Howdy friends, it’s time for another chuckle at my expense and damn if this isn’t the ugliest photograph of me in existence!
With a lead-in like that you’d think this was going to be a horror story, but no, this photo is just directly related to said story. Before we go on, yes, I grow a terrible beard and gave up on it a few years ago. I was often lazy about shaving at the time that this picture was taken. Also, yes, my nose looks like a lumpy alien when I make stupid faces and I hadn’t washed my hair on this particular day. I’m a sexy beast.
Now for the exposition. Back when my brother Glen and I were in college together we started listening to a podcast called Mike and Tom Eat Snacks [MATESCast] during commutes and when we were sitting around in the student center. The show is hosted by Micheal Ian Black and Tom Cavanagh and revolves around them eating and rating different types of snacks. “Pick a snack. Eat a snack. Rate a snack.” One of the funnier episodes is about yogurt but the best one in my opinion is the episode where they review fan packages sent to them containing bags of Meanies Corn Snacks and a box of questionable Butterscotch Krimpets.
Also around this time, Penn Jillette had a radio show where he had Gilbert Gottfried on as a frequent guest. So that’s why I sent my brother a picture of me trying to do “Gilbert Face” with a box of Krimpets and a bag of Meanies.
Anyway, this is a tale about those Meanies because, once we had heard these guys describe the flavor and make an entire comic bit out of Meanies and Ireland and sheep’s eyeballs, we were determined to track down some of these for ourselves and see if they actually lived up to what we had heard. Unsurprisingly none of the local specialty markets carried them, not even Wegman’s. We did searches on Amazon but online shops weren’t selling them. I looked them up on the company website and chain stores in Ireland but I wasn’t able to work the currency conversion at that time.
As the feeling of dietary defeat sank in we both settled on not experiencing the wonder of the Meanie for ourselves for some time, if ever. Years passed by with me check Amazon every now and then without any improvement in my luck. Cut to more recent years. I’m now in my early thirties and Glen is living in Pennsylvania while I’m still in New Jersey at the time. I randomly remember the hunt for Meanies and hop onto Amazon and hit search.
There are 10-Pack bags of Meanies for sale! Oh Shit!
They weren’t covered by Amazon Prime and it would take a while for them to get to me but fuck that noise, I digitally grabbed a pack and threw it into my virtual cart so fast and hard that it physically shook the house. For weeks I could barely hold back the joyful secret from Glen when he would call or text the house. Somewhere around the middle of the time period that I had to wait for the Meanies to arrive Glen and Ashley came up to see us (I do not remember the exact details for the visit.) and it was all that I could do to keep my big dumb face from opening into a cosmic void and blowing out the news like a flatulent quasar.
They headed out the same day, or I think so anyway due to the time of day in a related bit of story, and once they were on the road a FedEx truck pulled up and dropped off a package. I was living with my parents at the time so it wasn’t unusual for there to be a constant flow of bags, boxes, and envelopes showing up for either my Mom or Dad and I wasn’t expecting my delivery for another few weeks. “Hey Alex, this package is for you.”, says Mom. What… no, it couldn’t be. I open the shipping bag. It’s the package of Meanies.
The Meanies have arrived weeks ahead of time and just minutes after my brother left.
Quickly I punch out a text to Glen:
Are you guys still in Woodbridge?
This is Ashley, Glen’s driving. We’re already on the Turnpike, what’s up?
*Picture of a bag of Meanies in my hand*
Aw, sorry. Glen’s really excited, though. o.O
I quickly shot a horrendously composed video of my take on the long elusive snack which had teased us from the edge of wakefulness. They were very much as Mike and Tom had described them, the only difference being that I wasn’t as put off by the “Pickled Onion” flavor. Over the rest of that day I slowly enjoyed the first bag of my new snack. I also slowly began to notice some rather odd sensations that I wasn’t completely sure about so I went to Facebook where my knowledgeable friends of many backgrounds might have the answer.
Me: “Hey, so I got this new snack and I’ve been eating it over most of the day and I’m noticing some weird sensations. My tongue and mouth itch and I think my face might be a little red. Is this just my hypersensitivity again or am I thinking about it too much?
Pharmacist/experienced friends: “Those are early symptoms of a food allergy! Stop eating them immediately!”
Me: “Wait, what? ಠ_ಠ ”
Yes, reader. I was, this whole time, allergic to the very snack that I had spent a decade searching the world for. I had to stop eating them even as I was developing a taste for the initial sour punch of the puffy bites. I now had nine bags of Meanies that I could not use. I brought two with me the next time I visited Glen so he could finally try them out and he didn’t like them. Go figure. I was pondering what else to do with them and decided that I’d send some of the bags to the Wreckless Eating YouTube Channel when the bag disappeared on me. It’s still lurking in some dark place at my parents’ house, no doubt patiently waiting for its next chance to ambush me.
So ends the story of the Meanies from Ireland. They aren’t bad, just bad for me.