Hot Pocket Shame

I recently dishonored myself by accepting a few bucks to take part in a taste test conducted by the fine people at Hot Pockets.

This is not what I ate.

If you’ve never been to one of these things, they are truly a strange and artificial experience. Gathered together in a church basement, I sat alongside 30 or so other folks at a precisely-arranged row of tables. As we waited to begin, no eye contact was made and a punishing silence filled the air. All present seemed acutely aware of the shame that they had brought upon themselves. A Marxist might say that we had been coaxed to alienate ourselves from our very selves under the pressures of the foundational structure of capitalism. At the very least, the occasion had prompted all of us to assess the wrong turns in our lives that led us to now eat Hot Pockets for cash.

A group of middle aged ladies in hairnets proceded to set a series of Hot Pockets in front of us. Sitting on small styrofoam plates and under the green-gray fluorescent lighting, the deflated meat pouches looked limp and miserable. We were told to look at, smell, and eat at least three bites of each sample before filling out a unecessarily thorough questionaire. This pointlessly clinical precision and artificiality only heightened my despair. With every obligatory bite I took, it became more obvious that the truth was not in me.

Having said this, be thankful dear readers for the scorn that I heaped upon Sample #319. It was one of the worst things I have ever encountered. If it somehow makes it to market, it should be packaged as “Pepperoni Afterbirth.”

A day later, I have begun to come to terms with what happened. Yes, I betrayed my own human dignity for thirty pieces of silver. Yes, I still can’t get the Hot Pocket prototype taste out of my mouth. But these are the compromises we all must make. This is the life I have chosen for myself. In the wake of my stuffed sandwich shame, I have embraced the sirens of moral relativism and self-loathing.

If anybody wants to see somebody eat out of a litter box for $50, you know who to call.

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6 Responses to Hot Pocket Shame

  1. Guy Incognito says:

    What are you talking about? Eating Hot Pockets for cash… that’s my dream job!

  2. Guy Incognito says:

    By the way, why is there an “M” branded on that Hot Pocket in the picture? What is it trying to tell us?

  3. peter says:

    Guy, I would usually agree with your first comment, but once I was there, it was just so depressing.

  4. Guy Incognito says:

    The problem is that you were there with other people. You need to be in a small windowless room, by yourself. Then you won’t be self-conscious, and you can let go.

    My wife taste-tested baked beans once. Now that is a nightmare.

  5. Tim Hopps says:

    The only experiment I’ve been involved in was to test an allergy medication. Bet you didn’t know I have a tail now. By the way, Guy, you unwittingly came up with the next great Hot Pockets stuffing… Baked Beans!

  6. john says:

    pepperoni afterbirth.. mind if I steal that name for my new line of breath mints?

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