Pop-Tart

  1. Flat, delicious method of pushing breakfast sugar
  2. The result of years of experiments designed to create the thinnest, hardest layer of frosting known to man

Usage Example: “Any Eggs Benedict in the vending machine today? No? Only Pop-Tarts, huh? I guess I’ll get the Pop-Tarts.”

Background: Since the beginning of time, humans have desired to eat candy for breakfast.

For generations, high levels of breakfast sugar could only be obtained through the messy and inconvenient process of adding syrup to pancakes or waffles. In recent decades, the creation of sugary cereals has simplified the process, but these cereals still require milk. The world desired a way of obtaining pancreas-rattling levels of sugar at 7:00 am without the social stigma of eating 2 pounds of Skittles for breakfast. Enter: Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts.

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Figure 1 – Kellogg’s Pop Tart with impossibly thin frosting and sprinkle fragments

The U.S. military had been experimenting with impossibly thin, stunningly hard layers of frosting since the Cold War. America simply would not allow the Soviets to control the thinnest, hardest, most delicious layers of frosting on the planet. Military scientists were also covering this frosting with tiny fragments of sprinkles that had been destroyed in weapons testing, for some reason. This technology eventually leaked to the public, was added to thin pastry envelopes, and the Pop-Tart was born.

In the early days, Pop-Tarts were created with fruit flavored filling in an adorable attempt to appear healthy. In more recent years, Pop-Tarts have basically given up and appeared in flavors such as S’mores, Chocolatey Caramel and Frosted Chocolate Chip.

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Trail Mix

  1. Product designed to hide large amounts of candy amongst a few nuts and seeds
  2. A game of “Where’s Waldo?” in a bag – allowing consumers to hunt for all of the M&Ms hidden behind useless cashews

Usage Example: “Do you know if Target carries that trail mix with Sour Patch Kids? I’m starting a diet, so I’m swapping candy for trail mix.”

Background: Trail mix is a product that is specially designed to allow non-hikers to eat large amounts of candy without feeling bad about it. The basic trail mix formula is:

  • 1 part nuts
  • 1 part seeds
  • 1 part raisins
  • 2 parts dried fruit encrusted in sugar
  • 50 parts chocolate chips
  • 50 parts M&Ms

Some claim that trail mix was designed to meet the high caloric needs of hikers. However, studies show that less than .01% of all trail mix ever finds its way to the trail. Trail mix is actually a clever way to make people feel better about eating candy. Independent research has concluded that most trail mix is consumed while lying on sofas, hunting for candy and binge-watching The Golden Girls.

Detoxifying Cleanse

  1. Pills, juices or extreme diet plans used to make people feel better about eating a whole pack of Oreos
  2. Powerful strain of snake oil designed to rid users of their toxic money
  3. Proof that the word “toxin” is the scariest and most misunderstood word in the English language

Usage Example: “You should try this new detox cleanse. I did it, and I felt awful afterward… So it must have worked.”

Background: The internet loves detoxifying cleanses. And, as everyone knows, the internet is well regarded for its fine judgment and dedication to the truth. That $200 Target gift card offer may have been fake, and the “Obama Grant” may have been a scam, but these “miracle cleanses” absolutely work.

Detoxifying cleanses are everywhere. There are special cleanses for livers, colons, weight loss, and every other human organ or conceivable situation. Cleanses work on a simple premise: people have money to spend and value the medical opinions of anyone other than medical professionals. After all, doctors have been bought and sold by the pharmaceutical companies. They aren’t interested in real health.

Do you know who is interested in real health? This guy Chad in Chula Vista – that’s who. He developed a supplement so powerful that it will cleanse your colon of toxins and help you lose that stubborn belly fat – fast! Just send him $300, and he will send you a box of supercharged powders to mix with your favorite fresh juices. Drink only the supercharged juices for a week, and you will jump start your weight loss! It doesn’t matter that foregoing food for a week will cause anyone to lose weight; regardless of what meth-lab chemicals are added to juices.

People have a strong appetite for snake oil, and purveyors of cleanses are happy to supply it.

Cafeteria Smell

  1. The odor of: fried food, mixed with old mop water, mixed with cookies, mixed with bleach, mixed with hot dumpster leavings – that emanates from every cafeteria
  2. A sign that sloppy joes are being served at a given location
  3. A sign that pizza will be served in the form of a soggy rectangle

Usage Example: “I wanted to try that restaurant, but it had that cafeteria smell.”

Background: There is no escaping the cafeteria smell. Every cafeteria, whether it’s found in an elementary school, college, hospital or standalone “buffet” restaurant, has the exact same smell. It doesn’t matter if it tries to make itself upscale, the cafeteria smell will always be present.

The cafeteria smell is a complex bouquet of pleasant and disturbing odors. Due to its complexity, it can be difficult to identify its individual components. However, in spite of its complexity, the cafeteria smell is instantly recognizable. One single whiff of cafeteria smell immediately takes a victim back to standing in line at an elementary school cafeteria, waiting for his chicken patty sandwich, pudding, chocolate milk and carrot sticks.

The cafeteria smell is comprised of equal parts of odors from the following categories:

  1. The food category
  2. The cleaning supply category
  3. The dumpster category

This combination creates a smell that is somewhat appealing and somewhat revolting at the same time. Cafeteria smell is the primary distinguishing characteristic of any cafeteria-style dining establishment.

GO-GURT

  1. Yoplait yogurt-like product in a disconcertingly soft plastic tube
  2. Yogurt-like product designed to break the back of the spoon monopoly

Usage Example: “Dude. I just ate five GO-GURTs at lunch. I think they were Sponge Bob flavored.”

Background: Ever since yogurt was created, it has been held captive by the spoon industry. Yogurt consumers were forced to use a spoon to eat their cultured, thick, spoiled milk products. However, one courageous product dared to defy the massive pro-spoon lobby: GO-GURT.

For years, the market has demanded a yogurt-like product that can be disgustingly sucked through a floppy plastic tube. Thankfully, the good people at Yoplait finally dared to defy logic and the spoon lobby to create such a product.

GO-GURT not only delivers a slimy product that can be eaten/drank through a thin plastic tube, but it also delivers innovative flavors. GO-GURT is offered in flavors that range from “Cool Cotton Candy” and “Burstin’ Berry Melon” to “Sponge Bob” and “Phineas & Ferb”. Kids are smart consumers. They had long desired a yogurt product with the musty flavor of a socially awkward sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea. GO-GURT was courageous enough to create it.

Lobster

  1. The only romantic meal involving bibs and cracking exoskeletons
  2. Meal featuring a set of tiny torture devices

Usage Example: “You might want to stand back. I’m about to crack this lobster’s exoskeleton… Happy Anniversary.”

Background: Lobster is a popular dinner choice for a romantic meal. This is obviously because there is nothing more romantic than putting on a bib and awkwardly cracking open the exoskeleton of a giant sea-bug.

After choosing a live lobster from a restaurant aquarium, the sea-bug is then boiled alive and served to the customer. At this time, the customer will proudly sport a bib featuring a lobster picture. (Of course, American culture dictates that diners should always wear a bib featuring an image of whatever food is being consumed at the time.)

Diners must then literally plan their attack. A small toolbox full of specialized metal torture devices is made available to help get inside the bug’s hard shell. Diners will often dismember the creature by cracking it, prodding it and tearing it apart with their hands. The bib is necessary because the butchering process can be messy.

When all of these facts are considered, there can be no doubt as to why lobster is such a popular romantic meal.

Lunchables

  1. Prepackaged lunch product that pretends that it’s normal to eat cold chicken nuggets
  2. Prepackaged lunch product that pretends that it’s normal to eat uncooked pizza
  3. Physical proof that kids consistently make terrible decisions

Usage Example: “Can we buy these Lunchables?! Please?! I want the one with the cold, uncooked pepperoni pizza!”

Background: Kraft Lunchables operate on a simple premise: kids will beg their parents for whatever they see in commercials. It doesn’t really matter what is being sold, if it has a loud and colorful commercial, kids need it.

Lunchables are prepackaged, processed lunch-food-like products that defy logic. Kids like pizza, right? Kraft decided that kids like pizza so much, that they will eat a pizza that is cold an uncooked. They also decided that kids should like cold chicken nuggets.

Well… Kraft was right. Apparently, kids will eat these things. Kids have long enjoyed a rich history of poor decision making. From the Children’s Crusade, to Slime Time Live, to Furby and Justin Bieber  – kids have a way of consistently making horrendous choices. Lunchables are just another ridiculous product making money off of the frighteningly bad logic of our children.

Now, I need to end this post and grab a piece of cold pizza from the fridge…

Mexican Restaurant

  1. A restaurant serving free chips and salsa with the exact same menu as every other restaurant serving free chips and salsa
  2. Home of the “hot plate”

Usage Example: “I love ‘Mexican Restaurant.’ They have the best burrito covered in cheese sauce, served with refried beans and rice.”

Background: The American Mexican Restaurant Commission sets certain guidelines to be observed by every low-priced, local Mexican restaurant. These guidelines are as follows:

  1. Greet customers with the phrase “Hola, amigos!” Use this phrase even if you are the child of Irish immigrants.
  2. Serve free chips and salsa.
  3. Adopt the universal Mexican restaurant menu. This menu must include:
    1. Numbered dinner meals
    2. Fajitas, Burritos, Tacos and Nachos
    3. At least 75% of the menu must be completely covered in cheese sauce
    4. All rice must be some shade of orange
    5. Fried Ice Cream
  4. For birthday celebrations, utilize a novelty sombrero.
  5. Fajitas must be generating a noise louder than 80 decibels when delivered to the table.
  6. There must be no less than 40 Corona advertisements within 20 feet of the front door.
  7. Be aware that 50% of your customers will think that they are fluent in Spanish, and will try to engage in Spanish conversations with you. Smile and humor them.
  8. Servers must repeatedly yell the phrase “hot plate” when delivering plates to the table. This warning must occur regardless of the actual temperature of the plates.

Blue Raspberry

  1. Key player in a FIFA scandal
  2. The adopted color of an underrepresented fruit with deep pockets

Usage Example: “It’s a blue popsicle… of course it’s raspberry flavored.”

Background: In the early 1980s, the American food industry held its famous “Who Wants to be a Blue Fruit” contest. Food manufacturers had long desired to offer a blue colored fruit flavor, and this was the contest that would award the color blue to a deserving fruit. Blueberry was the early favorite and was expected to coast to an easy win. This was likely because blueberries are actually blue. However, the food world was rocked by the final decision.

The former president of the Food Industry Formulation Association (FIFA), Sepp Blatter, announced that the color blue would be awarded to the raspberry. The world was shocked. Raspberries do have a little known variety that is purple, but blueberry clearly made the most sense. However, in the world of FIFA, logic doesn’t matter. The raspberry lobby had deep pockets, and they bought their way into the big time.

One day raspberry is an anonymous fruit, the next day it’s a famous blue flavor. Today, whenever anyone eats blue candy, they assume that it is raspberry flavored. We can thank FIFA for that.

Paleo Diet

  1. Optimal diet for those long woolly mammoth hunts
  2. Perfect excuse to avoid eating fruitcake

Usage Example: “The Paleo Diet gives me the energy that I need to invent fire and outrun saber-toothed tigers.”

Background: At some point in our recent history, we decided that cavemen were healthy… really healthy. In fact, they were probably the healthiest people who ever lived. They may have all died at the age of 20, but if they hadn’t been killed by animals or the elements, they probably would have lived to be 150 years old. This is the basic concept behind the Paleo Diet.

Developers of the Paleo Diet realized that a full three months had passed since the last “new diet plan” was introduced, so the market was long overdue for the next miracle diet.

After watching an old episode of The Flintstones, developers noticed that Fred followed a caveman variation of the Atkins Diet. This diet allowed him to work long hours and still slide effortlessly down the back of a brontosaurus after work. This inspirational event led to at least three hours of development in which they asked themselves the question: “What would cavemen eat?”

In spite of the fact that mammoth meat is expensive and difficult to find, the Paleo Diet exploded in popularity. The Paleo Diet allowed people to finally live out their lifelong dreams of being frightened hunter-gatherers. The success of this diet is an excellent sign for the developers of the Great Depression Diet and the Dark Ages Cleanse.