Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Adventures in Leaving the House: Eat It

I work from home. I’ll never complain because there are more advantages to that arrangement than I can even count, but there is one down-side: I don’t get out much. So on those occasions where I do leave the house to visit people or get away for the weekend or pick up a loaf of bread, it opens the door for

Destination: Big Lots! in New Hartford, NY 

I hate to be the one to point this out, but our great nation has definitely entered the Vegas Elvis phase of its global dominance. Or, for the kids out there, the post-2014 Justin Bieber phase. Like Elvis during that time, we're becoming bloated and indulgent and gaudy and weird. So very weird.

Case in point: Our country's fascination with food innovation.

Yes, we have a proud history of innovating. We put a man on the moon! But we also put breakfast sausage on a stick and wrapped it with a pancake. We gave the world the Double Down sandwich.

The meat IS the bread!

And that... let's stick with "innovation," was on display when I found myself wandering around a Big Lots! one evening.

(Yes, the exclamation point is part of Big Lots! official name. I am aboslutely going to commit to it.)

By the way, what exactly is a Big Lots!? Yes, it's a retail store, thanks, but I mean, what is it? If it's a department store, where are the clothes? If it's a furniture store, then why do they have all this other stuff? And if it's a home good store, why does it have a whole grocery section?

It was that last revelation that really got me thinking. Has anyone in the history of ever said, "Honey, I'm running out to get some groceries from Big Lots! Be right back"? I think not.

So I went to investigate the grocery section of Big Lots! Here's what I found:

Right out of the gate, I'm alarmed. First off, in a world where Twinkes and Ho Hos and Ding Dogs exist, nobody is ever happy to be presented with Hostess Sno Balls. Hell, they even made a joke about it in Zombieland. Secondly, it may smell nice but coconut is just glorified tree shavings. Why would you want your coffee to taste like that? Why?

Speaking of people's last choice, pears. Between grape, orange and lemon-lime sodas, I can kinda see where someone was going with a pear soda. But there's a reason why pears are only used in dishes by high-end French chefs: pears just taste vaguely like other things you'd rather be eating.

Have you ever thought to yourself: Mmm! This hand lotion sure smells good! Wish I could drink it!

Yeah, me either.

Oh, hey, fruit cake on the go!

Okay, despite my disparaging remarks about coconut earlier, there's nothing inherently weird about coconut oil. But 102 fluid ounces of coconut oil is a LOT of coconut oil. If you've ever wondered, "How much coconut oil is too much?' here's your answer.

I have a daughter who can't eat gluten, so I appreciate the attempt to make food (in this case, penne) people actually want to eat out of items they can eat. However, this green lentil and beet hybrid sounds like it was consciously designed to repel people. What, no way to work prunes into the mix? "Tolerant" indeed.

What? What? Terrible, tooth-rotting candy has been turned into terrible, tooth-rotting breakfast cereal? This is the darkest timeline...

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