Category Archives: Food

Mary Jane Candies: The Journey from Plant to Your Garbage Can

By Andrew Blumetti

The most perfectly wrapped cow chips money can buy!

It all starts with an innocent peanut.

Just an ordinary peanut growing in the sun-drenched fields, not much unlike any of the other millions of potential allergy-ruiners that reside on the fertile farmland soil.

It never hurt anyone, never caused a problem, never made a scene, but hey brotha, sometimes, fate just deals you a crap hand, and the next thing you know, you’re being picked up faster than a tequila-filled college sophomore on spring break by a guy in a non-ironic John Deere cap.

From legume to leDOOM!

From there, it’s just a quick slide straight down crap mountain as that simple peanut who was just kicking back on the soil soon endures the fate of an unfortunate Jigsaw victim in Saw IV, V or VI, being roasted, toasted, and grinded into a deliciously gooey paste.

“Hello peanut, I want to play a game.”

Let’s get to seasoning–  toss in some salt, a dash of sweetener, jar it, pop a lid on that sucker and this once fresh peanut, full of potential and possibility, is now part of something bigger and something even more tasty:  your favorite two words, and mine–  peanut butter.

…but with that title comes infinite possibilities or infinite doom:

pb

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Meanwhile, somewhere sweeter…

In a secret lab which just has to be run by old ladies in supportive knee-high hose, sugarcane or sugar beets are getting a once-over of their own, refined and turned into sweet, sticky, syrupy mess, more popularly known as molasses.

You know the stuff.  It’s got the pitch-black color of the heart of a teacher who gives you homework over Christmas break, it’s sweeter than the last three minutes of an episode of Full House, and moves about as fast as a tired sloth full of NyQuil.

“zzzzzzzloth”

Not an item that typically ends up at the top of your shopping list, molasses is oddly enough, the unheralded star of some of your favorite eats.  Without it, certain barbecue sauces, desserts, beers, and rum just wouldn’t have the same taste.  Heck, in a pinch, molasses can even help remove the rust from the hood of your old ’93 Pontiac your weird uncle sold you.

…and about a century ago, this marriage is where things went horribly, horribly wrong.

Just two years after the disastrous sinking of the Titanic, the world was met with another horror, this time one of the candy kind.  In 1914, The Charles N. Miller Company decided to Frankenstein us all, adding peanut butter and molasses together. And much like the destructive giant green monster, sparks flew, wires had gone berserk, everything went awry and this abominable creation was bestowed upon us:

Ladies and gentlemen, the Mary freakin’ Jane.

Later owned by Stark Candy Company and currently by classic confectionery outfit, Necco, this taffy sugar candy has lasted over 100 years.   And with that legacy, comes a timelessness, as that maize and red wrapper signals a generationally-beloved goodie to dispense to adorable, grimey-fingered trick-or-treaters who crowd your doorstep come Halloweentime like packs of salivating wolves waiting to pounce on a raw porterhouse.

well…

hmmm…

“Give us one more Mary Jane, and you’re getting a flaming bag of dog poo on your porch!”

yep…

OF COURSE THEY’RE NOT, THEY STINK.

Simply put, Mary Janes are the scourge of the Halloween candy world.

Yes, I’m talking about you.

If you’ve ever spent weeks picking out that perfect costume and hoofing your tired little feet all over the crunchy leaves of the neighborhood, the sweetest reward is coming back home to dump out your obnoxiously huge bag of hard-earned cavity-makers all over the rug to sort them out like some sort of supreme candy god.

Making piles and separating the goods from the not-so goods, here’s a few of the biggest offenders that will soon find a permanent home in your trashcan or chucked at your sister’s head:

 

  • Good & PlentyThe dreadful licorice candy you can fortunately sell to deadheads as pills.                                            

 

  • Non-descript Black and Orange Wrapped Candies I’d start gnawing on drywall for survival before I resorted to these.                                       

 

  • Bit-O-Honey: The candy that makes bees enjoy stinging us.                               

 

…and in that ill-fated batch of not-so-dandy candy, sits that same lone peanut we started with–  mashed, smashed, and forever bound to molasses, with a one-way ticket to the Island of Misfit Candies.

“Nobody wants a Charlie, Mary Jane in the Box!”

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Wow, that’s pretty harsh, right?  That paints a cold, cold picture.  Maybe even I’ve changed my own mind.

So, this October 31st, when you look in your plastic Halloween pumpkin and are sourly disappointed to see you walked up those steep stairs to a old lady’s mothball-ridden doorstep for a half-squashed Mary Jane instead of a colorful pack of delightful M&M’s, maybe it’s time to do some corn-syruped soul searching…

mary jane (candy)

Just think, maybe this could be your arm!

Perhaps there’s someone out there who will love the sweet journey of that poor peanut.  Perhaps there’s a generation who hears “Mary Jane” and instantly doesn’t associate it with potheads sitting in a drum circle.  Perhaps this is just a textbook case candy ageism, and we should respect our sugared elders, giving them a second chance.  And perhaps come November 1st, an open mind will reward us with our new favorite treat.

And if that’s the case, please send me your address so I can mail all of mine to you, cause those things are gross.

HAPPY SNACKING EVERYONE!

Andrew

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Filed under Advertising, Comedy, Food, Halloween, Humor, Retro

Do You Like The Human Centipede AND Dessert? Then This is The Blog For You!

By Andrew Blumetti

“Yes! I finally made it into this stupid blog!”

Four fantastic days into crisp October, and I hope your horror movie marathons are up and running just like they are over here.
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Scary movies are an odd sort.  Most are written off by critics as nothing more than shock-value rubbish.  There are a few of course, that cross that plateau into the land of cinematic legends.  Psycho, AlienNight of the Living DeadThe Silence of the Lambs, and The Shining are all examples of that perfect combination of terror, shock, thrills, chills, and the rarest of them all- near universal critical acclaim.
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This is not about those. 
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2010’s Dutch horror sleeper, The Human Centipede (First Sequence), squirmed its way into worldwide cult infamy in all its shining mouth-to-bum glory.
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Delivered to us by writer/director Tom Six, and dubbed, “100% Medically Accurate”, The Human Centipede introduces us to a consistently non-smiling psychotic German surgeon who drugs and traps two vacationing American girls, (who are pretty dumb, even by horror movie standards) and an unlucky Japanese man in his giant, creepy German surgeon home, complete with a convenient giant, creepy German operating room in the giant, creepy German basement.

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It’s no-holds-barred as he proceeds to play out his twisted desire to surgically attach them in the most uncomfortable of positions, via one joined digestive track to create what he titles, “The Human Centipede”, connecting all three of them, you guessed it–  mouth-to-derrière.  It’s the perfect last first date movie …well if your sweetheart works full-time at a carnival freak show, or if every other movie is out of stock at Blockbuster.


blog centipede

“Wait… there’s still Blockbusters around?!?  I never returned my copy of Kangaroo Jack!”

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As a horror film it was crude, vile, slightly brilliant, and mildly offensive to centipedes.  Not to mention, the trailer, with its deletions and re-additions, has pulled in nearly a combined 25 million views on YouTube.  Good job you sickies…

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Not one to rest on his stomach-turning laurels, Six revisited the Centipede world, with your mom’s favorite film of 2011, The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence).  Originally banned in the UK, Australia and New Zealand upon release, this film, now deemed, “100% Medically Inaccurate”, was a revolting black-and-white tour de force of depravity, twisted humor, blood and guts, and the crème de la crème– a centipede one dozen people long.  That’s like the entire Brady Bunch family, Alice, Sam the Butcher, AND it still leaves room for two more.   Let’s not mince words, that’s a lot of rectal surgery.   In Six’s irony-free words, the grotesque sequel was created to make the first film “feel like My Little Pony” in comparison.

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I don’t know what he’s getting at, this Centipony was SIXTEEN ponies long!

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And because all good things come in threes, 2014 will bring us the long-awaited final piece of the detestable trilogy, The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence), set in a prison, featuring a rumored FIVE HUNDRED PERSON centipede and most horrifyingly of all, starring Eric Roberts.  In an interview with DreadCentral.com, Six gleefully promises the repugnant finale, will “make the last one look like a Disney film.” and “(is) going to upset a lot of people.”


blog pluto

Pluto!  You’re the middle piece of the centipede!  Don’t worry, you don’t talk anyway!

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Not surprisingly, you probably want to send the kids to bed early before snuggling in with your sweetheart and a freshly-popped bag of popcorn to sit down and enjoy.  The audience for The Human Centipede films are mostly limited to horror hounds, gore lovers, and the kind of people who will peek under their Band-Aid to see how icky the gooey cut on their knee actually is.

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Best part is, if you can keep your lunch down while watching such wretched films, well then you’re gonna have plenty of room for delicious, sweet, sweet dessert.

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Well, unless the baker happens to be a big Centipede fan as well…

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OH FUDGE!

This brownie gem is a creation by Alice Rose Cakes & Cookies, your go-to bakery for all your messed-up surgery baked goods.

Just remember, dragging your feet on this gem will ruin your meal.  Better be fast to get some, those who are late to the party end up with the red digestive track to eat.

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CRAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Hey Alex, I hate to be the one to tell you this… your friends hate you.  I don’t even wanna imagine where the candles go in this thing.

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SPEND THIS CHRISTMAS WITH THE HUMAN SANTAPEDE!

Little known fact* In the original rendition of the English Christmas carol, “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, dating back to the 18th Century, there was an extra day penned on to the end of the listed group of days, totaling the amount to its original title, “The Thirteen Days of Christmas”.

After long thought, it was felt that due to the unlucky connotation of the number 13, the day should be dropped, thinning down the song to it’s now classic 12-day roundup, full of gifts of birds and dancing ladies.

Some other historians believe the real reason the song was thinned from its original baker’s dozen was because of this line in the song:

“On the thirteenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…  a gingerbread Human Centipede.”

“We can’t sing that. It’s gross.”

*This fact is total crap.

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GET READY TO TOSS YOUR COOKIES…

I bet these were a pain in the butt to make.

 

(RIMSHOT)

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WHAT A HALF-BAKED IDEA

 

Upon first glance, you may think these graphic cookies look trashy, but please note the curled-ribbon in the corner.  That makes them fancy.  Like the kind of Centipede cookies the Queen would nosh on.

 

blog queen

“My dear… I wonder what it would be like to be the front piece??”

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I’D RATHER BE MUGGED…

You’d be surprised how fast Starbucks ran out of these collector’s mugs.  Don’t be shocked when your coffee tastes like crap though.

“Mary?!? Here’s your tall Carmel Macchiato, extra vanilla, extra steamed milk, served in a mouth-to-butt surgery mug.”

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THIS JUST TAKES THE CAKE!

Straight from the Cake Boss‘s ovens to your taste buds, this cake will make your sweet sixteen even sweeter.

Games to play at this birthday party:

  • “Pin the Tail on the Person You’re Surgically Attached To”
  • “Awkward Musical Chairs”
  • “The Human Centipiñata
  • “Barfo Polo”

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MEET YOUR NEW FAVORITE GIRL SCOUT COOKIE…

 

Quick!  Do the humane thing and put the sad middle and end pieces of this cookiepede out of their misery.

blog cookies

“Five dollars?!?  When I was a kid, Human Centipede cookies cost a nickle!”

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WELL, THIS STINKS.


To you and me, this may look like the worst cake ever made in the history of mankind, but for a better idea, let’s go to the horse’s mouth and ask Birthday Boy, Mark Mallman, what his thoughts were on this unique cake:

– “I got three bites in before I vomited.  It was the best birthday ever!”

– “The wood was certainly not edible.  I don’t understand why they used wood on a cake.”

– “I thought these were the Rugrats characters, thank God for the ‘Human Centipede Birthday Cake’ label on the cake to clear that up.” 

– “I don’t know why my friends call me by my first AND last name.” 


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WELCOME BACK HOSTESS!

Woody Harrelson’s rough-and-tough character, Tallahassee, braved a nation of flesh-craving, undead cannibals, searching for the simple spongey deliciousness of a Twinkie in the hit comedy, Zombieland.

The tragic fate of this Twinkiepede would surely have brought a tear to ‘ol Tallahassee’s eyes.

“Those poor Twinkies never hurt anyone!”

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AND NOW, HUMAN CENTIPEDE BAKING WITH MARTHA STEWART…

“Hello friends.  Today, we’re going to take a page out of my new cookbook, “Heinous Baking with Martha”, creating everyone’s favorite surgically screwed-up dessert.  If it’s October, then it’s time to fill your home with the sweet aroma of our Human Centipede cupcakes. 

– First, make sure you iron your cloth napkins.  A Human Centipede cupcake on a wrinkled napkin just won’t do.  Don’t forget to polish your silverware as well, if you can see your reflection in it, your guests can see their smile as well.

– A lit candle with the wafting smell of cinnamon will fill your home with an autumnal aroma, a treat for your guests.

Now, we’re going to use a fresh-made buttercream for our Centipede heads.   My secret?  Just a pinch of almond extract will make your mouth-to-tush baked treats the ones all the Trick-or-Treaters want to bite into this All Hallows’ Eve.

Soft Red vine licorice will supply the touching look of dread we’re looking to place on these cupcakes. 

Now, we can’t forget the delicious shared digestive-track, can we?   A simple line of licorice straight through the cake of all three will do the trick.

Place your disgusting doomed treats on a hand-cut ornamental doily, and your ghoulish guests will be smiling all through the night. 

 

Join me next time, as we make my famous fruity Evil Dead blood punch with a garnish of fresh-picked celery stalks.

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Food, Halloween, Humor, Movies, Pop Culture

Fridge Over Troubled Water!– Food That Looks Like Simon & Garfunkel

By Andrew Blumetti

(insert obnoxious microphone feedback)

Testing, testing… Hello hello all!

Let me be the first to wish a very happy Wednesday to all reading.

So how are all you excellent people in Blogland doing?   If I may say so myself, you’re all looking extra fantastic, as I hope this late September day is treating you not just super, but super-duperly.

I realize the title to this post seems particularly odd, (even by the standards of a blog that featured posts about both Kato Kaelin and Frankenberry last week) but your good buddy Blumes would like to have a split second of your time, to ask a quick favor of you.

Just a simple show of hands will do the trick, and we can get this show on the road.

Everyone currently reading who’s played a show at the famous Great Lawn in Central Park to half a million adoring fans, please raise your hand.

Ok, put your hand down you wisenheimers.

well, unless you happen to be Paul Simon or Art Garfunkel, then by all means leave it up.

But I highly doubt that’s the case here though, Garfunkel is only a casual reader of my blog at best.

(In order of ascending height:  Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, a fern, Art Garfunkel’s ‘fro.) 

The classic folk-pop duo of Simon & Garfunkel are universally heralded as one of the quintessential music acts of the 1960’s–  a decade already chock full of some of the most iconic and critically acclaimed music ever created.

They will forever be synonymous with 1967’s Dustin Hoffman-riffic cinematic gem, (wait… sorry, I meant this one) The Graduate, and sculpting the soundtrack of a changing generation at a turbulent time in American history, whose sugary-sweet harmonies, catchy-as-a-cold choruses, and gently strummed guitar chords resonate with listeners nearly five decades later.

Yes, simply stated, a man with a head of Brill-on-growth-hormones and his foot-shorter band-mate are truly an American musical treasure whose majestic voices will be their everlasting legacy.

The Hamburglar… UNMASKED!

Well, the general rule of this absurd blog is to take something of grandeur, unspeakable talent, and immense cultural success and pretty much give it a sloppy boys’ room swirlie and lower it to a fourth-grade level of humor.

So without any further koo-koo-ka-choo-ado, I now present “art of Art”…  a treat for both the ear and taste buds.  Let’s put the fun in Garfunkel, cause it’s…

“FOOD THAT LOOKS LIKE SIMON & GARFUNKEL”

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COURSE #1:  LEAVES THAT ARE GREEN

Sad but true, none of us are getting any younger, and as time goes by, we just can’t gobble down delicious Burger King every night anymore like we used to.  Do your aching body a favor and start your meal off right with nature’s vitamin-filled gift to us: healthy, fresh picked vegetables.

Plus, this veggie version of Simon and Garfunkel can help us remember the salad days of meaningful fork… err… folk rock.

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COURSE #2:  STILL CRAZY AFTER ALL THESE BEERS!

For those of you who scoff at the idea of a boring healthy salad, we’ve got a deep-fried treat for you…

Kick back at your favorite watering hole, order an ice-cold bottle of suds, some steaming hot Buffalo wings, and enjoy the kickoff in high-style with this tasty Sim-Funk treat.  Just make sure your favorite team doesn’t Garfumble. 

Blumes note:   Hooters, please call me or Paul Simon to work this idea into a promotion.  Or Hooters waitresses- you can call me too…  either way.


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COURSE #3:  TREATS AT THE SCARBOROUGH FAIR

As Autumn finally takes flight, evening chills kick in, replacing balmy summer’s flip flops and light shorts with warm, cozy sweatshirts and fuzzy slippers.

…but fret not warmth lovers, you don’t have to say adios to summer just yet when there’s this fluffy Garfunkel cotton candy and sticky Simon candy apple to keep you company, reminding you of festive carnival nights, deep into the chilly pumpkin season.

Can’t you just picture the greasy carnies and Tilt-a-Whirl of questionable quality already? 

 

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COURSE #4:  BAKERY BOOKENDS

Cavity alert! 

Notorious stick-in-the-mud, Dr. Oz, might condescendingly wave his junk-food-hating finger to warn you of this code-red caloric duo, but if your sweet tooth can resist this dessert-y Art and Paul, you’ve got more willpower than I do.

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COURSE #5:  THE SALTS OF SILENCE

Q:  What’s drier than the humor of a British-sitcom?

A:  Your parched throat when you scarf down endless handfuls of these delicious folky snacks.

Just don’t forget… once you pop, you can’t stop, especially if it’s these heavenly folded-up types of potato chips.   Simon says:  slow down!


 

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COURSE #6:  I AM A ROCKY ROAD

Now we all know where Joe Dimaggio went… to get some relief for a nasty brain freeze.

Tongue on the roof of your mouth Joe D., tongue on the roof of your mouth!


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Encore! Encore! I mean leftovers!

Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel

“Call me short ONE MORE TIME… I dare ya!”

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Filed under Comedy, Entertainment, Food, Humor, Music, Pop Culture, Retro

Three Scare Meals a Day: Everything You Never Wanted to Know About Count Chocula, Boo Berry, and Frankenberry

By Andrew Blumetti

As the once fresh-green leaves begin their inevitable journey to crunchy Orangeland and Yellowville, and the mercury on the thermometer drops while the daily dose of white girls in yoga pants fawning over Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte on Facebook shoots up, there’s no denying it any further ladies and germs-  We are in full autumnal mode.

A season I never was super crazy about as a child, (what red-blooded kid really likes the carefree summer ending and school to start again?) years later, I absolutely love this time of year.

There’s a refreshing crispness to the cool evening air, football season is in full burst, fresh-pressed apple cider is on every shelf, and Halloween season, my favorite holiday, is ramping up speed.   Chock full of creepy haunted houses, blood-curdling horror flicks, just-carved pumpkins, and spooky decorations as far as the eye can see…

…and don’t think your the walls of your local supermarket can keep you safe. 

Rise and shine, wipe the gross eye-gunk out and look twice in the morning, cause your simple breakfast is now in danger.

The “Monster Cereals” have once again been unleashed upon us–  a classic line of cereal created by General Mills, complete with a cult following, found annually on store shelves from September through Halloween.  At one time produced year round, they now are only available seasonally during the fall, just in time to make Tony the Tiger run for the hills and Snap, Crackle and Pop shake in their sugary britches.

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CHAPTER I:  MEET THE GOBLINS YOU’LL BE GOBBLIN’

COUNT CHOCULAVampires drinking blood is sooo Twilight, cause this fanged-fiend has a Sweet Nosferatooth.  His cape is nearly indistinguishable from his hair, he’s got a Barbara Streisand nose, square buck-teeth fangs, and “hunka-hunka burnin’ love” sideburns that’d make Uncle Jesse green with envy.  Get your daily dose of Bran Stokers!

 

 

BOO BERRYGet your spoooooooooooon ready this moaning, cause it’s paranormal snacktivity time when this blueberry ghoul fills your bowl.  While his snazzy bowtie and hat may scream out “1920’s jazz musician”, it’s you who will be screaming when this always-tired looking poltergeist joins you at the breakfast table.

 

FRANKENBERRYWith all those gears, clocks and whistles on his head, he looks like a steampunker straight out of Victoria’s Secret, but this Pepto Bismol-y hellion is anything but.  Flamboyantly tasty, this strawberry Frankenstein is “igor” to make your breakfast frighteningly delicious.

 

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CHAPTER II:   HOLY CRAP!  THE LEGEND OF FRANKENBERRY STOOL


Take a trip back to the early 70’s…. Once upon a time, when disco reigned king, lava lamps had yet to become “retro”, and Cher had less fake body parts…

After the introduction of Frankenberry, the bloody-good cereal caused some unexpected and jarring scares to moms and dads nationwide…

As the tale goes, the mad scientists from the spooky lab at General Mills used a certain red dye to give the cereal its trademark color.  Frankenstein had his final revenge on the living as said red dye didn’t fully break down in the human body, and the pinkish scare parents received during potty time became an unintended hilarious result infamously known as “Frankenberry stool”.

The braintrust at General Mills wisely decided this “my cereal’s turning my poop red” press wasn’t a wise marketing move, and have since changed the boo poo formula to a more stomach-friendly dye.

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CHAPTER III:  THE MONSTERS HAVE RECORD SALES!

I always thought my parents’ old Elvis records were a collector’s dream, but if you’re a true vinyl lover, your wax collection isn’t close to complete without off-tune breakfast ghouls serenading you.

Presented here, for your listening enjoyment, is one of a line of free records included with the cereal, entitled The Monsters Go Disco.

We’re still holding our breath on that ghastly  cover of “I Will Survive”, but in the meantime, fasten your bell bottoms, here’s a taste of campy monsters gone campier:

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CHAPTER IV:  QUENTIN TARANTINO AND FRUIT BRUTE-  A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN

People of Internet Land, meet Fruit Brute…

Upon first glance, this hairy Halloween hooligan may not be instantly recognizable as a household name.

There must be a full moon out because here’s a fruit-lovin’ werewolf who met his eventual discontinuation in 1983.  Much how John Travolta’s sinking career was thrown a grindhouse-y life preserver from director Quentin Tarantino, he also attempted to toss one to the Brute, as an old cereal box made a cameo appearance in some of QT’s most prolific films from the 90’s:

Here’s his appearance in with Lance, a mangy heroin dealer in 1994’s Pulp Fiction:

…and with Mr. Orange in 1992’s Reservoir Dogs:

“Are you gonna bark all day little Brute-y, or are you gonna bite?” 

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CHAPTER V:  THAT CRUMMY DUMMY NAMED FRUITY YUMMY MUMMY

 

To fill the void of those who love fruit cereal and missed the ‘Brute, “Fruity Yummy Mummy” was introduced to a yearning public.

You’d think calling a character fruity might be a bit politically incorrect, but it pales in comparison to his originally offensive moniker, “Wrapped-Up Flamer”.

Much like The Mummy films, public interest was tepid at best.  Production “wrapped up” on Fruity Yummy Mummy as he joined the Brute in the cereal graveyard in 1993.

but…

As the old saying goes, “everything old is new again”.

On a stormy, cold, early autumn evening, as the howling wind blew the rickety shutters around like a worn-out ragdoll, it was said that a unkempt cherry-scented paw and a decrepit fruity wrapped hand both broke open the foggy, cold cemetery ground and rose up from their breakfast graves, shambled past the chipped, weathered headstones of “Nerds Cereal” and “French Toast Crunch” …

and then they traveled into your local supermarket. 

Tell your milk to suck it up and get ready for a crap-your-pants scare.  2013 marks the long-awaited return of both Fruit Brute and Fruity Yummy Mummy to store shelves.

 

blog cereal

The Smiths may never get back together, but this is a pretty close second place. 

 

 

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CHAPTER VI:  TATBOO!!



A rabid cult following often leads to obsessive behavior-  fanatics still line up for midnight showings of The Rocky Horror Picture show, and diehards camp outside McDonald’s for the yearly appearance of the fast food Bigfoot known as the McRib.   Keep that in mind when the next time you come between a man and his breakfast food…

Skulls, crosses and heart tattoos are too pedestrian for these inked-up cerealites, as they’ve made their love of Monster Cereals permanent.  While some monsters want to get under your skin, these monsters will have to settle for being on it.

Blumes note:  Ladies, if you dig these, let me know, I just may end up with one.

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CHAPTER VII:  PRANK CALL MATERIAL

Ever meet someone with an unfortunate last name you know they grew up being teased with?  Ask any “Tom Banana”, “Lisa Smurfs” or “Bill Spaghettios”, every day of high school ridicule must’ve been a daily nightmare.

Growing up with the surname of  “Frankenberry” couldn’t have been a jolly walk in the park either, and I’m sure all these people could testify to that fact.

LISTINGS OF LAST NAME “FRANKENBERRY” IN THE UNITED STATES:

 The Frankenberry family reunions in Pennsylvania must be a real hoot.  Every meal is pink and the three-legged race is a suspenseful thrill ride.

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CHAPTER VIII:  MOVE OVER AL ROKER

Today’s forecast calls for a 30% chance of raaaaaaaaaaainnnnn!  (Get it?  Like a zombie?)

Actually, if we were to name this after Al Roker, we’d have to call it Poo Berry.

(rimshot)

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CHAPTER IX:  COUNT ON A FIGHT!

There’s only room for one friendly non-blood sucking vampire in this town, and the eternal battle’s waged on for years.  Hide the garlic, and stay outta the sunlight, this is most likely how True Blood will end one day:

“DING DING!  Ladies and Gentlemen!  Welcome to tonight’s main event–  a fangy Battle Royale for the ages!  Two pale purgatory pugilists in a fight to the (un)death!”

“In this ring, straight from a cardboard coffin in some creepy Cocoa Transylvania, the deliciously… the chocolately…  the sideburned…  the Riboflavin-y…  Mr. Count Chocula!”

“And in this ring, hailing from Sesame Street- he’s lilac-colored, he’s got eight total fingers, he’s good with numbers, and he’s got Snuffleupagus poop on the bottom of his shoe…  it’s Count Von Count!”

Frightened readers, it was said the infamous vampire battle went on for hours.  So long, Abraham Lincoln and Buffy even konked out and lost the urge to slay them.  In the end, it was Sesame Street Count who reigned victorious…

in one round, two rounds, ha ha ha…

“Number One baby!”

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CHAPTER X:  COUNT CHOCULA AND FRANKENBERRY WERE CROSSDRESSERS

They wore the same thing!  How embarrassing…

Ru-Paul made a living out of dressing like a woman, but when it comes to dress-wearing, these bozos oughta stick to their day jobs.   But I guess if it’s good enough for J. Edgar Hoover, it’s good enough for them.

Blumes note:  Tell me you weren’t thinking Frankenberry looks like Charles Nelson Reilly.

cnr

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Filed under Advertising, Comedy, Entertainment, Food, Humor, Pop Culture, Retro

The Horrors of the McDonald’s Playground: A Walk Down Memory Lane

By Andrew Blumetti

As if writing about Skippy from Family Ties and TGIF hasn’t dated me much so far, I’m certain the following will surely peg me as an ancient McNugget lovin’ dinosaur, cobwebs intact.

(insert semi-horrible Andy Rooney impression here… but without the messy desk)

With the seemingly never-ending onslaught of new-fangled gizmos and gadgets readily available today, every grade-school scamp is virtually a walking Best Buy store with a backpack.  If an Apple a day keeps the doctor away, these tweens will live to be nearly a day short of one-hundred.

You have your fancy I-this and your spiffy I-that.  Geez cheese Louise, they’re so tethered to their modern electronics, the only thing that you don’t see follow the “I” is “played outside after school with my friends“.

(end impression here.)

Now, I may only be a child of the 80’s—  a simpler time of a feathery-haired Tony Danza, infinite cans of Aqua Net, and the gravity-defying locks of A Flock of Seagulls, but rest assured, it’s a cold, cold realization that smacks you square in the jaw when even my generation is starting to sound curmudgeonly.

Even in said decade, growing up in the New Jersey suburbs, there was a wealth of fun activities to occupy a young boy’s time on a sunny summer afternoon–  endless games of stickball in the park, weaving in and out of local traffic on your bike, impressing the schoolgirls with the newest skateboarding tricks (or more specifically, “falling off a skateboard”), or perhaps a refreshing dip in a friend’s heavily-chlorined pool was the ideal way to spend your time.

Amongst all that classic-American fun in the sun, certain days really stood out from the others.  Most specifically, being told that an afternoon trip to McDonald’s was being planned, simple as it sounds, now that was a reason to celebrate.

Sure, the sizzling golden fries were soaked in pure saturated happiness, and the Happy Meal box was filled with LEGO sets that were practically as good as gone by the time we got to the table, but going to Mickey-D’s included one other added attraction, one that wasn’t deep fried or dunked in honey mustard…

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An innocent land of child-like whimsy and wonder… OR IS IT????

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Sadly, most current McDonald’s locations don’t feature these outlandish relics anymore–  A 4,000 square foot outdoor play-area, not much different than any standard cookie-cutter park playground, but decked-out in classic McDonald’s decor, all topped off with all the behavioral calmness of Lord of the Flies (or Fries?) on speed.

It was a barbarous marriage of the trippy universe of Willy Wonka and the happy-go-lucky freak show that was the advertising campaign of the Golden Arches…   Metal slides, swings, and spinning rides that would get hotter than John Travolta’s spoon in Pulp Fiction on a summer day.  A fantasy playland, covered in french fry smudge marks and more-than-occasional bratty kids in Bum Equipment t-shirts hogging every ride in sight.  This madness was such a blast, it’d require multiple requests from exhausted parents to finally drag their surly kids to finally leave for home.

Fast forward to 2013, and finding a classic McDonald’s outdoor playground is quite the challenging task.   Try as I might, I just can’t place my finger on the reason though…

Perhaps they became too costly to maintain?  The cancellation of the McDonaldland promotion?  Maybe McDonald’s brass considered any kind of exercise offensive?

….or perhaps the real reason McDonaldland Playgrounds ultimately went the way of the dodo is because sunshine-y nostalgic hindsight is clouding our vision of how Rob Zombie-ish that freaky place really was.

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CHAPTER I:  THE PURPLE PEOPLE EATER

Your kids were better off hanging out in real bars instead.

Remember Grimace?

A giant characterless purple blob that pre-dated Barney the Dinosaur.  Yes, he literally pre-dated a freakin’ dinosaur.

The aptly-named Grimace was initially introduced as a nemesis to main clown mascot, Ronald McDonald.  Fast food head-hanchos realized that’s just the most incredibly stupid thing, and went with the slightly less stupid story that he has no story.  Luckily his character was so crappy, no one seemed to care… but much like Freddy Krueger, he would eventually have his revenge… ON YOUR CHILDREN.

In this ominous Buffalo Bill-esque prison, Grimace forced many innocent kiddies to put the lotion in the basket.  How this thing is better than a real jail is beyond me.

“Thanks for eating our cheeseburgers, kids.  Now get inside this weird purple thing’s torso.”

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CHAPTER II:  JAILHOUSE CROCK

No amount of bathtubs could make you feel clean after this.

Apparently, the McDonald’s brain-trust figured nothing struck a chord with kids like jails, cause here was another one–  “Officer Big Mac”, a big giant novelty cheeseburger decked out in a nifty constable uniform who would one day be destined to become a torture pit for youths.

His main job was to pursue the Hamburglar, a ground beef-thief who decided it was wise to wear his prison stripes outside of prison and pilfer your cholesterol away from you.

After looking at this ominous death trap, one wouldn’t have to scratch their head too long to wonder why Officer Big Mac isn’t flashing his once-famous buns around anymore.  Speaking as someone who isn’t crazy about heights or tight, enclosed spaces (the dirty, slippery, kid-crowded ladder inside this godforsaken thing was nothing short of a living nightmare straight out of Jacob’s Ladder), I avoided this hepatitis-covered abyss the way Neil Patrick Harris avoids women.

Jokes on you, smiling Caucasian children— this time the burger eats you!

 

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CHAPTER III: DAYLIGHT ROBBERY

At least Calista Flockhart found work somewhere.

Rumor has it there’s a deleted scene in the special edition of Saw IV that features this pupil-less Hamburglar’s rusted swings of death, but the MPAA deemed it was too disturbing to achieve an R-rating.

He’s got a Jack Skellington-ish suit, a Jack Skellington-ish body, and contains just the right amount of uneasy to make Tim Burton smile, but don’t be fooled, this boney burger boob simply ain’t any fun.  Just make sure to pour out your Dr. Pepper on the sidewalk as a tribute to all the fallen suburban homies who tragically faceplanted while getting off of this wretched thing.

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CHAPTER IV:  SOMETHING’S FISHY…

For hippies, this was known as the “Fillet ‘O Phish”.

This underwater treasure was the thing you were forced to play on when everything more fun was being occupied.  Yes, when standing inside the Grimace jail was too exciting, this became the last resort of the desperate fast food playgrounder.

Being a fish is a wild ride.  It’s freedom personified… something we as humans will never be able to fully appreciate or relate to.  You spend your entire life in the magnificent deep blue sea, travel in schools, and gracefully glide your vibrant scaly body amongst the endless coral, the flowing greenery, and the vivid rainbows that compose your fellow sea-brethren–  it’s stunning peace and Studio-54-ish chaos all in one felt aquatic swoop. 

Then one random day, you spy a tasty worm just ripe for the picking…  the next thing you know, there’s a hook in your stupid cheek, and you end up a processed square patty with a slice of room-temperature kinda-cheese on you, stuck on a bun at McDonald’s to be sold in a pair for three bucks.

True, it’s not necessarily the most dignified fate, but man, imagine being the ride based on that sandwich?

Fish, burger… heck, they all look the same in McDonaldland.

Meet the “Filet-o-Fish” ride, a humdrum bouncy piece of junk that didn’t even bounce properly.

Look familiar?  You may remember this weirdo as the chestbuster that burst out of Ripley’s stomach while your were nodding off at the end of Alien 3. 

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CHAPTER V:  HOW BIZARRRRRRRRRRRE

Don’t laugh. The Burger King’s corpse is buried under this thing.

No list of forgotten McDonald’s mascots would be complete without nefarious swashbuckler, Captain Crook, the one Mc-imbecile who actually wanted to ride the bouncy fish seat.

A two-bit pirate with a soft spot for both thievery and seafood, this seafaring counterpart to the Hamburglar was yet another immoral advertising idea who wanted to snag your salty food while your back was turned.  That’s so absurd, even the Oakland Raiders mascot is pointing and laughing,

Of course, since the McDonaldland Playground was missing a slide, they kindly threw Crook a bone.  If avoiding the child Mcvomit at the bottom wasn’t taxing enough, battling the derelicts walking up the slide the wrong way was nothing short of the final battle in 300. 

Look at his face.  That tells you everything you need to know about this thing.  Raise your hand if you’d have rather walked the plank into a sea of blood-thirsty sharks instead.

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CHAPTER VI:  “I BELIEVE I CAN FRY”

This was known as “The ride you sat on while you waited for some greasy porker to get off the swings.”

There’s a point when it’s painfully clear you’re just flat out of original ideas.

When Steve Urkel began endlessly cloning himself, we knew Family Matters was ready to mercifully be put down, or when Home Alone 3 hit theaters with an entire new cast, the planet shifted off axis as a nation simultaneously rolled their eyes at the offensive shark-jumping.

…and on that dubious note, I present to you, The Fry Guys.

Originally named “The Goblins” (cause they’re “gobblin’ up” your fries- hey, good one!), these are basically cheerleader pom-poms with volleyball-sized eyes that stare straight into your soul.  So, basically all of the aspects of cheerleading and volleyball that don’t involve the attractive women.

Yes, this is starting to sound like a quite obvious pattern.  Between the Hamburglar, Crook, and these walking Koosh balls, McDonald’s figured the most effective marketing method was to make you believe your recently-purchased food for would be stolen away from you by moronic mascots.  Diagnosis:  Mc-agita.

To McDonald’s credit, they created a playground ride that aptly matched the excitement of The Fry Guys.

Blumes noteNo hands, yet they purchased shoes with laces instead of Velcro.  Poor shopping choice, Fry Guys.

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CHAPTER VII:  SEE, I’M NOT A MONSTER, I’M JUST AHEAD OF THE CURVE

WHITEST. GUY. EVER.

RONALD McDONALD’S CONFESSION LETTER:

To Whom It May Concern,

I, Ronald McDonald, or “Ron” as I wish to be called, hereby admit to the number of charges of being a colossal creep, even by clown standards. 

First off, I am not even Scottish, it just rhymes with “Ronald”.  Secondly, this is not my natural hair color, I have been hoping to score the part of Little Orphan Annie in an off-Broadway theatrical run of Annie. 

Most importantly, I apologize for my maniacal thousand-yard stare, constant serial killer smile, and the fact you’ll see me in your sleep the way you heard creaks and squeaks for weeks following a viewing of Paranormal Activity.  When the borderline psychotic Burger King king was still the second-most terrifying fast-food corporate spokesman, I know I did something wrong.

Oh yeah, I also killed Waldo and stole his shirt.  He’s buried and decaying under the Hamburglar swing. 

See you in your nightmares,

Ronald McDonald

P.S.–  I also peed in the all the McFlurry machines in Michigan. 
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mcdonalds dreams

Hey kid-  If this is true, your dreams stink. 

 

The preceding is a work of parody, and I do not own any of the photos used.  Except for the Fry Guy ones… I’m making a t-shirt out of that bad boy.  

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Filed under Advertising, Animation, Comedy, Food, Humor, Pop Culture, Retro, Television

Hey, This Looks Gross. (The Ice Cream Edition)

By Andrew Blumetti

Crap news everyonesummer’s pretty much kaput.

Nearly a week into September and as the calendar inches closer and closer to greet autumn, the telltale signs of the season around us are awfully difficult to miss.

The glowing evening sun drops a bit earlier now into the snowcone-colored horizon, the sound of giggling children running around under a sprinker in the warm afternoon heat is absent, the once brightly-blooming red and pink flowers have become less thirsty, the whistle blow is about to kick off the new football season, and spooky Halloween costumes and decorations have started to fill the aisles of the local Party City.

In no time, we’ll be pouring glasses of tangy apple cider, raking crunchy leaves, and carving scary faces into big bumpy pumpkins.

Ready or not, we’re on a head-on collision with fall.

Another all-too obvious sign– the nighttime mercury is slowly dipping lower and lower as the days pass.  Granted, it’s not quite chilly enough yet for the polar bears to come around to raise their frosty paw to greet you hello, but a cool smack in the face when you’re used to mild temperatures and air conditioning for the past four months.

There’s still time to enjoy some warm afternoons, but caution you jacket-wearing haters, it’s a warning sign;  a realization for all of us to take that last gulp of a dwindling summer, because it’s going to be totally gone before we have time to blink.   Before you know it, the Jets will be 0-6, it’ll be dark at 5pm, and Jenny McCarthy will be a daily fixture on The View.  Better pop the top down on that convertible and enjoy the breeze, blast some Beach Boys, enjoy wearing shorts, and enjoy one more delicious summer ice cream cone while you still can.

Just tread carefully– As the warmth dies down and the frozen treat business begins to hit the autumnal breaks, the ice cream parlors may have a slightly weaker selection than we were used to back in the balmy summer months.

Be prepared like a boy scout, and have a backup flavor on hand, cause if you get to that counter, taste buds all ready and mouth salivating, just to find out strawberry’s done for the season, you may be stuck with one of these disgusting dairy disasters:

 

(For part one of the “Hey, This Looks Gross.” series, “The Gummy Edition”, click here.)

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LOBSTER ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  5

Why’s it So Gross?:  In the crustacean world, this pinchy red fella reigns supreme.  He brings the “turf” in a surf and turf platter, makes for a costly dinner, and looks mighty delicious… despite his hard-to-avoid spider-ish features.

Well, at one Phoenix ice cream parlor, its “Maine” attraction is a fresh ocean-caught lobster… mixed with milk, cream and ice, and stuffed in a cone for you to suffer through for three licks, just to have an ice breaker story to use on girls at cocktail parties.

I guess it could be worse… lobster is tasty after all, but if you can’t wear a bib, what’s the point really?

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GREEN PEA ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  3

Why’s it So Gross?:  Because you belong in soup!  Or at least being hidden in some bratty kid’s napkin so his parents think he willingly eats his veggies.

Also, pay attention, because if “pea” on the sign is a typo and should’ve been spelled “pee”, you’re in for a world of disappointment…  and nonstop vomiting.

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RAW HORSE FLESH ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  10

Why’s it So Gross?:  Saddle up!  This is the surefire winner at the Kent-yucky Derby…

This slop sure makes pea ice cream sound like a Heaven-sent treat, doesn’t it?   I don’t know what country serves this equine mess, but the vanilla and chocolate have to be just plain terrible to have to resort to chomping on Mr. Ed for a refreshing summer treat.

Run like Secretariat in the other direction.

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“DRACULA” GARLIC ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  4

Why’s it So Gross?:  Warning:  If you’re gonna have an interview with this vampire, you may want to wear a gas mask.

Makes you wonder how bad the breath was on the cows who provided this milk.  The whole Twilight vamp-trend has gotten way out of hand when we’ve stooped to this level.

Actually, putting Dracula’s name on the carton is a bit of a head-scratcher, seeing as how this is the last thing he’d want in his freezer, right?  It’d go perfectly right next to a bag of Sun Chips, steaks, and the “Silver Bullet”- a can of Coors.

The big downfall to this stinky dessert is that aside from keeping vampires away, it’ll keep the ladies at an even further distance.  Fangs for nothing!

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CHUNKY BACON ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  0

Why’s it So Gross?:  I don’t know if it is actually.  Bacon rarely lets you down, and despite the initial reaction to the strange taste marriage, this might boil down to some simple cardiac-nightmare food math:

bacon = delicious

ice cream = delicious

bacon ice cream = delicious

… and this timeless quote from John Travolta’s lips to your ears:

“…but bacon tastes good, pork chops taste good…”Vincent Vega, Pulp Fiction

Pass me a spoon.

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WHALE MEAT ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  8

Why’s it So Gross?:  Hey, Willy didn’t get freed just to end up on a cone at a Friendly’s in the Far East.  This might have sold better if they used a clever name like “ShaMOO”.  Ya know, a whale with a cow?

(insert elbow nudge)

Move over Fudgie the Whale.

Oh, don’t start spouting out judgment on me now.

Thank you, thank you, please tip your waitress.

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CICADA ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  9

Why’s it So Gross?:   Look, not to be mean, but I don’t want to listen to the guy’s music, why would I want to eat his ice cream?

Wait… what’s that?

Correction: It’s just come to my attention this is actually referring to a cicada, the nasty ear-shattering humming bug with the wings the size of a coffee table, not Jon Secada, the Latin pop singer.

Hmmm, well, that really changes…  well, nothing.

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SOY SAUCE ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  3

Why’s it So Gross?:  Let’s crack open the fortune cookie–  Confucius says:  If the goal of your dessert is to eat it, get full, then become hungry an hour later, this is the frozen treat for you.

Eater beware- soy sauce may look like chocolate syrup, but tastes like pure concentrated salt.  This stuff will have you downing water till the cows come home.  And of course when the cows come home, they’ll just make more stupid soy sauce ice cream.

It’s a vicious cycle really. 

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PIT VIPER SNAKE ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  7

Why’s it So Grossssssssss? (see what I did there?):  “I’m sick of these $@#! Snakes on this $@#! plate!

FACT: In Tokyo, nine out of ten times when someone vomits, it’s followed by, “Man, it must’ve been that snake ice cream I had earlier”. 

Apparently, this is considered an aphrodisiac in Japan, but they also gave us Yankees pitcher Kei Igawa, so I don’t know what to believe anymore. 

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BAY LEAF ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  1

Why’s it So Gross?:  It’s not gross, but more deadly to be accurate.  Honestly, do you really want your eventual coroner’s report to read like this?

The deceased choked to death when their airway sealed up from a razor-sharp bay leaf that never softened.  The bay leaf was inside ice cream they willingly purchased, level of sobriety being questionable at best.  So it’s a safe bet the deceased was not too bright in the first place.  No real loss.”

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OX TONGUE ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  8

Why’s it So Gross?:  You know these X’s and O’s stand for anything but kisses and hugs.

Do we really need a reason why this stinks?  Throw a dart, and you’ll hit either of the magic words–

1.  “ox”

2.  “tongue”

Because nothing screams out “refreshing treat” like another tongue touching yours. Bring the whole family!

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BREAST MILK ICE CREAM

Yuck Factor:  11, 12, 13… Don’t stop counting actually…

Why’s it So Gross?:  I never thought I’d have to say these words:  I’d rather eat a whole gallon of horse flesh ice cream before I touch this heinous stuff.

Some boob (huddla huddla) in London decided this was a good idea to serve, but there’s a microscopic chance this people-food doesn’t come back up and end up painting the tile floor in seconds.

I also read that Lady Gaga became angry about the name, “Baby Gaga” and considered a law suit against the makers of this scream-worthy ice cream.

Makes sense, we wouldn’t want anything weird to be associated with Lady Gaga. 

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Filed under Advertising, Comedy, Entertainment, Food, Humor