Oddly enough, the Daily Mail has cheered me up no end this week.

The joyous story was news of an impending Christmas poinsettia shortage. Hurrah! No more of those foul red blooms ('the hands of the devil' according to folklore I've just made up) cluttering up the entrance to every supermarket in the land.

Double bonus, the British Flower Importers' Association (known in the trade as 'Deadhead' for some reason) has asked P&F to make something else even more popular.

A poke in the eye with a freshly cut stem would be an improvement, I quip, but the florists don't seem amused. We settle on gerberas because it sounds a bit like gerbils, which they say are cute and fluffy, but I say they always make me think of Richard Gere and feel not at all Christmassy. Then I'm too embarrassed to explain why.

So gerberas it is, coming to an Asda foyer near you soon. At which point I should confess that I hadn't been to an Asda until the age of 24, and then only as a store visit for work. It was, how shall I say, an eye-opener.

And as I suspect there are many Grocer readers who have never experienced the full effect either, particularly among the subscribers (being posher than news trade readers), I recommend doing it just once. Then you'll see how misguided the new Asda TV ads are. "Chosen by You" they say.

Have you ever met any Asda customers? Would you let them anywhere near choosing your food? Time for a rethink. Something like 'Sanitised for your protection' would be more appropriate.

Karoline (with a K) tells me that it has already been used and then remembers that it was stamped on every sheet of the Izal toilet paper that she remembers from her youth (ie aeons ago). Must have made an impression!

More from this column