Wednesday, April 07, 2010

The Greatest Complaint Letter Ever - Origin Of Dear Richard Letters

Yesterday one of my friends from the UK e-mailed me and asked me why I had not bothered to call since I was in Liverpool. Huh? Then I remembered the Dear Richard letter I wrote. I figured that if someone who reads the site on a regular basis had no idea what the reference point was to the Dear Richard letters then it might be time to post the original letter again. Last January, a man flew on Virgin Airlines and had an awful flight. He wrote the owner, Richard Branson, a letter about his experience and included pictures. Since then, whenever an airline story pops up on my radar, I use his style of writing to discuss the event. Now, his letter from last January, with my set up first.

On a recent flight from Mumbai to London, a man had the opportunity to fly Virgin. As you can tell from the flight, he was irritated about every aspect of the flight. Richard Branson has confirmed that he did call the man and speak with him and thanked him for the comments. I hope maybe he gave the guy a free ticket just for the originality and comedy in the letter. If you don't laugh at least a little when you read this, then you need to close your office door and concentrate. Long, but brilliant.

Dear Mr Branson

REF: Mumbai to Heathrow 7th December 2008

I love the Virgin brand, I really do which is why I continue to use it despite a series of unfortunate incidents over the last few years. This latest incident takes the biscuit.

Ironically, by the end of the flight I would have gladly paid over a thousand rupees for a single biscuit following the culinary journey of hell I was subjected to at the hands of your corporation.

Look at this Richard. Just look at it:
I imagine the same questions are racing through your brilliant mind as were racing through mine on that fateful day. What is this? Why have I been given it? What have I done to deserve this? And, which one is the starter, which one is the desert?

You don’t get to a position like yours Richard with anything less than a generous sprinkling of observational power so I KNOW you will have spotted the tomato next to the two yellow shafts of sponge on the left. Yes, it’s next to the sponge shaft without the green paste. That’s got to be the clue hasn’t it. No sane person would serve a desert with a tomato would they. Well answer me this Richard, what sort of animal would serve a desert with peas in:I know it looks like a baaji but it’s in custard Richard, custard. It must be the pudding. Well you’ll be fascinated to hear that it wasn’t custard. It was a sour gel with a clear oil on top. It’s only redeeming feature was that it managed to be so alien to my palette that it took away the taste of the curry emanating from our miscellaneous central cuboid of beige matter. Perhaps the meal on the left might be the desert after all.

Anyway, this is all irrelevant at the moment. I was raised strictly but neatly by my parents and if they knew I had started desert before the main course, a sponge shaft would be the least of my worries. So lets peel back the tin-foil on the main dish and see what’s on offer.

I’ll try and explain how this felt. Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it’s Christmas morning and you’re sat their with your final present to open. It’s a big one, and you know what it is. It’s that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about.

Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing. That’s how I felt when I peeled back the foil and saw this:
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking it’s more of that Baaji custard. I admit I thought the same too, but no. It’s mustard Richard. MUSTARD. More mustard than any man could consume in a month. On the left we have a piece of broccoli and some peppers in a brown glue-like oil and on the right the chef had prepared some mashed potato. The potato masher had obviously broken and so it was decided the next best thing would be to pass the potatoes through the digestive tract of a bird.

Once it was regurgitated it was clearly then blended and mixed with a bit of mustard. Everybody likes a bit of mustard Richard.

By now I was actually starting to feel a little hypoglycaemic. I needed a sugar hit. Luckily there was a small cookie provided. It had caught my eye earlier due to it’s baffling presentation:
It appears to be in an evidence bag from the scene of a crime. A CRIME AGAINST BLOODY COOKING. Either that or some sort of back-street underground cookie, purchased off a gun-toting maniac high on his own supply of yeast. You certainly wouldn’t want to be caught carrying one of these through customs. Imagine biting into a piece of brass Richard. That would be softer on the teeth than the specimen above.

I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was relax but obviously I had to sit with that mess in front of me for half an hour. I swear the sponge shafts moved at one point.

Once cleared, I decided to relax with a bit of your world-famous onboard entertainment. I switched it on:
I apologise for the quality of the photo, it’s just it was incredibly hard to capture Boris Johnson’s face through the flickering white lines running up and down the screen. Perhaps it would be better on another channel:
Is that Ray Liotta? A question I found myself asking over and over again throughout the gruelling half-hour I attempted to watch the film like this. After that I switched off. I’d had enough. I was the hungriest I’d been in my adult life and I had a splitting headache from squinting at a crackling screen.

My only option was to simply stare at the seat in front and wait for either food, or sleep. Neither came for an incredibly long time. But when it did it surpassed my wildest expectations:

Yes! It’s another crime-scene cookie. Only this time you dunk it in the white stuff.

Richard…. What is that white stuff? It looked like it was going to be yoghurt. It finally dawned on me what it was after staring at it. It was a mixture between the Baaji custard and the Mustard sauce. It reminded me of my first week at university. I had overheard that you could make a drink by mixing vodka and refreshers. I lied to my new friends and told them I’d done it loads of times. When I attempted to make the drink in a big bowl it formed a cheese Richard, a cheese. That cheese looked a lot like your baaji-mustard.

So that was that Richard. I didn’t eat a bloody thing. My only question is: How can you live like this? I can’t imagine what dinner round your house is like, it must be like something out of a nature documentary.

As I said at the start I love your brand, I really do. It’s just a shame such a simple thing could bring it crashing to it’s knees and begging for sustenance.

Yours Sincererly



RocketQueen said...

LOL! I had never read the original before, and now I love Enty's letters to Richard/Virgin even more! I love how the writer keeps calling him "Richard".

On a related note - I recommend no one ever fly Philippine Airlines. Worst. Airline. Ever.

ItsAJ said...

Dear Richard...I mean Enty,
Love this, always wondered where these came from and yesterday when you said Liverpool I started wondering if you were Max Clifford LOL

Anyway, keep them coming!

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I have a few issues with this post, but I'll save it and just say, didn't this letter writer get a job with Virgin as a result of this letter? Quality control, maybe? I remember reading something like that when this was first posted.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

A quick google check, says no, he didn't get a job. I wonder where I heard that?...

chihuahuense said...

oh my goodness. I have tears in my eyes from laughing. So funny.

What are your issues, sue ellen, I want to hear them!

E. DuBois said...

Entertaining letter - another crime-scene cookie! That made me laugh.

slider1964 said...

Word of advise to all, if you are on a flight were they serve meals. Tell them you are a vegetarian or Muslim. You get a salad usually and believe me its better than the glop that Richard got!!!

canadachick said...

dear lord i forgot how funny the original was.....i had to send to a coworker cause i was laughing out loud

RJ said...

I'd never read the original before. Thanks for reposting it. Very funny. I've been kind of blue today, and needed a laugh.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...


I am of the school of thought that Ent isn't who he says he is and sometimes certain posts make my eyebrows go up. This is one of those posts.
That being said, I don't care all that much if this whole blog is a pack of lies cause I enjoy it(and look forward to figuring out this Ent character). Actually, I enjoy the people who post here the most, with very few exceptions, because most poeple on here post good comments and aren't a bunch of assholes (most of the time).

Anyway, I am not going to itemize my issues cause that would ruin the fun for other people who believe in Ent. I try not to be a debbie downer about things most of the time.

JustJenn said...

This is the second funniest letter ever. THE funniest letter ever:

JJ said...

Thanks for posting that again Enty. It always makes me laugh. Crime-scene-cookie! What a hoot.

chihuahuense said...

lol@debbie downer. Its like telling a four year old there isn't a Santa, huh? That's ok, I still love you.

jess said...

I also love the fact that he keeps on saying his name "Richard look at this, you see richard" hahaha

sunnyside1213 said...

It gives new meaning to mystery meat.

Brew Belle said...

"Only you open the present and it’s not in there. It’s your hamster Richard. It’s your hamster in the box and it’s not breathing."

That is made of win.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...


Exactly. You never want to tell a kid there is no such thing as Santa.

sunnyside1213 said...

What? Wait...there is no Santa.

ItsAJ said...

@Jennifer (and everyone else!)

That letter was from 27b/6. Google it and go to his website, there are loads more. So so funny!

Maja With a J said...


Yes, this letter is just as funny the second time around.

jax said...

Branson offered the guy the opportunity to come taste some of the food being developed for Virgin,which i think he did but wasn't a full time job.

PotPourri said...


Einstein DeGeneres said...

I was laughing (quietly) so hard that my work neighbor come over coz she thought I was sobbing. I must quiet-laugh pretty ugly.

hunter said...

Oh, for anyone who didn't read Jennifer's post, this IS quite hilarious:

AND - Love the Dear Richard letter - I still remember the first time I read it here and it still brings the laughs out loud!!

Unknown said...

What sort of animal would serve a desert with peas in it! Bwahahahahaha

Oh and Enty, how about some Fred Ward photos? He's a hot piece.

J said...

its just as funny the second time around


i have tears coming out of my eyes

dbfreak said...

Okay, I've had a crappy week and am SOOO glad I decided to re-read the original "Dear Richard" letter : D Tears ran down my face from laughing so hard. I also had a nice little laugh/coughing fit.


Popular Posts from the last 30 days