Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Popularity Issue: Something Fishy

Fish Cocktail
The good people over at Business Week Magazine put out their Popularity Issue the other day, in which they examine the things that we Americans use or choose the most.  So it's kind of like figuring out the collective favorites of 300 million people. All this week we here at Big Dave and Company are going to be examining some of the things off the list to find out what we can learn about you, Company.


     Really?  Are you fucking kidding me?  I work for the government, so I tend to sort of understand the madness (because I am familiar with it and I am surrounded by it all the time) and even defend it, at least when I am on the clock, but in what might be one of the best examples of how fucking stupid the government is, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies shrimp as a fish.  Even jumbo shrimp, the most famous oxymoron around.  I am sure that some white shirt bureaucrat did this in a little cubicle somewhere deep inside the district of Columbia because he didn't know how else to classify shrimp, but still.  Scratch that, I bet there were months and months worth of super expensive and even more boring committee meetings and work groups and listening sessions in small town halls in coastal towns across America before that bureaucrat just threw in the towel and said "Fuck it!"
      So anyway, the FDA says shrimp goes with fish and as such it is the most popular fish on our plates.  Try and wrap your head around that one, Company.  Despite the fact that everyone in a suit on TV has been telling us that everyone who makes their living off the harvesting of shrimp down in Louisiana was living the hardest life in the history of existence long before BP literally erupted on the scene, and that now they are going to die starving on their shrimp boats as their prey dies in the oil, there still must be a glimmer of hope for all the Billy Bobs and all the Delacroix's running around St. Whatever Parish, because Americans are eating shrimp at a level never seen before.  Or maybe not.  Let's look at the facts.
     4.1 pounds.  If you are an average American that is how many pounds of shrimp you are going to eat in the course of a year, up threefold from the level at which you were pigging out in 1980.  So one would think that things are looking up, now wouldn't they?  In fact, the shrimp has held the number one spot for ten-ish years, which shouldn't really be surprising because anything that is routinely combined with the work "cocktail" is bound to become super popular.  It is beating canned tuna - which is mostly eaten by the conscious and the cats - by 50%.  Now that is impressive since tuna costs like 16¢ a can.  But I digress.
     Maybe I have problems and disbelief about this because I personally don't like shrimp, neither the taste or texture.  Or maybe it is because I am pro tuna.  Or maybe it is because I am from the Midwest and all we eat here are fish fry fish like haddock and cod and the occasional whitefish, maybe it is because SHRIMP IS NOT A FUCKING FISH.  Who knows.  All I know is that add a little cocktail sauce to a gross looking thing from the sea and suddenly you have a decade-long industry leader.  Congratulations to the shrimp.

No comments: