Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Ironstrong Psychological Graspy Trick of Oreos

Oreos come in two sizes: regular, and bite size. We all know this, and we do not rise up in arms against Oreos, because that would be just silly.

The regular size of Oreo is in fact a bite and a half of cookie--unless you've got a freaky big or crazy small mouth, or you're just in a hurry, or you're being obnoxious about the way you're "enjoying" the cookie. But, in general, Oreos are one and a half bites of cookie. What this makes us do:

"I just ate an Oreo.... And I promised myself I wouldn't have a whole lot of sugar today. But they're so small--what's the big deal? And besides: I have to finish that second bite. And it would be silly to just have another third of an Oreo. Wasteful. I sure as heck don't like to be wasteful. Except with gasoline. I suppose I could just take the train, or walk sometimes, or carpool, but I like my car. But not with Food. Except if it's onions--no problem leaving onions on my plate--or breadcrust--why can't they just make bread WITHOUT crust? But you can't waste half an Oreo. It would be unconscionable. (Is that a word? Don't know. Thought it was.) Plus, they're just so small. Another one won't hurt. And I'd better take one...well, two more for the road. I'm not going anywhere, but...you know...anyway. Just a couple more. I think I need some milk..."

Before you know it, you've eaten half of them.

Bite Size Oreos are actually half a bite of cookie. Same principal, but subtler. You eat them by the handful without a thought. Nine or ten bite size Oreos instead of one or two regular ones. They come in smaller packages, though, so generally you don't even give it a thought. Oreos are like Goldfish (the snack that smiles back! Little kid eating a Goldfish while watching a Goldfish commercial runs away from the TV: "Mommy, the fish are smiling at me. I'm scared, mommy. Will ghost fish haunt me?" Mommy's thinking: Why couldn't the corporate moguls stick to the material? Why did they need to branch into the ethereal, and wonder how our snacks feel? I thought "the talk" would just be about sex. Ho hum.).

Uh.... Sort of got lost in my tangent. What was I talking about? Oh, right. Oreos.

So Oreos play this trick on us: we eat more of them than we ought to. And of all the tricks that the corporate world plays on its consumers--of all the psychological grasps they have over us--this seems like the one least complained of. Sure, we complain of eating too much, and eating too much sugar and snacks. We say, "Once you have one, you just can't stop, they're so good." But I thought that was Lays Potato Chips' slogan--try to just have one. Right? Oreo is America's Favorite Cookie, and they say it with an amiably wicked grin--a snicker behind their hands, but a lovable sort of exterior which no one really suspects of really devious neferity.

Is that a word? Neferity? It should be.


Ali said...

Nope, it's not a word. Neferiousity, perhaps?

-John said...


I must have a freaky big mouth, I can eat a whole oreo in one bite, easier when dunked in milk.