Mary-flavored potato chips

Aw, another innocent marketing decision goes awry.

Sandwich shop chain Pret A Manger has withdrawn a new “Virgin Mary” brand of crisps following religious complaints.

The firm, with about 350 shops in the UK, launched the spicy tomato crisps – based on the non-alcoholic version of a Bloody Mary cocktail – last week.

This prompted complaints, including from Catholic groups, that it was an offensive reference to Jesus’s mother.

A company spokesman said it had noted complainants’ “strength of feeling” and withdrawn the product to avoid offence.

Now look here, Jesus’s mother isn’t the only virgin Mary in the world. How do the complainers know that Pret A Manger didn’t mean their cousin Mary age six? How do they know Pret A Manger meant just that one virgin Mary and not any other virgin Mary?

(I bet I know how Pret A Manger is pronounced, and I bet it’s not prounounced as if it were, you know, French. I bet it’s pronounced PRETTaMONjay. It’s certainly not spelled as if it were French.)

The Reverend Nick Donnelly, deacon of the Diocese of Lancaster and author of Protect the Pope website, was among those who complained to Pret A Manger.

Following the decision to withdraw the crisps, he wrote on the Protect the Pope site: “Clive Schlee and Pret A Manger deserve our unreserved thanks for listening to our concerns as Catholics and for acting so quickly to remove the brand of crisps.

“It seems fitting that Pret A Manger are planning to give any unsold crisps to the homeless.”

He added: “One of the things we need to go away and think about is what this incident tells us about how we defend our faith in the future.

“We’ve been passive for too long in the face of mockery of our faith and discrimination against us as Catholics.”

Yeah? How noisy have you been about child-raping priests? Ireland’s industrial schools? Lies about condoms?

H/t Roger.