Back in 1948, Don Callender started his business Marie Callender’s—named after his dear mother—to sell pies, wholesale, to restaurants. Eventually, of course, he turned it into a chain of restaurants and finally into some of the finest frozen food you can buy for less than two dollars. Indeed, Safeway has all of their Marie Callender’s dinners on sale for $1.89. I couldn’t pass up that deal, so I bought a couple. As I was microwaving this dining delight[1}, I noticed something: the picture of the woman and child cooking on the back.
Of course, it is kind of funny in and of itself. It is almost as though the makers are saying: this is the culture that we are proudly destroying with our products! But there is something more. I know from years of looking at models pretending to be Marie Callender, that the woman in this picture is supposed to be Mrs. Callender. That’s why it isn’t really funny that this frozen dinner has a picture of people actually cooking as opposed to mindlessly scooping potatoes out of a dish while they watch reruns of The Biggest Loser; it’s a picture of Callender doing the home cooking that we all are just too busy to do.
But let’s move in a little closer on this pretend mother of Don Callender:
Note anything strange? The hair looks okay: sort of “active person’s gray.” But her face! She’s younger than I am! She can’t be more than late thirties! I guess it is no longer true that sixty is the new forty. Now eighty is the new thirty.
I am now determined to die old, just so I can get as ugly and old-looking as possible. If I get the money, I’m going to start my own old-person’s network where people look their age and don’t give a damn. And we’re going to stage demonstrations against Marie Callender’s and anyone else who pretends to be old. There are so many great things that go along with getting old. One of them is becoming knowledgeable. A world run by 80-year-olds wouldn’t need over a gram of salt to make frozen food taste better than cardboard.
Long live the old, and anyone under thirty is best neither seen nor heard!
1What was this dining delight? It is hard to say. I could read what it says on the box, but they are all pretty much the same. There were mashed potatoes, some kind of meat product thing, and then a vegetable medley that was mostly corn. And 1.09 grams of salt, which I think is your recommended monthly allowance.