Alex v. Spuds, and a Cheesy Confession

I broke my own self-imposed rule and let five days elapse without updating my blog. Oh, the shame. The truth is, my spinoff blog – Eat My Words – is taking up a lot of time. It’s an ambitious project to begin with, and requires daily posts and Facebook updates. I’ll admit, a few times Tara and I have wondered what we’ve gotten ourselves into, but the experience is proving to be fun and regardless of the effort involved, we shall persevere!

I’m so used to writing about food, though, any other topic feels strange. Hmm…what to discuss?

Ooh, I know! American cheese!

That hardly counts as a food, anyway. Those plastic-wrapped individual slices of highly processed “cheese food” (what?) or “cheese product” (eww) probably have zero nutritional value, and can’t really be described as even remotely resembling real cheese. And yet, I’m about to share a secret here, a dirty little confession sure to bring me scorn and ridicule: I love American cheese.

How many other types of cheese contain individually wrapped slices?!

How many other types of cheese contain individually wrapped slices?!

This flies in the face of reason, I know. Especially after I dissed Velveeta last year, not to mention those cans of pressurized Cheez Whiz that Tara is so fond of. I know that American cheese is no better. And yet, I can’t help it: it’s a guilty pleasure of mine. Especially on a burger. You can have your fancy cheddar or swiss, but nothing melts better (or exudes more oozy, cheesy goodness) than a slice of American atop your beef patty. The same holds true for bologna sandwiches (am I right or am I right, Jess Witkins?) And, well, a myriad of other food groups, too. Because I’m a cheap bastard, I like to order from the Value Menu at Jack In The Box. Two tacos for 99 cents? That’s a hell of a deal. The first time I had one, I was surprised to find a slice of American cheese draped across the top of the meat. Wasn’t sure how that was going to go over, but one bite later and I was hooked. I know, it sounds weird, but those tacos are really good. So is the grilled cheese sandwich, which contains – you guessed it – American cheese sandwiched between two slices of sourdough. Man, I’m drooling just thinking about it!

So, food snob or not, there will always be a place in my heart for American cheese.

There will also be a place in my heart for Alex the dog. Remember him? He was the mascot for Stroh’s Beer back in the 80s. I don’t know why he popped into my head the other night, but there we were, reading in bed, when I turned to Tara and said, “Hey, remember that dog from the Stroh’s beer commercials?” She had never heard of Alex (or Stroh’s, for that matter). Of course, she was all of 7 when this commercial came out, and probably (hopefully) not into beer all that much then.

I loved Alex, and wanted a dog just like him. In an effort to placate me, my folks let us have a pair of cats instead. They were cute and furry, I’ll give them that, but neither one ever fetched a bottle of anything from the refrigerator. Cats are like that, though. Everything is all “me, me, me” in their little brains.

Alex was awesome, but then Spuds Mackenzie came along and stole his thunder. I was never a fan of Spuds. He wasn’t nearly as cute OR intelligent, in my humble opinion.

(Side note: why are opinions always described as being “humble”? It’s your opinion, man. OWN it!).

I’m all over the place today…

Anyway. Spuds was a poser. “He” was really a “she.” And what did he/she even do, anyway? That no-talent hack was a lazy bastard (err, bitch) who liked to hang out poolside with a cold Bud Light while scantily-clad women danced and cavorted around him/her, cooling, “He’s a super party animal.” I watched three commercials as research for this post, and they were all basically identical.

Alex was the real super party animal, in my humb…IN MY OPINION, DAMMIT!

R.I.P., Alex (real name Banjo), who died a few years after the Stroh’s campaign ended in 1989. Stroh’s is still around, apparently, though it was bought out by another company and is hard to find.

Just in case you were wondering.

I think we need more dog-centric beer commercials. I’m kinda over those damn Clydesdales already. And frogs? Puh-leeze. Who let the dogs out? Who? Who? Bring back the dogs already! Primetime is ready for a dogs-and-beer revival.

Or…hmm…dogs and American cheese. Now we’re talking!

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Categories: Food, Pop Culture

Tags: , , , , , , ,

16 replies

  1. Q: “How many other types of cheese contain individually wrapped slices?!”
    A: At least one that I know of. Tillamook Cheddar.

    Like

  2. Well….they do have milk in each individual slice. I’ll give that to you.

    I had never heard of Alex either. The only Alex I knew of was Alex P. Keating. Come to think of it. I never heard of Stroh’s beer either.

    Oh well!

    Like

  3. Hi Mark I’ve been following your blog for awhile and I am now following your other one. I’m not one who comments often. I just wanted to say I work in a factory where we package different kinds of cheese.So I know about cheese. if you have any questions let me know.

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  4. JACKS TACOS ROCK!!! I LOVE THEM TOO!! If only they had lima beans in them…….*sigh*

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  5. Ickk. I’m not a food snob. I’ve been known to eat frosting as a meal. But I can’t handle American cheese That falls in with fish sticks and soggy carrots, the list of awful things my mom made us eat!

    Like

  6. Well, as you know…I’m far from a food snob because I eat in diners for god sake, but I’m not crazy about American cheese in plastic wrappers because that’s what they taste like to me….plastic.

    Mark….I LOVED watching that commercial. OMG…it’s been ages since I’ve seen it but it brought back memories for me.

    R.I.P. Alex (Banjo).

    ” Cats are like that, though. Everything is all “me, me, me” in their little brains.”

    HA! How freakin’ true is that!!!!

    Like

  7. I hate to admit I also like cheese slices – on my hamburgers, etc. But never alone, it just doesn’t taste good alone, it’s made to accompany food.

    Like

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