Friday, November 21, 2008

A TENDER COMPLAINT SUNG FROM THE HEART (Or, 100% RECYCLED PAPERBOARD)

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Yesterday I mentioned a letter I’d written to the Nabisco company in the early 1990s. I got to wonderin’ if I might still have a copy of that old thing stored somewhere, so I pulled out my filing boxes and looked under N for “Nabisco”: nuttin’. I looked under T for “Triscuit”: nuttin’. I was about to give up when my little finger accidentally caught on the tab of the S file and yanked it open. There it was, filed under S for “Stupid Stuffs.”

Back in 1993, I worked for a magazine publisher in Prescott, Arizona (the precious people of Prescott pronounce the name of their town like “Triscuit” only with a “Pre” instead of a “Tri”). Man, I hated that place! In some ways it’s a lot like Phoenix only without the lovely Summer weather.

I can’t remember how it came up (Was someone eating Triscuit crackers in the lunch room? Was I telling someone about “The Lazlo Letters”?), but for one reason or another, I told my coworker Lorna that if I wrote some ridiculous letter of complaint to Nabisco, they would surely respond by sending us a bunch of free “foodstuffs” or valuable coupons, or sumpin’ else good like that. Well, faster’n you can say “Oh, no, Stephen, please don’t do that” I had composed and mailed a Lazlo Toth type letter to the makers of Triscuit. (Actually, this really wasn’t like me at all; it was way out of character for me to do sumpin’ like this, and so I’ll bet Lorna put me up to it! Yes, I’ll bet Lorna was the instigator!)

I’ve reproduced the letter below, but I’ve changed the address (I don’t want the poor bastards currently residing at my old address to be hounded by looky-loos, paparazzi, and sightseeing tour buses going past the house every twenty minutes).

July 21, 1993

Dear People of Nabisco,

Although this letter is intended to voice dissatisfaction, let me begin with heartfelt congratulations. In an epoch that will be regrettably remembered for its corporate insensitivity, Nabisco has unequivocally proven that not every American company has forgotten how to “do it right.” The Nabisco name has always been synonymous with a tasty, wholesome, high-quality product. My longtime girlfriend, Lorna, and I have grown up with Nabisco snacks, and though it may seem like an “artificially sentimental” commercial, the early discovery of our mutual fondness for Nabisco foods was one of our first “common denominators.”

The delicate flakiness of your WAVERLY CRACKERS would have put you on the map without even mentioning your delectable RITZ BITS or TEAM FLAKES breakfast cereal (which I especially enjoy snacking on while watching “The Andy Griffith Show”). And, of course, let’s not forget about the OREO which, like the tail fins on a 1959 Cadillac, is a recognizable “American Classic” and the standard by which every other cookie must ultimately be measured and kneel before.

This having been said, imagine my deep disappointment when last week, Lorna suggested we try your TRISCUIT WAFERS, and I bit into that bland and boring layered wheat square. Where was that trademark Nabisco flavor? I recognized the crunchy freshness, but I tasted... NOTHING! Could this really be a Nabisco product? Alas, it was.

Now don’t get me wrong, Lorna and I have not forsaken Nabisco. Nobody’s perfect; even Don Knotts made a mistake by appearing in “Three’s Company.” Don’t give up on TRISCUIT yet. There’s no need to pull it from the grocery shelves (after all, the texture does excite the mouth!), but it requires a flavor enhancer. Have you considered sugar or dehydrated jalapeno pepper flakes in the recipe?

Despite our disappointment with the TRISCUIT WAFER, Lorna and I agree we will continue to extol the quality of your other products to our friends and family.

Sincerely,
Stephen T. McCarthy

Stephen T. McCarthy
666 Dog-Doo Drive
Prescott, Airheadzona
00666

P.S. – The enclosed xerox copy of the altered TRISCUIT boxtop seems to indicate that not the box but the TRISCUIT CRACKER is made of “100% recycled paperboard.” Please don’t take it to heart – that was just our wacky sense of humor expressing itself.

You can be sure that the repeated use of the word “flakes” in the letter was by design. Nabisco did eventually reply to my letter but their response did not near meet my expectations. No free cases of cookies and crackers, no certificates redeemable for lotsa free stuffs. I think they may have sent some cheesy little discount coupon that probably didn’t even match the value of the first class stamp I’d used.

It was my own fault, truthfully; I should have known better than to complain to some second-rate outfit like Nabisco – they really weren’t worthy of my complaint. I should have spent my complaint on a really top-of-the-line operation of superior quality like General Mills.

The next time someone like Lorna tries to put me up to something like this, I’m going to do like Barney Fife says and “Nip it! Nip it in the bud!” I’ll just put my gun to my head and blow my Dodger cap off. That is, if I can find my bullet.
(I probably have it filed under B for “Barney.”)

~ Stephen T. McCarthy
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5 comments:

Dorian said...

Stephen hello my name is Dorian. I was trying to find a way to contact you since I read your article (2 part guide) to Reincarnation as it is accurately talked about in the Bible. Thank you for writing such an informative article, I read many more Christians can understand this and see that the Bible's golden truths can only be understood "if one has the ears to hear".

I was compelled to share with you a website which I know you will find very informative. It is called the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (it is not new age nor not occult or religious). It is a website that has a lot of articles talking about spirituality in a scientific language and the research is obtained by members in India who have a spiritual level that makes them capable of asking a question to God and receiving a definite and clear reply. They are also able to decipher which messages are divine, which are distorted by negative energies and other factors.

Check it out at:
www.spiritualresearchfoundation.com


My email if you would like is: doriano86@gmail.com

I just thought you'd find that link interesting given your interests. I gave you my email so that we could possibly stay in touch and so that I could get some pointers from you on how I can best communicate key teachings to the Christian community. I know many people who are Christians and I have a passion for sharing with them the more complete teachings of Christ so that they may see the bigger picture. At times though it is difficult and perhaps you have more experience in doing so.

Of course I am not trying to convince anybody or have my ego talk to them, but rather share with them in a way that is of value to them and doesn't have them engage in a debate.

Thanks Stephen and I look forward to possibly hearing from you soon.

Dorian Oddi

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

Howdy, DORIAN ~

Thanks for the nice comment, my friend. I'm certainly glad that you enjoyed the guide I put together.

Like everyone else, I kinda have a full plate at the moment, what with the holidays quickly approaching and all, but I will certainly check out the website you mentioned when time permits, and will then get back to you about it.

I approach pretty much everything as a skeptic, but I am always able to be persuaded by sound evidence because I believe the Man who told us that when we know The Truth, The Truth will make us free. Therefore, I accept The Truth, once it has been proven to me. I'm not easily convinced, but I do have an open mind.

You wrote:
><[I gave you my email so that we could possibly stay in touch and so that I could get some pointers from you on how I can best communicate key teachings to the Christian community.]><

Ha!-Ha! Brother, you have no idea how funny that is! I couldn't provide you with pointers on how to communicate with the Christian community, or any other; nobody pays attention to what I have to say (and maybe rightfully so). The vast majority of the time, I'm just talking to myself, Buddy.

You wrote:
><[...I am... trying to... share with them in a way that is of value to them and doesn't have them engage in a debate.]><

Ha! Well, good luck with THAT! If you learn to master that skill, I'll want you to teach it to ME!

My attitude is simply to put "stuffs" out there, and if it benefits someone somehow, then that's great, but I don't make a great effort to convince folks of much because I've learned that more often than not, it's a fruitless endeavor. That's particularly true, Brother, in the realm of religion/spirituality; most believe what they WANT ("choose") to believe and nothing more.

And with the subject of reincarnation - as I stated in that guide - knowledge of how it works can be a great help to some people, but awareness of it is not at all necessary. If it were, God would have spelled it out in His Word even more clearly than He has.

Thanks again for the nice compliment, Dorian! Give me some time to investigate the website you've recommended and I will attempt to get back in touch with you again in the future. Have a wonderful Christmas and...

Bless And Be Blessed, Friend!

~ STMcC
<"As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11>

Dorian said...

Thanks for your reply. Have a great Christmas too.

As for the Christians and communicating a truth that will set them free, perhaps the books you recommended (Learn the bible in 24hrs) would be helpful.

If it's clear cut and leaves very little room but 'ands' and 'buts' then it could be beneficial.

Dorian said...

By the way, do you believe in Jesus, Krishna and Buddha being related and having come to this earth for the same purpose? Have you ever read the Vedic scriptures?

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

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Yo! DORIAN...

Yes, despite its impossible title, Missler’s “LEARN THE BIBLE IN 24 HOURS” is a very good book and I have given out a number of copies of it over the years to interested individuals. Even so, I believe the first book I would give to the intellectual atheist with an open mind, or to any non-believer with a scholarly mind-set willing to examine evidence in support of The Holy Bible’s Godly authority is the book “EVIDENCE FOR FAITH: DECIDING THE GOD QUESTION” edited by John Warwick Montgomery.

Unfortunately, Montgomery’s book is now out-of-print but used copies are still widely available. I believe it’s the best book of its type that I have yet encountered.

You wrote:
><[By the way, do you believe in Jesus, Krishna and Buddha being related and having come to this earth for the same purpose? Have you ever read the Vedic scriptures?]><

Brother, in my time, I have indeed read selections from them and the Bhagavad-Gita; also some books written by practicing Buddhists, etc.

I feel it’s a good idea to have at least a basic understanding of the primary religious views of the world. I am, however, fully convinced that the life of Jesus is singularly unique and important in the history of the world; His is the name to which we will all one day bow.

If I am able to get back to you before the holidays have passed, I will do so, but that is very unlikely. I have several projects ongoing which I need to complete, and a few Blog Bits I hope to write and post soon, in addition to all of the usual holiday traditions calling me that require so much time and energy. The website you recommended sounds as if it will require more time to investigate than I currently have available to me, but since I have your e-mail address posted here, I will know where to find it later when I am able to contact you with some thoughts on that matter. Thanks again for the recommendation, and we’ll yak some more down the road, Bro.

Bless And Be Blessed.

~ STMcC
<"As a dog returns to his own vomit, so a fool repeats his folly."
~ Proverbs 26:11>

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