- the- whole- hog" explained Brass. "We've been working with the Russians in developing our Pre- digested range... the technology has been around since the space- race and was first used on Sputnik, I'm told. Yeah, the Americans knicked that one during the Cold War. Anyway, what's good for the goose... I'm not saying WE stole the idea from either... rather..."
The reported net result, of this collaboration, will be available from early June 2007, according to M&S research and development sources. Priced at a fair £3.99, the Dinner For One range will be the first on the shelves and is likely to spin- off into Family Fun varieties.
"That's right!" Brass exhorted "This is going to change meal times forever! You simply discard the wrapping and flush the product down the nearest convenience... I can't believe it hasn't caught on before... glad we got in before the Yanks."
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