Sunday, June 3, 2012

Disappearance of Awesome Things

Not that this isn't something I haven't considered before, but this buzzfeed post got me all riled up about it again this morning. Who do companies offer you some wonderful, magical product and then snatch it away  think they are? They are lousy bastards, that's who they are.

There are plenty of things that I love that still exist. I will not make the claim that every single consumer product I've ever cared for has been cruelly taken away. But I think I shall rant just a bit about those that have departed from our lives.

Cosmetic companies seem to be the worst offenders. Lipstick colors I find I can't live without? Poof! They are gone. I've started buying the ones I really, really like five at a time. Though it may seem excessive, it's actually proven wise a few times now. Fool me once Oil of Olay's Rio Red, shame on you. But just like The Who, I won't be fooled again.

Perfumes have gotten me a few times. Not a whole lot you can do with this one. If you buy too much and don't use it, its scent alters. Then, you just have a bunch of bottles of liquid that don't smell quite right and leave something akin to a chemical burn/rashy looking thing on your skin if in desperation you apply it. So -- a big F You to The Gap for getting rid of Om and to Victoria's Secret that got rid of Sparkling Cassis and Victoria. (Even as I'm typing this up, I am filled with longing for a bottle of Sparkling Cassis. It was my most favorite perfume of all time. I've tried finding something similar elsewhere. I thought I'd really stumbled upon a dream come true when I found a perfumerie in the town of Cassis.   It proved to be a day of sad results despite a very, very patient salesgirl. She tried very hard to make me happy despite my poor French. I've also tried having it reproduced at places that specialize in such things, but those efforts have failed, too. It's sort of become my version of Determined World War One Flying Ace Snoopy... "I'll get you yet, Red Baron!!!")

Why do restaurants change their menus all the time? You find something you positively love -- it's the reason you go there -- and then it's gone. Obviously, this doesn't apply only to real restaurants. It's actually far more common with crappy fast food chains. I became reacquainted with an old friend that I hadn't spoken to in years and years after he made a facebook post about his outrage over Burger King's decision to take away the Chicken Parmesan sandwich. I'd just discovered it myself, and it had become my "I don't want to cook" staple. (I mean, come on. When you're clearly so intertwined in like thinking, how do you not reconnect?)  I sort of pride myself on the fact I've never eaten one, but I know a vast majority of the United States feels a surge of joy (and maybe something akin to sexual arousal) when they see big banners posted at McDonald's announcing the return of the McRib. I'll always associate it with an episode of The Osbournes when Sharon, Kelly and Jack were driving. Kelly was quite upset about something, and everyone was listening attentively, but Jack just couldn't contain himself. It was as if he simply had to shout out the amazing revelation -- "Oohh! The McRib is back!" I've got a great friend who regularly posts on facebook about the cyclical ebb and flow of the McRib's presence. I initially believed this to be done ironically, but then discovered I was wrong. He really is that happy when the McRib makes its annual return. And now, Taco Bell has a Dorito-shelled taco. Anything this inspired is doomed for extinction. You are truly deluding yourself if you think it's going to end any other way. (A friend, the same one insane over the McRib actually, has said of this taco that it is (to paraphrase) like cunnilingus of an angel of the most delicious cheesy kind.) Don't get too attached, dear (and kind of creepy in your similes) friend. Your naive little heart will be broken, I am certain. My note to restaurants that behave this way -- You've toyed with me enough. I can no longer abide by your fickle ways. You are dead to me now.

What started all of this pent up anger (of which I am actually a little alarmed to discover I've been harboring), is, as I indicated, the buzzfeed link above. I only ate one of the foods mentioned, but when I saw its sad, lonely little photo I realized I'd been missing it. Oh, Apple Newtons. I am so sorry that I didn't recognize you'd been banished out of my life. Please don't think I didn't love you. I did. I really and truly did. I even loved your advertisement of the little boy in his dandy clothes and his fuss-budget nanny. She told him he could have no cookies and he retorted that his favorite snack was not a cookie, it was a newton. And how could she disagree? They then shared newtons galore -- two distinctly different generations; two different mindsets; two different socio-economic classes -- bound by one delicious snacking treat.

For good measure, I will add my other commercial food industry losses to this very sad list:

Number One: Nabisco's Swiss Cheese Crackers.
For those of you to whom this cracker is a stranger (and I am so, so sorry for you if it is because you missed out on something truly remarkable), it was something like a Chicken in a Biscuit or a Veggie Thin cracker, but it tasted like Swiss Cheese. (You can try to persuade me that White Cheddar Cheez-its taste more or less the same, but it simply isn't true.) Each cracker was even made to look like swiss cheese, with random holes in it. They were both delicious and aesthetically clever. Clearly, I loved them. And then the Sons of Bitches at Nabisco got all uppity and took them off the market. To hell with Nabisco.

Number Two: Keebler Elves Soft Batch Sugar Cookies.
Yeah, they still make the Chocolate Chip cookie kind. But I don't like that kind. I want the other kind that I did like. Since I'm not all that fond of anything else the Keebler elves make, I really enjoyed the beginning of Elf when the little fellows had their treehouse bakery catch on fire.

Number Three: Fruitopia.
Loved, loved, loved Fruitopia. It was sooooo good. I completely associate it with one of my very best summers. I'd go to the convenience store around the corner from my best friend's place, then go hang out with her, delicious drink in hand. Fruity and/or lemon-aidy. Snapple already existed at that time, but the two weren't really the same. You had your Snapple people; you had your Fruitopia people. Not exactly birds of the same feather. Fruitopia was sort of hippy inspired. There were psychedelic ads for it on TV; there were little comments on the caps (not to be confused with Snapple's bizarre facts -- these were two different things.) Despite the goodness of this wonderful drink, Fruitopia has gone the way of the Mastodon. And perhaps the saddest part of this for me is that it was a product of the Coca-Cola company. No matter how many times I've tried to give Coke up, I end up like a Brokeback Mountain character, "You are too much for me Coca-Cola, you sonofawhoreson bitch! I wish I knew how to quit you."

Number Four: Doritos First through Third Degree Burning Chips
The most recent of my junk food losses.  These fantastic chips came in single size or the slightly bigger 
Grab Bag size.  As the name indicates, these were hot chips, and in the most fantastic ways.  You'll often hear teachers say that they learn just as much from their students as students learn from them.  This may not be precisely what that statement is meant to portray, but it was a favorite student that made me aware of these wonderful Doritos.  (Though one may wonder, he was a favorite before this, but the sharing of the information did not hurt my sentiments.)  He knew of my love for them, and would buy theGrab Bag size at a convenience store on his side of town.  He would bring them to me.  I felt like a refugee in a war receiving contraband chocolates.  I wasn't too daft on this go-round though.  I had the sneaking suspicion from the start that these burning Doritos would see only a brief flickering flame. Sometimes, being able to say, "I told you so," isn't met with any satisfaction.

Undoubtedly everyone has their own litany of lost products. Some corporate monster gets us hooked, then snatches away the things he made us love. As Joss Whedon likes to tell us, not so subtly, time and time again: Corporations are the Devil. Whether your loss was Surge, or Zima, or the red M&M, I'm sure you understand.

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