Friday, October 09, 2009
Our Nobel Crackerjack
BELIEVE IT OR NOT. As I understand it, the nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize were closed early in February of this year, a couple weeks after Obama's inauguration. That's quick work, maybe even a Guinness World Record on par with most consecutive hours of playing with a yo-yo. All we can do here at InstaPunk is extend our congratulations to the Obamessiah and, courtesy of Wikipedia, offer our readers a brief overview of the glorious tradition behind the prize our president has won:
Cracker Jack is a brand of snack consisting of caramel-coated popcorn (caramel corn) and peanuts. It is also well known for being packaged with a "Toy Surprise Inside" of nominal value.
1893: Frederick William Rueckheim (known to friends and family as "Fritzl") and his brother Louis mass produce Cracker Jack and sell it at the first Chicago World's Fair in 1893. At the time, it was a mixture of popcorn, molasses, and peanuts and was called "Candied Popcorn and Peanuts".
1896: Rueckheim devises a way to keep the popcorn kernels separate. As each batch was mixed in a cement-mixer-like drum, a small quantity of oil was added — a closely-guarded trade secret. Before this change, the mixture had been difficult to handle as it stuck together in chunks. In 1896, the first lot of Cracker Jack was produced. It was named by an enthusiastic sampler who remarked, "That's a Cracker Jack!"
1899: Henry Gottlieb Eckstein developed the "waxed sealed package" for freshness, known then as the "Eckstein Triple Proof Package," a dust, germ and moisture-proof paper package. In 1902, the company was re-organized; Rueckheim Bros. & Eckstein.
1912: Prizes included in Cracker Jack boxes for the first time. These attained pop-culture status with the term "came in a Cracker Jack box" referring to an object of limited value. In recent years, the toy and trinket prizes have been replaced with paper prizes displaying riddles and jokes.
1918: Mascots Sailor Jack and his dog, Bingo, are introduced (though they were not registered as trademark logos until 1919.
1964: The Cracker Jack Company is purchased by Borden after a bidding war between Borden and Frito-Lay.
1997: Borden sells the brand to Frito-Lay.
2002: Frito-Lay acquires the bankrupt Nobel Prize Corporation of Dumfukk, Norway, and adds a new line of cheap prizes to the Cracker Jack product, the first one awarded to former U.S. President Jimmy Carter for being the Number One Cracker Peanut Farmer on the planet. Another recent U.S. recipient was former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., awarded a toy medallion in 2007 for gobbling down 68 boxes of Cracker Jack in one hour, narrowly defeating champion competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi of Japan
What a world we're living in.
UPDATE 10:15 AM. Looks like this is a story that's going to keep on giving for a while. On Glenn Beck's radio show, the host received a call informing him that he'd been elected to the Astronaut Hall of Fame for his intention to go to to the moon someday. The National Review's Corner blog is close to 100 percent dedicated (much of it comically) to the Nobel fiasco so far this morning, and ironically or not, Jonah Goldberg's newest column, written before the Nobel announcement, seems hilariously pertinent.
So stay tuned. If further comedy ensues today, there will be more updates.
UPDATE 10:40 AM. Finally. An explanation that makes sense. Once again it's a before-the-fact commentary, but that's what makes it so convincing. If Obama is Jesus, why shouldn't he get the Nobel Peace Prize pronto, ASAP, and PDQ? Right?