Corporate America wants to insult your intelligence. "Hey,
rube! Wanna buy a barking spoon?"
This is not some hillbilly trading shack. Color photographs were printed by
Quaker Oats onto millions of packages of Life cereal. Of a barking spoon.
"Barking Spoon Offer," it says.
On the side of the box, there's a picture illustrating it's intended use. A
hand lowers the device into a bowl of cereal. "Bark!! Bark! Bark!" is
written above the bowl. "Dip this spoon into your milk and it starts barking!"
the cereal box explains. A cartoon shows a surprised dog looking on.
So if you send them a check, they'll mail you a red plastic spoon which also
barks. "Group requests will not be accepted," the legalese warns. "Not
responsible for lost, stolen or mutilated submissions."
And barking spoon distribution rights will be protected to the full extent of
the law. "This offer and/or certificate may not be reproduced, duplicated, or
published without the express written consent of the Quaker Oats Company," the
cereal box warns. Below that, they offer a detachable stub for the Life cereal
Barking Spoon offer. "PLEASE KEEP FOR YOUR RECORDS," it says.
The surreal swirl of capitalism and corporations finds marketers targetting the
forgotten demographic, the countless Americans leading crumpled lives twisted
and tortured by one thought. "I wish they'd make a spoon that had pictures of
dogs on its handle that would bark."