Ain’t America Gr … Sorry, Dozed Off


by Robert Smith

The following people, places, and things are all rousing successes, which leads to an obvious question: Huh?
What do some of these people even do? Why would anyone buy these products? Who could eat that? The only thing that breeds success in America these days is to be safe, bland, and somewhat ineffective – but always comfortingly inoffensive. We say: Give us heath care with the words “U.S. Hot Damn Friggin’ Health Care Program” on the label as long as it’s worthy. Dare to challenge us, make us curious, give us nutrition, give us hope for a better future … or at the very least, try to entertain us, even a little.

Our official list of head-scratching successes follows, proving that luck is the biggest thing that can ever happen to a person, thing, or company:

The Greatest Wonder Claim Ever: “Lifetime limited warranty.”
Wonder Products That People Actually Buy (Or Once Bought): ShamWow; Armour Potted Meat (second mention in the DMR!); Rose Brand Pork Brains With Milk Gravy; Smucker’s Uncrustables Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches (frozen PB&J planks for those who just can’t master the complicated art of making a sandwich); Mott’s Clamato; the vending machine “toys” known as Hand Or Leg and Stretchy Pests; the children’s medicine happily called Save The Baby.
Old-School Wonder Foods That People Still Ingest: Pickled eggs; milk; plankton; durian; tripe; digestive biscuits; anything prepared in Albany County, New York.
Sports Wonders (Players Who Can’t Hit, Score, Or Play Defense, But They’re Rich & Always Have Jobs): Jason Collins of The Atlanta Hawks; Nick Punto of The Minnesota Twins; Darko Milicic and Jared Jefferies of The New York Knicks; Jake Delhomme of The Carolina Panthers; Rich Aurilia of The San Francisco Giants; Geoff Blum of The Houston Astros.
Thespian Wonder Of Wonders: Matthew Broderick, the luckiest person in the history of the free world.
Wonder Company Names That Must’ve Taken Months Of Thought To Come Up With: Mr. Subb, General Media, General Tire, Yummy Fruit Company, National Amusements, and our all-time favorite, Volume Services, the food vendor company at the old Yankee Stadium (“Honey, are you hungry?” “Baby, yeah! How I could go for one of those Volume Services hot dogs!”).
Entertainment Personalities With No Actual Discernible Talents, But There They Always Are: Tom Bergeron; any of the sons of Harry Carey; any of the offspring of Joe Frazier; Monti Rock III; Valerie Bertinelli; anyone from the casts of Survivor, Deal Or No Deal, The Amazing Race, and so on; Stacey Keibler; New York Governor David Patterson; Curtis Sliwa; Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss; ESPN’s Rob Stone; and, these days, Lindsay Lohan, who is in the newspaper every day but hasn’t seemed to appear in a film in what feels like five years.
People Actually Have Purchased “Pop” Music By: O.A.R., Train, Nickelback, Michael Buble, Paramore, Emily Rossum, anything produced by Richard Perry, John Mayer, Shwayze, Martina McBride, Faith Hill, Peter Cetera.

Every one of these people, companies, places, and things are luckier than you and I will ever be. C’mon, let’s clip some coupons and head for Boston Market!

Robert Smith is a published writer and editor – several times for magazines and newspapers that either went out of business or drastically reorganized after he left. Serves you right, schmoes.



Filed under Current events, Entertainment, Humor, Posts by Robert Smith

66 responses to “Ain’t America Gr … Sorry, Dozed Off

  1. You forgot New Kids on the Block, Paris Hilton and chia pets.

    All famous for…ummm…having a probably having a massive set of knockers. At some point. I think.

  2. Speaking of wonder products, have you seen this:

  3. pandabox33

    How about tongue and brains as old-school wonder foods ? And boudin…and I would add Brussel sprouts. Blargh.

  4. abbie

    I know it’s lame but I love those smuckers uncrustables – only when they are frozen though. I choose to be proud of my boring stereotypical americanness. 🙂

  5. Jon Pine

    Speaking of lazy PB&J’ers, how about that product with the peanut butter and jelly swirled in the same jar?

    And have you seen the pre-tooth-pasted disposable toothbrushes? Not only are we the laziest dimwits on the planet, but we’re some of the most wasteful, too…

    • toothache

      [quote]…have you seen the pre-tooth-pasted disposable toothbrushes?[/quote]


      😯 :oops :8)
      🙄 :mrgreen: :lmao: :doh: :nono: :thumb: :whistle: :thanks: :shrug: :beer:

  6. uncrustables are great for kids, that’s why they sell so well. in this economy not every woman (or house husband) cant be little miss homemaker. they get up pack the kids lunch then rush to work. the uncrustables are awesome none the less. grab one on the way to work and your good to go.

    the pre-toothpaste tooth brush are awesome for overnight guests who think its ok you spent the night with her so shes gonna use your toothbrush, nope hit the night stand and grab one of those…i know where your mouths been.

    • convenience is OK!

      Pre-toothpaste tooth brushes are also good for carrying in one’s purse, glove box, etc. for those moments when you realize you need it.

      I never used Smucker’s Uncrustables, but if they’ve found a way to freeze PBJ and have it come out edible, they’ve earned their profit. I used to try to make sandwiches for all the kids and the husband & freeze them on a Sunday night, but of course there is no sandwich that freezes well.

  7. mmmm…i used to have those during break when i was in school. You could say i was addicted. Some of the best 75 cent investments i ever made.

  8. Making a PB&J takes all of, what, 30 seconds? As a househusband, if I ever get that lazy, I deserve to be shot.

    • convenience is OK!

      Well, nice to know you’re a better person than I am, but I am not the least bit ashamed of my frequent use of pre-fab lunch materials.

      Two of the three kids I raised were not mine, but were taken out of their mother’s home because she was using drugs. I had to fight with them over just about everything, then I volunteered in the classroom because the kid was having troubles. In the evening, I did frequently make bread from scratch, and I frequently made good, nutritious meals, but I do have to confess – dragging them out of bed in the morning, fighting with them, getting them to school – it was more than I could handle.

      SO SORRY I’m just not a good enough person … but just who are you to judge that people who use pre-fab lunch products are bad people?

      Maybe if you have so much time to spare being the perfect homemaker, you should find some time to volunteer at an inner city school, teaching kids to read. Maybe then you’ll have a better idea what really matters.

      • Touchy, touchy …

        I said “I,” it had nothing to do with you. By the way, I am the treasurer for our PTA.

        Seriously … lighten up! If you take blog comments this seriously, you’re headed for a heart attack.

  9. Seriously, you don’t really have to be little miss homemaker to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And, it’s so much more economical to make your own.

    You forgot the Kardashians…what exactly are they famous for anyway? Their father? Their butts?

    • Little Miss Homemaker

      Those little frozen pre-made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are fantastic!

      My husband and I don’t usually have a lot of sandwiches so I don’t generally keep bread on hand (I can’t remember the last time I bought jelly). When we go out hunting I just toss a bunch of these pre-made sandwiches in a plastic bag along with our water and it makes for a really easy break. For the few weekends a year that we eat this kind of stuff, it is more economical to buy these little pre-made guys than it is to make our own. And for any we might have left over at the end of the day, back in the freezer they go until next time.

  10. I have been wondering what a Kardashian IS. I keep thinking it’s one of the Star Trek aliens.

  11. acbelow

    The thing that gets me is potted meat. I ran across this in the store recently, and the ingredients caused me to pass up trying the stuff. I mean, mechanically pulled chicken and beef tripe doesn’t sound too appetizing. And yet, people eat it.

  12. My high school actually served uncrustables for lunch some days. It was always interesting on the day that the state sent someone to inspect meals because it was the one day all year that we got cooked food and enough food. Oh American high schools….

  13. souvenir kattunge

    Clamato is delicious. It’s the clam juice that makes it better than just plain tomato juice.

  14. beckert10

    ugghhgg…Nickelback makes me shudder…the only thing worse than them is bands that try to imitate them.

  15. 1. Tom Bergeron! I know right?! I have always wondered how in the world you get a job like his.

    2. Shamwow- somebody is buying this. Who are you?

    3. Mott’s Clamato- What in hell is that? Yikes!

  16. Pretty Project

    You are hilarious. Funny post! 🙂

  17. Well, this is getting interesting. Some people really need to stay cool; this is whimsy and satire, not character study.

    However, I do find it more than a bit sad how so many of us just give up and. As Janeane Garofalo so eloquently put it, many people don’t care what “goes in their eye hole, ear hole, mouth hole.” We’re such creatures of convenience that the act of unscrewing two jars and wiping soft matter on other soft matter seems the height of drudgery – and just think of the additives that must go into a frozen anything. Nutrition, shmootrition: Lunch in five seconds!

    As for some of the very worth suggestions: Kardashians! Hiltons! Both of the more famous sisters became famous right after they had “secret” sex tapes that leaked out, remember? These days, we have so many people who are famous for being famous; the cult of fame is what’s leading to Balloon Boy and people actually passing out of reality TV shows.

    Frankly, as for me: I’d rather be anonymous and poor than be famous with my dignity raped.

  18. Heavens, look at the typos in that last reply. OMG…

    Oh my God, I just typed “OMG.” Looks like I’m a creature of convenience, too..

  19. I agree, these people and products certainly stumbled upon their share of luck along with the ability to capitalize upon the couriosity of Americans. Luck & a courious bunch of people = ching ching.
    And may I add my canidate for people whom have not really did anything but simply famous for being famous (drum roll please!!!!!)
    Paris Hilton my favorite “Famous for what?” person.

    Great blog!!! I’ll definitely be returning.

  20. BJH

    Damn good blog! Greetings to you from another MSM refugee (In this case, the Baltimore Sun and other papers).

    Ah, the correspondence between luck and success! Thanks for an amusing commentary on the state of the American Dream. I recommend simplicity and frugality as the way forward.

    Speaking of luck and success, your blog is doing great. What are the odds a new blog with 18 total posts would be featured for 18 hours and counting on the WordPress front page?

    Can’t hide my envy of your instant celebrity, but I do wish you continued good fortune. I admire your humor and style.

    • Always good to hear from a fellow newspaper refugee; we of the bad livers, too-early paunches, and keeling at our desks at the age of 48 set.

      That would be funny if it weren’t true. But in any event, welcome aboard. Stay away from those Buddig pre-packs!


  21. Giveit,

    A school system actually served frozen PB&J?!?

    My mind boggles…maybe it’s from the three packs of Oscar Mayer Lunchables I just downed…

  22. Actually, come of think of it, some of you should scroll back on our blog to our coverage of Family Dollar – now there’s an institution who caters to the very type of consumer who’d chow down on a lunch consisting of Spam and Charleston Chews..

  23. leo viche

    Uncrustables, though questionable in the context of daily dining, make an excellent dessert when deep fried and served with ice cream on top. FYI.

  24. Jon Pine

    Oh my word! Deep-fried Uncrustables! What a brilliant idea.

    Mark my words, you will see them for sale at county fairs all across this great big junk food utopia we call the U. S. of A.!

  25. Jon Pine

    Too lazy to twist your ice cream cone manually? Believe it or not, there’s a solution:

  26. Reminds me of a new southern U.S. delicacy: Deep Fried Butter.

    I’m not kidding.

  27. Jon Pine

    And deep-fried Coke? You betcha!

  28. I would add to the list of THINGS EATEN ONCE AND PROBABLY NEVER AGAIN…unless I have too! :
    Frozen Pizza…any brand, Chinese “food” in a can, store brand “french fries”, hot dog rolls, and just about anything!

    • Chinese food…in a can?!? Tell me more, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of that – or you’re referring to La Choy products (their actual ad jingle from years gone by went: “La Choy make Chinese food/swing American!”)?

  29. Kop

    Making a PB & J is easy, the crimping is hard.

  30. adoxographist

    Some of these rediculous products reengineered for our “convenience” seem to parallel a weird packaging/mode-of-delivery trend beginning in the early 2000s: Gogurt, Listerine Pocket Paks, chips/candy/gum packaged in plastic (“travel”?) tubs and merchandized as POS impulse buys, etc. When the originality of the product is no longer enough, the way we consume it/package it becomes the selling gimmick.

  31. Janet Aldrich

    I like Train and Michael Buble … also Josh Groban. Sorry you don’t.

  32. satansez

    I cannot bring myself to ever eat at Boston Market again, due to an experience of driving into their parking lot and seeing an employee feeding scraps to large, hungry rats. After that moment, I wondered what the ‘roast beef’ was really comprised of.

  33. Rhea

    Okay, seriously, somebody tell me who Giuliana and Bill are, and why I should care about two mopey, whiney self-absorbed numbnuts and their bored priest.

    Shut up! No I mean it, SHUT UP!

    The first thing we’re gonna do is round up all the narcissists and shoot ’em. Then we’ll go after the voyeurs. Take back your TV from reality hell! Join the fight!

    • Jon Pine

      “whiney self-absorbed numbnuts” – I think you’ve just identified most of Generation Y! LOL!

      I keep expecting a reality TV backlash, but it never comes. Writers must be an endangered species now in Hollywood.

      Hey – there’s an idea for a reality show: You get this house, see, lock a bunch of writers in it, and have them try to write a truly original screenplay. The first one to come up with something decent gets kicked out of the house!

      Whatta ya think? Could be huge! We can get Crustables to sponsor…

      • I can see it now.

        “Well, I’ve got this thing, it’s sort of a remake of …” and then a buzzer goes off. Next up:

        “We’re mashing together ‘The Brady Bunch’ and ‘Wonder Woman’ …” BUZZ!

        I bet it takes them at least three weeks to realize that original means “not copied.”

  34. Ok here’s the thing. My child is sooo picky and truthfully his hot lunch options are not great so if I could get him to eat one of those frozen things I’d buy 100 because as it is I have to pack a bowl and cereal and that comes home 2 to three 3 days. And anything he likes warm is cold by lunch,they take their lunch boxes in the morning put them in their fridge and return at lunch,so that’s out. So I put whatever I can to try and get him to eat!If its unhealthy(and it is)its one meal and he has something in his stomach. Also anyone on TMZ. Is in your category

  35. Rhea

    Jon, I’ve been meaning to tell you this, and I don’t want you to take it the wrong way, but maybe you should sit down.

    The psychedelic photo of you is very cool, however it doesn’t so much look like you’re flashing a peace sign as it looks like you’re the descendent of Lobster Boy, another infamous Florida resident.

    No hard feelings though, okay?

    • Jon Pine

      No offense taken. In fact, I don’t intend to worry about it… unless you start coming at me carrying a nutcracker in one hand and a dish of melted butter in the other.

  36. How about Pet Rocks and Carl Pavano?

  37. I come and greet you in the evening, greeting D3pd

  38. You forgot Paris Hilton … without her dad’s money she would end up only as a waitress, bartender would be too sophisticated for her ….

  39. What about Jennifer Aniston, mostly famous for appearing on magazine covers at the checkout line. Wasn’t there a coffee company that started producing coffee in prefilled packets to put into a coffee maker? I love those commercials where they have models fumble around with common household items to make them look hard to use.

  40. In this post, Matthew Broderick is referred to as “the luckiest person in the history of the free world.”

    What earned him such an auspicious title?

    Rolling over every morning to see Sarah Jessica Parker next to you would like a recurring flashback to the Jack Woltz wake-up scene in “The Godfather.” Khartoum!

    Oh, wait – maybe it’s the fact that he killed two women in Ireland in a car accident in 1987 and was only convicted of careless driving and fined $175. Yep, that’s pretty lucky for him.

    For Anna Gallagher and her mother Margaret Doherty, though…um, not so much.

    • Robert Smith

      Wow, you hit that under-talked about nail right on that head – but “luckiest” referred not only to that, but the fact that Broderick also ruins nearly every production he’s been in; he is to acting what bicycles are to fish.

  41. Yea agree with the Paris Hilton one. At least Lindsay Lohan could act at one point.

  42. Russell Fisher

    Seriously, digestive biscuits? Digestive biscuits with chocolate are among the world’s finest foods. Especially with milk.

  43. Hi! Excellent thought, but can this actually perform?

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