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It's hard out here for a shrimp

It's hard out here for a shrimp
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  • It's hard out here for a shrimp

    Post #1 - March 8th, 2006, 7:14 am
    Post #1 - March 8th, 2006, 7:14 am Post #1 - March 8th, 2006, 7:14 am
    Wandering around the shopping plaza, unfortunately anchored (ha ha) by a Red Lobster, at the corner of Flamingo and Eastern here in Las Vegas and about a 10 minute walk from my house, I noticed a new establishment in one of the storefronts. Replacing the Polish Deli and Restaurant is Los Cabos, Mariscos Mexicanos. This will make quite the addition to the back-room taqueria inside Mariana's Market (home of the $4.99 Birria special) and the Farmacia next door, enough of a South-of-the-Occupied-Territories inroad into an otherwise bland, corporate strip mall. What got me thinking was one of the hand-painted signs in the window of Los Cabos, "Especialidad Camarones!" Given the relative merits/demerits of fresh shellfish in Chicago (and the debates and difficulties surrounding said item, expressed time and again on da Forum) I was wondering, upon seeing this sign, just how weird it is for Mexicans, or non-Mexicans, to believe that any restaurant in a city so far from ocean waters should specialize in shellfish. I know, I know - overnight shipping, dry ice, industrial revolution, yadda yadda... but... well, ok. This whole thing is true but really just an excuse for me to use the subject line while it's still a relatively fresh joke. I will report on Los Cabos as soon as budget and time allow, though. 3-6 Mafia: 1, Scorsese: 0

    Hungrypimpy
  • Post #2 - March 9th, 2006, 9:39 am
    Post #2 - March 9th, 2006, 9:39 am Post #2 - March 9th, 2006, 9:39 am
    On a shrimp-related note, I was at the Jewels yesterday, which as noted elsewhere has become a riot of intrusive advertising (I also noted that they've locked out my trick of shutting off their monitors while the checkout human isn't looking). As I'm putting my acquisitions in my trunk, I see the little ad placard in my cart. It shows one of those typical advertising shots of yuppies at a dinner party, the people all with hysterical Joker-grins, the kind of exaggerated that's-it-now-hold-still look of unbelievably great fun being had that people in the biz often refer to with the name of a certain cigarette brand notorious for such plastic unreality, e.g., "I don't want them to look like they're in a frickin' Newport cigarettes ad."

    The headline over these people experiencing the Death Rictus of Good Cheer is some incredibly novel ad line like "When you really want to impress, select only the best," the writer really stretched himself on that one, a regular C. Wright Mills when it comes to sociological insight, a regular Boris Vian when it comes to the experimental prose. And the product and brand for which this cutting-edge work has been done? The product was... shrimp cocktail sauce. And the brand was "Hoffman House," letters inside a little Pennsylvania Dutch shield. Never heard of it? That's okay, few have, although if you go to their site you learn not only that they have a not-uninteresting story but at one time had restaurants in Illinois (the stuff's made in Green Bay). There are dozens of little brands like this if you look around the store, little regional canning companies and so on which got supermarket placement in 1952 and crank out their tiny share of the American grocery behemoth to this day. The datedness of the name (let's name our shrimp sauce... something German!) and the ye olde New England inn look (because nothing says shrimp like... central Pennsylvania!) is plenty typical for these brands that time forgot, relics of a world where it made sense to name a product Natur-Boy or Lady Byron rather than Totally Xtreme Jalapepperono Fruit Spazzlers.

    Except time didn't forget this one; they apparently coughed up a marketing budget after 50 years and decided to make a splash as best they could, despite the total hopelessness of convincing people today that you can wow your guests by your choice of traditional shrimp cocktail sauce in a jar. People often imagine people in marketing to be evilly brilliant but the reality is this sort of self-delusion about the importance of the stuff you make to anybody ("in our studies, 54% of primary meal preparers called shrimp cocktail sauce extremely, mostly or somewhat important to the success of a shrimp-driven social occasion event") is far more common than genius. Bob and Ray made comic genius out of these deluded entrepreneurs, the buggy whip manufacturer ("Because when you say giddy-up, you demand action"), the TV manufacturer who mistakenly put all the buttons on the bottom of the 250-lb. set, the president of the paper clip factory where the employees made each one by hand (confronted with how little he must be paying his employees based on the terrible economics of hand-made paper clips, he responds "We don't pry into our employees' personal lives, Bob and Ray... we understand most of them live in caves on the outskirts of town"). How could they have spent the money better? How could they have made shrimp sauce vital to our lives again? Stories in the press about the one-two cancer-fighting punch of shrimp and cocktail sauce? Pay some rappers to sing about how you got to be dippin' yo' little shrimpies in yo' Hoffman House? Send your ideas to Hoffman House Premium Sauces, Green Bay, WI, 54303.
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  • Post #3 - March 9th, 2006, 9:56 am
    Post #3 - March 9th, 2006, 9:56 am Post #3 - March 9th, 2006, 9:56 am
    Mike G wrote:There are dozens of little brands like this if you look around the store, little regional canning companies and so on which got supermarket placement in 1952 and crank out their tiny share of the American grocery behemoth to this day. The datedness of the name (let's name our shrimp sauce... something German!) and the ye olde New England inn look (because nothing says shrimp like... central Pennsylvania!) is plenty typical for these brands that time forgot, relics of a world where it made sense to name a product Natur-Boy or Lady Byron rather than Totally Xtreme Jalapepperono Fruit Spazzlers.

    Except time didn't forget this one; they apparently coughed up a marketing budget after 50 years and decided to make a splash as best they could, despite the total hopelessness of convincing people today that you can wow your guests by your choice of traditional shrimp cocktail sauce in a jar. People often imagine people in marketing to be evilly brilliant but the reality is this sort of self-delusion about the importance of the stuff you make to anybody ("in our studies, 54% of primary meal preparers called shrimp cocktail sauce extremely, mostly or somewhat important to the success of a shrimp-driven social occasion event") is far more common than genius. Bob and Ray made comic genius out of these deluded entrepreneurs

    I would just like to say that I loved this post. And also, that one of the few good things about the age we live in is that XM Radio's "Laugh" channel (151) plays a lot of Bob and Ray. Who ever thought you'd be able to hear them all the time in your car, just like it was 1954?
  • Post #4 - March 9th, 2006, 10:29 am
    Post #4 - March 9th, 2006, 10:29 am Post #4 - March 9th, 2006, 10:29 am
    With a title like that, you really didn't need to put anything in the body of the message. Nicely done. I don't see an emoticon that rolls around on the floor laughing or I would stick it in.
  • Post #5 - March 9th, 2006, 12:47 pm
    Post #5 - March 9th, 2006, 12:47 pm Post #5 - March 9th, 2006, 12:47 pm
    Hungryrabbi, you made me smile more than all the Oscar jokes put together. Thanks for the lunch-time laugh.
  • Post #6 - March 10th, 2006, 1:33 pm
    Post #6 - March 10th, 2006, 1:33 pm Post #6 - March 10th, 2006, 1:33 pm
    LOL at the subject line!!!
    Happiness is a path, not a destination.
  • Post #7 - March 11th, 2006, 4:34 am
    Post #7 - March 11th, 2006, 4:34 am Post #7 - March 11th, 2006, 4:34 am
    Thank you, thank you, ladies and germs and crustaceans...

    It's great to be back here at Lawrence's Fisheries... I just molted, and boy is my exoskelton tired! Seriously, folks, how about a hand for Connie and the Clams .... ahem...

    I didn't want to be a comic, really, I wanted to be a priest. I found out you had to be celibate. I looked up the definition of celibate, found out I WAS A PRIEST !!! Haa, Hoo, Wow!!

    Hungryschecky
  • Post #8 - March 11th, 2006, 7:34 am
    Post #8 - March 11th, 2006, 7:34 am Post #8 - March 11th, 2006, 7:34 am
    Cele-bait! Ha, that's a good one.

    PM your mailing address. I want to send you a check for $4.95 so your budget allows...just to have the chance to read about it.

    BTW, it hard out there for everyone, Scorsese included. O.K., maybe not for Scorsese.

    pd
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #9 - April 8th, 2006, 3:30 pm
    Post #9 - April 8th, 2006, 3:30 pm Post #9 - April 8th, 2006, 3:30 pm
    ROFLOL!!! Image

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