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Prize Inside!

January 9th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

I was chowing down on a bag of Cracker Jacks this past weekend, and in between glutenous, sticky handfuls of carmel-coated popcorn goodness I took a moment to admire the bold statement “Prize Inside” emblazoned on the packaging.

Per Webster, a “prize” is defined as:

1 : something offered or striven for in competition or in contests of chance
2 : something exceptionally desirable
3 archaic : a contest for a reward : competition

Wow, prize inside, huh?  I find this to be an odd turn of phrase.  What did I do to earn this “prize”?  I mean, it wasn’t like I ran a sub-four minute mile, solved the Goldbach conjecture, or provided indisputable proof of life after death.  All I did was open a bag of junk food and bam, I came into possession of a prize.  Talk about the decline of expectations in a generation suffering from a severe case of entitlement-itis.

To satiate my unfulfilled need for instant gratification I think I’ll hit up the cereal boxes in my pantry next.  I’m sure there are more “prizes” to be had there that can stroke my ego and give me the feeling of accomplishment in my otherwise drab existence…

Note: Don’t believe for a moment that the “prizes” inside the modern day Cracker Jack are “exceptionally desirable”.  They are a pale imitation of what once was.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been informed by these “prizes” that George Washington was our first president.  Give me a good ol’ fashioned plastic kaleidoscope or even a few water soluble tattoos, and then we’ll talk…

Note 2: This will be my last post this week.  I’ll be taking Friday off to go camping in Anza Borrego.  Hope everyone has a great weekend!

  1. January 9th, 2014 at 08:20 | #1

    ” Give me a good ol’ fashioned plastic kaleidoscope or even a few water soluble tattoos, and then we’ll talk…”

    Thank you! And I TOTALLY agree! When I was a kid, I loved eating Cracker Jacks. And not only because I loved the taste, but especially because of the prize. Then later in life I purchased Cracker Jacks again, but as you shared, the prize inside was a PALE imitation to once they once were. :(

    Have a wonderful time on your camping trip this weekend. Anza Borrego looks STUNNING!

  2. January 9th, 2014 at 09:20 | #2

    Yeah, and the prizes in cereal used to be cool, too! Life has become lame, my friend.

  3. January 9th, 2014 at 14:13 | #3

    I have always been optimistic about the future. That doesn’t mean I like every trend society throws at us and this is an example of one of them. Apparently the truth is now something to be contemptuous of, the “spin” of the truth is what matters. It has gotten so embedded in our culture that none of us are immune. I’m really happy you took the time to remind us that truth is truth and spin is fiction.

  4. January 10th, 2014 at 03:15 | #4

    I’ve obviously missed out… no enclosed prizes or gifts in any of the cereals I buy. I’m obviously buying the wrong kind…. or am I?

    Hope your weekend goes well, happy camping.

  5. January 10th, 2014 at 12:45 | #5

    Hmmm. You mean the current crackerjack prizes are even lamer than those in the 1960s? I must admit I specifically avoid any products proclaiming anything free inside. I’ve never forgiven the crackerjack people for disappointing me so .

    Entertaining place you have here.

  6. January 11th, 2014 at 09:19 | #6

    . . . or at least a little plastic horseshoe or trophy you can hang on a chain or sumpthin’. Those were the days.

  7. January 12th, 2014 at 17:22 | #7

    PS Nice llama

  8. January 13th, 2014 at 02:30 | #8

    I’ve never eaten Crackerjacks (though they do sound good) so I’ve never ‘won’ a prize, but I do know that people are selling vintage Crackerjack prizes all over the internet!

    I think you must have ‘won’ your prize through careful selection of the available packets. We had a similar thing here when I was a kid, called a Lucky Dip. For 3 old pence, you got a handful of cheap sweets in an opaque paper bag and a toy of some kind. The best one I ever got was a pencil sharpener shaped like a rocking horse. I loved that thing! Probably the worst was a ‘fortune telling fish’ which must have cost them all of a penny per hundred to produce. Or maybe a badly moulded miniature toy soldier.

    Cereal was a different matter. The best one there that I remember was a little plastic submarine with some nameless white pellets (would never be allowed today, of course) which you could take into the bath. You stuck one of the pellets into a hole in sub and it actually went up and down and kind of along under the water a bit before running out of power.

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