William the Viral Worm

With our newsfeeds seemingly set to ‘miserable’, it is sometimes hard to see the light when it comes to the news. Then, when something light-hearted wanders into the spotlight somehow, people decry it with “is this news?!” And “go report on something more important!”.

I say we need the lighter, brighter and fluffier side of the news. We need to know that the horror and darkness going on around us is not the only setting this world is capable of selecting.

This is why I wanted to share the light hearted tale of William the Worm.

As can happen occasionally in fresh produce, a worm was found in a possibly not quite alive state by a Tesco customer. Instead of reeling from such a discovery and jumping backwards and pointing in horror, the bemused customer, Wes Metcalf, decided to name the worm and set it up with a tale.

Now, the ball in their court, Tesco again, could have bleated out a stock apology for all to see. Instead, they joined in on the joke.

After cucumber aficionado Mr Metcalf bought the vegetable in question and pointed this out to Tesco online, he might not have expected to receive such an amusing reply from their customer care team.

They exchanged poems to be read at the ‘funeral’ of William (spawning the hashtag #PoemsForWilliam), before taking turns in parodying musical lyrics including Blur’s Park Life (Worm Life).

After Mr Metcalf ‘forked out’ for the funeral of the dearly departed, cucumber loving worm, Tesco offered him a £10 gift voucher to cover the cost of the funeral.



The story became shared virally thousands of times, leading me to be unsure of who the real hero of the tale is: Mr Metcalf, Tesco’s customer care team or the deceased William.

Suffice to say, both sides handled what could have been yet another awkward apology about a big chain supermarket, with great humour and élan.

All I can say is well done to all and a happy, mud related afterlife to dear William the worm.


BBC News

Wes Metcalf




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