• Gabriel Featherstone

Janet Pholse Vs. The Unromantic Sainsbury's Lobster

Photo by Toa Heftiba. Image courtesy of Unsplash.

Janet Pholse (pronounced 'false') is a fictional character I created as part of a scheme to harvest jokes and other funny content from men on Tinder. You can read more about that adventure here. In early 2020 I decided to use the fake Janet Pholse Facebook account I'd set up, for reasons I no longer recall, to contact Sainsbury's and complain, in the strangest possible terms, about their line of plush Valentine's Day lobster toys. I did this because I thought it might lead to an amusing exchange of messages that I could talk about onstage in my then upcoming Glasgow Comedy Festival Show, 'Toy Boy'. Janet's complaints were fielded by a customer service rep named Brandon, who very quickly became one of my favourite people.

He committed himself wholeheartedly to the weirdness of the situation and, over the course of two months, sent me a number of funny, charming and whimsical messages and diagrams that I will treasure forever. Our correspondence provided a wealth of solid material for my act, and was also a hugely appreciated distraction from my turbulent personal life, looming college deadlines and intensifying anxieties about the recently discovered Coronavirus. Here, for your reading pleasure, is the complete and unedited record of Janet & Brandon's Lobster Conversation.

Brandon's picture might be the best thing anyone's ever sent me. Prepare yourself...

I was wrong before. This next picture is the best thing anyone's ever sent me.

At this point I went on holiday to Barcelona for a week with my then partner. I didn't respond to Brandon's fantastic diagram until I got back to Glasgow.

At this point I got distracted by preparations for the Glasgow Comedy Festival and forgot about Brandon for a few weeks. Sadly, the festival was cancelled soon after it started and shortly before the first lockdown was imposed. During the first week of lockdown, I sent Brandon this message.

Brandon, if you're reading this, you can contact me at gabbycfeatherstone@yahoo.co.uk. I'd love to know what this conversation was like from your perspective. I hope you're safe and well.