Posts tagged: disodium inosinate

The Extremities of the Snack Aisle


I was broke, and job opportunities were scarce in Buffalo.  With the downturn of the global economy, I had to make certain sacrifices, starting with my diet.  No longer would I be able to eat out at fancy restaurants every night of the week; I had to shop at a grocery store like some sort of homeless person or single mother.


One afternoon, while perusing the aisles of a store, I came across a product that responded to my age and demographic:


Wow, what a novel idea!  All the flavor of a chicken wing without the guilt and revulsion of eating a disembodied chicken limb.  I flipped the can over  to check the ingredients; Disodium Inosinate!  Wow, these truly were a space aged snack!  I tossed the can into my cart, and they landed softly on the bag of adult diapers I planned on playing with later.


Back at my house, I sat alone on my couch with the open can of Pringles resting on my lap.  The smell of chicken wings spread and reached my nostrils, and I knew that a life-changing experience was upon me

“Well, here it goes, Balloon.”  I said to my dog Balloon.  I lifted one of the sensually-shaped chips to my mouth, and CRUNCH!  Every color imaginable flashed in my eyes, and the world around me seemed to melt away.  Then, there I was, in a completely white room sitting on a white chair.  In front of me was the Pringle Man himself, his flat head floating a few feet off the ground.  He opened his mouth to say something, but before he uttered a sound I found myself back in my apartment, my dog looking at me worriedly.

couchI looked around the room, and everything was in its place.  The lamp, the television,  the giant painting of Tyrese Gibson, as if they had forgotten they had melted before my eyes moments earlier.  I looked down at myself, and said “Uh oh.  Looks like I’ll have to change my pants, Balloon.”  When Balloon looked at me quizzically, I returned with a wink and a nod.


The ensuing weeks the Pringles helped me forget that I was in serious financial trouble.  The credit card bills, the eviction notices all melted away with the crunch of a chip.  I had come so close to getting the Pringle man to speak to me, and was sure that he would have the answers.

After eating a chip and returning to earth one day, however, I looked down and saw that I had accumulated a great deal of body fat from the chips.  This might not be sustainable I thought to myself.  Trying to think of an idea, I looked to the can, which I had taken to doing the last few weeks.  The word “EXTREME” caught my eye, then an amazing idea popped into my brain.

I grabbed my skateboard and ran out the door.


Squinting to keep the sunlight out of my eyes, I walked up and down my busy commercial street. It didn’t take too long for me to find five 14 year old boys drinking Slurpies outside of a 7-11.  They had long, curly hair and clothes that looked extremely expensive.  I walked up to them excitedly.

“Hey guys, whadap?”  I asked, trying to do the gang-symbol for the Bloods but failing.

“Hi.”  One of them said, nudging his friend and smirking.  “What’s up fatso?”

“Nothin….”  I said, trying to tug my shirt over my belly.  “Just wanted to see if you dudes wanted to skate.”

“Um…”  They replied.

“I’ll buy you cigarettes…”  I said.

“Well, alright.”  Another returned.  I had my witnesses.


I went into the 7-11 and came out with three tubes of Pringles and a carton of cigarettes.  They tore into them with glee, sticking them into their mouths and lighting them with the lighters I had supplied for them.  They coughed and wheezed explosively. I said “Yeah, cigarettes are da bomb.”

“Thanks, dude.”  One said between coughs.

“No problemo,”  I said, setting the skateboard onto the ground.  “Now are y’all ready for this?”

They nodded apathetically.  I put one foot onto my skateboard and opened a can of Pringles.  I took seven or eight chips, propelled myself on the skateboard, and put the chips in my mouth.


I awoke to blinding sunlight, my back flat on the concrete.  I sat up, holding my pounding head with my hand.  The fourteen year olds were nowhere to be found, and neither were the Pringles and cigarettes.  I looked down at myself, and saw what I was looking for all along.  A trickle of blood ran from my knee, and I took out my cellphone and snapped a photo of it.


Sitting at my typewriter, I drafted a letter:

Dear Pringles:

hoboThis letter is to inform you that you are being sued.  Your EXTREME BUFFALO WING PRINGLES caused me immense physical and emotional distress.  Your marketing seems to be aimed at people who live the Extreme Sports Lifestyle, so being an Extreme Sports Enthusiast, I tried eating them while skateboarding.  Instead of enhancing my Extreme Sports abilities, however, I fell off my skateboard, and my body became horribly mutilated beyond recognition.  I had some fellow Extreme Athletes witness the event, however, the gore and violence made them run off to pursue treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

I, Tom Van Deusen, am suing you, Pringles, for 1.5 BILLION dollars.  I have attached two photos, one of my wound that I took with my camera phone before fainting in despair, and another of a hobo, because you assholes will be so poor after I’m done suing you that you’ll be homeless.


Thomas C. Van Deusen

Attached: Photo of Disfigured Knee, Drawing of Hobo.



Weeks passed, and I didn’t receive a check from Pringles.  Sad and dejected, I decided to comfort myself with food.  Perusing the shelf at the supermarket for my favorite canned chip, I was flabbergasted to see:


I squealed in delight and knocked their entire stock into my shopping cart.  While I wasn’t sure of the profitability of this new business venture, I knew that good things were coming my way.

Copyright Tom Van Deusen 2014.