Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Cheez Chronicles

Posted by on Wed, Feb 27, 2008 at 2:59 PM

click to enlarge tabasco_cheezit.gif

I owe the lovely Delaney Mae an apology. Yes, I scoffed when she sang the praises of the Hot & Spicy Tabasco Cheez-It in an earlier thread:

I had a friend in KC gleefully recommend the Flipsides over a month ago, and I've been eagerly scanning the market aisles for them ever since. Finally nabbed a box last week and... um... not great. I broke them in half and fed them to a toddler friend while I myself snuck handfuls out of a box of Tabasco-flavored Cheez-its.

To which I replied:

OK, Delaney, on your recommendation—and at the urging of Casey Gill and Trent Summar, two of your converts—I tried a box of the Tabasco Cheez-Its. Alas, I forgot that I hate the taste of Tabasco.... I really loathe Tabasco, and I'm not sure why. It has this metallic twang I can't put my finger on—too much vinegar, perhaps.

I found them so distasteful at first that I brought the box to work to get rid of th—I mean, to share them with my beloved co-workers. I could have predicted that my colleagues would devour them. Hell, I could wheel a 50-gallon drum of rancid potato peelings through our office, and the thing would be empty before I reached the breakroom.

But I did not predict their enthusiasm. Only Liz abstained. Everyone else gobbled the things by the fistfuls, accompanied by comments such as "I love these!" or "These rock!" or "Hey, Ridley, where's my $20?"

So I tried them again. And again. And again. By the time I found myself gnawing on the boxtop picture, I had to concede Delaney Mae knows her junk food. Now I'm thinking I may have isolated a weird principle in my pleasure zone. As with some of my favorite albums, such as this one—which I gave away the first time, then tried to break into the recipient's house to get it back—the very qualities I found initially irritating are the ones that lodged it in my memory. With Tabasco Cheez-Its, it's the metallic twang of that green-pepper flavoring that affects my taste buds like the lash of a loving whip. The irritation becomes part of the pleasure.

I can only hope I affect people the same way.

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