Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Correspondence With an Oompa-Loompa

As anyone married to a Middle Age Man Syndrome sufferer will attest, we have mastered the art of complaining.  I sent the following email to Willy Wonka customer service last week after being instructed to do so via their Facebook page.  I have yet to receive a reply.

To: (yes, that is their actual email)
Subject:  You have made a grown man cry

I posted on your Facebook wall and was instructed to email here and mention Facebook.  So, Facebook.

Here is my tragic tale:

I'm a simple man.  I have a simple life, and find pleasure and happiness in simple things.  One of those things is Runts.  In particular, banana Runts.  Banana Runts are without question the supreme Runt.  Banana Runts are the six-time MVP, all-time leading scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of Runts.  Cherry Runts are more of a Felton Spencer-esque Runt.  (Orange are a Patrick Ewing, but I digress).  I have developed a complex algorithmic formula where I score each box of Runts I purchase.  It's a complex formula, so I won't bore you with the details here.  If you are interested, however, I can send you details (maybe it could become popular and you could put a scorecard on each box!).  The best box of Runts I ever purchased, coming in with a 114.3 score, was in August of 2008, purchased at a Pump 'n Munch in Minneapolis, MN.  Generally, most boxes score in the 87.4 - 96.1 range.  Today, however, I hit a new low. I purchased a box of Runts that scored an embarrassing 47.2! 

I had a fairly miserable day at work, which isn't all that uncommon, but doesn't dull the pain.  On my way home, I stopped by the Super America on East River Road in Fridley, MN.  I can pretend that I stopped for gas, cigarettes, gum - whatever, but that would be untrue.  About noon today, the magical banana Runts began dancing in my brain and I knew it was inevitable - we would be together this evening.  So, I eagerly and happily slapped over $1.49 (+ tax) for a big ol' box of Runts and skipped back to my car.  The horrors of my day were a mere distant memory now as soon banana Runts would be making sweet love to my tongue.  I ripped the box open before even buckling my seat belt and peered inside, excited far more than a grown man should be over candy.  I didn't see any bananas from the view line of the ingenious "pull open/push shut" top, but that was ok.  I have a firm grasp of physics and realize that the aerodynamic build of the bananas often causes them to shimmy there way to the bottom of the box.  I happily chomped on the other flavors, fully confident my patience and perseverance would result in a bananarific bonus at the bottom of the box.

About half way through the box, I began to get anxious, however.  I had uncovered only one banana.  To give proper credit, it was a mind-blowingly delicious banana, but still, I wanted more.  I peered into the box and saw only the butt end of a shattered banana.  Small beads of sweat began appearing at my brow.  I gave the box a hearty shake and looked again (in retrospect, it probably would have been safer to pull over before doing this, but I was a little freaked out and not thinking clearly).  Still nothing.  Having supreme faith in the fairness and goodness of Oompa Loompas, I soldiered on, knowing my payday was coming.

As you have probably guessed by now, payday didn't come.  The entire box contained only four (FOUR!) bananas - I refuse to count the shattered sliver.  I was, and am, heart-broken.  I'm not sure why I am writing to you.  I know Oompa Loompas are magical, but I highly doubt they can turn back time and place more bananas in this particular box.  I'm also not writing to scold you (hey, mistakes happen) or to threaten to discontinue my Runt habit.  Did it hurt?  Sure.  However, I have loved before and I will love again.  Let's grow from this experience and never fight again.  Just talking about it with you has helped immensely.

Thanks for listening.


  1. Ha! Good stuff, Paul. Would it be considered "too soon" to say that in my opinion Runts should be ranked as follows:

    1) strawberry

    2) orange

    3) green apple

    7) grape

    99) banana

  2. Also, the knock off runts at Target that have texture and stuff to look more like real fruit... yea they're shit.

    Bananas for the masses!