Friday, December 19, 2008

A Letter to Pillsbury

I actually wrote a letter everyday this week! Congratulations to me.

Kendall Powell
CEO - General Mills, Inc.
P.O. Box 9452
Minneapolis, MN 55440

Dear Mr. Powell,

Please, sir, I need your help. I understand that you are a very busy man (with a name like Kendall Powell you'd have to be!), but I wasn't sure who else to write. To be honest, I'm afraid my problem might be over both our heads, as it breaches philosophical, even metaphysical questions.

You see, I was recently watching television with my niece when a commercial came on for your subsidiary, Pillsbury. The Pillsbury Doughboy was up to his usual jolly mischief as a girl close to my niece's age made cookies with her mother. I was hardly paying attention, but my niece became horrified, crying out, "Uncle Correspondent! Why is the dough man laughing? They're baking his family!"

Now, normally I would be able to cover, but I have to be honest with you - I froze. With blood in the water already I realized I had to say something, so I blurted out the first thing that came to me: that those cookies weren't the Doughboy's family, they were criminals in Dough Land and the Doughboy was the executioner in their justice system. But do you think that satisfied a four-year old? Of course not! She immediately demanded to know what the dough criminals did to deserve execution.

Well, I was panicked, so I told her the cookies ran a car through a parade and killed several innocent doughpeople. She asked why they did that and I said they were drunk. She asked what they got drunk on. Vanilla extract. Finally she asked why they baked them, and I told her they had to be baked and eaten, because if you cut their heads off they could just smush themselves back together.

So now I'm left with a very angry sister and brother-in-law, and a very sad niece who is both anti-cookie and anti-death penalty. How can I explain our justice system to her and help her make her own informed decision regarding capital punishment? How can I get her to enjoy snickerdoodles again? And, finally, what in the hell do I tell her about the Doughboy?

Please write me back with your company stance on this; I'm sure it can't be the first time this issue has been raised. I thought about telling her later that I was wrong, the cookies want to be baked because they are born to serve humans, but I was afraid of starting a race relations conversation with her. She's a very smart kid!


The Correspondent


Anonymous said...

This may be my favorite.

Just great imagery of that scene. I hope this story was true.

Anonymous said...

Correspondent - we are in awe of your awesomeness. Your greatest achievement to date.