Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste

Prologue

Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Food in Motion

August 9, 2013
Last year I wrote about my pet peeve over kids only holding drumsticks in chicken advertisements. I still haven’t seen a child holding a thigh or breast. I now have another peeve—food in motion.

     

Physicists claim that everything is in a constant state of motion and advertisers have taken this to heart. Remember the days when commercials showed food on plates? Hungry Man Dinners didn’t need to be rendered motionless with a baseball bat. Times have changed.

    

Recently I’ve seen TV commercials featuring coconut shrimp from restaurants such as The Outback and Red Lobster. These shrimp bounced about like they were partying on a trampoline. Another commercial for Carl’s Junior showed a hamburger quivering with what looked like sexual anticipation, lettuce jiggling like the skirt of a hula girl. Why is food now being shown to us in motion? Are moving entrees more delectable than still ones? Are we reverting back to our prehistoric ancestors? Are we hyenas looking for something moving, something to kill?

    

Here are a few food items I’ve recently spotted in motion:

 

#1 Arby’s roast beef sandwiches appear with meat piling into buns without human  

     help.

 

#2 Sunkist oranges squeeze into bottles without help.

 

#3  Subway sandwiches rotate as if on a carousel while looking nothing like what I pick  

      up at my local franchise.

 

#4  Wine and soy milk fall from the sky like magical elixirs into crystal containers— 

       without spilling a drop.

 

#5  At IHOP, strawberries and blueberries rain from the sky onto waffles and pancakes.

 

#6  Kellogg’s Mini Swirlz cereal commercial is nonstop action, a twisting hallucinogenic  

      nightmare designed to addict children with chocolaty charm.

 

#7  M&Ms are alive and go to parties where they struggle against being eaten. Another 

      recent commercial shows an M&M distraught about having a pretzel shoved up 

      his…inserted inside him.

 

#8 REDVINES grow uncontrollably and remind me of that red crap covering

      everything in War of the Worlds.

        

I can’t explain why Taco Bell’s Cheesy Gordita Crunch appears in the sky like a religious apparition, magically filling itself with three kinds of cheeses before wrapping itself in flatbread for $1.39. I find all this motion disconcerting and less than appetizing. 

   

Lions and sharks might like moving food but I prefer my meals motionless. Five million years of evolution have earned us the right to eat food that doesn’t spin or wiggle or bounce. As far as I’m concerned the most important element in haute cuisine is that food should be still

 



Comments

30 Comments
Ha - you are hilarious. My favorite: "I canât explain why Taco Bellâs Cheesy Gordita Crunch appears in the sky like a religious apparition, magically filling itself with three kinds of cheeses before wrapping itself in flatbread for $1.39." Now I know what I want for lunch! But I'll make sure it stays put before I put it into my mouth :)
By: The Bug on August 9, 2013
Here here! I'm with you on this one, Stephen. Although, come to think of it, last night's rare fillet did recoil a bit when I slashed it with my steak knife!
By: Bryan Jones on August 9, 2013
Good points all! I drown my food in catsup until it stops moving.
By: Cranky on August 9, 2013
Last night I opened a bottle of wine to let it breathe. Would you believe I could actually see its little chest go in & out?
By: fishducky on August 9, 2013
It's probably the food equivalent of why they always have women's hair and skirts blowing around in ads.
By: PT Dilloway on August 9, 2013
i try to skip thru commercials by never watching tv live - tgf dvrs.
By: TexWisGirl on August 9, 2013
I never pay much attention to ads, but it seems to me you're right. I don't know why they think the food on the move is more appealing to people. I really hate the ads where the food is walking around, talking, like it's human. I detested the California Raisins back in the day, and now I detest the walking, talking M&M's.
By: Eve Prokop on August 9, 2013
I definitely do not want to eat food that is moving, and that M&M's commercial makes me want to go out and rescue those poor little things. Food in motion? I was behind a car that was moving very slowly, and just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, the driver chunked a half eaten chicken leg out the window that almost hit me. Sheesh.
By: Shelly on August 9, 2013
oh hahah - the ONLY food that should move/quiver is jello!
By: Kathe W. on August 9, 2013
I agree....I prefer my meals not still be alive and kicking!
By: Eva Gallant on August 9, 2013
Food should only float if it's ghost food.
By: mimi on August 9, 2013
I don't watch TV or adverts and have never seen any food moving! But I'll take your word for it. ;D
By: LL Cool Joe on August 9, 2013
I don't care for most advertisements but I do understand some of the nonsensical ideological poop thinking behind some of it. But first a disclaimer: I don't support these practices. 1. The more idiotic the better. You'll remember how bloody stupid it was. 2. Families rarely eat a sit-down dinner. They are always on the go. 3. The percentage of families eating out or takeout has increased significantly. 4. In the USA there are funeral homes providing drive-thru viewing. Ask yourself WHY and the answer usually is $$$.
By: Daniel LaFrance on August 9, 2013
This did make me smile, Stephen. You have some amazing adverts in the USA by the sound of it. It's not something that's occured to me about the UK adverts but I'll keep a look out now on the odd occasion I watch TV. I don't want food in motion either!
By: Sharon Bradshaw on August 9, 2013
maybe they are subliminally suggesting we will expend more calories eating their moving food than eating less exciting still food so we can afford togorge on it.
By: lime on August 9, 2013
I hadn't noticed this trend but then I rarely watch commercials. No doubt, this will be very apparent now that you have pointed it out. I think you have a very good point that food shouldn't be moving. I might make an exception for the M&M candies.
By: Cheryl P. on August 9, 2013
"...a hamburger quivering with sexual anticipation... Now that made me laugh out loud! I like my food to make only one motion: from the plate to my mouth.
By: Pixel Peeper on August 9, 2013
I have a soft spot in my heart for the M & M ads. Except possibly for that pretzel one, which I haven't seen yet and don't really want to ... Funny post and funny comments
By: jenny_o on August 9, 2013
I will gladly eat moving food as long as that creepy Burger King rubber-headed dude will stay out of my house.
By: Val on August 9, 2013
It's the food revolution! Tired of being kept plated and silent, they've leaped into the 21st century and demanded the right to be free in the pursuit of happiness. Viva la revolution! :-)
By: Lexa Cain on August 9, 2013
The first job of advertising is to get you to REMEMBER it, and you did. You just recited 10+/- examples of moving food you've seen recently. And now you're blogging about it to your hundreds (?) of readers. Therefore, the ads worked just as...well...advertised. ;)
By: Scott Park on August 9, 2013
Well, I kind of liked the California Raisins as they danced.
By: Tom Cochrun on August 9, 2013
Stephen, I think advertisers are appealing to our primal instincts. It reminds our reptilian center of when food used to run away. It's the thrill of the hunt. Don't you think?
By: Venita Louise on August 9, 2013
You are so right... and so funny. I haven't seen most of these commercials, but I did see that M&M/Pretzel bit ... You wouldn't catch me eating one of those!
By: Mitchell is Moving on August 10, 2013
Hmmm, haven't noticed this latest phenomenon. Last time I saw food in motion was at a food fight in 7th grade!
By: tom sightings on August 10, 2013
Now I know why I record everything. ;)
By: Rita McGregor on August 10, 2013
I think you're watching too much t.v. :)
By: Catalyst/Bruce on August 10, 2013
Food should only move one way, from mouth to Tummy!
By: John on August 11, 2013
You're too funny. I've never given any thought to food in motion but of course, now I'll see it everywhere.
By: Hilary on August 11, 2013
I like the M@M moving but the rest should stay still. If my memory serves right that is the first food idem to be moving. I did enjoy your blog. We do notice moving idem more so than still. I do not like commercials I go for a snack or to do a small chore.
By: Black eyed Susan on August 12, 2013

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