Did you ever try to spell anything relevant using Alpha-Bits? My first encounter with that cereal was a disappointment. I liked the taste, but the alphabet left my hungry. “This cereal comes in the shape of letters??I can spell anything.” At least, that’s what the shapes shown on the box seemed to promise.
Did you ever try to spell anything relevant using Alpha-Bits?
My first encounter with that cereal was a disappointment. I liked the taste, but the alphabet left my hungry.
“This cereal comes in the shape of letters??I can spell anything.” At least, that’s what the shapes shown on the box seemed to promise.
But when I’m limited to A’s, O’s a couple misshaped L’s and a bunch of broken E’s, a language deficit is imminent.
It pretty much reduced the possibilities to words like “LOL,”?which was useless unless I suddenly became the Nostradamus of breakfast.
With so few spelling options, I had to eat my words.
When I was younger, I paid close attention to food packaging. In addition to the Alpha-Bits disheartenment, I remember being upset when?I realized, for example, that TV dinner portions were smaller than the meal pictured on the box. That’s why I stopped eating them. I used to just tell my mom to cook the cardboard photograph.
Misleading packaging was everywhere. Chips Ahoy cookies looked tasty-huge on the bag. Potato chips appeared pristinely oval-shaped and uncrumbled. Everywhere I looked, photographed food seemed to shout, “Look at me! I’m inaccurately delicious!”
At some point — don’t expect me to look up the exact date — food companies were required to include disclaimers like “not shown actual size,” so it didn’t appear they were trying to fool consumers when they tried to fool consumers.
That’s the rule:?False advertising is OK, as long as you admit it.
For example, I often refer to my column as a “humor column,” even though I know everyone is in on the joke (even if there isn’t one). The laughs I promise are never as big as the ones I actually deliver.
I’m the TV dinner of writers.
Over time, packaging began to bother me less and less. I learned that looks can be deceiving. So?I stopped paying attention entirely.
But sometimes, even now, I’ll wander down the cereal aisle at the store, and my eyes will spot the Alpha-Bits. In a moment of weakness, I’ll consider buying it (if it’s on special, at least), getting my hopes up that I can wake up the next day, sit down at the table and compose a well-balanced, sugary novel, Post-haste.
After all, they say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
They do still say that, don’t they?
If not, I’m in the wrong line of work.
Dennis Volkert is features editor at the Sturgis (Mich.) Journal. Contact him at email@example.com.