Monday, July 16, 2007

Serving Suggestion

You notice on food packages often it says "Serving Suggestion." The impression I've always had of this is that on the package they show a picture of the food, and it looks way better than you could ever hope to prepare it in your own kitchen in a thousand years, and so they put this little disclaimer, "Serving Suggestion," on the package as a way of saying, "Hey, if you can't prepare our product to look this good, don't lawsuit us!"

I mean, you buy a frozen pizza, and on the box there's this picture of the pizza, hot from the oven, with about three times as much sausage and pepperoni as it would actually have on it, and of course the anti-lawsuit, anti-whammy inscription, "Serving Suggestion."

Or on a package of taco seasoning, there's a picture of these tacos like nothing anyone this side of a master chef could ever actually prepare. And... "Serving Suggestion." In other words, if your tacos don't turn out looking this good, don't lawsuit us!

I've got a box of pancake mix on my kitchen counter, it shows pancakes with a perfectly squared-off unmelted pat of butter on top, and impossibly unrunny glassine-immobile syrup, "Serving Suggestion," don't sue us if the butter on your pancakes melts and the syrup all gets absorbed and disappears into the pancake!

In fact I got some generic soda crackers the other day, and on the side of the box you'll find these soda crackers (a) with more salt than they actually have on them, and (b) sitting next to a bowl of tomato soup with little bits of parsley sprinkled on top of the soup. Once again, "Serving Suggestion." Never mind that those of us out here in the real world have never in our lives seen tomato soup that had parsley sprinkled on top of it. I mean, it's just unreal!

Those evil food manufacturers! Taunting us with pictures of food prepared as never mortal eyes have seen, knowing that we will be stuck with their actual paltry food items from inside the box, dreary, sparse, uninspired and uninspiring. But hey, say the food companies, don't lawsuit us! The paradisiacal picture on the box is only a "Serving Suggestion"! And thereby the food manufacturers, like a witch doctor muttering his preemptive counter-spell, have covered themselves with a shield of protection against the smiting curse of a lawsuit from those who would cry, "Hey, the pizza doesn't really have that much sausage and pepperoni on it!"; or, "Hey, where's the parsley for the tomato soup?! You didn't supply any parsley, tomato soup not included, now pay us $54 million in an emotional-damages class-action lawsuit, wah-ah-ah-ah-ahhh! Wah-ah-ah-ahhhhh!!"

And let's not even get into the deep, dark, cryptic juju of Reg. Penna. Dept. Agr.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol serving suggestion.....that reminds me of the master disclaimer of all time:

"Warranty does not cover misuse, accident, extraterrestrial impact, lightning, floods, tornadoes, solar flares, tsunami, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, supernovas, hurricanes, other Acts of God, neglect, damage from improper or unauthorized use, incorrect line voltage and/or frequency, broken antenna or marred cabinet, missing or altered serial numbers, chemical reactions, electromagnetic radiation from nuclear blasts, sonic boom shock waves, customer adjustments that are not covered in this list, and incidents owing to an airplane crash, divine intervention, extraterrestrial intervention, ship sinking or taking on water, motor vehicle crashing, explosive decompression, hard vacuum, dropping the item, falling rocks, falling on rocks, falling on anything, caustic chemicals, napalm, leaky roofs, broken glass, magnetic fields, laser or other energy weapons, sub-atomic particle bombardment, emissions of x-rays, microwave, ultraviolet, cosmic, and/or gamma rays, mud slides, forest fires, or projectiles (which may include, but are not limited to, arrows, bombs, artillery shells, missiles, bullets, snowballs, hand grenades, buckshot, flares, shrapnel, liquid-filled balloons, torpedoes, knives, stones, spears, swords, maces, pikes, clubs, etc.). Other restrictions may apply."

Monday, July 16, 2007 4:45:00 PM  
Blogger Paul Burgess said...


Yeah, "Whatever you do, whatever happens, DON'T LAWSUIT US!"

Monday, July 16, 2007 8:24:00 PM  

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