Not Worth Your Time
Or my effort really
I like to keep notes in the Bear app on my phone. Just little random phrases I come across, or amusing anecdotes I hear, or a description of a sight that makes me chuckle in some wry, silly way. Mostly, though, it’s a catalog of amazing thoughts. And it’s here, deep in the well of this boundless, unstoppable imagination, a surfeit of intellect and creativity, that I find myself on this Friday morning, desperately clawing for a thought I had to write something insanely stupid about.
But there was always only one answer, team—one bullet point in my Bear app that kept floating up to the surface. Here’s one I had recently:
This is one of those fleeting ones you toss away, hopefully with reckless abandon, just assured that it’s not worth your time exploring further. It’s stupid, I know.
But then why does it challenge me so?
Why do I keep coming back to it, day after day?
Why, then, has this contradiction nagged at me like an ache in my hip, or a rock in my shoe, or a serious, life-threatening aneurysm?
There could be a few explanations for this dichotomy. Maybe it’s simply that Lay’s has complete market share, and by sheer force of will, has the financial and cultural capital to experiment with whatever flavors and textures and formats it cares to, while poor little Ruffles, a bit player in the world of crunchy snacks, doesn’t have the latitude to experiment willy-nilly. This is bullying, plain and simple.
Or it’s that Ruffles is defined, in its name, by one singular quality, and so to deviate from that would be a betrayal of both the company ethos and its customers. Meanwhile, Lay’s has laid no claim nor allegiance to a single, rigid style, and so the name is elastic enough to encompass all forms of chip.
But the difficult truth is that Ruffles ridged chips are—even if only by a hair—better than Lay’s Wavy chips. Is this simply because Ruffles “got there first,” so to speak, and in so doing, established itself as the benchmark? I could see that.
No one in their right, sane mind would try French’s Ketchup, but I have to admit that I’ve seen Heinz Mustard out and about on various restaurant tables. Is this another, similar case? What if Kleenex made a lotion-lubricated tissue, thus encroaching on Puffs’ clearly demarcated territory? My guess is I would still reach for the Puffs when I needed that sweet hit of soft, moisturizing tissue to soothe my little red nose.
I’m going to go now. I’ve made plans to go check out this new vintage store (website screenshot included above for posterity), and I don’t want to keep writing this dumb shit. If you wanted me to say something about Livvy and Baby Gronk or whatever, I think that ended a day or two ago, and now it’s cooked, because once a white person does a parody video that includes the word inshallah of something that was originally funny, I can’t comment on the thing anymore. That means it’s over.
So I hope you had fun today. It would be a great gift to me if you came away thinking about Lay’s vs. Ruffles, Heinz vs. French’s, different brands pitted against each other, and maybe something more philosophically interesting, about taste and inherent bias—something like that. I’m done with this topic for now, and probably forever. Tune in again in a couple weeks when I send something over that’s similarly disrespectful and uncaring towards our loyal readership’s time and intellect.
All ridged chips are bad. The only good potato chips are really really crunchy kettle chips.