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MARINATING

Serving suggestion: How about some realism?

Saturday, February 23, 2013 - 12:01 am

Sometimes I like to turn off the TV and do something more educational, informative and stimulating — like opening the pantry and reading the labels on grocery items.

Not so much the ingredients; that's too depressing, like when you think you are eating something reasonably healthy and find out you are getting half of your entire day's supply of fat in one chocolate-covered doughnut. (Didn't I read somewhere that dark chocolate is good for you?)

I'm sure many of you have noticed the fine print on most boxes that says “Serving Suggestion” next to the photo or drawing of what's (allegedly) inside the container. A box of Uncle Ben's that shows rice in a nice white bowl with a sprig of parsley on top or Swanson's chicken broth depicting a nicely browned chicken breast simmering in a bowl alongside some carrots and string beans are both quite lovely.

Then I noticed the box of Entenmann's Little Bites chocolate chip muffins that my wife must have snuck in the cart while I was in the other aisle looking for organic, locally grown produce. (Note: If there was such a thing as a sarcasm font for typing, I would have used it just there.)

I have no idea if this product is available throughout the country or not. In any event, they are simply tiny, bite-sized muffins.

The funny thing is the artwork on the top of the box. Next to “Serving Suggestion,” it shows three of these little mini muffins stacked on top of a dog's head. (Or it might be a cow or a space alien — kind of hard to tell.) This creature appears to be weaving his (her?) way through some chocolate chips scattered on the dirt road.

Their suggestion is about as realistic and useful as Taylor Swift giving advice on how to maintain a long-lasting relationship.

Mike Marin is a cranky curmudgeon who, when he’s not yelling at kids to get off his lawn, likes to complain about the sad state of popular culture, especially as seen through a TV screen. His email address is marinating@tribune.com. This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel.