Saturday, April 25, 2009

Did I Just Read that?

Mini Marshmallows now come with a warning. It's printed right on the bag:

"Eat one at a time. For children under 6, cut marshmallows into bite-sized pieces. Children should always be seated and supervised while eating."


Sounds good. It's not really a warning, despite the label "choking warning". Rather, this is a set of instructions clearly designed to free Kraft from liability if someone chokes and dies playing "fluffy bunny" or pretending to be in the Blue Man Group (who don't really use marshmallows--it's a stage trick).

So marshmallows require instructions.

But they are a little puzzling, if you think about it. Have you ever tried to eat just one mini marshmallow at a time? It's a little tedious. And what about when they are in jello, cookies, or rice krispie treats? How do you be sure you're eating only one at a time then? And, further, how small is a bite-sized piece? I mean, these are MINI marshmallows, after all....

I love that standard 'seating and supervised' warning. You know what it makes me think of? All my kids sitting in a semi-circle, staring at the television screen with a bag of marshmallows, stuffing their faces with abandon while I peek in at the doorway and am grateful they aren't fighting or breaking anything for a few minutes so I can make dinner, which they inevitably eat standing up (either on their chairs or doing laps around the table. Seriously).

If everyone followed that 'now you can't sue us' advice, think of all the memories from your childhood that would have never happened--grabbing a cookie while you run outside, spitting watermelon seeds into the grass, popsicle or ice cream dripping down your hand onto the pavement while you try to juggle the pleasures of cold sugar with the joys of running off to play again, snitching your halloween candy from your own bag while you're walking to the next house, swiping a pinch of cookie dough while mom's back is turned, eating an apple while you walk with one foot in the gutter and then throwing the core into an empty lot or someone else's garbage can....

I mean, who ever wanted to eat an orange dreamsicle with their friends seated around the kitchen table? Where's the fun of the bugs, sticky hands that attract dirt and bees, scratchy grass prickling your legs, and talking to your cousins without the grownups butting in?

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