Good morning and greetings, summer Olympic fans. As you know, here at Sunrise Santa Cruz, I like to tackle the hot pockets of news topics of the day. Weather it is an unprecedented heat wave, presidential politics, the war in Congress or just why folks twitter about things that none of us give a rat’s asset about, I feel an obligation to distort, er report on these important issues of the day.
I view it as cyber privilege, and take this task as seriously as an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Or as Albert Einstein once told me, “It is every man’s obligation to put into the world at least the equivalent of what he take out of it.” It’s the old, you get what you give, and that’s why I have the dreamer’s disease.
So today I am reporting on a Yahoo News story written by Stacy Curtin that will focus on our partriotic duty and the high sodium content in all of us.
Lay’s potato chips is calling out the American people to search deep into their souls to help create the flavor of the next great American chip. Yes, we will be harmonically converging as a nation and taking the PepsiCo challenge, courtesy of the the Frito-Lay division, the company that brings you Ruffles, Fritos, Cheetos, Doritos, Tostitos, Cracker Jacks, Maui Style chips and kosher style fried pork skins. The sound you hear, once again, is my rabbi screaming.
But here’s the best part. The lucky person who comes up with the winning concoction will be awarded one million bucks, or 1% of the chips’s net sales for 2013, whichever is higher. The two runners up will win $50,000 in prize money, a case of Diet Cherry Dr. Pepper and a box of decorative party straws.
At the opening kickoff of the, “Do Us A Flavor Contest,” Anindita Mukherjee, the chief marketing officer of Frito-Lay North America and herself a great scrabble score, was asked about the $13 billion brand’s largest marketing campaign to date since the hunt for the nefarious Frito Bandido.
“Today consumers want to have their voices heard,” she said. “They want to have their hands, blood, sweat and tears in where a brand goes, what a flavor is for a brand, what direction it goes.” Or as they say in the marketing department,”What goes up, must come down. Spinning wheel, got to go round.
Fortunately for strict vegans like myself, the “Do Us a Flavor” contest is a first in the United States. But God bless the child that got his own, the contest already been a hit across the globe in more than 14 countries, resulting in a number of wild and crazy flavors including: Chilli & Chocolate, Late Night Kebob and my personal favorite, Cajun Squirrel. These contests have generated more than 8 million chip flavor ideas globally. Another example of why the high school dropout rates continue to fall.
To generate excitement for the U.S. contest, Lay’s has hired actress and restauranteur Eva Longoria and Iron Chef Michael Symon. Along with other food experts, the pair will help narrow down the submissions to three finalists, while Eva explains why her marraige to Tony Parker imploded.
In the words of my favorite Desperate Housewife, “To me, the best part about the contest is that you don’t have to be a foodie, chef or flavor expert to enter. You just have to trust your taste buds. If you’re passionate about a flavor, likely there are others who agree.” In other words, any lunatic can win.
So all you need to enter on Lay’s Facebook page is the flavor name, up to three possible ingredients and a 140-character description or inspiration for their flavor. I believe our love and devotion of potato chips can be summed up by the following words. “You’ve made me so very happy. I’m so glad you came into my life.”
The reaction to the Yahoo article about the contest came fast and furious on Facebook. “How about a chip called, Hope and Change chip. It would consist of an empty bag full af hot air! How about one called bull chip? It could be beef flavor. With the price of steak this could be the only way our children learn what steak taste like. OK, here is something really radical: How about making a potato chip that tastes like…potato!”
Here’s the bottom line. Lays, which years ago came up with the brilliant marketing slogan, “Betcha can’t eat just one,” has the world hooked on these salty snacks. No one, including Oprah and the Dali Lama can eat just one. Internationally, there are many truly bizarre flavors of chips already circulating around the planet. For example, Canada offers Ketchup, Fries & Gravy and Roast Chicken flavored chips. Thus the need for free national health insurance.
Personally, I enjoy most any flavored chip. But I’m not looking for chicken parmesan, beef stroganoff or meat loaf when I’m feeling chippy. Just give me a chip that a potato would recognize and I’ll be happy. As long a Ruffles have ridges, I’ll be able to sleep at night.
It’s also comforting to know that studies have shown that fats in foods like chips and french fries make the body produce a chemical called endocannabinoids, with qualities similar to marijuana that give people a case of what’s technically known as “the munchies.” Just something to think about next time you rip open a bag of chips or pop open a cannister of Pringles.
And for those inquring minds, potato chips were invented back in 1853, by a chef named named George Crum who got tired of dealing with a customer who kept sending his fried potatoes back to the kitchen because they were too “thick” and “soggy”. To teach this phony bologna fellow a lesson, Crum sliced the potatoes so thin that the they couldn’t be eaten with a fork. However, much to his surprise, the plan backfired as the customer was so pleased with this new potato creation that “potato chips” quickly became a regular item on the menu where he worked, along with tofu burgers and taco salads with fakin’ bacon.
For today’s photo sanctuary, we are showcasing a rare July sunset. Summer clouds like this are rarer than the way Iike my skirt steak, so it was a treat to see the sky overloaded with this puffy white and pink invasion. This conglomeration of clouds covered such a large area of the sky that I had to shoot it in segments rather than the full frame shots I normally go for. Just an unexpected summer treat in the skies above Monterey Bay.
On to some late night. “It’s now being reported than Mitt Romney’s campaign brought in 200 African American supporters to help cheer him on when he spoke at the NAACP meeting. And it cost him a lot of money because he had to fly them in from the Cayman Islands.” –Jay Leno “The poverty rate is now at its highest since the 1960s. It’s gotten so bad that Mitt Romney’s butler let his butler go.” –Conan O’Brien
“The apartment President Obama used to live in when he was a college student is now up for rent. It’s $2,400 a month, which is a bargain when you consider how much money Mitt Romney is spending to try and move into where Obama is living now. Congresswoman Michele Bachmann wants an investigation as to whether Islamists have infiltrated the highest levels of the federal government. You know what’s really frightening? After listening to Michele Bachmann, you realize idiots have infiltrated the highest levels of the federal government.” –Jay Leno
“Even though the Olympics take place during Ramadan, some Muslim athletes said they will not fast during games. Then, after sampling the British food, they said, on second thought, fasting sounds good.” –Conan O’Brien “At the Beijing Olympics in 2008, they handed out 100,000 condoms. This year it’s 150,000. That’s 100,000 for the U.S. basketball team and 50,000 for everyone else.” –Jimmy Kimmel
“Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke told a congressional committee the economic recovery is weakening. But the good news is most Americans will not be affected because they had no idea there was a recovery.” –Jay Leno “We’re learning more and more about this guy Kim Jong-Un. New vicious, evil dictator of North Korea. Quite a . . . Apparently quite a ladies’ man. For a long time he was known as Kim Jong Clooney.” –David Letterman
So that’s the last blast for July 2012. Because of a clause in my contract, I’ll be heading over to warm waters and golden sands of the Garden Isle of Kauai to do a little research on the trade winds and plumeria population. As the natives always say to me when I tell them how happy I am to be in the islands, “Ho’omaikai ana helo aku.” Congratulations, now go away.
Enjoy the Olympic coverage and we’ll rendevous down the road in August. We’ll catch you being the youngest position player ever to selected for the all-star game. Aloha, mahalo and later, Bryce Harper fans.