WARNING: The following column deals with the serious subject of “presidential politics”. Federal law requires Professional Columnists to write occasional in-depth political analysis columns. Federal law does not require you, as members of the General Public, to read these columns. But we are working on it.
As we enter the “home stretch” of the 2000 presidential campaign, with just over a year to go until election day, the race is still too close to call. And although accusations of drug use have been leveled at Republican front-runner George W. Bush, it isn’t wise to give credence to such petty mud-slinging this close to the election.
In fact, in order to preserve the sanctity of the American Electoral Process (TM), but mainly because I’ve run out of stuff to say on the topic, I will now smoothly change the subject using a sophisticated literary device known as a “segue”, from the Latin “seque”, meaning “to follow”. Relax, I’m a trained journalist. You won’t feel a thing.
Speaking of soup, have you heard that Campbell Soup, inc. is redesigning its soup labels? According to a Reuters news story, the traditional red-and-white labels are being phased out, in favor of jazzy new red-and-white labels (no kidding). The company has already released updated labels for its three top-selling soups – chicken noodle, tomato and cream of mushroom. Less popular soups, such as “Squid and Lentil Minestrone with Brownish Bits”, may not get new labels right away.
The new labels feature a photograph of an actual bowl of soup. This is an obvious improvement over the old soup labels, which featured a photograph of a bowl of lime Jell-O. Now, just by glancing at the picture on the label, you’ll be able to tell that you’ve picked up a can of “cream of chicken” soup instead of a can of “cream of mushroom” soup or a can of “lime Jell-O”.
I personally buy the really cheap soup in the plain yellow label. I just can’t see spending as much as 89 cents for a complete meal for four people (or twenty, if you add a little extra water), when the “store brand” soup is available for just 79 cents. You can get it even cheaper, if you don’t mind dented cans (it’s not like the soup is dented, just the can). I’ll leave the expensive, fancy-labeled soup, with its hoity-toity photographs, and it’s “dent-free” container to the wealthy high-society soup snobs, thank you very much.
I wanted to get George W. Bush’s opinion on this politically charged topic (store brand soup versus “Campbell’s” soup), since he is from a wealthy family, but now claims to represent the “common man”. Unfortunately, he was unavailable for comment. Or at least, I assume he was. It’s not like I’m going to call up a presidential candidate and ask him about his condensed soup preferences. That would just be stupid. Besides, his telephone number is unlisted.
And so, during this political season, when the fate of a nation rests in the balance, we are left with two inescapable questions: Is soup really good food? And, just how much does a segue?
by Joe Shockley, August 31, 1999