This frightening concoction is the latest in a series of what I like to call “Floor Sweeping” snacks, taste treats made by throwing together a collection of factory-second comestibles that didn’t qualify as salable to the public the first time around the track.
Those of you under about the age of 25 might not be aware that, at one time, Chex Party Mix was not something you bought at the store. Rather, it was a quick way for harried party-throwers to combine chores, creating a tasty treat for their honored guests while giving their pantry a much-needed enema. Half a can of stale peanuts, detritus from a bag of pretzels, a third of a serving each of Corn, Wheat and Rice Chex from the tail-ends of the bags….put ’em together and you’ve got a PARTY!
Then, at some point around the ’80s, some marketing genius had an epiphany: take the same stale, worn-out snack dandruff that consumers were using to make the stuff at home off of their own factory floors, bag it up, and sell it at a premium. Add a ninetieth of a cent worth of artificial barbecue, ranch or sour cream and onion flavoring agent, and the price goes up. What was once fit solely for animal feed is now the “must have” snack food of the decade! Is this a great country or what?
Enough history. The stuff depicted here is the creme de la creme of “Party Mix”-style goodies. Munchies, a product of the Frito-Lay company, is a mixture of Cheetos, pretzels, popcorn, Cap’n Crunch and generic, miniature M&M’s. This goes way beyond floor sweepings: I get the feeling that the production facilities for these five snacks share a common central vacuum system, and that the catch-canister for this system empties straight into the filler machine for bags of Munchies Kids Mix. If you get the occasional cigarette butt or machine screw, just consider it a prize.
I have not actually put this stuff in my mouth, so some might opine that I don’t have any real grounds for deriding the product. On the other hand, as Samuel L. Jackson said in Pulp Fiction: “A sewer rat may taste like pumpkin pie. I’ll never know ’cause even if it did, I wouldn’t eat the filthy motherfucker.”