Sunday, December 06, 2015

These Potato Chips Aren't Hot

Late last night when I couldn't sleep I had to leave the room for a moment so I paused the TV. Paused the TV! Such a thing was unthinkable not so very long ago, as I have often remarked to an empty room. I paused the TV because I wanted to find out who killed Jay Mohr on a rerun of LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT. It struck me that there was something immoral about my action! Amoral? Problematic. Decadent. And not because I vaguely recalled (accurately) who killed Jay Mohr from the first time I saw it. No, because I couldn't figure out whether my ability to pause the TV was giving me a "choice" or removing one. So during the after-hours LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT reruns there were commercials for things called Xeljanz and Rummikub. The former is a drug and the latter is a boardgame. I realized that "Rummikub" sounded funny only because I hadn't heard it before. That's on me, not on the blameless pastime of Rummikub! But Xeljanz sounded terrible because a focus group probably came up with it. Like, "Raise your hand if you think a medicine that starts with x and ends with z sounds 'real' enough to purchase." I thought about which letter in Xeljanz was the worst, and I decided on 'n.' Ha ha, I like to pretend someone is reading this. The n is close enough to an m that one thinks of Xeljamz, which sounds like a compilation CD of ungodly music, maybe. [It would be corporate slang for "excellent jams"! - ed.] There was also a commercial for a boardgame called Googly Eyes, which nicely ties together Rummikub and Xeljanz, because Googly Eyes requires its players to don vision-distorting eyewear. Now I ask you! Does that sound healthy or safe? Oh, I'm sure it's fine. I recalled that Dr. Theresa had opened a bag of sriracha-flavored "Kettle Brand Potato Chips." I had inquired, earlier in the evening, how they were and Dr. Theresa said, "The bag says 'HOT!' but they're not hot." And she was right. I tasted one and it reminded me of ketchup-flavored potato chips from days gone by. "Ha ha, what dunces we were in the 1970s, eating ketchup-flavored potato chips," I reckoned. And that reminded me of something called "Andy Capp's Hot Fries," which were not hot, and not fries - were, in fact, tough little girders composed of, perhaps, densely compacted corn dust or corn waste - and which had as their mascot the unpleasant Sunday comics character Andy Capp, now long forgotten. So I thought I'd scoot to the "internet" to discover the inevitable nostalgic "chat rooms" dedicated to such grisly and obsolete products. And that is how I found out that both of these things - Lay's Ketchup Flavored Potato Chips and Andy Capp's Hot Fries - are still in production to this very day. (See also.) Thank you for attending to this blistering jeremiad on the subject of contemporary society. I trust your eyebrows were in no way singed by the force of the dynamic fury I unleashed. (Full disclosure: I suddenly recall that as a lad, upon discovering the ketchup-flavored potato chips, I marveled openly at the brilliance of the inventor. And we do love ketchup on our french-fried potatoes, do we not?)