Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Quest for the Self in Mystery Doritos

They say to do what you love. Find what you love to do, and find a way to make it your livelihood. I like smores and sleeping in on the weekends. Though what I do with the most gusto, I think, is trying not to get hit by buses when crossing the street. Can you make a profession of that?

My year in the real world has been as kind of as unkind as can be expected of someone in the pudgy middle class without any distinct talents and yet still unable to acquiesce to mundane work. There is no differentiation between the real and the college world, I learned; it's just an old joke for people who think the height of life is in the oblivion of college-magnitude drinking, or for people who don't know how to save money.

My earliest longterm plan had been to become a paleontologist -- a real dinosaur hunter, with a small pick-axe hanging from my warn leather belt and a pistol in my back pocket, just in case. Not that I ever had in interest in studying dinosaurs. They seem magic and majestic and ethereal and I was going to travel the world to find them; the discovery was the thing. Of course, I was probably five years old and also wanted to be a Ninja Turtle with equal devotion. They were both good plans.

I think there are people to whom work and living are two separate entities, and then there are people who hold work to be identity, one and the same. Unfortunately my parents raised me, unknowingly, with a 1950's puritan worker-bee mindset, and I invariably feel I am of the latter group -- work and life are together; there is no refuge at the end of the day if the work was not worth doing.

Which is why I recently quit a job, like the unappreciative almost-Ivy-League snot I occasionally am. But it has given me free time to soul-search in mysterious black-bagged Doritos.

The front of the bag says Doritos: THE QUEST: Guessing the Flavor is Just the Beginning. It is an attempt to appeal to the tantrum-prone ten year old boys with mothers who are willing to quiet them with dumb chips... demographic, in addition to young bachelors, who, with unbridled freedom, are also drawn towards mysterious Doritos.

Every chip is a journey, in my mouth! Amazing discoveries! Crunchy nirvana!

It's a marketing scheme that pops up every few years, infrequently enough so that you might have forgotten that the experience of not knowing what kind of flavordust is ensconcing your corn chips is moderately disappointing, because it doesn't taste that great. It's usually supposed to taste like pizza or hamburger or something that has no earthly business being an isolated flavor.

'The Quest' continues the tradition. They taste like yellow. Spoiler alert! It's been reported in the snackosphere that the super secret flavor is Mountain Dew. Chips of Dew! Sure, whatever. Are you impressed that I follow such obscure news so to be knowledgeable of contemporary Doritos flavorology? Are you saddened?

Having spent a substantial amount of time perusing job listings, I feel or felt that most jobs I could possibly be hired at are marketing-oriented. That's an over-simplification of many suppositions but it is the gist of my perspective. Do I really want to be perfectly tooling a Google Ad to ferry referrals to an internet startup? Etcetera, Etcetera? Do I really want to be pitching my idea for the next Doritos campaign of mystery chips?

Hey everyone, what about filet mignon flavor? Classy! What about corn flavoring? No one will ever guess!

Naw, I don't really want to be doing that. But I will buy the mystery chips.


Connor Louiselle said...

i just stayed up until 8 o clock in the morning finishing the online treasure hunt of doritos the quest and i will tell you this: it is extremely stimulating and entirely distanced from your previous proclamation of the afformentioned immaturity and/or mild-brained of the latter and if i may proceed in declaring i would wish to engage in a statement pertaining to the following criteria: LETS SEE YOU FUCKIN DO IT.

Andy Orin said...

that's great. I don't know anything about the contest. I just think Mountain Dew flavored chips are silly.


the end of something.