Thursday, May 25, 2017

Mighties Kiwis Are Fucking Terrifying

The same people who brought you Cuties oranges thought they had created they next adorable fruit mascot. What they created instead was the ultimate experience in supermarket horror.


By: Jimbo X
JimboXAmerican@gmail.com
@Jimbo___X

You may ask yourself what inspires a man to write an entire article about the mascot for a plastic tub of kiwis. The answer - as often the case in life - starts off innocuously, then transmogrifies into bone-chilling terror.

It was a rather routine weekday afternoon. I was just ambling aimlessly down the aisles at Kroger, trying to determine who I wanted to fuck more: Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper or Jedediah Bila from The View. With no apparent solution in sight, I mindlessly waltzed out of the off-brand soda aisle and into the fresh produce section.

And it was there I stumbled upon it ... one of the most horrifying discoveries of my adult life.

Now, odds are, you don't think about kiwis that much - if it all, for that matter. In fact, I'm guessing 98 percent of the people reading this have never eaten one in their lives. No matter how hard Big Agriculture tries to convince us otherwise, they're always destined to be a "C-fruit," like kumquats or a starfruit. Their appeal will be niche at best, and any efforts to take the things "mainstream" are destined to falter.

But that didn't stop Sun Pacific from making a - well, woefully misguided - attempt to do precisely that. If you've never heard of the company before, they're a Pasadena-based fruit producer/distributor that handles all the usual stuff - grapes, lemons, tomatoes (and yes, tomatoes are fruits because they have seeds in 'em, you unlearned motherfuckers.) Their big seller is a brand of Clementine oranges called Cuties, which has a double-fisted marketing hook; the products themselves are super-duper easy to open (apparently, getting through traditional orange rinds was a bigger consumer deterrent than I would have assumed) and, of course, their brand image is downright adorable. You've got this super cherubic anthropomorphic orange zipping itself out of its rind - it's simple, it's clean, it's cute and it does a great job highlighting the product's primary branding hook (you know, that they're easy to open and shit.) It looks very smooth on stickers and as four-foot tall cutout displays and is so easy on the eyes you really could imagine it doubling as a Florida minor league baseball team logo. In short, it's a marvelous way to market a product that, quite frankly, has otherwise limited appeal to the fat-ass utopia that is modern America.

So Sun Pacific decided to go the same route with its brand of kiwis. You know how they call their oranges Cuties? Well, they decided to call their kiwis Mighties, with the sub-marketing moniker "the amazing furry fruit."

Alright, everything sounds pretty good in theory, right? Well, all that shit goes out the window when you see what the official Mightis Kiwis mascot looks like ...


Holy goddamn shit, is that thing spooky or what? It's like something out of Five Nights at Freddy's, or the cartoon sequence in Twilight Zone: The Movie - a highly unsettling mixture of the absurdly adorable and the absurdly threatening. An anthropomorphic orange doesn't really look like anything other than an orange with eyeballs and a smile, but this anthropomorphic kiwi looks like some sort of long extinct megafauna. 

Three things immediately jump out at me here. First, the furry texture on the mascot makes it look WAY too much like its a living creature. It looks less like a fruit than it does a really, really spherical bear or beaver, and that just feels all kind of icky. Secondly, who in the hell thought it was a good idea to replace the cartoon character's teeth with a slice of exposed kiwi meat? Depending on which angle you choose, it either looks like the mascot has an emerald-colored whale baleen plate - perfect for devouring krill and other creatures without even having to bother chewing them - or it looks like the monster has extreme gingivitis, lost all its teeth and now has to make do with its gross, mushy green gums. And I don't know about you, but the idea of being gummed to death by a monster seems even more ghoulish than being torn asunder by razor sharp incisors. And then there's that spoon. Look carefully, folks - the mascot is standing atop a pile of freshly scooped kiwis. Since he's holding a feasible murder instrument in his/her/its hand, what kind of conclusion would you naturally leap to? Hell, maybe it's even weirder and the cartoon character used the spoon to scoop its own face off, like that one dude did in Hannibal. Regardless, you really can't draw anything but bad vibes from the packaging, but I assure you, that's just the beginning of the horror. 


I suppose we might as well try to give the Mighties kiwis a fair trial in the grocery store court of law. IF you can overlook the unbridled horror of the wide-eyed, mush-mouthed monster mascot, I guess you could consider the fruits themselves pretty enjoyable. We'll get to the taste of the things in just a bit, but first, how about we let the producers of Mighties give us their best elevator pitch as to why we should all shove these hairy green testicle looking motherfuckers down our respective gullets? 


Well, the marketing language is pretty straightforward. Per whoever signed off the packaging lingo, these here kiwis have more potassium than bananas, more vitamin C than oranges (jeez, way to cannibalize your market share, dinguses!) more vitamin E and K than avocados (I guess that explains the aesthetic resemblance) and more fiber than, and I quote, "the leading cereal brand," which the eye test would lead you to assume is Corn Flakes. Granted, that's a 1:1 serving-to-serving comparison, which is a little misleading, since these guys consider two kiwis a full serving and most cereal brands consider three spoonfuls of their stuff a full serving, but you know what? Nobody reads this site for my musings on the inconsistencies of nutritional labeling data, so onward we go with the obscure references and curse words.


Apparently, "kiwi" is one of those weird words that represents both its own singular and plural form. But I'm going to keep calling them kiwis, because I can, gahdammit. Interestingly, I noticed the brand has really gone above and beyond to abstain from referring to their product as basic-ass kiwis, which I guess is a pretty decent advertising ploy. No, we don't sell kiwis, any old motherfucker can do that, we sell MIGHTIES, you no-count son-of-a-bitch, it's a fuckin' SUPER FRUIT and if you don't like it to hell with 'ya. Which, uh, I guess would be a pretty ineffective marketing campaign literally, but INDIRECTLY, we know that's PRECISELY what this hyper-confrontational packaging WANTS to tell us. Anyhoo, the nutritional info speaks for itself, I guess: each kiwi is only about 45 calories, which makes it a great snack for dieters, anorexics, and dieters who don't know they're anorexics. Also, just one of these fuckers has 115 percent of your daily recommended allowance of vitamin C, which makes me wonder if its possible to O.D. on it. Which, according to the Mayo Clinic, actually IS possible, only instead of killing you by shutting down your liver functions, it just makes you shit a lot. Well, nobody loses there, I reckon.


And now, we come to the fruits themselves. They say sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words, and I reckon this one says at least 1,001. There's really no genteel way to put it; the things look just like giant beaver testicles. They're brown, they're furry and at first glance, I would assume these things to be about a million and a half different things before "an edible fruit with a lot of vitamins and shit in it." If you saw these things in bunches just growing out in the wild, I'm guessing most folks would think they were sleeping hedgehogs or something. Regardless, these things are pretty much the LEAST edible looking things ever, and to say that slightly works against the product is kinda' like saying 9/11 was bad publicity for the Muslim folks. 


But hey, at least they DID manage to slap a couple of collectible, tradable stickers on them! In addition to the soccer playing beaver testicle on the left and the cannibalistic gingivitis monster on the right eating his own skin for breakfast, I found a couple of other ones in my two pound plastic tub of kiwis. There's a baseball themed one, and another of an anthro-kiwi holding a green flag in one hand and what appears to be a pickax in the other. Yeah, your guess is as good as mine as to what the hell that one's supposed to be about


Surprisingly, just slapping a mini-sticker on the things does very little to negate the intrinsically unappealing aesthetic qualities of the kiwis. I mean, even with a happy cartoon character's beaming face on it, that really doesn't do anything to make it look any less like a hairy brown monkey testicle. Yeah, I get the basic idea that the fruit itself is kinda' like a miniature coconut crossbred with a lime, but nobody's ever mistaken a coconut or a lime for a balled up sleeping otter or the severed sex organs of miscellaneous mammals. Jeez, what I wouldn't have given to have been in the boardroom meeting when these guys discussed ways to work around the fact the products they've been paid to advertise look like orangutan testes... 


I swear, the more you stare at the thing, the more horrifying it gets. Just look at the formless, faceless abyss. You know, you really don't have to have too much of an imagination to envision these things as the little tumbleweed space rats from the Critters movies, or maybe even one of those intergalactic space eggs from Alien that has the vagina-faced scorpion mouth-rapist in 'em. And let's don't pretend that wide-eyed, wide-mouthed cartoon monster in the background doesn't make the whole thing a million times more terrifying, because it totally fuckin' does


But the thing that unnerves me most about Mighties, I suppose, is what they look like on the inside. For starters, kiwis take a lot of fucking effort to eat. You can't just bite into 'em like an apple or rip 'em open like a Cutie. You need at least two eating utensils, plus a space that's safe to drip all of that fruit juice everywhere. So basically, you're supposed to cut the things in half, then you scoop 'em out and eat them with a spoon. Sure, all this sounds nice and dandy in theory, but in practice? Hoo boy, the process is a LOT more demanding than any of us prolly expected...


I hope you can see all that glistening fruit jizz, because these kiwis are just soaking in it. Seriously, as soon as you halve the things, a good three or four ounces of extremely acidic juice starts dripping out of it, just like the blood of them insect monsters in Aliens. Even better, the goop is a bright green hue, pretty much the same color as the Ah-nold chasing monster's in Predator. Additionally, I can't be the only person just mildly concerned that there's so many fucking seeds in this thing, am I? Most oranges have what, one or two? Well, this one has about two to three dozen per kiwi, and of course they all look like sentient black parasites just champing at the bit to take up residence in your lower intestines like in The Thing. Go ahead, take a good, long look and just TELL me you can't envision some sort of flesh-eating alien chimera living inside one of these things. Because you can't, and we all know it.


Shit, just take a look at the remnants of this discarded kiwi rind. As soon as you spoon out all of the fruit, all you're left with is a hairy outer shell with a super waxy interior that looks just like a gigantic booger cocoon. I've got a pretty strong stomach, but the more I look at that thing the sicker I get. It just looks so unnatural and artificial, like some sort of lab-made womb for half-vegetable people; sorry, but there's no way I can be anything OTHER than suspicious when chowing down on something that voluntarily chooses to live in something that looks like that. Sheesh

Now, as an objective food reviewer, I did think the Mighties tasted pretty good. They're not too tart and they're not really sugary, so basically, it's what happens when you cross-pollinate a lemon with an avocado. It's mushy but not too bland and spicy without being too acidic, which is a real boon to people like me with penchants for really, really flavorless things. So, yes, as a routine munchie or quick snack, these things are quite decent. But as aesthetic commercial goods, though? Folks, you may never agree to put anything in your mouth as terrifying as these motherfuckers ever again ... 

No comments:

Post a Comment