II. Cool Ranch Doritos

Originally posted at A List of Grievances on April 17, 2010.

Today’s topic (because I’m pretending the last entry was from yesterday even though I posted it after midnight because I went to sleep between then and now, so, yes – yesterday) is Doritos.

Because I am sometimes (okay, often) too lazy to peel my ass out of bed and go to Mather (the main dining facility on campus) to obtain food of questionable nutritional value, I eat snack food for breakfast. (Although since it’s after 2:30 at this point, I would say lunch would be the more appropriate meal… but then, I only got up at noon. Considering I went to bed at 5:20 a.m., that is pretty outstanding.)

This snack food can be pretty much anything, ranging from chocolate chip cookies to various kinds of chips to those breadsticks I bought last week at Trader Joe’s. (I should probably throw those out, now that I think about it.) This morning it was Cool Ranch Doritos. These are pretty much the only kind of Doritos I will actually eat, because I have severe misgivings about the nature of the “Nacho Cheese” on the standard red-bag variety. Also, they stopped making the Salsa Verde ones I used to love so much. They were really popular when I was in third or fourth grade, and I would spend my breaks from school–

Okay, digression: in Las Vegas, where I spent the majority of my pre-pubescent formative years, we had a year-round system, so you’d go to school for 12 weeks (something like three months) and then get a three-week break. There were five “tracks,” so basically every three weeks one of the tracks would be on break. If you were really lucky, you’d get Track 1 or Track 5, the former allowing you to start the school year three weeks late, and the latter allowing you to finish the year three weeks early, with a two-week break following for the entire school – effectively our summer vacation. I have included a diagram up to about Christmas because I was too lazy to do the entire year, and also I don’t remember how long our Christmas breaks were and that would fuck everything up if I did it wrong.

But you get the picture; the black sections are breaks and the colored ones are when we’re in school. This system was good because you never got bored on vacation like you do by the end of the summer, and also there were not actually enough classrooms to permit the students from every grade to be in school at the same time, so when your class went off on track break, you’d come back to an entirely different classroom – the classroom of the next track to go on break. So basically you’d have four classrooms each year, one for each new quarter (or trimester? I can’t remember how they ran things, I am getting senile in my old age).

GETTING BACK TO THE POINT: So I used to spend an inordinate amount of my track break lounging around on the couch watching Pop-Up Video (god, VH1, why won’t you bring it back? That shit was my life) and eating Salsa Verde Doritos and basically purging my body of evil by chasing them with sips from a two-liter Pepsi bottle filled with water because they were so damn spicy. (My mother later came up with the suggestion of dipping them in cream cheese to cut some of the heat. Mmm.) Still, TRL never tasted so good.

Then they stopped making those and I had to return to my first love, Cool Ranch.

(Scary story: When I was seven, our babysitters – the girls who lived in the apartment upstairs – decided it would be a great idea to throw a house party. In our apartment. While they were babysitting us. I tried to call my mother to rat them out, but Summer, the idiot babysitter who clearly thought she was smarter than a seven-year-old and a five-year-old, headed me off at the phone and point-blank refused to let me call my mother. Shaken, and not in a fun way like a James Bond martini, I returned to my room to protect my little sister and think up another battle plan. Eventually Summer told everyone that my mom was due home and they all started to filter out of the apartment. My mother saw people trickling away from our building and was perplexed but didn’t think much of it since there were other people who lived there and maybe they were having a party or something. My mom came in, gave Summer her pay, and sent her and her sister off on their merry way. Not five seconds after they were out the door, Ali and I blabbed. My mother, in a fit of maternal rage, stomped upstairs to chew the fuck out of them [and probably their mother, too, for raising such irresponsible shitheads]. When she returned, I guess one of the first things I said I was mad about during all this was the fact that Summer’s stupid boy friends ate my Cool Ranch Doritos, which were reserved for my lunch every day. My love goes deeper than my fear of molestation by high school boys, I guess.)

But something that has always bothered me is the chip-to-flavoring ratio. You know how you open up a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and sometimes you get the ones that are totally loaded with spices, and sometimes you get the ones that have the perfect amount (such that your lips aren’t burned off by the sodium content), and sometimes you get the naked chips with no flavoring at all? So you try to skirt the latter, and then by the end of the bag you just have a pile of chips that taste like disappointment, and a pool of spicy powder hiding in the corners of the bag, laughing at you while you curse the gods at Frito-Lay who made you spend that extra money on deliciousness when all you ended up with was half a bag of Tostitos.

Get your shit together, Doritos. Get some new spice adhesive, or improve your bagging process, or bake the deliciousness into the chips. As Brian Littrell would say, “Quit playing games with my heart.” Don’t promise me a Lamborghini and show up with a 1999 Hyundai Accent. Maybe if I start hanging out with my friends Tostitos and A Large Bag of Shredded Cheese With Which to Make Awesome Nachos, you’ll start to care.

Yeah. You heard me. Homemade nachos. With sour cream and salsa. Suck on that, Frito-Lay.


About Liz

I work in publishing.
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