11th July, 2004 The advertisement for Vetta pasta said that only the zoo has smarter seals. Smarter seals? Can something that eats whole raw fish be all that smart? View large

Dear Sir,

I was most taken by your advertisement in a recent copy of the Australian Woman's Weekly. “Only the zoo has smarter seals” it said.

Well, I beg to differ.

Wait! Don't get me wrong. I am not doubting that your seals are very good and, in fact, I would like to put the case that your seals would run rings around a zoo seal.

Think of it. Zoo seals will willingly dive into icy water. Willingly! This is not the behaviour of a normal creature. Certainly I wouldn't do it without the reinforcements of a sauna set to 'poach', a bundle of birch branches and a buxom Norse wench named Inga. And there is a lot to be said for ignoring the water altogether and concentrating on the sauna and Inga. The birch branches? Well, I have an open mind...

But icy water? No, I don't think so.

And zoo seals eat raw fish. Can this be a good thing? It can do strange things to you. Apart from developing an inexplicable desire to crash planes onto the decks of warships, it annoys the cat and comes attendant with a desire to eat sticky rice. This is perhaps counter productive if the over all scheme of your advertising campaign is to sell pasta.

No, the seal on the pasta in penne #33 will always be smarter than the seal in tank #1.

Yours sincerely,

J Cosmo Newbery.