2012-08-23 / News

From the Braver Institute

“You said that you would eat anything that was bacon flavored” declared Nelson the Viking as he barged into my office “so eat this!” Mrs. the Viking followed behind him, nodding in agreement.

“I said anything that was bacon flavored would taste good, and I also said that bacon flavored coffee would be welcome in my percolator, but I didn’t say that I would eat anything that was bacon flavored.”

Nelson handed me a box of bacon and cheese flavored crickets, yelling “Eat these and we’ll give you the gift we have in this bag.”

I looked at the crickets, and said “no.” I turned to my desk and went back to what I was working on.

“Oh, you’re no fun.”

“Yes I am. Give me the gift.” I figured that I would just cut through all of begging and get to the gift part because I knew that they were going to give it to me anyway.

“Here,” he said, disgustedly handing me the bag. Inside was a Mr. Bacon refrigerator magnet, which I have to admit was pretty cool. They also gave me the box of bacon and cheese crickets, which were cool too, but I wasn’t going to eat them because they really were crickets. Now if they had been a can of chocolate covered cockroaches I would have done it, because chocolate covered cockroaches are frequently chocolate covered peanuts with a label claiming that they are cockroaches.

I love gags like this. The look on the faces of other people can be priceless when they believe you are eating something that they find repulsive.

I have somewhat of a history of such things, and am always on the lookout for opportunity to pull one of these food pranks.

Recently at work there has been great debate over which is better— Miracle Whip or mayo, with the majority having sided with Miracle Whip, including myself. Really I am not a big fan of either, but if I had to choose, I would go with Miracle Whip. Anyway, I was reminded of a gag that I had always wanted to try, but hadn’t yet had opportunity to do so.

I had a near-empty jar of mayo at home which I proceeded to wash out and then refill with instant vanilla pudding. Vanilla pudding is a bit more yellow in color than mayo, but people aren’t really thinking about the exact color of things when presented with the gag. All that is needed is a passing similarity.

Now this trick wasn’t some version of the old salt in the sugar bowl gag where the goal is to get the sucker to use the gag product. No, my intention was to bring the jar of phony mayo to work, declare that I had never really given mayo a fair chance, and then proceed to eat the jar by the spoonful.

The reaction was priceless.

Years ago when I worked in hardware, we sold assorted dog food products. We had small packages of dog treats that bore a striking resemblance to Slim Jim beef sticks, which we also sold. (Thinking about it now, there was probably precious little difference between the two.) I bought a package of the dog treats and replaced the treats with Slim Jims. I taped the package closed and returned it to the shelf. Shortly afterward I mentioned to my coworkers that I was hungry, and I dramatically reached for the dog treats. I opened the package, pulled one of the Slim Jims out and proceeded to wolf it down, much to the laughing disgust of those around me.

I pulled a similar gag exchanging chunk dog food for burnt peanuts, with similar results. Even though the peanuts looked nothing like the dog food that was once in the bag, the effect lies in proper packaging.

Speaking of proper packaging, I now need to find a suitable substitute for the bacon and cheese flavored crickets.

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Waye Braver can be contacted on Facebook or by e-mail at waye@braverinstitute.com. Visit the Braver Institute at www.braverinsitute.com

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