Yesterday, as I walked down the street, I spied my neighbor unloading his groceries from his car. I glanced at his haul, looking for something blog-worthy. I spotted some packaging I had seen before....
Me: Whoa! Did you buy Grapples?
Neighbor: What? What are grabbles?
Me: Grapples. They're apples that have been processed to taste like grapes.
Neighbor: Really? They have those things? I just bought regular apples that taste like apples.
Me: Yeah, they do have them. Never tried them though.
Neighbor: But, if you wanted something that tasted like grapes, why wouldn't you just get grapes?
Me: You have articulated the great mystery of the Grapple.
Then I went along my way, putting all thoughts of misflavored fruits out of my mind. I stayed in that happy state until this morning, when I was perusing the produce aisle at Safeway. For the first time in months I saw the Grapples sitting innocently alongside the apples. I laughed to myself. Grapples!
They called to me though.
Grapples: Mike! You'll love us!
Mike: What? No way.
Grapples: Daisy will love us!
Mike: No! You're creepy on any number of levels.
Grapples: A 4-pack for $3.99! Could you make a more ironic purchase for less than four dollars? We're expensive produce, but a humor bargain!
Mike: Damn it!
They had me. I couldn't not buy them.
I brought them home and showed them off to the family. Hank sniffed them.
"They smell like cough syrup," Hank declared.
Daisy was eager to try one, so Hank cut one up. Daisy gingerly nibbled at a piece, always a bit wary of new foods. She furrowed her brow in disappointment.
"They taste like apples!" she exclaimed.
I didn't trust her immature taste buds, so I grabbed a slice for myself and chewed it thoughtfully, eager to savor its processed grapey goodness. I contemplated its flavor carefully.
"They taste like apples!" I exclaimed.
Daisy picked up the plastic container. "Looks like an apple. Tastes like a grape." she read, directly from the packaging.
"Does it say that in quotes?" Hank asked.
I grabbed the packaging. That slogan WAS in quotes. I had fallen prey to the oldest advertising trick in the book. In general, advertisements don't have to contain very much truth, and if they wrap their boasts in quotation marks, they can pretty much say whatever they want."
"Looks like an apple. Tastes like chicken!"
As long as some crazy bastard somewhere is willing to say, "Well, I thought it tasted like chicken, then that packaging meets the minimum requirements for truthiness in advertising.
In fact, if someone somewhere happens to think they have cancer, and then maybe they read my blog, and then they get tested for cancer and find that the imagined tumor is gone, well then they might utter the phrase, "Finally! A blog that cures cancer!"
With all the people on this planet, I'll bet someone has said those words. In fact, just to make sure, I'll say it right now.
Finally! A blog that cures cancer!
Ta dah! That'll be $3.99, please.