Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I don't use this space often enough to rant against consumer products that I don't like, but that's going to change starting today. Because today I purchased something that you, my good and decent readers, deserve to be warned against. I was innocently walking the supermarket aisle this afternoon in search of something unnaturally weird and bad for my internal organs, like, for instance, Gushers fruit snacks, when I was lured by the smiling Quaker on the box to look at NEW Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Squares. I like oatmeal as much as the next guy, maybe even more, and have often enjoyed Quaker products, like Quaker Oat Squares cereal, instant oatmeal, and wicker furniture. Or is that the Shakers? I get them confused sometimes. Anyway, I'm always looking for breakfast-type things I can pretend are healthy but are really just cookies or pieces of cake disguised as morning food, that I can bring to class, or eat when I'm all out of Gushers. And the bad thing about oatmeal is you have to cook it, and that requires cleaning a pot, and boiling water, and all sorts of other stuff that takes more effort than it's worth. So these Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Squares looked appealing -- "all the nutrition of a bowl of instant oatmeal, for three times the price," the box said, well, except for that last part. But it could have. And the picture made it look like an oatmeal brownie. And the smiling Quaker. And the nutritional information told me they've forced in a bunch of vitamins and minerals in whatever way they do that. And the box said "moist and chewy," and there's nothing better than food that's moist and chewy. So after dinner tonight, I was so excited about these new Quaker Oatmeal Breakfast Squares that I couldn't wait until breakfast tomorrow. I had to try one now! And so I tore open the green foil package, and pulled out the moist and chewy oatmeal square. Only it didn't feel moist and chewy. It felt dense and heavy. The layer of icing that in the photo on the box looked so sweet and delicious looked like white plastic goo in real life. I took a bite. Twelve minutes later I was able to swallow. It's may be all the nutrition of *one* bowl of oatmeal, but it tastes like it's all the oatmeal of *twelve* bowls of oatmeal, all packed together by machine into a square brick of oatmeal, covered in white plastic goo. I suppose it is chewy, but the only way it would be moist is if I soaked it in water. So I did. I soaked it in water, and found that one oatmeal square was able to absorb seventeen gallons of water before succumbing to the pressure. Okay, I didn't really test it. But it seems like it would. Dogs would not eat this food. I assume. If we dropped these things in Iraq, they would kill civilians when they fell on them, and then they would kill more civilians who tried to eat them. I didn't think the smiling Quaker could make something so wretchedly awful. In fact, I'd rather eat wicker furniture. Save yourself. Don't make the same mistake I did. I passed up Pastry Swirls for these. Stupid.