Sunday, August 03, 2014

Mets, Yankees and the perils of Pop-Tarts

Pop-Tarts used to be carefree. But now I’m wrestling with big decisions.

The pastries taste good whether you toast them or eat them right out of the package. They’re made by Kellogg, based in Michigan, and made right here in Grand Rapids. How can you not love that?

So I was pretty excited when Kellogg rolled out a special, limited edition Printed Fun Pop-Tart featuring Major League teams.

“Favorite or foe, every team has its own Pop-Tart Toaster Pastry in this MLB Limited Series,” the box reads. “Find all 30, and prove you’re a Crazy Good baseball fan.”

The box even comes with a checklist. I’m in – especially since they were on sale at Meijer. 

There are about a million different Pop-Tart flavors these days, and I’m assuming Kellogg picked strawberry for the MLB edition in reference to Darryl Strawberry, the former Mets slugger.

My first box was uneventful, with the Nationals, Marlins, Dodgers, Blue Jays. Yum. We can reflect on nice times with those teams, visiting ballparks and meeting players.

A few days later I opened the second box. The first package – each sealed bag has two Pop-Tarts – produced a Padres Pop-Tart. The brought swift memories of the disastrous first game at Citi Field and Mike Pelfrey serving up a homer to the first batter he faced.

I put it right in the toaster. No need to dwell on unpleasantness.

The second one in the bag –I saw blue and orange, a familiar skyline—It was the Mets! Yes!

The search was over and the MDP – Most Desired Pastry – was obtained!

But this produced the first dilemma. What can we do with a collectible Pop-Tart? The basement baseball room is the family shrine to all things Mets, and surely there could be a place for the Mets Pop-Tart among the bobble heads, posters and yearbooks.

But how long would it last? None of the other collectibles in the room are edible. It’s not like someone makes a screw-down Pop-Tart plastic protection slab like the ones used for baseball cards.

We considered shadow boxes and those little easels you can use for little picture frames. No decision has been made and we’re open to suggestions.

So the Mets Pop-Tart remains in the bag in the box, safe from danger.

Today I was ready for another Pop-Tart and happily opened a bag, hoping that there could be a second Mets Pop-Tart in one box.

Then it happened. A Pop-Tart with a big NY, but not the one we all love. It was a Yankees Pop-Tart.
I quickly dropped it on the counter.

I suppose that deep down, I knew this could happen. But with 30 teams and only eight Pop-Tarts to a box, I was hoping to be spared.

Shouldn't there be a warning on the box? It does say in big red letters "Due to possible risk of fire, never leave your toasting appliance or microwave unattended."

So why not add: "Warning. This box could contain a Yankee-decorated Pop-Tart. Apologies." 

Even worse, it’s a Yankees Pop-Tart during St. Derek F. Jeter’s final season. 

While this Pop-Tart would have better range at short than Derek, it lacks his intangibles.

If Yankee myths were true, he’d make all the other Pop-Tarts in the box better. I can tell you that is not the case, because I ate the Rockies version that also was in the bag, and it tasted like a regular strawberry Pop-Tart.

So here’s the second dilemma: What am I going to do with this thing?

I’m can’t eat it. I can only imagine what it tastes like – old, broken, over-hyped. Yuck.

It’s not like I can give it to my family. The last thing I want is crying kids. “Daddy, we thought you loved us!”

I could take it to work. At my old job, people would leave things on the kitchen counter and it would be gone in seconds. At one point we realized it was pretty sad that we were pouncing in Panera Bread leftovers from a honcho meeting. It didn't stop us, because we like Panera Bread. But it was still sad.
Not even the squirrels wanted this thing.
I thought maybe I could stick it in the bird feeder and keep the squirrels away.  Maybe the Blue Jays and Cardinals could peck away at it.

No luck. It scared them away, too.

Tomorrow I’m going back to poppy seed bagels. It’s much safer.

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