Breaking through the wall

Today’s Piccolo / Price Rhymes With Orange strip is a play on specific American tv commercials (with some gentle old-age mockery folded in), so will be baffling to any reader who doesn’t recognize the Kool-Aid Man mascot or know the wall-breaking “Oh Yeah!” tv ads featuring KAM:

(#1) There is, however, a hint to the reader in the “So not kool” (with kool instead of cool) in the title panel; note also the generational disparity reinforced by the GenX so there (see my 11/14/11 posting “GenX so“)

On the mascot, from Wikipedia:

(#2) KAM, away from walls

Kool-Aid Man (sometimes referred to as the Kool-Aid Guy or Captain Kool-Aid in Canada) is the official mascot for Kool-Aid, a brand of flavored drink mix. The character has appeared on television and in print advertising as a fun-loving, gigantic, and joyful anthropomorphic pitcher filled with “The Original Flavor” Cherry Kool-Aid. He is typically featured answering the call of children by smashing through walls or furnishings and then holding a pitcher filled with Kool-Aid while saying his catchphrase, “Oh yeah!” He had a comic series produced by Marvel where he fought evil villains called “Thirsties” and even fought a man engulfed in fire named Scorch. He can also come in many different colors such as red, blue, green, and purple.

You can watch, on YouTube here, a “Classic Kool-Aid Man Commercial Compilation (OH YEAH!)” of wall-breaking sugary goodness:

Kool-Aid Man, the anthropromorphic mascot of the Kool-Aid soft drink, was a well-known American icon in the late 1900s, often the star of TV ads. One of his most well-known acts is breaking through walls with an enthusiastic “Oh Yeah!”, providing children with the sugary drink they love.

In the comics, confronting the Thirsties, from Milwaukee magazine, “Kool Aid Man Through the Years” by Matt Hrodey on 4/12/13:

(#3) [caption:] Earlier incarnations of the Kool Aid drama were sometimes less idyllic in their interactions between pitcher and setting. Here, flying wood hangs in space as an immediate danger, and the Man is holding a smaller pitcher of drink for the kids (one of which has a mustache). Later versions, by allowing the Man’s own contents to slosh over his lip, suggested that the drink would come from the being’s own reservoir of Kool Aid. Refreshing! [AZ: he generously gives of his own essence to provide pleasure to others; Take, drink, this is my blood…]

On other sites, you can find artwork of KAM breaking through Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, breaking through Wall Street, who knows what else. And on this blog, in my 6/15/16 posting “Cross-commercial fertilization”:

Currently running the rounds on American television, a Progressive Insurance ad (featuring the company’s spokesperson Flo) into which a giant humanoid pitcher of some colored drink intrudes, by crashing through the wall

The old-age cartoon. #1 is not only a KAM cartoon, but also an old-age cartoon, mocking the debilities of old age; note the cane and the need for prune juice to regulate defecation by alleviating constipation. But unlike fatness mockery, effeminacy mockery, redneck mockery, and other humor turning on contempt for the Other, this mockery is gentle, because old age (and its debilities) comes to all of us, should we be so lucky.

But, then, prune juice and constipation. Fruits and fruit juices have a gently laxative effect by supplying fiber (both soluble and insoluble) and sorbitol (which pulls water into the large intestine); fruits that contain sorbitol include apples, pears, grapes, stone fruits (apricots, plums, peaches, etc.), and dried fruit (prunes, figs, apricots, dates, etc.). Stewed prunes and prune juice are especially good sources of sorbitol — at any age, and I think they’re tasty.

But in fact, in the dried fruit world, I’m more of a fig guy than a prune guy. So I can tell you that there is indeed such a thing as fig juice, which you can make yourself or get commercially. I eat 3or 4 dried figs every day (for their taste and texture, not for their medical virtues), but haven’t had the juice for quite some time, and I can’t vouch for this brand, but here it is, from the Innit site: Smart Juice brand fig juice (in a 33.8 oz bottle):

(#4) (Innit provides brand information to “partners in the food, retail, appliance, and technology industries”, also offers recipes and sells products)

A linguistic note. Please don’t tell me superciliously that a fig is not a fruit, but (technically) a flower, an everted flower. Indeed, in the botanical terminology used to name the parts of plants, a fig is a flower, not a fruit. But in the everyday culinary terminology for kinds of foodstuffs, a fig is a fruit, not a vegetable. Are you incapable of handling ambiguity, and of understanding the meanings of words in context? Are you deranged enough to think that a word can have only one meaning? Are you really that pig-headedly uncooperative?

(You will recognize here a counterpart to the unredeemably bizarre claim that a tomato is not a vegetable, but a fruit, as if the word fruit didn’t have an everyday culinary sense as well as a technical use just for botanists. A fair number of (culinary) vegetables are plant parts that are called in (I think badly chosen) botanical terminology fruits: for example, cucumbers, zucchini and other squashes (including pumpkins), bell peppers, eggplants, and, yes, tomatoes. Get over it.)

One Response to “Breaking through the wall”

  1. arnold zwicky Says:

    From the ensuing discussion of this posting on Facebook:

    Tim Evanson: I wonder how many kids died when Kool-Aid Man burst through the wall, toppling cement blocks, timber, glass, and plaster on small children…

    Aric Olnes > TE: in large families, that would just mean more Kool-Aid for the surviving siblings.
    Of note, Iowa-born Edwin Perkins first produced Kool-Aid in this building on West First Street in Hastings, Nebraska.
    Go Big Red!

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