As a general disclaimer, this headline, or at least some form of it, was suggested to me by my good friend Jim Brannon at barbecue last Friday night.
He had come up with it during a game of cornhole, which is totally a sport, and we had a good long laugh, like good friends tend to laugh long when one says something that the other finds particularly funny, and both of them then, in turn, find a particularly inarticulable and most likely inherently physiological need to let the other know just how particularly funny, by way of rhythmic and audible contradictions of the diaphragm and respiratory system.
So, but, anyway… The Brannons invite me over for this cornhole tournament/BBQ-type evening, and I’m like, “Yeah sure,” for both reasons of it sounds like fun and also sounds like the perfect place to do some guerrilla-marketing on my latest invention, Pringle®-Helper(.com)™ -
Pringle®-Helper(.com)™ is a 11.75” cylindrical-type receptacle made from 100% non-recycled non-recyclable plastic that allows for transfer of Pringles® from standard issue Pringle® container to said cylindrical-type receptacle when said Pringle® stack reaches unreachable height where the adult human hand (this excludes both Point Graphic Artist Tom Maglio and, for some reason, most carnies) can no longer fit inside of said standard issue Pringle® container. According to Dr. David Elliot, who is not a medical doctor, “Pringle®-helper(.com) is the single-most revolutionary invention in modern history and totally isn’t just a regular household bowl that costs six easy payments of $19.99, not including shipping and handling.”
- which, if I’m being totally honest, could totally use the guerilla-marketing, since it hasn’t been selling so well for what could almost certainly only be reasons unreasonable only.
This would probably be a good time in the so-far all-over-the-place narrative to reference two things about the evening:
(1) To understate it drastically, the Brannons are Penn State fans, and their home is essentially the equivalent of taking Happy Valley and placing it in Sussex County.
(2) Also along for the cornhole tournament/BBQ-type evening/unofficial Pringle®-Helper(.com) focus group meeting was legendary local lax coach Kelsea Ayers, who says she does not like Pringles® and that that is totally just a regular household bowl and, “No, I’m not giving you my credit card number so you can charge me $20 a month for one,” but who also says that she did go to “The” Ohio State University.
More borderline-necessary exposition: The year is 2015. Barack Obama is the president of the United States of America. Bernie Sanders has announced that he will run for president of the United States of America. Millions of people across the United States of America, excluding Point Graphic Artist Tom Maglio and, for some reason, most carnies, struggle to fit their hands inside to the bottom of Pringle® cans and, as a result, resort to tilting the can back over the roof of their mouths and having crumbs spill down onto their faces, looking totally foolish at BBQs/cornhole tournaments/last-minute grocery store runs where you get so hungry after walking past the bakery that you open and eat something before getting to the checkout line despite knowing full well that you’ll have to deal with that “Really, dude?” look from that cashier when it inevitably needs a price check as a result, etc.
In sports news, the Penn State’s women’s lacrosse team defeats “The” Ohio State University, led by legendary local lax coach Kelsea Ayers, 13-11, just days after the Buckeyes upset No. 1-ranked Maryland 11-10.
…Honestly, I forget what I was saying at this point, so let’s just get on with it then, then.
So but, then, anyway, Coach Ayers shows up, not wearing anything red or having any of those little Buckeye stickers you see on the football helmets anywhere from what I can tell, but does refuse a Penn State coozy when offered one, and we all go to play cornhole.
As the only neutral party in all of this, I get teamed up with “Team ‘The’ OSU,” since pretty much everyone else gladly accepted Penn State coozies when offered them, including me, who was made to either switch coozies or go coozy-less if I wanted to be on ‘Team ‘The’ OSU,” which I have just been informed is not up for debate about being our team name. I am also nearly traded, upon bringing up the 2015 Women’s Lacrosse Big Ten Championship and referring to it as an “instant classic.”
The guerilla-marketing does not seem to be working. There are a lot comments like, “Whose bowl is this?” and “Who brought all these Pringles® and why?” and “Hey, where’s my credit card?”
Nevertheless, we are winning, and Coach Ayers keeps putting those little Buckeye stickers like you see on the back of Ohio State football helmets on the back of my shirt every time I sink a shot (I’ve got at least, like, one of them, at this point). We’re rolling to wins over what can only be the official “Team PSU” of Jim and Sherry Brannon, Franco Harris, Kerry Collins, whoever Hinkey Haines is, Keegan Michael Key, the dad from “Modern Family,” Jennifer Aniston’s dad, Bruce Banner a.k.a. the Incredible Hulk… just pretty much all the famous Penn Staters.
Then we get to the lightning round. We’re going up against a couple of real Big Ten bruisers decked out in full-on PSU gear, PSU coozies, etc. Essentially, it’s more or less a rematch of the 2015 Big Ten women’s lacrosse championship game, only most likely with considerably less testosterone — neither notion being something I decide to mention out loud.
But here’s the thing though, is, we never even get to finish the game. About midway through, it turns into this whole “Whose school is better?”-type deal, and claims that, like, the Incredible Hulk isn’t even a real person, much less did he actually attend Penn State, and “But, we’ve had some good linebackers, though,” and the next thing I know, iPhones are out and national titles and Big Ten championships and who’s got the best tailgates and the best cafeteria is all pretty much Out There.
So, what I do after a while is I go sit down and have some Pringles®, which I can’t even get to anymore because someone has the bowl — I mean, the Pringle®-Helper(.com) — and the can is like two-thirds full.
While I’m watching/half-listening to all of this, though, trying to jam my hand down into the bottom of the can and just about to resort to pouring the chips down toward my mouth instead and just kind of risking it, in terms of how many crumbs are in there, Jim comes up to me and sits down.
When I look, up he’s got the bowl, and he says to me — he says: “Here, check this out,” and takes the bowl and dumps the Pringles® into the bowl, and now everyone has Pringles®, except the people who have iPhones.
“What a great invention,” he says when he walks away.
That’s when it kind of hits me: Old people, I guess they do serve a purpose after all.