1. The Jet-Puffed Explosion!

    OVER THE LAST YEAR, I’ve noticed something clogging the candy and cookie aisle at my local 99¢ Only Store, and I don’t mean fat, swarthy men in sweatpants and stained white t-shirts, loudly talking on cell phones, and stinking of cigarettes and cheap cologne. (I don’t get to the 99¢ Only Store in Glendale often enough for this to be a problem. Ha! You get it, right?)

    Nuh-no, I’m talking about these things:

    Marshmallows!

    I don’t understand it!

    What’s with all the marshmallows? What is the deal with the marshmallows? Who are these marshmallows?!

    As you know, marshmallows are good for precisely two things:

    1. Regular-sized marshmallow are excellent for toasting on a campfire (and/or making s’mores, a Slovak delicacy).

    2. Mini-marshmallows are wonderful for making Nana Parsnips’ famous ambrosia salad with cat hair.

    That’s it! Okay, and like you, about every eight years, I’ll buy some Fluff and make me a Fluffernutter sandwich, enjoy it immensely, forget about the rest of the jar, and throw it away eight months later once it’s liquefied, but that’s marshmallow in a jar, not marshmallows in a bag. And I guess mini-marshmallows are nice in hot cocoa, too. And the dried, desiccated ones are just the thing in cereal, like Lucky Charms, but they already come in Lucky Charms. And I suppose the case could be made that marshmallows are good for making yams at Thanksgiving, but as I never eat yams, I wouldn’t know – though here I’ll allow it.

    Okay, so that’s it, precisely those two things.

    So why is there now about eight shelval feet dedicated to them in my local 99¢ Only Store? Not only that, but they’re getting these things by the palletful, sure, and so there’s always boxes of them stacked up in the aisles too, in addition to those on the shelves.

    Who in hell is eating so many of these things?

    Now, you know me – I’ll eat practically anything. And yet it would never occur to me to buy marshmallows so I could just sit there on my fat ass and cram them into my mouth right out of the bag. Frankly, the thought disgusts me – almost as much as it disgusts you. (I’m in those dingy threadbare underpants of mine in the above scenario. See, I told you you’d be disgusted.) And yet, many of these packages of marshmallows are telling consumers to do just that! To just sit their on their fat asses and cram them into their mouths right out of the bag – as a snack!  …Yes, yes, in their underpants!

    And the 99¢ Only store isn’t just selling your standard regular size and mini-marshmallows, oh no! They come in different flavors now!

    Those “Jet-Puffed Strawberry Mallows”…? Great for snacking, apparently, and brother, they’re just the tip of the marshburg:

    There’s chocolate & vanilla-flavored marshmallows!

    Caramel & vanilla-flavored marshmallows!

    Gingerbread-flavored marshmallows!

    Toasted coconut-flavored marshmallows! [Please note: These are great for munchin’ as opposed to snacking.]

    Piña Colada-flavored marshmallows!

    German chocolate cake-flavored marshmallows!

    Carbon monoxide-flavored marsh–  You know, my attorney has advised me to correct that before I even finish typing it and instead note that these are vanilla-flavored, car-shaped, Daytona 500-themed marshmallows! And they’re probably quite delicious!

    And it’s not just Kraft, it’s also these…

    Plain ol’ generic-flavored marshmallows!

    Mexican marshmallows!

    Mini-Mexican Marshmallows!

    More mini-Mexican marshmallows!

    So many Mexican marshmallows I’ve run out of m-words!

    And these things! Not in standard marshmallow form, but sold blatantly as a candy. [Note the execrable 1994 Flintstones movie typeface used for the name.]

    More Mexican Marshmallows, Part Dos!

    Marshmallow skewers?! Whaaaaaah…?  And no, these aren’t leftovers from Easter, believe it or not. They’re available alla time! Alla time, I tells ya!

    And now Mallow Bits! Those in the cereal blog game technically refer to these as “marbits.”  My question: These things are “Jet Puffed” like all the other marshmallows from Kraft…

    …so how come they’re crunchy and not soft? Or can things be jet-puffed yet not be soft? I mean, I don’t know. I’m confused by this whole marshmallow thing. I’m looking for answers here.

    So while you ponder that, please also be aware that they come in peppermint flavor, too.

    Anyway, any ideas, gang? Why the influx of marshmallows to our precious 99¢ Only stores? I’d have thought it was maybe a summer thing, but this started last year, it hasn’t let up, and it keeps getting bigger.

    Perhaps it’s just one of the growing number of products that manufacturers can produce cheaply and unload at the dollar stores to make up for lost revenue in this tough economy since it’s not just dirty poor people but good people, people like you and me, who are shopping there now too. See, your standard bag of marshmallows, regular or mini-sized, unflavored, cost about twice this at a regular supermarket.

    Or is it that poor people just eat a lot of marshmallows? It’s okay if they do; it’s not like I’m judging them.

    Perhaps the answer lies down the street, at another of my favorite discount retailers…

    …and I use the term “discount” here very loosely.

    …Because can you see the price on the upper right corner of the package?  Thirteen bucks! And it doesn’t even come with any marshmallow ammo! You have to go back to the dollar store to buy that! So my guess is the Big Lots people have an arrangement with the 99¢ Only store folks who hammered out a deal with Big Marshmallow. Everyone wins – including you, if you like getting popped in the eye with a miniature German Chocolate Cake and then going to the emergency room to have an overtired intern poke around your cornea in attempt to remove toasted coconut.

    Coincidentally, this toy brings back a lot of memories. No, I never owned such a gun, but I did appear in a few special interest films under the stage name “Marshmallow Stryker” in the mid-1990s. I quit after I had to go to the emergency room with an altogether different, though no less embarrassing, injury.

    Oh, don’t you judge me like a dirty poor person! I had rent to pay and this was before I was raking in money hand over fist from this blog!

    Posted by on August 28, 2012, 4:44 AM.

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