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Friday, December 2, 2005


To: Swiss Miss and affiliates, including but not limited to Swiss Watch & Clock LLC, Swiss Cheese Food Products, Swiss Army Knife and Nail Clipper Companies, and Swiss Gold and Cash Laundering Services LLC

From: Tony Woodlief

Subject: Swiss Miss Pudding Cups

First, I want to congratulate you on breaking new ground in the area of packaged food-sealing technology. Given that NASA can't seem to shoot anything into space without it falling apart all over the place, I encourage you to contact their scientists regarding the glue you use to seal the tops of your pudding cups.

Unfortunately, as with all great breakthroughs that have rocked the food sciences (e.g., Pop Rocks, lime-flavored Coke, the McRib Sandwich) there are some complications arising from your innovative new approach. To wit, the requirement that a customer use a mallet and chisel to separate the lid from the pudding cup. Now, I am absolutely confident that when I finally give the pudding cup to my children -- hours after dinner, mind you -- it will be absolutely free from contamination or tampering. It will be safe, that is, except for the periodic plunges of my fingers into the pudding as I pull and tear at miniscule pieces of the lid, which seems cleverly designed not to lift in one piece, but to separate itself so that one can only pull off a thin strand at a time.

Very clever, Swiss Miss, very safe. I think perhaps we have a cultural difference here. I know that you pride yourselves on safety in the great mountainous origin of sexually repressed theology, the Red Cross, and studied neutrality from the world's great conflicts. I know that when times call for daring acts -- resisting the Nazis, for example, or hewing to minimal standards of decency when it comes to profiting from totalitarian thuggery -- the Swiss have bravely run away to not fight another day. But really, we're talking pudding here. Are you afraid that opening the pudding cup too rapidly will result in a blob getting in someone's eye? Are you dissatisfied with prevailing food industry methods of preventing tampering?

Perhaps this is a statement, a declaration to the world that Switzerland is still the safest place on the planet, provided one is not a fleeing victim of a holocaust, of course. If so, then I applaud you, Swiss Miss Corporation and Affiliates, for rendering your pudding cups nearly impenetrable. Catholic Girl's Schools and calculus textbook writers could learn at your feet.

Alas, though, in my household we have a reckless desire to actually eat the pudding. Thus I regret to inform you that in the future we will be buying the Del Monte pudding products -- that's right, the ones in the dangerous tin cups with the round pull-tops. Yes, someone could get a cut, and there may be pudding spillage. That's just how we roll in my house, Swiss Miss.

I wish you well in your future endeavors.

PS: My wife has just informed me that you aren't really Swiss after all, that you are part of some soulless American food conglomerate. Now I am doubly disillusioned. Not only can I not savor your tasty chocolate goodness without a MacGyver-like effort, now I do not even have the luxury of imagining that I am tasting the forbidden sweetness of what passes for Swiss decadence. Now we are through for good. Good day to you, sirs.

posted by Woodlief | link | (10) comments