Posted by: portersprospectreport | July 29, 2008

Cracker Jacked!

Buy Me Some Peanuts and...Crunch and Munch
Buy Me Some Peanuts and…Crunch and Munch

Ok, I normally try to avoid negative posts, as I am customarily a happy-go-lucky person.  However, I have a little beef with one of the historical staples of a ballpark diet. 

Cracker Jacks have been a part of baseball well before 1908 when they became immortalized in the 7th inning stretch classic “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.  Cracker Jacks have, of course, been widely acclaimed for the mystery prize inside every box.  Baseball cards (Recently a complete 176 card set was sold for $800,000), rings, toy animals, comics, and, my favorite, ant-frying magnifying glasses have brought joy to the faces of millions of kids both young and old over the years.  Accompanying the treasure inside was a sticky sweet confection of caramel, molasses, popcorn, and peanuts that could titilate even the bitterest sweet tooth.

 

History aside, I took my wife and son to a local semi-pro baseball game and bought each of us a box of Cracker Jacks.  I was utterly dismayed to find that the much coveted prize inside was a ridiculous looking picture of a shark that looked as if a 1st grader had drawn it.  Along with the shark was detailed instructions to tear along perforated lines to make its mouth open and shut.  I promptly ripped my son’s in half as my banana-sized fingers lacked the dexterity to execute a half inch tear along the paper perforations.  Promptly I opened my prize to issue to my son as compensation for his loss.  Certainly, Mr. Cracker Jack will have a much better bounty in store for me in this box….WRONG!  I received the exact same “prize” that my son had in his box.  Wisely, I handed the shark to my wife who deftly made the proper incisions in the paper.  My 6 year old son looked at his prize and said “This is dumb!”  I couldn’t disagree.  My wife opened her prize to find that she had a clown instead of a shark.
Well, at least we can enjoy the perfect ballpark snack.  As I gobbled my box down, I found that I received exactly 1 peanut in my batch.  My wife counted 4 in hers and my son said he didn’t get any.  Furthermore, the pieces of teeth cracking kernels and ounces of popcorn powder at the bottom of the box made my box nearly inedible.

Determined that I had received a bad box from a bad batch, I went to my local grocery store and purchased several boxes.  Opening them, I found that my original box was not an outlier, but rather, an indicator of a product that has gotten fat and lazy off of its widespread free marketing.

Frito Lay, I demand that you step up your efforts in restoring Cracker Jacks to the legendary baseball treat that you boast it to be.  Give me back my peanuts and magnifying glass or I’ll skeedaddle to Fiddle Faddle!

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Responses

  1. Agreed! The prizes inside have been terrible ones for years now. It’s almost not even worth buying anymore except the popcorn is so damn tasty!

  2. Have you tried Crunch and Munch? There are big clumps of popcorn, caramel glaze, and peanut slivers in it that just melt in your mouth.

    I did do a little bit of research on Cracker Jacks and found that they are now putting MLB stickers in as prizes. You can go on to their website and print out a sheet that has all of the team logos on it. Then, as you acquire stickers, they can be placed in the appropriate spots on the sheet.

    This is a marked improvement over the shark and clown. I may have to tone down my anti-Cracker Jack rhetoric a bit. They still need to stop skimping on the peanuts!


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