Friday, June 6, 2008

Four Nuts in a Bag


For us older farts it is easy to look at this photo and say, “prize my ass,” or, “look at the tiny nuts that were in that sack,” and even more disturbing is the fact that there are only four, well maybe five if you consider the tiny one stuck to the other. I remember when you would open a box of Cracker Jacks and the amount and quality of the nuts made it worth the wait, eating your way down into the box until you found the treasure of nuts at the bottom. Granted the package here is only a 1 1/4 oz. bag. They didn’t have those back when I was a kid. The prizes have changed drastically as well. You can look forward to a square piece of paper with some goofy little exercise to do. Back in the day the most anticipated prize was the coveted little compass, just like the one that Slim Pickens had to swallow to keep the Japanese submarine crew from finding their way to safety. (movie, 1941) He swallowed it and as a result ended up tied to the toilet seat in the sub. At this point, the line that still leaves me rolling on the floor is spewed from this great actor’s mouth, “You boys ain’t getting shit out of me!” Great line but really I suppose the fact that you could put it in your mouth and swallow it is why we have been deprived of those cool little gadgets, and now are reduced to tearing the end off of a paper square to look at unimaginative game. Some kid probably swallowed one and he too had to be strapped to a toilet awaiting the arrival of true north. No real point to this story except to say that so much of our past pleasures are going away in this country and going away fast. We should have prepared better decades ago and as I recall there were warning signs but we as Americans we just could not give up our right to drive ourselves to work as opposed to riding with someone. I know this is true because I was as bad as the next guy. The speed to which the changes are coming are actually frightening. A barrel of oil jumped by eleven dollars today. If that doesn’t scare you it should. The cost of living is rising and in the back of the minds of our elders I am sure that they are thinking, recession will be the best case scenario. In some ways it can be said that some good will come out of this shakeup. I think people will end up spending more time with family members. You will see homes being shared by three generations of families, this will be done as a cost saving measure, which I might add is something practiced in many Asian countries, although they do it more out of love and respect than convenience. I also see many people turning to worship, seeking refuge and comfort from the situation that arises. We the people, are in for a big test over the coming years. I guess maybe I should be happy that there is still four nuts at the bottom of that bag!

RJ

4 comments:

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Whoa, have you been talking to my husband? It's like you've channelled his everyday conversations about this very topic. I remember Cracker Jacks with great fondness - the boxes with an actual prize and lots of nuts. Haven't had Cracker Jacks in a long time but they were a mainstay of my childhood. That, and sticking my hand in a huge metal icebox filled with cold iced water to fish out a Dr. Pepper. Those days were golden. Thanks, Randy.

BizyLizy said...

Oh, RJ...what a treat to come across your post this morning. I think this is one of my favorites, yet. Not sure why. Maybe it's because I can relate to those 3.5 nuts, lol!

And now, you kow I have to share my thoughts (forgive the lengthy diatribe):

Amazingly, I was just talking about Cracker Jacks with my mother a few days ago. We were talking about how things change, and the simple pleasures we loved so many years ago.

She brought up CJ's.

As a little girl, I read Little House on the Prairie. Back then, it was a tremendous treat for Pa to go town (this was a 2-3 times per year affair) and bring back peppermint sticks. The children relished these treats.

Today?

Our children would scoff at a peppermint stick, and reach for a bag of Dorito's, topped off by a can of Coke with a Twix bar.

I told my mom, "You know, even CJ's have changed, Mom." I had a bag recently (what happened to the boxes?), and I thought to myself "Were CJ's always so stale-tasting?" And yes, the funky prize is lame, to be sure. I always coveted the plastic diamond rings...now, you're lucky to get a tasteless tattoo.

I told dear mom that someone in Marketing over at CJ is not doing his/her job. I guess compared to Fiddle Faddle, whose popcorn is light and fluffy, crispy and generous with the nuts, CJ just seems like a stale batch of something you attempted in your own kitchen, and sits on the counter for a few days.

CJ could do wonders with their product. Repackage in the familiar cardboard boxes. Highlight the nostalgia. They could even roll out some "special edition" boxes, resonating from decades ago. Keep the same flavor, puff up the popcorn a bit, and definitely include better quality suprises.

And yes, add more nuts.

The world needs them. (wink!)

wcgillian said...

It is kind of strange that your mother and I were on the same page there as well as Debi's husband.I think it is a sign that we are doomed. Makes me want to write about "Sky King" anyone remember him? I watched him every saturday as I ate Vannila Waffers.

RJ

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