fast food just isn't fast enough
by Mad Dog
If Mom was
around weíd have to explain that we havenít cleaned up the house
in months because weíre waiting for someone to develop
self-scrubbing toilets and furniture made from genetically altered
trees that exude Pledge.
thereís one thing we donít have enough of, itís time. Okay, so
we donít have enough money or sex either, we all know that if we
had more time we could get the money and sex, demonstrating once
again that rationalization is a beautiful thing, even when it smells
suspiciously like self-delusion.
Luckily there are people
who take our need to save time seriously. Unfortunately that driver
who was in front of you this morning who hasnít figured out that
cars go faster when you push down on the gas pedal isnít one of
them. No, these are food companies, and I donít mean fast food
restaurants, which have proven to be more of an oxymoron than a
These are food
manufacturers who understand that what we really want are good old
fashioned home cooked meals just like the ones we pretend Mom used
to make, only in a fraction of the time. And without the dirty
dishes. And very definitely without Mom, because if she was around
weíd have to explain that we havenít cleaned up the house in
months because weíre waiting for someone to develop self-scrubbing
toilets, furniture made from genetically altered trees that exude
Pledge, and a microwave vacuum cleaner that does the chore in
minutes rather than a few minutes.
Thatís why General Mills
should be in your prayers tonight. Thanks to them we can start
saving time at breakfast, which we all know is the most important
meal of the day, not the mid-afternoon snack like we tell ourselves
it is. Theyíre releasing a new breakfast treat called Milk ní
Cereal bars, which have Cheerios on the outside and a creamy
real-milk filling on the inside. No bowl, no spoon, no taste buds
required. I know it sounds suspiciously like a candy bar, but
thatís just semantics. After all, they wouldnít expect us to eat
a candy bar for breakfast, would they? Yuck! Thereís no way that
would go with warm Coke and cold pizza.
are push-up tubes of food you toss in the trash. I mean, the
microwave oven. No plates, no utensils, no appetite.
will be interesting to see if this does better than the product
Kelloggís once introduced: milk and cereal in the same box. For
some odd reason no one cared, which is a good thing since if it had
been a success Iím sure they would have followed it up by crossing
a pig with a chicken so the bacon would already be in the eggs when
you fry them, not to mention pre-made peanut butter and jelly
sandwiches. You know, like the ones Smuckerís is making.
Thatís right, knowing how
much trouble it is to spread peanut butter on one slice of bread,
jelly on the other, then slap them together, Smuckerís is test
marketing already-made frozen sandwiches which only need to be
thawed and served. This shows just how little ingenuity American
food companies have. I mean reallyówaiting for things to thaw is
so Ď90s! If Smuckerís was on the ball theyíd ram a stick in
the sandwiches and sell them as quiescently frozen confections. Sure
no one knows what that means, but itís been on every Popsicle
package for years and we still eat them, donít we?
The real problem is that we
all like our PB&J made differently. Some like lots of peanut
butter and a little jelly. Others like the balance reversed. Still
others believe in equality. When Smuckerís figures this out
theyíll end up releasing three variations, each available with
different flavors of jelly, and each of those as crunchy and smooth.
The peanut butter, not the jelly. This will result in at least
eighteen different kinds of frozen PB&J, which wonít leave any
room in the frozen food counter for other fine products, such as
Hebrew Nationalís new spreadable kosher hot dogs (ďNow with
mustard, relish, and ground-up unidentifiable animal parts already
Thatís why weíre lucky iSmell is here. This is a
device you tuck under your arm to find out if the name is
itís a box you hook up to your computer that emits smells when you
visit certain websites.
leaves dinner. Itís easy to save time here. All you have to do is
set out a smorgasbord of IncrEdibles, which are push-up tubes of
food you toss in the trash. I mean, the microwave oven. No plates,
no utensils, no appetite. Each one has a plastic push-up stick in
the bottom so you can sit back and, with minimal effort, enjoy your
macaroni and cheese with chili, scrambled eggs with sausage, and
Maalox with Mylanta sauce right out of the tube. Yum, yum! It
doesnít get any better than this.
But what about those of us
who like to cook but canít stand waiting for old-fashioned ovens?
GE has come to the rescue with the Speedcook, a $1,300 oven fitted
with three halogen lamps to speed things up. Chocolate chip cookies
in only 4Ĺ minutes! Lasagna in 15! And all the while youíll wish
youíd gone to the toy store and bought an EZ Bake Oven so you
could have saved yourself $1,280.05.
One problem with push-up Split-Pea-Soup- On-A-Stick, pre-made
sandwiches, and the Speedcook is that we donít get the aroma of
cooking food, and all our lives weíve been told that smell is an
important part of eating enjoyment. Sure durians destroy this
argument, but why should we change our thinking just because so many
Asians love a fruit that smells like a sewer and tastes like
Thatís why weíre lucky
iSmell is here. This is a device you tuck under your arm to find out
if the name is appropriate. Just kidding. Actually itís a box you
hook up to your computer that emits smells when you visit certain
websites. Right, as if most web sites donít stink enough already.
The iSmell could come in
very handy. GE could have a website with photographs of different
foods cooking so you can click on the appropriate one when youíre
using your Speedcook to make Spam au gratin in two minutes flat. The
IncrEdibles web site could have illustrations of a real tuna
casserole which you could smell while your on-a-stick version was
being nuked. Yes, the future will be wonderful. Well, just as long
as they have it set up so youíre warned when youíre about to
stumble across www.durians.com by mistake.
©2001 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read
them while waiting for your PB&J to defrost.