Stay Tuned/Four For Bridge

From Eccentric Flower


stay tuned

Four For Bridge
16 July 2007

Well, here we are halfway through July, and where has the summer gone? But clearly the time has indeed passed, because I sat down this evening to a ginormous pile of ad circulars from several weeks of papers which I had not yet picked through. When I finished, the hour was later and the pile of keepers smaller than expected. In fact, apart from two items which are visual and thus demand the Byzantine process of firing up my old hand-cranked scanner, and half a page which goes with the existing backlogged item about Ban deodorant, I had four new items. Four.

Four short items is not much of an excuse for a column. On the other hand, it's four more than there would be if I just said, "Ah, hell, it's already too late to write," and called it a night. So here they are, to fill the gap to better things, and hopefully brevity will be the soul of wit.

You may recall my recent ranting about the boutiquing of Hershey chocolates. I hope you all remember the times when I point out impending trends before anyone else does. (This will help compensate for the times when I find something before anyone else does but am beaten to the rant by other, more reputable sources.)

Anyway, I should like to introduce you to ... Russell Stover Sculptured Tiles. Yessir. Shaped (and bagged) like those Ghirardelli squares where the mint-filled ones always break and leak and ooze mint jizm all over all the other ones in the bag. Filled with such goodies as Vanilla Bean Brulee and Triple Chocolate Mousse. Part of their new Private Reserve line, which "features silky milk, 70% cacao dark and crisp white chocolate with unparalleled centers."

But wait, there's more! Like Hershey's, we don't just have a Snooté Reserve line to make you think you are getting more luxurious goods than you are. We also have a varietal line! Yes! Because all the cool kids are doing it! It's called Origin Select, and it "explores the world of chocolate" - a phrase which makes me think of Homer's new Austrian employees in an old "Simpsons" episode.

And finally, if being fed those two lines is not enough for you, we have a third new line which is called ... I cannot tell a lie ... INTERNATIONALE (caps theirs). Producteurs, sauvons-nous nous-mêmes!

Speaking of chocolate, I have here an ad for Marathon Protein Bars, Nutrition Bars, and Energy Bars ("Located in the Energy Bar Aisle of Your Local Store!" O brave new world, that has such things in't!) - prominently branded as a Snickers product (Mars).

I've insisted for years that if you really need an "energy bar" for some reason, you might as well just eat a candy bar and save yourself a fair chunk of cash in the long run. People consistently refuse to believe me. I hope this matter has just been made more lucid, or at least more blatant.

Sometimes in these flyers you see products which have not penetrated the realms of your local supermarket yet, and some that never will. That's part of the joy of these things. I don't usually write about the mail-order stuff, but it entertains me a fair bit. Lately, though, I've been seeing some ads for a set of products which I suspect are making their initial push direct to consumers as a preparatory move to trying for wider circulation in this country. The products are made by Tena.

Now, you don't know who Tena is, and I'm a little embarrassed to say that I know who Tena is only as a result of the extremely unusual and wide-ranging researches I undertake when wearing my sex-writer hat. Tena is a Swedish company that makes ... incontinence products. They make pads and diapers, and when I say they make diapers I mean that they make them for every age except infants and small children. This is what they do, and, despite it seeming a mite overspecialized, it is all they do.

I have never seen Tena products in an actual store in this country, probably because Depends (Kimberly-Clark) has the entire market and, (I can see a store manager reasoning), just how much space does one store need to devote to adult diapers, anyway? So this stealth run by direct mail is not such a crazy idea as all that.

It also helps avoid the problem that a lot of people simply do not want to be seen buying Depends in public. I don't know how much of a problem this is in Sweden or the rest of the world, but in America, despite real medical conditions and valid needs, adult incontinence products are not and never have been taken seriously - unless, of course, you're one of the humiliated people who needs them. I ain't saying this attitude is right or good, you understand; I'm just saying that's the way it is.

Finally ... well, first off, has anyone ever seen Dum-Dum Pops anywhere except at Hallowe'en, where they tend to turn up in big bags like a lot of other Treats That Time Forgot?

I like Dum-Dums, as much as I can like any lollipop-like things, which is to say, not much. But they're fine. They often come in interesting flavors (including the notorious Mystery Flavor, which is a by-product of continuous line production - when they change flavors on the line, they get a pop which is a mixture of two flavors - waste not want not), and they're small enough that I can finish one before I lose interest in the damned thing. And one has to give the Spangler Candy Co. credit for plodding along gamely all these years with this product (since 1953 with Spangler, but the pops were actually invented in 1924). After all, what else has poor Spangler got? A handful of Circus Peanuts, a few Candy Canes for those seasonal orders, and Saf-T-Pops which are even harder to find than Dum-Dums these days?

(Psst! Wanna see something really disgusting? Check out the recipe on this page. But don't say you weren't warned.)

Anyhow, as I was saying, I'm not dissing the Dum-Dum. Just this promotion:

Cherry Chris?
Mystery Madison?
Cream Soda Sabrina?
Cotton Candy Cathy?

Enter for a chance to WIN and you could name a Dum Dum Pop flavor after your child and receive $2,500!

The $2500 is to help defray the psychology bill from you having nominated your child as a dum-dum in public, thus scarring the poor kid for life. This contest, dare I say it, is strictly for suckers.

and now back to our program

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