The UK’s leading celebrity truck driver, Footpump Marginalrate, shot to social media fame last weekend. It happened when he issued a rather unfeeling tweet about the limited number of baked beans he discovered on his toast at a fashionable late night trendy transport café in the metropolitan region.
His tweet, along with his smartphone photographic evidence, claimed that he counted only 97 baked beans on two slices of toast. Several other Twitter users immediately condemned Marginalrate as elitist and out of touch. However, he did gather some support from the Friends of the Traditional Transport Cafe Society (FTTCS). This organisation has long been campaigning for a return to placing the traditional British transport café at the heart of metropolitan cultural life.
The FTTCS group initially formed to fight against the encroachment upon the traditional transport café’s territory by trendy coffee cafes and latterly the newly fashionable metropolitan transport cafes. All of which take the traditional idea of the transport café: the fry up, the half-pint mug of strong tea, historical sauce bottles and so on, and update them for the urban trendies that populate the metropolitan areas of our cities. Often by making the cafes more suited to the pseudo-sophisticated palates of the hip and fashionable. They do this with colour supplement and foodie website-friendly dishes never seen in a traditional transport café. Sometimes the new trendy eateries go as far as having more than the two classic sauces of red and brown, sometimes even drizzling everything with a compote or jus.
However, Marginalrate is the UK’s leading celebrity truck driver, and star of many documentary series on both truck driving and the UK and European road systems. Therefore, Marginalrate Is regarded as something of an expert on the gastronomical delights of the world’s authentic transport cafes. Consequently, in his forthcoming new TV series for C3.142, he investigates this new foodie and fashionista craze. Marginalrate says it is more what they would like to think a transport café would be like, rather than the authentic and traditional transport café of yore. That is if any of them ever dared venture beyond the safety of the M25.
As the programme’s producers intended, Marginalrate was far from impressed with this fashionable foodie version of the traditional transport café. So his disparaging remarks about the number of baked beans on his toast is a complaint not without some foundation. Not only that – as many have also reported – the toast was not thick-sliced white as tradition demands, but handmade home-baked granary. Moreover, the beans were hand-reared artisan beans in a tomato compote and not the traditional baked beans out of a tin that he was expecting. To many transport café traditionalists, this was more than enough to justify Marginalrate’s outrage that – in turn – sparked the outrage that fuelled this latest social media storm.
Many of the outraged tweets and – later – Facebook comments – accused Marginalrate of snobbery and a traditional, if not racist, attitude to the transport café. It was ‘an attitude that belonged to the 1950s, not the 21st century’ as one outraged Twitter commenter said.
However, despite the shock, horror and outrage that his comments have generated, several other commentators have expressed the belief that Marginalrate should not be condemned out of hand for his unfeeling and hurtful remarks. Many cite the fact that traditional non-artisan baked beans are in a slow decline, even in traditional cafes and eateries. They say that the traditional transport cafe is a vital part of the UK’s cultural heritage and should not be lost to a whim of fashion.
However, the government in response to this latest social media outrage have promised legislation to prevent the online disparagement of any foodstuff. In particular ‘to prevent the deliberate hurt and harm that these cruel unthinking remarks can cause’ as a government spokesman said at the press conference announcing the likelihood of such new legislation after the forthcoming election.