Libby’s Zesty Barbecue Vienna Sausage

I’ve always been told that one of the most important things one can do in life is make a good first impression. Unfortunately, I tend to ignore people I deem stupid so most advice goes way over my head. I once took a girl out on a first date and audibly complained that getting another slice of cheese on my burger costs an extra 30 cents. Later on, I mused about “really thinking about buying war bonds” and “striking it rich with Pog collecting.” After I finished explaining that “I’m not a stalker,” she seemed visibly disgusted.

Oh, the witty thought bubbles Blind Date would’ve put over our heads!

Alas, it was not meant to be.

But something I’ve learned from television is that no matter how badly you screw up, you can always dye your hair and move to a different state. This is why back in the 90’s I looked like an Asian Dennis Rodman. Not exactly a pretty sight, but that’s the sacrifice I had to make. All of that’s in the past and now I’m here with all you fine folks reviewing everything America has to offer: the good, the bad, and the Libby’s Zesty Barbecue Vienna Sausages.

Vienna sausages never made a good first impression with me. They were limp, soft, and devoid of any flavor except for perhaps urine and pig intestines. Looking like flaccid hot dogs didn’t help their case either. The fact that they even call it a Vienna sausage is obscene. It’s like inventing a “Luxembourg Sandwich” and making it with bologna and chicken gravy. Granted, that sounds absolutely delicious, but it doesn’t make it accurate.

Vienna is supposed to be a city rich with culture, history, and from what I gathered from the movie Hostel, hot and easy Euro chicks. These sausages have none of that.

Actually, I might be shortchanging them a bit — they might contain Euro chicks, since they’re already made with chicken, beef, and pork. Throw in some tuna and they could make a formidable basketball team down at the local YMCA.

Vienna sausages are life’s “fuck you” waiting in the cabinet when you’re hung over and depressed; heart welling with anguish after a long night of binge drinking because you’re wondering why Gordon Ramsey has to be so darn mean on Hell’s Kitchen. All you have left after that are these crimes against nature, which are mysteriously cheaper than cat food and come in disturbingly similar packaging. I’m not one to turn down a good can of Fancy Feast, but it’s not exactly something I’m proud of. There is a saving light, however! The sausages now come with a zesty barbecue sauce.

The makers of the sausage would like to believe that the addition of an awful sauce would make their product suitable for human consumption. My rebuttal would be a Lex Luthor-style WROOOONG!!!

Damn, where do I start?

The sausages have a distinct metallic aftertaste. I’m not sure if this is because they’ve been in a can since the first world war, but it is not exactly pleasing to the palette. The barbecue sauce is just regular Vienna sausage sauce mixed with some ketchup and brown sugar. It makes for a viscous disaster of a condiment. I tried them on a hot dog bun and barely got through two bites. I wouldn’t even feed it to my worst enemy, for I fear that upon consumption he would be stricken with so much rage that I would be immediately eviscerated.

Maybe it was stupidity or maybe it was morbid curiosity, but I was drawn to these things. For that, I am ashamed. I hope Libby’s enjoy their 48 cents, because it is safe to say that I will not be making this purchase again unless I am attempting suicide and need some extra incentive.

Item: Libby’s Zesty Barbecue Vienna Sausage
Price: 48 cents
Purchased at: Wal-Mart
Rating: 1 out of 5
Pros: Knowing that the production of this stuff at least gives people jobs.
Cons: Barbecue sauce on a god damn vienna sausage. Distinct metallic aftertaste. Complaining about the price of cheese on dates. Look like flaccid hot dogs. An Asian Dennis Rodman. Gordon Ramsey’s temper.

NEWS: Water The Way Nature Intended It, If Nature Was A Multi-Million Dollar Water Filtering Company

Experts recommend that we drink at least eight glasses of water every day. Of course, drinking those eight glasses can help your complexion, aid weight loss, and at times, makes you think about wearing adult diapers to reduce the number of times you have to walk to the restroom each day.

Perhaps the hardest part about drinking eight glasses of water every day is the water itself. Water is the beverage equivalent of the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric — its content is very important, but it’s pretty boring.

Occasionally, I need to force myself to drink water, due to it being unexciting. When the situation arises, I like to think of water either as 7-Up without the carbonation and lemon-lime flavor; vodka without the fun, allergic reaction and blurted out secrets that I promised friends I would keep to myself; or tears from an angel.

I’m kind of exciting about the new PUR Flavor Options, which can possibly turn ordinary filtered tap water into something that’s the water equivalent of Canada’s Naked News — something different, refreshing and with a little bit of flavor. You can add as much or as little fruit flavor to your PUR filtered water with a push of a button.

PUR Flavor Options are available in a pitcher or faucet mount and comes in three flavors: raspberry, strawberry and peach. They contain no calories, sugars or dyes. PUR Flavor Options pitchers retail for $29.99, the faucet mounts at $49.99 and the flavor cartridges, which are sold in two-packs, retail for $9.99.

[Site:] Pur Flavor Options

NEWS: You Say Clamato, I Say Oh-Hell-No

I’ve never had a Clamato in my life, but I’m going to assume that the new Clamato Energia energy drink is possibly the worst energy drink idea EVER.

Sure, it’s got the usual ginseng, guarana, and taurine found in other energy drinks, but the reconstituted tomato juice concentrate mixed with reconstituted dried clam broth in the Clamato itself makes it as appealing as combing the armpit hairs of a juiced up Eastern European female bodybuilder with a voice that sounds like James Earl Jones.

Of course, being the masochistic bastard that I am, I would totally try the Clamato Energia…and possibly comb the armpit hairs of an Eastern European female bodybuilder on steroids. Although I’m allergic to shellfish, so drinking one may cause me to get hives or pass out.

Perhaps one of the more frightening things about the Clamato Energia is the possibility that it might be a gateway drink to even worse beverages, such as anything that contestants on Fear Factor would drink for $50,000 or an O’Doul’s.

[Via:] TIB reader Poncho
[Site:] Clamato

Jalapeño SPAM

“You’re going to eat me, aren’t you?” Marvo heard in an tiny accented voice as he grabbed the can of Jalapeño SPAM from the cupboard.

Marvo thought to himself, “Did this can just talk?”

He examined the small can in his hands, which his friend from Seattle picked up while on vacation in Mexico and gave to him when he visited her for Thanksgiving. He shook the can hoping to make it say something, but didn’t get a response. Thinking it was probably just his imagination, he reached for the pull tab on the top of the can, using his fingernail to help get under it.

Just as he was about to pull the tab, he heard a voice scream, “NOOOOO!”

The scream startled Marvo, causing him to drop the can of Jalapeño SPAM onto the floor making a low thud. He didn’t immediately pick it up, instead he nudged it several times with his foot, hoping to get some kind of feedback from it, like an “ow” or “Damn, you need to wash your feet!” Throwing the can away crossed Marvo’s mind, but he couldn’t let a perfectly good can of meat be wasted like that, so he picked it up, placed it on his kitchen counter, and decided to save it for another day.

As he turned around, he heard something say, “Thank you for not eating me.”

Marvo froze in his tracks, then turned back towards the can of Jalapeño SPAM and gathered what little sanity he had left and asked the can, “Are you talking to me, little can?”

It was silent for a moment and then it said, “I know being eaten will eventually be my fate, but will you grant me one wish before you eat me?”

The can didn’t have a mouth, but somehow it was communicating with him. Marvo pinched himself to make sure he wasn’t dreaming. Then he splashed cold water on his face. Then he pulled out a locked box from a kitchen drawer, punched in the lock’s combination code 1134, opened it and took out a paparazzi photo of pre-surgery Star Jones in a string bikini. Marvo was definitely awake.

“You know, I’m not a genie or the Make-A-Wish Foundation, so I don’t think can grant you anything great, like a million dollars, a beautiful trophy wife or the opportunity to sit shotgun in a NASCAR car during a race,” said Marvo. “Probably the best thing I could get you is a lap dance.”

“No, my wish is simple,” said the can of SPAM. “I have lived a lucky life as a can of SPAM, my journey has taken me from the store shelves of Mexico to the Starbucks saturated streets of Seattle, and now I find myself in the islands of Hawaii. All I ask is that you show me around your beautiful territory.”

“Um, you know Hawaii isn’t a territory and it’s the 50th state of the United States, right?” Marvo asked.

“Oh, I didn’t know that,” the Jalapeño SPAM replied. “I thought Hawaii was a U.S. territory, like Guam or the Virgin Islands. Well I shall keep that little nugget in my head the next time I play Trivial Pursuit or if I end up on Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Anyhoo, will you grant me my wish?”

Marvo took a deep breath, closed his eyes and thought about how lame it would be to be a tour guide for a small can of SPAM, but decided to meet the canned meat’s request. “Tomorrow, I’ll take you around the island and show you the sights, but when we come back I’m going to fry you in a skillet,” said Marvo.

“Very well,” the SPAM replied.

The next day Marvo and his new companion set out on their sightseeing trip around the island of Oahu.

“You sure do speak English well for someone who was born and raised in Mexico,” said Marvo.

“I learned by watching television,” said the Jalapeño SPAM. “Lots of the Discovery Channel, ESPN, Food Network, and American Idol. I also learned a lot from reading the issues of Playboy under your mattress. There are some great articles in every issue.”

“That’s what I keep telling everyone,” said Marvo. “I don’t buy it for the beautiful airbrushed photos of nude women, I buy them for the well written articles.”

The first place Marvo took the can of Jalapeño SPAM was to Oahu’s famous North Shore. There he showed the can of SPAM all the great surfing spots, watching surfers from shore and scoring bad wipeouts. Then he treated the SPAM to Matsumoto’s Shave Ice and gave it brain freeze.

“I heard that SPAM is a delicacy here,” said the Jalapeño SPAM in between bites of its strawberry/vanilla/banana shave ice. “I heard that people from other states would rather use cans of SPAM as paper weights or door stops than eat it.”

“Well I wouldn’t call it a ‘delicacy,’ but we probably do consume more of it than any other state,” said Marvo.

After they were done with their shave ice, the two of them drove around the island with Marvo pointing out where The Real World: Hawaii house was, where to go if you wanted to dump a dead body, the best place to buy “the good stuff,” the street to visit to get a prostitute in the middle of the day, the store that sells porn at any time of the day, and all 50-something Starbucks locations on the island.

When the evening came about, Marvo took the can of Jalapeño SPAM to the world-famous Waikiki. Marvo told his companion that it should count the number of ABC Stores they pass by. The can of SPAM shined with delight as it watched the street performers, looked at all the cheesy crap available at The International Market Place and played a game with Marvo called, “Guess Which Hooker is Really a Dude?”

“Well I guess we should be heading back,” an exhausted Marvo said. “It’s pretty late and I have to fry you up and then eat you. I don’t like to eat too late because I usually have nightmares when I do.”

“Yes, I must meet my fate,” said the SPAM. “I would like to thank you for granting me my one wish. Is there any way I can repay you for your hospitality?”

“Well, I’m going to eat you, so I’m pretty sure that will make us even,” Marvo replied.

When they got home, Marvo pulled out a skillet from the a closet and placed it on the electric stove, turning its knob to medium heat. “Can I have one more small wish, Marvo?” asked the Jalapeño SPAM. “Once you open my pull top lid, I will forget everything I have experienced and pass on. So please let me enjoy those memories for just a bit more.”

Marvo nodded and went to grab a plate and fork. When he returned to the can of SPAM, he gently place his fingers on top of it and the SPAM said, “I am ready, my friend.”

The words “my friend” rang through Marvo’s ears and caused his hands to shake as he reached for the can’s pull top tab with his fingers. He took a deep breath and then pull the tab towards him. A crack and the release of pressured air filled the room.

Marvo stood there almost motionless, except for his trembling hands. Then after taking another deep breath, he pulled the top off of the can. He looked down into the small can of Jalapeño SPAM, the light smell of jalapeno emitted from it. It didn’t look like the dense pink SPAM that he was used to that could easily be cut into strips and chunks. Instead it was like deviled ham spread or wet cat food with small bits of jalapeno in it. Marvo took the can and plopped its contents onto the skillet, causing a sizzling sound. He placed the empty can on the kitchen counter.

He fried it for several minutes and then placed the heated meat product on a plate. After letting it cool a bit, he picked some up with a fork and put it in his mouth. Marvo slowly began chewing and it tasted all right. He noticed that it didn’t taste like the SPAM he was used to, although that could’ve been because of the mild jalapeno flavor.

Marvo decided to turn on the television and after watching a Proactiv commercial, the Friends theme song began to play. While the line, “So no one told you life was going to be this way” was being sung, tears began streaming down Marvo’s face. He was chewing on his friend and felt horrible about it.

When the chorus of the song came on, he sang and danced along with his plate of Jalapeño SPAM, “I’ll be there for you, when the rain starts to pour. I’ll be there for you, like I’ve been there before. I’ll be there for you, ’cause you’re there for me too.”

He ate half of the plate before he threw the rest down the sink out of remorse and the fact that the Jalapeño SPAM was frickin’ salty. Marvo ran into his bedroom and cried himself to sleep.

The next morning Marvo woke up with Jalapeño SPAM breath and scolded himself for eating right before bedtime, since it usually caused him to have weird dreams. He wondered whether all of that time spent with the can of Jalapeño SPAM was just a weird dream.

When Marvo walked into his kitchen, he noticed a note on the counter next to the empty can of Jalapeño SPAM he left there overnight. It read, “I counted 36 ABC Stores in Waikiki. I thought Starbucks was bad.”

Item: Jalapeño SPAM
Price: FREE (3 ounces)
Purchased at: Received from friend
Rating: 2 out of 5
Pros: Mild jalapeno flavor. 11.5 grams of protein. Playing “Guess Which Hooker Is Really a Dude?”
Cons: Not dense like the SPAM I’m used to. Doesn’t taste like the SPAM I’m used to. Frickin’ salty (840 milligrams per can). Very small can. Looks like wet cat food. Number of ABC Stores in Waikiki. Eating before going to sleep. Only available in Mexico. Eating a friend.

REVIEW: Wrigley’s 5 Gum

The new Wrigley’s 5 gum is being marketed to teens, young adults and anyone else who looks like they belong in the audience for MTV’s TRL.

I’m sure Wrigley’s is hoping that this new sugar-free gum becomes a trend among this valuable age demographic, but I don’t think their public relations people, who sent me three boxes of Wrigley’s 5 gum to review, realized that sending me those samples will probably kill any chance of it becoming popular, because I’m the Grim Reaper when it comes to trends. When I use or do something that’s considered trendy, popular or cool, I unintentionally kill it with my scythe of uncoolness.

It’s like when William Hung sings a song, he ruins it forever. I can’t dance to the Ricky Martin song “She Bangs” anymore because of him.

Speaking of dancing, I have stopped the popularity of so many dance moves that I am not allowed to be on or around a dance floor. I killed the Macarena, The Bangles “Walk Like An Egyptian” dance, Riverdancing, the Electric Slide and whatever that dance Flavor Flav does in Public Enemy music videos.

There was supposed to be a third Breakin’ breakdancing movie called Breakin’ 3: Pop and Lock With Me, but that was cancelled thanks to me and my attempts to do the Worm.

Sure, trends aren’t meant to last forever, but I have the ability to give them an earlier death than the trend hoped for, which helps ensure them a place in a future VH1 retrospective special. You’d think someone out there would thank me for this curse, especially those who used to wear fanny packs or clothing that came in neon fluorescent colors and those who drank Zima, but I haven’t gotten a thank you card or an A&E Biography about me.

So by chewing the Wrigley’s 5 gum I’ve already made it uncool, much like how I killed the phrase, “Fo’ shizzle, ma nizzle” and ruined the Rachel hairstyle made popular by Jennifer Aniston during her Friends days. I probably even ruined the product’s marketing slogan, “5 is the new black,” even though I’m not quite sure what it means. To be honest, its name sounds like something very random that was either pulled out of a hat or pointed to on a refrigerator with a magnetic poetry kit by someone who was blindfolded or an extremely inebriated Britney Spears.

Each pack of Wrigley’s 5 gum has 15 sticks and there are only three flavors: Cobalt, Rain and Flare, which is “cool speak” for peppermint, spearmint and cinnamon, and is now no longer cool because I mentioned it. Its slim, black packaging looks trendy and fits well in the front pocket of my jeans, but because I think it’s trendy, it’s no longer trendy.

If you’ve had any spearmint, peppermint or cinnamon gum from Wrigley’s, you probably won’t notice much of a difference with the Wrigley’s 5. It’s like listening to the Nickelback songs “How You Remind Me” and “Someday.” The intensity of each flavor isn’t as strong as their regular Wrigley’s counterparts, but each stick lasted surprisingly long, like a piece of Extra gum.

Overall, Wrigley’s 5 gum is good, but doesn’t seem like it’s anything innovative.

Although, all of that doesn’t really matter since I already killed any chance of it being popular by chewing it. It’s much like how I stopped the spread of Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star shoes, Starter jackets, the 7-Up “Up Yours” green t-shirts, Slap bracelets, acid washed jeans, Where’s Waldo? books, Members Only jackets, and Techno music.

(Editor’s Note: Brian at the Candy Addict also received free samples of Wrigley’s 5 gum. You can read his review here.)

Item: Wrigley’s 5 Gum
Price: FREE
Purchased at: Received from nice people at a PR firm
Rating: 3 out of 5
Pros: If you like other peppermint, spearmint or cinnamon gum from Wrigley’s, you’ll probably like these. 15 sticks of gum. Nice packaging and its slim shape makes it easier to slip in my jeans front pocket. Long lasting flavor. Stopping the popularity of fanny packs, bright florescent clothes and Zima.
Cons: Not anything innovative. Product name seems kind of random. My ability to kill trends. No A&E Biography about me. Acid washed jeans. An extremely inebriated Britney Spears, because you might end up married to her.