My God, What Passes For Crunch-tastic These Days

In This Section

Vol 37 Issue 01

English Teacher Obviously Hung Over

MARYLAND HEIGHTS, MO–Despite attempts to conceal it from students, Eisenhower High School 11th-grade English teacher Matthew Geisinger was clearly hung over Monday. "Today, you're going to break up into groups of four to discuss that book you read over the weekend," Geisinger groggily told his first-period class. "The idea is to draw your own conclusions about the book without coming to me for any help." Geisinger then rested his head on his desk for the remainder of the period, occasionally taking a sip of coffee.

New KFC Employee Takes 'Fry-Q' Test In Employee Manual

MITCHELL, SD–After a three-hour training session at the Berner Road KFC Monday, food-prep trainee Liz Falk took the "Fry-Q" test in the employee handbook. "It's to see how much you know about, like, breading and the different chicken parts and stuff," said Falk, 16, who has a Fry-Q of 127. "I think I messed up the section on potato wedges, but I did okay on the rest." Impressed by Falk's high Fry-Q, KFC manager Dan Nies said he hopes to groom her for a shift-supervisor position.

Paul Hogan Keeps Pitching Crocodile Dundee Saturday-Morning Cartoon

LOS ANGELES–Continuing nine years of such efforts, Australian actor Paul Hogan pitched a Crocodile Dundee Saturday-morning cartoon to Fox Family Channel executives Tuesday. "In Crocodile Dundee & His Outback Gang, Dundee would travel the world in a hot-air balloon, having adventures with his outback pals Kenny Koala and J. Wellington Wallaby,"Hogan told the executives. "This is an even stronger concept than the Crocodile Dundee & The Magic Didgeridoo idea I pitched you folks last year. Or was that UPN?" Hogan said that in addition to executive producing Crocodile Dundee & His Outback Gang, he would be willing to provide the voice for the title character.

Salvadoran Earthquake Registers 0.2 On Local Man's Consciousness

PORTAGE, MI–A massive earthquake in El Salvador did not rock Walt Grella's world Saturday, measuring 0.2 on the Portage man's consciousness. "I think I heard something about that," Grella said of the Central American disaster that killed 600 and left 500 more missing and feared dead. "Yeah, it sounded kind of bad." Grella experienced no aftershocks from news of the quake, shrugging slightly before continuing with his day uninterrupted.

Clinton Not Expecting To Collect White House Security Deposit

WASHINGTON, DC–Surveying the White House's walls and bathroom fixtures in preparation for move-out, President Clinton said Monday that he expects to forfeit his security deposit. "It's just not worth it," Clinton said. "I'd rather lose the $575 than have to deal with fixing all the nail holes and chipped porticos and stuff." Noticing a small, brownish stain on the East Room's carpet, Clinton added: "It's not like the place is trashed, but eight years of summits and state dinners are really going to take their toll on a place."

Firearm-Safety Tips

When operating a firearm, safety is paramount. Here are some tips to reduce the risk of mishaps:
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Spring

Healthy Eating

My God, What Passes For Crunch-tastic These Days

Boy... I just wish there were a stronger word than "appalled."

While making my usual Wednesday grocery run, I was excited to see a new brand of snack chips next to the Sour Cream 'N' Cheddar Ruffles: Krunch Toobz, a lightly salted corn cylinder boldly labeled "crunch-tastic" in a red letters along the top of the bag.

As any snack aficionado knows, crunch-tastic is the ultimate snack-chip adjective, outranking crunch-riffic, crunch-rageous, and even crunch-mongous. Needless to say, I was sufficiently intrigued to drop two full bags in my cart, forsaking my usual double-canister pack of Zesty Pizza Pringles.

Let me tell you, it took all the will power I had to keep from tearing open that bag on the way home! The promise of true crunch-tasticity is almost too much for any serious snacker to resist. But, determined to take my first taste of these starchy wonders in a proper setting, I held out, tucking the bags into the bowels of my cupboard until after the opening credits of Temptation Island. Finally, at 9:03 p.m., I giddily opened Bag One and placed in my mouth a single Krunch Toob.

The moment my molars closed in on that first Toob, my faith in crunch-itude was shaken. My snacking soul was shattered like a Funyun beneath my blue-canvas Chuck Taylors. It only got worse with subsequent bites. No doubt, by the time this sees print, the dedicated snackhound will be well aware that Krunch Toobz nowhere near live up to their claims of being crunch-tastic.

On a good day, when absolutely fresh, these air-puffed-then-baked nuggets of processed corn could conceivably pass as unkommonly krispy. But to advertise Krunch Toobz as crunch-tastic is an insult to those who take such things seriously.

As a nation, we have seen an alarming deterioration in snacking standards. Am I the only one who remembers when crunch-tastic was a word not bandied about lightly, reserved only for those snack chips possessing unsurpassed crunchworthiness?

I thought this trend of exaggerating the greatness of a snack treat had reached its nadir back when Nestlé dared tout its dubiously named Crunch Bar as "s-crunch-ous." Was no one in the corporation willing to stand up and shout, "Wait a minute! This is wrong! Crisped rice is crispy, not crunchy! We are trading a century of credibility for 30 pieces of silver?" I shudder to think of the conspiracy of silence that taints the halls of the Nestlé Corporation.

Of course, this is merely indicative of a deeper malaise. Who among us remembers when Dairy Queen started using corn sweeteners in lieu of pure cane sugar, yet continued to label their treats "scrumpdilly-icious"? I thought their number was up that time, but, like sheep, the American public continued bellying up to the double-dip trough, as though they would rather believe that scrumpdilly-icious means using second-rate ingredients than vote with their dollars for a higher standard. And, to add insult to injury, Hank Ketcham continues to whore Dennis The Menace to their unsavory cause.

Thank God for Frito-Lay. It did not market Chee-tos as "dangerously cheesy" until after, and ONLY after, it had developed a Chee-to whose cheesiness exceeded acceptable safety standards. Such pride in one's craft, sadly, is all too rare in today's degraded snackscape.

This crunch-tastic fiasco: How far will it go before we as a people stand up and say, "Enough!"? Perhaps Doritos will have to be called "ecstatically radically crunch-o-matical" before Joe Average American is roused from his shameful slumber.

I, for one, will not sit around and wait for such a day to come. I wish to elevate the masses to a heightened awareness of the principles upon which America's snack industry was built. Only when we realize that crunch-tastic, choco-licious, and zestfully ranch-sational are words–words with meanings!–can we finally bring an end to snacking as usual and ascend to an exalted plane of Snack-vana.

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More