The Third Leader: Souped up

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Refreshing, while we wait for the end of this unseasonably warm spell, to think about soup. Better still is that the said soup is to be sold in Britain by Original SoupMan, the franchise of Mr Al Yeganeh, immortalised by Jerry Seinfeld as the Soup Nazi, pioneer of the welcome return of rudeness to retailing.

Come on: as you make your way, wallet and purse at the ready, doing your best to make "the retail experience" as efficient as possible, don't you have to fight to remain polite at such relentless politeness? Do you really want to confide in your retailer how you are today? Do you really want to be offered an embarrassment of choice, or do you just want what you came in for? And do you really want, saints forbid, a "nice" day?

All right, all right, all very friendly; but have you seen the fear mingled with incomprehension that comes into the eyes of your interrogator, who has just asked "was everything all right for you?", when you say, "no"?

This is not Mr Yeganeh's way. His customers are ordered what to do, told where to go, and banned if they don't like it. And you can be in absolutely no doubt that it's sincerely meant. Once this was a familiar experience in Britain, but, in the land that produced Basil Fawlty and Norman Balon, it has all but disappeared. Fitting, then, that the counter counter-attack should be launched from America, whence all this simpering originated.

Right. That's it. Stop wasting your time dawdling here and get on with something worthwhile, like Mr Gere's excellent article over there. Go on!