Archive for July, 2010

Olive Garden Sucks

If there’s one chain in this world I truly despise, it has to be the Olive Garden.

A “homecooked italian” restaurant with ingredients from the old world? Hardly. Any true guinea would tell you Olive Garden is no more Italian than Chef Boyardee. When your breadsticks are frozen, your salad is pre-packaged and your alfredo sauce is Elmer’s Glue, you should know that you aren’t in a passed-down-for-generations, family owned dining establishment. And no, when you’re there, you are not family.

My hate for this corporation only compounds several times over when their unbearably cheesy television ads gain national exposure. The elements of these ads are typically structured as follows:

Idiot 1: Say something stupid
Idiot 2: Remark in a way no sane person would; usually a quick hitting, ABC-family joke about how good the food is
Table: Collectively laugh

Example 1:

A.) Who does algebra equations with their menu when out to eat with six other people? Unfortunate that this man is unable to make casual conversation.

B.) The unfathomably bad response by the jokester of the table: “You do the math, I’m doing the alfredo!!” ZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!

C.) The table reacts by laughing uncontrollably like hyenas to what was quite possibly the worst joke in the history of mankind (and that’s not hyperbole). How did these actors force themselves to giggle like that? I’m convinced the Olive Garden ad execs inject these people with horse tranquilizers before putting them on camera.

Example 2:

A.) The guy with the blue shirt who had his “spots hit” appears to be the third wheel. He is eating his pain through two meals: meat sauce and alfredo.

B.) Is “meat sauce” followed by “alfredo” some type of sexual innuendo? Is this all part of Olive Garden’s subliminal messaging ad campaign?

Example 3:

A.) No waitress is this accommodating, especially at Olive Garden.

B.) Apparently this lady hates her husband. He wasn’t even in the discussion.

C.) That little kid gives one of the most obnoxious hand waves I’ve ever seen in the split second he’s on screen; please pause at the 0:09 mark to see.

In summary, Olive Garden is evil. Do not eat there. Their food is over-priced and their commercials suck.


Bad Product: Circus Peanuts

As much as I love hardened orange gelatin in the shape of a peanut shell, I’m going to start this blog off by mentioning the general public’s collective disdain for the candy known as “Circus Peanuts.” And since this is a blog about a buyer’s perspective of Corporate America’s product and service offerings, what better place to start than with one of the most infamously recognized and contemplated candy treats?

What are they? I’m sure you’ve seen them. They usually come in the 2 for 99 cents red and clear candy packaging at CVS. They’re mass produced by either Brach’s or Sathers, the same company who brought you the disgusting knockoff version of Swedish Fish, Darlin’ Marlins. They’re essentially stiff, stale neon marshmallows manufactured to look like a legume. Yet, strangely and inappropriately enough, they’re banana flavored. Mind-boggling.

I Wikipedia’d the origins of the Circus Peanut phenomenon and apparently they were created in the 1800’s, but were available only seasonally because sellers were unable to preserve them. Eventually, the polyethylene packaging revolution took over and Circus Peanuts were available year-round for our snacking pleasure. Another fun fact: a General Mills VP discovered how fantastic Circus Peanuts tasted in his cereal, thus opening the door for the world’s favorite hardened-marshmallow cereal, Lucky Charms. Who knew?

Aside from being hard as a cinder block, they actually are quite enjoyable. They’re horribly bad for you and eating more than two of them is vomit-inducing. But they dissolve in your mouth and the banana flavor is oddly pleasing. Not to mention you can eat them several years after you buy them because they taste stale regardless of when they were purchased.

Circus Peanuts were an ill-conceived and downright strange idea, but damn it, I love them.