It’s that time again (Tuesday), time for another journey into my own past with a Time Travel Tuesdays column. This week we’re getting into the ol’ Delorean and going way back to March 9, 2002, when my encounters with several different foodstuffs prompted the following discourse…
March 9, 2002
Mom, can I have this?
While I don’t consider myself a wise man, there are certain areas of our society that I find I have a particular understanding of. Movies, for instance, and comic books. Random, useless trivia collects in my brain like lint in a dryer sheet. But longer than I have been a fan of any of these, my friends, I have been a fan of… food.
Unfortunately, our society seems to have taken some incredibly bad moves in the area of food over the past few thousands of years, and as a responsible journalist (or at least as someone who once heard of a responsible journalist) I feel I should take a little time to go over some of the missteps with you, my Highly Educated Readers, to prevent you from going astray. So put the Fruit Roll-Ups down and pay attention.
I became particularly interested in food mishaps at a recent family gathering when my Aunt Nancy produced a box of something called “Satellite Wafers.” This, I learned, was apparently a popular candy when my father and his contemporaries were children. The candy consisted of two oddly-colored wheat wafers with the taste and consistency of packing material sandwiched together in the shape of a flying saucer. This created a pocket in the middle which the manufacturers, in an effort to slowly turn the entire population of the Earth diabetic by the year 2072, filled with some form of rock-hard candy.
From both an economical and nutritional standpoint, one would be better off consuming a heaping bowl of Styrofoam peanuts and gravel than these Satellite Wafers… and yet as soon as the box was open, people (myself included) began consuming these things and could not stop.
At first I was certain the air pocket containing the small chunks of kryptonite masquerading as candy also had some sort of narcotic gas that escaped when you bit into the wafer. After eating several of the offending objects, though, it finally dawned on me why people kept eating them: they were trying to figure out what would possess a person to eat one.
I have a crate of the substance on order to further my research in this area.
Further advances in the incredibly profitable field of food weirdness are currently underway at two of the major ketchup companies, which are virtually indistinguishable from each other down to the fact that their names both begin with “H.” A year or so ago one of the big H’s began marketing a line of… ready for this? Multicolored Children’s Ketchup. That’s right, ketchup isn’t just red anymore ladies and gentlemen – now your kids can stain their clothes red, green, purple, whatever.
Since this has proven somewhat successful (thereby proving that parents will purchase anything their children beg for and that children will beg for anything they see on television), the other H has decided to enter the game as well, but taking a different route as their opponent. The original H, you see, was very upfront about the bizarre concoction they expect people to consume, by clearly making the bottle the same funky color as the ketchup. “Hey!” is the message, “why don’t you eat some green ketchup?”
The other H is taking a decidedly different approach. As a “test,” they intend to randomly place their new multicolored ketchup in red bottles, so that nobody knows what color their lunch is going to be.
The potential problems with this are mind-boggling, not the least of which is the danger of parents who don’t pay close attention to world affairs like I do suddenly seeing their kids squirt what they believe to be some weird blue fungus all over their hamburgers. One must question whether the thrill of a colorful condiment is worth the pain and suffering it may cause.
Never let it be said that I don’t know how to cash in on an idea, though. I’ve currently got my scientists here at Think About It Labs feverishly working on a cross between ketchup technology and paint-matching technology that would allow parents to purchase condiments that would perfectly match their dining room walls, thereby eliminating any fear of childhood stains that last for decades.
By the way, you guys with that floral-print wallpaper are turning out to be a real pain in the kiester.
Blake M. Petit’s next project is plaid mayonnaise to tap into the uncharted Scottish condiment market. Contact him with comments, suggestions or more of those stupid, addictive wafers at BlakeMPetit@gmail.com.