Archive for November 19th, 2010


In today’s tightened grocery store product economy, it is getting more and more difficult to buy food items designed for singles. I suppose this is a cost-cutting production step, although I suspect manufacturers enjoy making and shipping larger quantities of their product and not messing with the more expensive smaller shipping size hassles.

Yesterday I noticed my local Food Lion had discontinued “small size” jars of prepared pasta sauces, which — even at the smaller size — were too large for me. No matter how hard I tried, there was always some amount left over in the fridge that eventually got tossed long after the expiration date. Since I use pre-made brand name sauces as a starter, by the time I finish doctoring them up they bear no resemblance to the original product, and by then the volume of the sauce has increased dramatically, resulting in even more expiration wastage in the fridge unless I freeze the leftover sauce.

Like most folks, my freezer quickly becomes an unsettling no-man’s land of poorly marked Tupperware and Ziploc containers whose frosted contents are anyone’s guess.

Another, more insidious example of single-sized product extinction was the sudden disappearance of foil-sealed, single slices of sandwich Spam about a year ago. A single Spam sandwich was perfect for me: again, the smallest can of Spam is way too much to contemplate. One or two Spam sandwiches and my Spam enthusiasm fades considerably.

All of which supports my feeling of loss as single-size food products — like typewriter ribbons and bottles of office White-Out — are slowly fazed from our collective consciousness.

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George the Iguana

I once had a girlfriend who convinced me to buy her an iguana. The critter started out as a cute green thing who sat happily atop his electronically heated $70 iguana “breeding” stone. The cage cost $130. The next day, as I watched the new pet stretch out for a limb that was propped in the corner of his cage, and while he pulled himself up on the branch, he reminded me of the cartoon character, George of the Jungle.

That’s how George got his name.

George was not a finicky eater, but after a year or two he could put away a quarter-pound of fresh broccoli in a single sitting. By then, his new cage cost $350.00, in which sat a much larger and expensive breeding stone. George didn’t move around much, which was fine by me, because on those rare occasions when my girlfriend allowed him to roam the household, I would often find claw marks on the antique furniture, and an assorted collection of broccoli-colored gifts on the carpet.

And then one day George the Iguana and my girlfriend were gone, along with his cage, my microwave oven and TV.

I still miss George.

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