Free, unsolicited advice to the makers of various foodstuffs:
1. Kellogg’s, I’m aware that you pride yourself on putting two whole scoops of raisins in your Raisin Bran. It’s part of your jingle and everything. But please, consider that some consumers don’t want two scoops of raisins in their bran. To be frank, it throws off the ratio. May I humbly suggest that you either limit the raisins to one scoop, or else use a smaller scoop? I always have to pick out most of the raisins and put them back in the bag in order to achieve the desired ratio of raisins to bran. Also, is it really necessary to coat the already-sweet raisins in sugar? If I wanted candy—as I sometimes do—I’d get plain bran flakes and a box of Raisinets and dump them in the same bowl. Not that I have done this. Moving on.
2. Nabisco, we meet again. We’ve already had a little falling-out over your failure to make squirtable Easy Fudge, but I’m over that and prepared to discuss a product you actually do make, the Triscuit. The Triscuit and I have a complicated history. I once composed a song about the Triscuit that I now believe is unfairly disparaging:
A tisket, a tasket/Triscuits taste like baskets/We eat some, we eat some/We end up in our caskets
When I wrote that song, I didn’t fully appreciate the Triscuit. Now that I’m older, I daresay the Triscuit is a near-perfect cracker—the best combination of taste and healthfulness on the market. Triscuits taste wheaty and crispy and fresh; they’re full of fiber and whole grains. I’ve revised the Triscuit song thusly:
A tisket, a tasket/Triscuits look like baskets/We eat some, we eat some/We will end up in our caskets eventually, but probably can delay said casketry by more than a little by consuming the healthful Triscuit./Although there are no guarantees./Tisket.
There will always be a small part of me that remains suspicious of the Triscuit’s basket-like nature, but overall, as a snack item, I’m thrilled with it. My problem with Triscuits is the presumptuous a-hole in the marketing department who insists on putting on the back of the box “suggestions” of how to top your Triscuit. I find this bossy and kind of insulting—do they think I can’t figure that out by myself? Like I’ll serve a Triscuit with nuts and bolts or a teaspoon of sputum or two toes? And is anybody really gonna put capers or a basil leaf on a Triscuit? If you’re doing this, you have a sad, pathetic life and your reaching is making the rest of us cry. Get some spray cheese, loser.
3. You have always provided me with the classics, Pepperidge Farm—Goldfish, those buttery butterfly crackers, those cookies with jam in the middle (I believe they’re called thumbprint cookies, but I prefer the term “tartlets”). That’s why I want you to stick to what you do best. To be fair, I haven’t tasted a Jingo, but I’m very suspicious of the name and am almost positive it’s a racial slur. A thorough internet search turned up nothing other than the synonym for “warlike,” which in itself is puzzling. Is somebody on your marketing team angry, Pepperidge Farm? Is it that old guy from the commercials? It’s quite possible he’s a racist. I don’t know which group you’re defaming, but this new product makes me uncomfortable. You’re on a slippery slope. I suggest that you take these “Jingos” off the market before we end up with a one-quarter-chocolate cookie called a quadroon. No, it’s not related to a macaroon. Look it up.
4. Safeway, you’re one of my favorite grocery stores, and I always trust you with my family’s grocery needs. I also very much appreciate your affordable, quality store brands, but you need to figure out who was responsible for naming the generic version of Life cereal “Live It Up!” Most likely this is a sad man who lives with his mother and several cats. Find him and fire him. He’s not working out. I accepted “Rice Pockets” for Chex without any complaint, but this crosses a line. And please, in the future, try to do better.
5. Kraft Foods, please read my above warning to the fine people over at Pepperidge Farm. This is either a misguided attempt to be cutesy or a horrible foray into cannibalism that I can’t imagine would pass Quality Assurance. Perhaps this is an error in translation, in which case you should fire your translator. He’s not working out.