- A recipe video recorded from above, at speeds exceeding 2x – specially designed to appear as every other entry in an average Facebook newsfeed
- A recipe video starring bacon, cream cheese and/or Pillsbury vacuum-packed refrigerated dough
- A video funded by the powerful Crock-Pot Lobby
Usage Example: “That Mexican Fiesta Breakfast Casserole video was amazing! It showed up on my Facebook feed thirty-four times today. I really need to get some turkey sausage and cream cheese and make it.”
Background: In 2015, Facebook recipe videos took over newsfeeds everywhere. These videos were initially funded by the powerful Crock-Pot Lobby as a way to boost the sales and use of underutilized Crock-Pots. However, the subject matter of these videos quickly moved beyond the Crock-Pot.
Some ideologues believe that these videos were designed to teach recipes to be replicated at home. However, the main purpose of these videos is actually to make people hungry and annoyed. By most accounts, these recipes are attempted at home approximately 0% of the time. The plot lines of these videos are shockingly thin, while everything else about them is comprised of bacon and cream cheese.
Most social media experts agree that we are currently in the midst of a recipe video bubble. However, these experts didn’t emerge from their parents’ basements for long enough to predict when the bubble will burst. No one knows for sure, but the recipe video bubble will soon share the same fate as the designer cupcake bubble, self-serve frozen yogurt bubble, Bitstrip bubble, Trivia Crack bubble, Dubsmash bubble, Farmville Bubble and food truck bubble.
- Flat, delicious method of pushing breakfast sugar
- 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.
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.
- Food produced in small batches to ensure a high level of imperfection
- Household products that are scuffed and dented by hand
- Hippie or hipster creating small batch, ugly products in order to avoid a desk job
Usage Example: “No, this coffee table wasn’t built by a kindergarten class; it is a hand-made artisan table. I bought it from that guy with a gray pony tail. He has a shop downtown. He says that the design came to him while on a spirit quest.”
Background: Artisan is an incredibly versatile term. While the word is often used to describe bumpy, uneven products; it is also used to describe the bumpy, uneven people who create them.
The food industry uses the word “artisan” in order to maximize profits. That bumpy, slightly burned loaf of bread may have been made using a bag of mix, but since it looks bad, it can be called “artisan bread.” That label will allow the store to charge twice as much.
Artisans are people who dream of turning their hobbies into a food truck, hipster bbq trailer, or getting a share of an artist’s co-op. These people create products using the most cumbersome and old fashioned methods possible. This allows artisans to charge maximum prices for their products, and avoid desk jobs for as long as possible.
Many people attempt ugly, artisan home repairs. Fixing a lawn mower using duct tape always qualifies as an artisan repair.
- Product designed to hide large amounts of candy amongst a few nuts and seeds
- 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.
- Pills, juices or extreme diet plans used to make people feel better about eating a whole pack of Oreos
- Powerful strain of snake oil designed to rid users of their toxic money
- 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.
- 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
- A sign that sloppy joes are being served at a given location
- 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:
- The food category
- The cleaning supply category
- 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.
- Edible landing pad for flies and other insects
- Event containing a high volume of confirmed potato salad sightings
- Opportunity to eat food outdoors, while constantly holding down napkins and paper plates
Usage Example: “I love to go on picnics!… until I actually get there.”
Background: Picnics are a lot like communism. They look like great ideas on paper, but they don’t work in the real world.
The picnic process contains the following steps:
- Plan and pack food and beverages, such as: salad, potato salad, pasta salad, egg salad, and any other salad that the picnickers wouldn’t normally eat at home, but think that they will enjoy in the wilderness for some reason.
- Hope is doesn’t rain… Hope it isn’t too hot… Hope it isn’t too windy…Hope that the conditions outdoors are exactly like the conditions indoors.
- Drag 30lbs of food and beverages to the wilderness.
- Find a dry place to sit down and begin unpacking food.
- Dodge insects.
- Spend the duration of the picnic pretending to like warm potato salad.
- Spend the duration of the picnic shielding eyes from the blazing sun.
- Spend the duration of the picnic trying to eat while simultaneously keeping napkins and paper plates from blowing away.
- Spend the duration of the picnic trying to eat while constantly swatting at flies.
- Frantically pack everything up when the rain starts.
- Drive away from the wilderness.
- On the way home, stop at the Wendy’s drive-through to get some food.
- Yoplait yogurt-like product in a disconcertingly soft plastic tube
- 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.
- The only romantic meal involving bibs and cracking exoskeletons
- 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.
- Prepackaged lunch product that pretends that it’s normal to eat cold chicken nuggets
- Prepackaged lunch product that pretends that it’s normal to eat uncooked pizza
- 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…