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November 20, 2015

Blast From the Past: Nerd Food

Filed under: Main — admin @ 12:01 am

I once wrote a computer humor column, long before people knew about computers — or even humor, for that matter. Here’s one of those articles. This one is about “computer food.”

“More Computer Food”
by Dan Gookin

I was all set and ready to write a column about which computer Our Almighty God uses. I had to really think about it. After all, I don’t want to offend anyone by exposing who The Lord is compatible with and which users have fallen from grace recently. So I decided to swing by the local Vons and pick up some brain food. That’s when I figured on changing the topic of this column to computer food.

It became obvious to me while cruising down the aisle, that a whole slew of new food is available
for computer people to eat. The Hostess chefs must be working overtime, because nearly every new product has to have been designed with computer people in mind. Witness:

Strawberry Filled Twinkies

How can you improve upon simplicity? The ultimate instant-spaz snack Twinkies has now been made better by squirting this gooey, red-colored substance into its center, along with the mystery white stuff.

Billed as containing “Creamy Filling & Real Fruit,” the new Fruit & Creme Twinkies lists the word “strawberry” only once on its ingredients list. It’s called “strawberry puree,” which is button four on my blender, and it’s listed eighth, after such highlights as sugar (number one), corn syrup (see number one), and thiamine mononitrate (number five).

The new Twinks will put a zing into your evening. They have the advantage of not being sticky or crumbly, which the computer keyboard likes, but they lack the elegance of the original, non-fruit filled snack cakes.


Sometimes you’ve been working on that stupid C program until 2:00 a.m. and you just need to stop and get a “box of something.” It used to be the classic Nilla wafers. (Didja know that “Nilla” is short for Vanilla? Yet where is it on the box?) Or you could try for some Oreos, but then you get even more black crumbs in your keyboard.

So you look in vain for a box of something and, after a time, you feel like standing in aisle nine of the local Vons (just as I’ve done), and screaming, “Why can’t they make a decent box full of some kind of snack food that won’t bore me to death?” Right then and there a box of Doo-Dads will catch the bright neon light just right and you’ll feel it’s a sign from God.

Doo-Dads are great because they’re so many different things. You can’t really get bored with eating them, like you can with, say, Ritz crackers. Where Ritz crackers get old as soon as you have Ritz dust on your lips, Doo-Dads taste different with each handful.

Shrimp Flavored Chips

In case you haven’t noticed, quite a few of the grocery stores in town are now sporting Japanese sections. You can get those Hapoi greeblies, the nuts and pontoon-shaped nibbling snacks, or you can go for the gusto and grab a sackful of Shrimp Flavored Chips.

They look a lot like twisty french fries, but they certainly reek of shrimp. In fact, they’ll stink up your breath so nice that folks with think you’ve been munching on the cat food. However, for a nice, crunchy and never-wholesome snack, they’re recommended by a guru. In fact, “shrimp” only ranks fifth on the ingredient list, right after modified food starch. Hmmm. Yummy.

Haagen Dazs

No computer feast would be complete without the ceremonial pint of Haagen Dazs ice cream. There are new flavors of Haagen Dazs out there to tempt your tummy, but you’ve got to look carefully for them. The pint sized packages (and who are they kidding putting “2 servings” on the side of that!) are colored differently than the traditionally containers. Watch out for them.

My recommendations? The Mocha Peanut Butter was superb, but a little thick. The chocolate is bitter (well, hell, it’s “mocha,” whatever that is), which mixes well with the peanut butter-like substance. I strongly recommend chasing each bite with a swig of Coke or Jolt Cola.

Other new flavors include Macadamia Nut Brittle and Deep Chocolate Fudge. Both of which earn a 10 on the 10-point strange dream scale if you eat a pint before retiring.


Finally, I’d like to mention that I owe nothing to the Vons grocery store, even though I find their commercials less annoying than the other 24-hour chains. It’s open all night, which comes in handy when bedtime is 6:00 a.m., and the nice lady at the checkout has never once commented on the things I buy. (I once tossed in a women’s magazine with the banner headline “Tone Your Thighs” and she still didn’t say anything.)

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