Today’s National Animal Cracker Day was not meant to be a sad day, in fact, I had every intention of waxing nostalgic for most of the day. I even bought milk!
Dating back to childhood, a box of animal crackers had been my go-to impulse purchase. I could always levy it at my mom when she dragged me to the grocery store. It was an easy sell because Nabisco Barnum’s Animals Crackers came in this awesome little personal sized box, in the shape of a circus wagon with all the little animals crammed into adorably inhumane cages. At only 240 calories per box, and with a label that boasted that they were a “Good Source of Calcium,” how could the forty-nine cent purchase be unreasonable? On top of all that, there was a little string along the top of the box that aloud me to carry my animal crackers around like a little brief case, although Nabisco claims that the string’s original purpose was for hanging it from a Christmas tree.
So, why all the past tense you might be wondering? Because I could not find that box! Oh, sure you can buy Nabisco’s animal crackers still, you can buy lots of them. I even found a little faux wagon bag that forced you to buy two other Nabsico products along with it. That’s how you know that they know how powerful the packaging is. But you can’t buy a single. Not in the awesome red circus wagon. I tried Walgreens, I tried Publix, I tried Walmart, I even tried a truck stop, but no one had it.
Out of spite I bought a bag of Keebler Animal Crackers, and even though they tasted almost identical to my Barnum memory, I couldn’t tell what the hell I was eating. Sure the bag showed perfectly cut versions of each shape, but the ones I held in my hand looked like the Pompeii Holocaust versions of their counterparts on the bag.
I was getting so frustrated with today, that I went back out at lunch to try another Walmart. This is where a little good news trickles in. I found a box of Barnum’s. Well, sort of. It was a “Special Edition” version, with proceeds going to some Lilly Pulitzer fund for arts and entertainment. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really recapture my boyhood youth with this thing. I still bought four of them because I saw a bunch of weirdos that collect the old boxes. One was selling for almost fifty bucks! That would be a 2400% profit, in which case I will most certainly come back to this blog and say, HAPPY NATIONAL ANIMAL CRACKER DAY! Today, however, I’m just a little grumpy.
See you Friday for National Pineapple Upside-down Cake Day.