EAST HANOVER, NJ—The dull, all-consuming ache of late 20th century life will be slightly alleviated next week when America's supermarkets receive their first shipments of Nabisco's new "T.C. McCrispee's" line of snack crackers.
Available in Regular, Garden Ranch and Zesty Cheddar flavors, the new crackers will flood consumers' bodies with salt, fat and starch, momentarily producing a pleasing sensation of warmth and nourishment, and detaching them from their otherwise constant and crushing sense of profound grief.
T.C. McCrispee's are widely expected to be Nabisco's most anguish-relieving snack-food product since the 1983 introduction of Double Stuf Oreos.
"We at the Nabisco Corporation are aware of the hideously bleak emptiness of modern life," Nabisco director of corporate communications Mel Krijak said. "That's why we're proud to introduce T.C. McCrispee's as the antidote you've been reaching out for. Our tasty new snack cracker will, if only for a few lovely moments, significantly lessen the aching, gnawing angst that haunts your very soul."
The history of life on earth, according to a Nabisco press release for the new crackers, can be summed up as billions of years of darkness, uncertainty and horror. Further, it says, the life of each individual organism on the planet is "no more than a meaningless blip on the cosmic timeline, riddled with almost unbearable suffering, under the unseeing eye of a blind idiot god."
"Test subjects given samples of T.C. McCrispee's described them as 'pleasingly flavorful,'" Krijak said. "And the satisfying crunch distracted them from the parade of tears that is life."
According to T.C. McCrispee's product-development director Wayne Innis, the new cracker was specially engineered to match the tastes and habits of their target market—the approximately 220 million members of the American lower and middle class. Nabisco market research indicated that the typical member of this demographic is a hollow human shell, devoid of hope, ambition and any chance of improving his or her station in life.
The new cracker, Innis asserted, further compensates for the consumer's vast, howling emptiness by giving him or her the option of adding toppings to the cracker's surface, such as aerosolized cheese or sausage bits. "By eating T.C. McCrispee's in such a manner," he said, "consumers will be deluded into thinking they have taken actual steps to improve their lives, or—in the rare case of a vegetable topping—their health."
"We're selling more than a cracker here," Krijak said. "We're selling the salty, unctuous illusion of happiness."
Consumers are eager to sample the new crackers. "I am trapped in an unending loop," Harwich, MA, telemarketer Ron Washburn said. "Perhaps when T.C. McCrispee's arrive at my neighborhood ShopKo supermarket, I will be able to confront the world with more than a deadened, glassy stare."
Said Roanoke, VA, clergyman Rev. James Forrest: "I live a shadow life, each day going through the motions of maintaining a church, preparing sermons I no longer believe in, and counseling parishioner after identical parishioner. Perhaps this new cracker can give me a reason to go on, a source of strength, if you will."
TV ads for the new crackers begin airing later this week. An animated cracker with a straw hat and cane will leap off the box and extol the virtues of the product in song form, ending on the slogan, "It's The Crispety, Crunchety Respite Of The Doomed."
Though an eight-ounce box of T.C. McCrispee's will contain approximately 12 servings, Nabisco expects most consumers, gripped by unending hopelessness and despair, will eat the entire box in one sitting.
"To really gain the full impact of T.C. McCrispee's great snackin' taste, it is best to gorge on multiple servings while staring glassy-eyed at a Coach rerun," Krijak said. "No, this will not rescue you from the throbbing, meaningless void that is modern American life. But here at Nabisco, we are confident that for millions of Americans it will seem, if only for a few seconds, as if it has."