NUTS AND GUM: TOGETHER AT LAST!
("I'm a white male. Ages 18 to 49. Everyone listens to me! No matter how dumb my suggestions are.")
I'm going to write a letter to Santa Claus, and, by "Santa Claus", I mean Umbria Inc., a company that monitors blog opinions as a form of market research for high-powered corporate clients. Since the middle of November, I've been getting a couple of hits from UmbriaListens.com a day, which probably means that their database computer has flagged this blog as one of the ones they keep an eye on as a source of meaningful and valuable consumer opinion. Don't snicker, it's true (though they accumulate and aggregate opinions from millions of blogs, according to their site).
Still, even if I'm just one voice out of thousands, if not millions, of bloggers, I'll pretend my opinion matters and avail myself of this golden opportunity to list a wholebuncha stuff I want back, and, hopefully, at least a couple of these companies are clients.
- First and foremost, Nestlé should bring back Orange Aero (officially-called Aero Orange, by the way) chocolate bars to the Canadian market on a permanent basis. They seem to roll Orange Aero out in Canada once every six or seven years for a few months at a time, but I don't care for this "Limited Edition" bullshit. It's the best chocolate bar in the world, I should be able to buy it any time I want.
- Other "limited edition" chocolate bars I want back (mostly the former Rowntree brands now owned by Nestlé): Coffee Aero/Cappucino Aero, Orange Coffee Crisp, Raspberry Coffee Crisp, Orange Kit Kat, Strawberry Kit Kat, Orange Smarties, Orange Crunchie (which is from Cadbury, not Nestlé, I know).
- Oh, and I want Coca-Cola to continue selling plain Vanilla Coke and not replace it with Cherry Vanilla Coke. (I wrote about that last month, so I'm not going to repeat myself.) And it's about time to bring back New Coke (a.k.a. Coke II), which I liked, at least. And Coca-Cola should distribute Mexican Coca-Cola, made with real sugarcane sugar, in North America north of southern Texas and southern California, at least as an item for premium or speciality supermarkets. Maybe call it "Coke Fiesta" or "Coke Viva!".
- I want the Zinger to come back to KFC. That was the best spicy chicken sandwich from any major fast-food chain. They replaced it with the Spicy Colonel's Big Crunch, which is okay, but the spiciness is in the sauce, whilst the chicken patty for the Zinger was marinated in hot sauce, which makes it more evenly distributed. Also at KFC, I want to see Hot Wings back. I love those things.
- Either Dunkin Donuts should bring back or Tim Horton's should introduce a banana-cream donut, since banana is the best donut flavour ever. And there should be a lot more banana-flavored stuff in general, like Banana shakes at McDonald's, which McDonald's used to have for a while in the 1980s.
- Why the hell hasn't Carlsberg yet brought Carlsberg's Special Brew beer over to North America? Add some British football hooligan street cred to the malt liquor cooler.
- A&W should try selling the brown-coloured Cream Soda in Canada again. I have no idea why that failed the first time around.
- Remember Sparkies, the Canadian rip-off version of Skittles? I think Mars eventually sued and won and shut down production of Sparkies, which was fine for the fruit-flavoured varieties, where there was very little difference compared to the real Skittles, but I miss Sparkies III, the ice-cream flavoured variety, and, especially, Sparkies IV, the kind that were soft drink-flavoured. Even after a decade and a half, I can remember the cola and root beer-flavoured Sparkies like it was yesterday.
- Speaking of soft drink-flavoured candies, I wish Nestlé's Wonka label would bring back Fizzy Bottle Caps.
- Nissin should really put the freeze-dried egg back in the Nissin Cup Noodles. I miss that. And make the Shrimp Cup Noodles easier to find in Canada.
- Speaking of shrimp, Pizza Hut should bring shrimp back as a topping option.
- Oh, and remember how they had Marks and Spencers in Canada up until about 1999, when the domestic version of the British retail chain went out of business? I remember hearing a couple of years back that they'd start selling Marks and Spencers St. Michael-branded at a Canadian supermarket chain, I think Loblaws, but I don't think anything ever came of that. Well, it should, because I really miss St. Michael's shrimp curry. And the blue-wrappered toffees. And the "Shrimp Cocktail" chips.
- Why is it so fricking difficult to find Old El Paso-brand burritos at Canadian supermarkets now? They used to be all over the place, but now all I can seem to find are store brands.
- McCain should bring back the Microwave Burgers and Fries in a box. I remember that some kids on Street Cents found them unappetizing, but I loved them.
- I also miss Chef Boyardee Roller Coasters, with the noodles that are like the Chef Boyardee Lasagna noodles, but also meatballs. And the tomato sauce was the best of all the Chef Boyardee canned lunch food items.
- I'm annoyed that Kraft, while they still sell the Spicy Chicken Delissio pizzas, doesn't seem to offer personal-sized Spicy Chicken Delissio pizzas anymore. Just the full-size ones, which are fairly useless to me since neither my mother or my father really care for Spicy Chicken pizza all that much.
- They should bring Sara Lee cheesecake in a cup back to Canadian vending machines. That stuff was heavenly. Jell-O sells cheesecake in a cup too, and it's pretty good, but the Sara Lee version was much more like real cheesecake, complete with a crumbly cake base.
- Why is it that Glade, Wizard, and the other air freshener companies won't sell pine scent anymore? I think the problem is that too many people associate pine scent with Pine-Sol, which is a industrial cleaner smell that doesn't even really smell like pines. Put natural-smelling pine scent in a spray can, and it would be like Christmas year round.
- You know how they sell those classic videogames in self-contained plug-in controllers? Sega, Atari, and Taito should team up and do one that has early 3D arcade games from the late 1980s and early 1990s, with the bright and colourful untextured polygons. I love that retro-3D look. Games this contoller should include are Hard Drivin', Race Drivin', Virtua Racing, Virtua Cop, the first Virtua Fighters, Air Inferno, and, especially, Top Landing (a.k.a. Landing Gear), still my all-time favourite arcade game. And Sega should also do one with arcade-perfect Outrun, Turbo Outrun, and Outrunners.
- Microsoft should do a driving game that merges the inch-by-inch accuracy and licensed storefronts of their (well, Bizarre Creations') Project Gotham Racing franchise with the freedom to roam anywhere you want of their Midtown Madness franchise (which needs to be resurrected). And Project Gotham Racing 4 should include Montreal as one of the cities. And I wish Microsoft would bring back Train Simulator.
- Isn't LaserDisc about past due for a revival? It should become the video version of vinyl for those of us who miss the "warmth" of analogue.
Hey, Pierre Bernard, if you want to use any of these as material or inspiration for a rant on your "Pierre Bernard's Recliner of Rage" segments on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, you have my full permission.