Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Past the Expiration Date

A-town came into my office this morning to say hello. Around and between discussing the Back to the Future trilogy and what would happen if your mated a pornstar moustache with a golden, flowing mullet (it would be called mullstache, by the way) I came to the realization that I lot of the wonderful and iconic foods from when we were growing up are M.I.A. I don't know where they went but they certainly aren't on the shelf of my friendly local grocery store, unless your friendly local grocery store is one of those scary dent and ding/overstock/out of date canned goods grocery stores that somehow are allowed to operate by the FDA and the local health code enforcement agencies. So with my apologies to Ski's Handy Grocery here some foods that I am sad my illegitimate children in Nebraska aren't able to be eating.

- Tan M&M's. Yeah, I am coming out with the big gun right off the bat. I know, you would usually wait until the last moment to pull out the chart-topper, show-stopper, big production number. But you know what? I am not usual. And I am not you. I don't want you to have to slog through all sorts of lame dribble just to get to something good. That's like cutting a Christmas tree down in a swamp. You have to slog through all manner of frozen swamp monster and muck towing one of your kids' sleds just to get to the tree which turns out to be a disappointing balsam fir, which B-Town and Sir Jason and their forestry degrees assure me is the scourge of the Earth in tree form. Well, I don't want you to go through that here. I don't want you to have to read a lot of other crap just to get to the Tan M&M. No, I want you to read the Tan M&M, get all wet in your swimsuit areas, and then have to read through the rest with great, imposing but ultimately debilitating expectations that are never met. I don't want you to end up disappointed and unfulfilled. I want you to end up disappointed, unfulfilled, and pissed off that you wasted all that time and hope just to be let down. Then at least I might get some sweet comments.

- Tan M&M's II. So yeah, I just noticed that I never even talked about Tan M&M's. Here is the deal: Fuck you blue M&M's. You are like digital cable. You were forced down my throat without so much as a rhyme or reason all those years ago, and you were done so without my consent. And don't even pretend that just because we got to vote for you it was any less of an atrocity. I hate to break it to you but an election doesn't count as democracy if it is a sham. The Cubans elected Fidel Castro time after time, but let's be honest, who else were they going to vote for? His opponents were always like a poor, uneducated farmer with no army backing him up, a newborn child, and a pack mule. And not even a particularly attractive pack mule. Same went for your sham of an M&M electoral process. Why even bother? I mean, you knew from the outset that blue was going to win; who else was I going to vote for, maroon? A maroon M&M would just be stupid. I just wrote in Tan on the ballot and sent it in anyway. The bottom line is that the Tan M&M was whisked away to candy Siberia just because it conformed too well and didn't stick out well enough, and that's bullshit. I am scared to eat the blue ones because they look like they were manufactured at Three Mile Island. No natural food is that color, but lots of natural foods are tan. Gravy is tan. And how can you not like gravy? If you don't like gravy and Tan M&M's you are un-American. There I said it. You remember that kid from high school who always picked out the blue M&M's and saved them for last, and was super excited when they first came out? You know what he's doing these days? He's working at al-Jazeera.

- Tic Tac Toes. Do you remember these things? They were brought to us by the same people who bring us Sapghetti O's and they were delicious. They had a slightly different taste and consistency to the sauce; I don't know if they put more cheese in it or what. Or maybe they just used a different mixture of cancer-causing additives and preservatives. I don't know. But they were certainly delicious. Plus, you could play entertaining games with yourself of your made up best friend Cletus. Or with whomever you were eating. They were food and entertainment all rolled into one in an era before Noggin was on our cable systems. Think of them like dinner theatre for children. You could even get them with those little meatballs that I doubt actually contained any meat if you wanted to add a whole extra layer of excitement to the experience. And for the same price why not?

- Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Boo-berry, Yummy Mummy, and Fruit Brute. You can still get these at the right grocery store, I know. I realize that they do not fit the mold here. But I am going to include them anyway for two reasons. First of all, I defy you to find a grocery store that is regularly stocked with an ample supply of all three. Often you will find a grocer who features just one of the three: generally Count Chocula. Every so often you will go into a store that only has Boo-berry or Frankenberry. Which is always neat and really should be recorded on film as it is getting more and more rare. But the other reason I am including them is because you can't remember the last time you had these wonderful breakfast cereals in your home. Unless you are A-Town and your 138 brain. So let's put them here, because your 6 year old doesn't know how fantastic it is to eat processed chocolate marshmallows in the shape of little bats, or how amazing it is to eat cereal that turns your milk blue. And quite frankly it is a sad state of affairs when childhood gets to that point. And I haven't even talked about Yummy Mummy or Fruit Brute because no one has ever eaten those EVER. Although I saw Yummy Mummy once on a store shelf.

- Frosted Mini Wheats. Okay, okay. I know. Again, there are Frosted Mini Wheats all over the damn place. But not like they used to be. They used to be big, like roughly the size of pillows, and they were heavily frosted on only one side. With only one kind of that fake white vanilla frosting that doesn't even really taste like vanilla. It's actually the only food that tastes like white. My crack research team of unpaid interns discovered in their toil that there are actually eight different versions of Frosted Mini Wheats available these days, including the original version and an unfrosted version, which totally defeats the purpose. Seven of the varieties, or a whopping 87.5%, are Bite Sized Frosted Mini Wheats. The original version is sold as "Big Bite Frosted Mini Wheats" are are big enough so that roughly four can fit in the average breakfast bowl at one time unless you stack them up like they are Stonehenge or Easter Island Heads or something. So this begs the question: If Bite Size Frosted Mini Wheats are the new standard size and can fit one to a spoon, and "Frosted Mini Wheats" are so big that only four fit in the bowl, then how big are "Frosted Wheats?" And where can I find them? Seriously, do you have to get a plastic children's swimming pool filled with milk to eat "Frosted Wheats?" Do they just take the contents of the thresher and put it into one of those car crushing machines at the junkyard and press it into a brick of wheat? Have all the "Frosted Wheat" nuggets been used as an eco-friendly building material by tree-huggers living in the Arizona desert? Don't fret, Company. I've pulled my team of top scientists from their tube technology project (in which they figure out how I can travel in tubes from place to place, like from the Worldwide Headquarters to the gentleman's club or wherever) and put them on finding the answers to these questions. And I've assigned one of the unpaid interns who is in Archaeology 101 to assist them. We will issue the Frosted Mini Wheat Report as soon as it is completed.

- Pokeman Sausages. Oh my. Maybe Japan should be closed off from the rest of the world again. I am actually rather glad your kids can't have these.

No comments: