My aunt Grace is a lovely lady. Senile, crazy, nuts, out of touch, sure, but lovely. My daughter and I went to visit her last week and she put out of a bowl of snacks. Now, you may ask what my aunt would put out for snacks. You may not, because experience would make Chips pop into your mind and you’d think the question redundant. Possible, and to further expand your thoughts, other items might include, popcorn, nuts, veggies and the ever-popular chocolate candy. All of these choices are tasty and very likely to be found in the average snack bowl. Also, I agree that most normal people think of these items first when choosing a snack. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, my aunt is not normal and if you selected any of these you would have been horribly wrong.
My aunt filled, and set in front of us, a bowl of Frosted Flakes. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps she feels they are the perfect snack because they are, and I quote, Grrreaaaaaaat. Frankly I don’t think too much of them. On the other hand, if Tony The Tiger tells me something is great who am I to argue? In case you don’t know what Frosted Flakes are, they’re called Frosties in much of Europe and in Mexico they’re known as Zucaritas, which translates to Sugaries in English. No matter what you like to call them, I wouldn’t call them finger food. Especially after you put milk on them. Don’t worry, Aunt Grace stopped short of that.
The reason I mention all of this is that after the bowl was left, the three of us had a conversation about Tony the mascot. Aunt Grace knew the tiger from her youth. Back then, the sugary flakes were advertised as Big Flakes of Corn with a secret, toasted-in, frosting. In my day they were made from a secret formula, fortified with essential vitamins, and minerals, and were part of a nutritious breakfast. How stupid did we have to be to believe sugar frosting was nutritious? I’m not sure, but we also believed that powder-blue tuxedos looked good, and it was just fine to have a rock for a pet. I never said I understood it, but I’m sure drugs were involved. My daughter sees the tiger as an Italian-American world-class, all-around athlete, mountain biking and skateboarding all over the world, because the flakes give you energy to accomplish the impossible. I’ll admit, it’s a good sugar rush, but winning the Olympics takes training, not a bowl of overly sweet cereal in the morning.
The real story is that the flakes were actually created as a health food, by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. In 1897 he ran a sanitarium that promoted a vegan lifestyle. Does this mean all vegans belong in a sanitarium? Well, no, but if my cousin Fred gets on my case about eating burgers one more time, he’s going to need a hospital. I don’t know about plant-based diets, it’s his mouth that will lead him to very poor health. But I digress.
The cereal did great for fifty years until some clod chose to cover it in sugar. Why? Who knows? It seems silly to me. I mean who takes a great, well-performing product, covers it in sugar, then continues to sell it as health food. By the way, I don’t know about you, but when I throw sugar on my vegan food, a man-eating carnivore is not the first thing I think of. The only people who think like that are marketers.
In case you didn’t know, advertising men, and women, rule the world. Who else could turn a vicious tiger into a vegetarian promoting an unhealthy food as first a wonderful secret, then a nutritious meal, and lastly a sports fuel, all with out changing the product at all? Are we so stupid that we never saw the change? The answer is truly upsetting, and a resounding, Yes. Commercials run our daily lives. We listen to them as if they were handed down from the mountain with Moses and the Ten Commandments. Can’t you see the bearded man, in a tattered robe, climbing down from on high proclaiming, “These are the laws of The Great I Am, also Bernie’s Sandals are the best. Buy a pair today!”
Actually, I don’t think the idea of the commercial came from Up There, if you know what I mean. To me they seem more like the product from the other warmer place. You know, Texas. Advertising folks even did a stint telling us that toothpaste had sex-appeal. Yea Right! Whenever I go to the bar or pub, the first thing I say to a cute lady is always, “Hey baby, I wanna see you brush your teeth.” As an experiment I asked my brother to do just that. He got thrown out after the young lady hit him with pepper spray, which happened right after he got kicked in very a sensitive area. It’s no wonder that product isn’t around any longer. The slogan was just too dangerous.
The real problem with all of this is that the internet has not only removed all our fear of bad advertisements, we now crave them in our own creative work. This is how a new breed of rich, make their money. They are called influencers. They go on line and get people to watch their videos. Then when enough do they add commercials and ad companies pay them tons of money. An intelligent person would shun this practice in the name of hard work, and saving for retirement. But they don’t!! Folks are flocking to this business model. Everyone trying their best to be more stupid than the next guy, in the hopes of attracting the clicks of millions of likeminded morons.
I wish it weren’t so, but even I, the great and powerful Mr. Ohh! have looked into this very prospect. I rejected it at the last moment because I knew my followers were so far above the rest, they couldn’t stand my selling out like that. Actually, it was more because, to do this you have to become a Social Media expert. Frankly I still live in the dark ages where Twitter is birds singing, Tik Tok is heard from an analogue clock, Facebook is when you’re reading and can’t pull yourself away, Tumblr is someone who rolls on the ground, and Pinterest is, well, not even a word. The thought of being social on the internet seems to me to be like kissing through a screen door. It’s not the same and never will be.
In conclusion I’d like to say that I have a friend in radio, and he asked me to be his on-air crazy sidekick. I am called Captain Country, but that isn’t as important as who we got to sponsor our segment. Better than cereal, Captain Country is sponsored by Granny’s Eats.
When you get a hankering for a big plate of opossum gizzard’s, Granny’s is the place to go. Also remember, if you road-kill the opossum, and bring it in, Granny’ll only charge you half price. What a deal!!!
Thank you for laughing and Please read a little longer
Thank you all for laughing with me, but I need to be serious. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disease which rots the liver and lungs. There is no cure. The only help for people is to have a weekly infusion of proteins to stop the spread. For the next few months I will be taking all my proceeds and donating them to the Alpha-1 Foundation who are searching for a cure to this horrible malady. You can give here or for more information go to Alpha-1.org Thanks for supporting world laughter, and finding a cure. Laugh On