“Quality Meat, No Fillers”
Yes, I purposely made that a lower-case. Because I don’t really mean the town of Bologna, here. What I really want your brain to do when you read that title is to pronounce it like I used to when I would see that yellow and red package of Oscar Mayer mystery meat in the grocery store when I was like, all of 8 years old. I said it like this: “Buh-LOG-nuh.” That’s right. Buhlognuh. That’s how I thought you were supposed to say Buh-LOAN-yuh. Whatever.
Just so that you know, by the way, I was lying in bed drifting off to sleep when the thought for this post occurred to me, and I simply had to get it out. Are any of you like that? No, I didn’t think so. That’s ok. I’m not ashamed to admit that my thoughts pre-sleep range from counting sheep to debating the merits of the pronunciation of buh-LOG-nuh versus the ever-so-mysterious BALONEY. Not to mention the fact that I’m blind as a bat (-4.00, in case you were wondering) and with my contacts already safely removed for my nightly slumber, I am forced to type this here ditty up while wearing one of my broken pairs of glasses, missing one of those thingys that hooks over your ears. Crooked glasses. I am a sight. No pun intended—and yet, what a pun if I ever saw one! Wait, there I go again!
Back to business though: a few (rhetorical) questions, here.
1) Where the hell did the word baloney come from?
1a) Why was my favorite childhood stuffed animal, a dark brown bean-bag dog, named Baloney? Was I already obsessed at the tender age of 5?
2) Why did Oscar Mayer decide that the package would say “bologna” but pretty much everyone I know called it “baloney”? (You know, saying bologna would sound so pretentious, right? I mean, after all, you’re buying a processed food product that claims on its label “made with chicken and pork,” which, if that doesn’t raise a few red flags for you, well, read it again.)
This vocab conundrum…it’s like “catsup” (pronounced exactly as you read it: CAT-SUP) versus “ketchup” (pronounced like “catch up!”). I have never called that red sauce “cat-sup” in all my live-long days, and yet the labels continue to proclaim it is so. And don’t be mistaken: this varies wildly from the whole tomato versus tomahto debate. That, my friends, is pronunciation. Here, we are talking about a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SPELLING of a word meant to represent the SAME PRODUCT.
I know. It boggles the mind. I know!
Yes, people. This is what goes rattling through my head after a 16-hour day chasing around 3 children under age 5 in 90-plus degree weather, while trying to hold down a full-time job, grocery shop, provide clean clothing and clean non-paper/plastic dishware and utensils for my family, and, on the rare occasion, actually bathe as well. Ah yes, the little luxuries of life! Clean armpits! (Shaved would be asking far too much on more than a bi-weekly basis).
And yet, before I digress too heavily, allow me to show you the inspiration for this mind-blowingly intelligent post. If you follow me on Twitter, perhaps you are just the 1% of those who are so above-average you are like in a realm with those people who scored 1600 on their SATs, and so you might have already seen THIS:
Who, on God’s great Earth, might I ask, was the marketing genius that green-lighted this poster that was proudly covering every single window of my grocery store today, while my children and I ate popsicles straight from the box sitting out front, like the desperate heat-exhausted people that we are? Because I want to meet him or her and shake his or her proverbial hand. Sheer genius—nothing less, nothing more. Let us analyze:
1) You have successfully paired two consumable items, which, when taken separately, are fairly digestable, and yet, when paired together, are a marriage of culinary trash the likes of which are rarely seen in full-color print, let alone for a whopping 40% off.
2) Why can’t we just call a spade a spade, and call baloney by its proper name, the breathtakingly elegant Mortadella Bologna IGP? I mean, it’s mortadella di Bologna. Not like the only damn thing they produce in Bologna is baloney, right? And why the hell can’t the Italians just call it buh-LOG-nuh like we Americans do?
3) What the hell is that white stuff?
3a) What in God’s name is THIS nonsense that used to scare the living daylights out of me when I was still small enough to ride in the front part of a grocery cart? Thank God my mom never had the inclination to buy anything as dreadfully named as OLIVE LOAF. Jesus H. Christ, people. Speaking of marketing geniuses. And, I dare you to name the key meat. It’s … three.
Anyways, my point is this:
[fill in the blank space with something meaningful]
I don’t buy mortadella. And I think that just *might* have some kind of correlation to my traumatic Oscar Mayer experiences. I lived on baloney and
cheese processed-cheese-food sandwiches on Wonder bread with a so-called “baggie” of orange wedges in a brown paper lunch sack for, like my entire second grade year, if memory serves. That may have also been the year I had a plastic Miss Piggy lunchbox. I can’t quite recall.
It’s just a crying shame that my mom never thought to pack a Heineken in that there Thermos(R). Or I, for one, since I think I was the one packing my damn lunch already at 8 years old.
(cue cymbals and drums, wave to the crowd, commence throwing of flowers, mixed with launching of hastily scribbed bits of paper containing the phone numbers of various incredibly hot and temptingly available men who can’t resist my wit regarding lunch meats, curtains closing, etc.)