Thursday, January 22, 2004

The Residents Of Hidden Valley

Memo to the residents of the Hidden Valley: YOU ARE DUMB.
I mean, OK, I like a bit of ranch dressing as much as the next non-Atkins, salad-eating American. But this does not mean that I want to add ranch flavor to every single aspect of my life.
And even if I did want to do that, I'd be able to figure out the incredibly elaborate process on my own, thank you.
You see, for those of you who have not seen the ads, the fine people at Hidden Valley are spending millions of dollars to inform an ungrateful nation that you can add ranch flavor to ordinary foods by... adding ranch powder to ordinary foods.
Of course, they're not nearly so general in the actual ads. No. They have to be specific. They have to tell you that, through arcane processes learned from the ancient Druids, by merely adding ranch powder to salsa, you can turn salsa into... ranch salsa.
I mean, before this fifteen second spot, I had merely been content with ordinary salsa. There was a void in me, a void I didn't even know existed. A void in the exact shape of a hideous culinary abomination known as Ranch Salsa.
Two foods per 15-second spot, about four different fifteen-second spots, usually shown in pairs. So, if you watch a lot of Food Network, and who doesn't, during any given hour you will watch, mouth agape, as dozens of people are not only informed of the process by which X is transmogrified into Ranch X, but are actually astonished that such a thing is possible.
"My God! What deviltry is this? My potatoes are infused with a nigh-otherworldly zip I had previously only associated with salad dressing and 82% of the TGI Friday's menu! It is as if they were... RANCH POTATOES! And you are saying that I can achieve this effect on my own, in my home, without thousands of dollars of expensive machinery, or a framed baseball jersey hung on my wall next to an alligator-head plaque? Do not toy with my emotions so. It cannot be! I weep creamy ranch tears of delight at your alchemic powder's abilities. I am born anew!"
That's not a direct transcription, but it captures the feel pretty well, I think.
And, really, who besides the Hidden Valleyans have been sitting around thinking that NOT ENOUGH SHIT TASTES LIKE RANCH AS IT IS? By 2015, scientist have determined that there will be only two flavors left on Earth: Ranch and Ice. Oh, honey mustard and cheesecake will put up valiant fights, but in the end, there can be only... two. And ranch will be one of those two.
The valley's not hidden. It's just that nobody outside wants to go in there for fear of becoming Ranch Long Pig, and the people inside can't figure out how to leave. Because THEY ARE DUMB.