Magic Shell, Magic Poop?


I bought some Magic Shell a while ago, and I thought I’d have some fun with Smucker’s.  It really did have a bad aftertaste, but I decided to take the goofy up a notch.

I submitted the following to their webform:

Hello Friends,

I’d like to start out by saying I’m a big fan of your jellies. Of course I like grape, and we use the apricot preserves in a barbecue recipe. Mixed fruit jelly is my favorite by far. I’m always quite pleased when a restaurant has it in those little packets, and we usually buy 2 jars at a time for home. Why don’t they come in the big jars? That’s a question for another time though. I’m also a fan of your hot fudge topping. It’s the only brand we buy. You guys have it right.

This brings us around to why I am writing… This past weekend, I picked up some Chocolate Fudge Magic Shell at Walmart, because the shelf near the ice cream was void of your hot fudge topping & Hershey’s syrup. I remember having magic shell as a kid, but I’m unsure of the brand. I think I’ve even had the dipped cones at Dairy Queen too.

I didn’t get around to enjoying the Magic Shell until last night when I poured it over some Edy’s Slow Churned Cookie Dough ice cream. I’m not embarrassed to tell you that I was easily amazed at how the shell froze in a few seconds. I have to say it was also quite delicious and a good combination… except the after taste. It came on slowly, but it tasted like what I imagine licking cigarette ashes would taste like after you had just chewed an aspirin and left it on your tongue. It was odd, but I figured it may have perhaps been some artificial sweetener. I didn’t think much else of it.

Excuse me for being frank, but this morning, I had some constipation issues. My wife would attest that I am generally quite regular… or she may even say I heed nature’s call too often. The only thing that I ate out of normal yesterday would be your Magic Shell. I checked the ingredients to see of there was some sort of wax or anything that may be setting up camp in my colon, and I was surprised of the lack of anything sinister. Well, I’m not a fan of coconut, so the oil or even the alkali-processed cocoa may account for the aftertaste that didn’t agree with me. I’m not sure what whole milk solids are… and how they’re different from cheese. Have you guys ever had someone write in with the same problem? Do milk solids or soy lecithin cause blocked bowels? Have you done any research in this area?

I think I may stick with the regular hot fudge topping from now on. Even if there’s no issue with the Magic Shell, it has me kind of spooked.

Obstructed but Optimistic,
-Waldo Lunar

And, I got this boring reply:

From: consumer.relations@jmsmucker.com
Date: Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 8:26 AM
Subject: Reference Number: 10026410
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

March 13, 2013

Mr. Waldo Lunar
1111 Street Rd.
Earth, PA 22222

Dear Mr. Lunar,

Thank you for contacting The J.M. Smucker Company regarding Smucker’s® Magic Shell® Chocolate Fudge Topping. We greatly appreciate and value the input we receive from our consumers.

In order for us to best assist you, we would like to obtain some additional product information. Please, contact us toll-free by calling 888-550-9555, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. When you call, it would be helpful to have the product available and to provide the representative with the reference number located at the bottom of this message. This product information will assist us in thoroughly reviewing your inquiry.

BIUB (Best If Used By) date
Production code (Located near the Best If Used By date)
City where purchased
Storage information
Detailed description of the issue

Thank you again for contacting The J.M. Smucker Company. We look forward to speaking with you soon.

Sincerely,
Carla
Consumer Relations Representative

Ref # 10026410

So, I wrote back:

From: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com
Date: Mon, Mar 18, 2013 at 8:22 PM
Subject: Re: Reference Number: 10026410
To: consumer.relations@jmsmucker.com

Thanks Carla,

I prefer email to the telephone, hence why I used the online form in the first place. I can, however, provide the information requested:

BIUB (Best If Used By) date: SEP 2014
Production code (Located near the Best If Used By date): 10 0459
City where purchased: Bridgeville, PA
Storage information: On the kitchen counter.
Detailed description of the issue: Well, since I wrote with the issue already, & just received this seemingly standard reply, I’ll again give you my original missive…

[original email]

If you need further details, I’m not sure I’m prepared to share. So, have others emailed or called to complain? I can only assume so if you’re looking at a lot number. Does Magic Shell induce constipation on a regular basis?

Puzzled,
-Waldo Lunar

This came in the mail this weekend:

March 20,2013    Dear Mr. Lunar,  Thank you for contacting The J.M. Smucker Company with your inquiry regarding Smucker's® Magic Shell® Chocolate Fudge Topping. We greatly appreciate and value the input we receive from our consumers and take very seriously any comments pertaining to product quality.   Since we greatly value your comments and your loyalty, your experience has been brought to the attention of our quality assurance department. We want to assure you that our products are made of the best quality ingredients available and by the most carefully controlled procedures known in the food industry.   We appreciate the time required to share your comments with us and are enclosing coupons that we hope you will use to again try our products.   If you have any additional questions or comments, please contact us by calling 888-550-9555, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.     Sincerely, Carla  Consumer Relations Representative   Ref# 10026410   Enclosure: 2 Smucker's® $4.00 Coupon(s)   THE J.M. SMUCKER COMPANY· STRAWBERRY LANE, ORRVILLE, OHIO 44667-0280 TELEPHONE (330) 682-3000 • FAX (330) 684-3370 • www.smuckers.com

Letter from Smucker’s

Along with some coupons:

I found it quite amusing, but they never did address the constipation.  I won’t be buying any more magic shell with these coupons.  It really did have a horrible aftertaste.  Maybe I’ll buy some hot fudge, or more mixed fruit jelly.

On an unrelated note, I’ve never understood their slogan;  “With a name like Smucker’s, it’s got to be good.”  Are they implying that their name us stupid or sounds unappetizing?  Odd.  I’d be all like “If you don’t like Smucker’s, you’re a sucker.”  …or something.

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Chick-fil-A’s response: “It’s not you, it’s me.”


Chick-fil-A wrote back to me, and sadly I predicted that they’d give me the “no unsolicited ideas” speech which is equivalent to the “it’s not you, it’s me” speech.  Shenanigans, I tell you.

From: Chick-fil-A CARES <chickfilacares@na.ko.com>
Date: Wed, Dec 26, 2012 at 8:09 PM
Subject: Chick-fil-A Response
To: <me@my.email.address>

Dear Valued Customer:

Thank you for taking the time to contact Chick-fil-A.  You are very important to us, and we appreciate your suggestion regarding the cup holders.  We hope the following information will be helpful.

Chick-fil-A is fortunate to have many loyal customers. Many of these fans take the time and effort to inquire about sharing their own ideas about ways they wish to see us improve – whether it is adding a specific new product, service or feature. We are grateful for our customers’ intent, and this motivates us to work even harder to keep improving.

Unfortunately, it is our corporate policy not to accept or consider any unsolicited creative ideas. This is a difficult decision because we realize that by following this policy, Chick-fil-A may miss out on some great ideas from our customers. We would rather miss out on some of these ideas than to risk any potential future misunderstanding should Chick-fil-A develop or already have developed a product, service, or feature that may seem similar to a customer’s idea.

We hope you will understand the reasons for our policy. You can view our Unsolicited Ideas Policy at www.chick-fil-a.com/Legal (under Submissions) for more information on this issue. Beyond this policy, we gladly welcome customers’ feedback about their restaurant experiences.

We appreciate your family’s loyalty, and we look forward to serving you all at Chick-fil-A for many years to come.  Again, thank you for your time and interest in Chick-fil-A.

Sincerely,

Cheala
Chick-fil-A CARES
Chick-fil-A…We Didn’t Invent The Chicken,
Just The Chicken Sandwich.
On the Web at www.chick-fil-a.com

P.S.  Please retain your ticket number.  This will help us locate your information should you need us again.

{ticketno:[8002084683]}

So, of course I wrote back…

From: <me@my.email.address>
Date: Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 4:56 PM
Subject: Re: Chick-fil-A Response
To: Chick-fil-A CARES <chickfilacares@na.ko.com>

Hello Cheala,

Any idea how I can get my idea solicited?  I’m honestly not interested in monetary compensation, I just don’t want to spill my drinks.  Has anyone run this by Mr. Cathy?  He’s responded to my emails before, and I understand that he’s a shrewd business man as well as a great family man.  I’m sure he wouldn’t want drinks spilling on anyone… and that he’d like to pick up a free idea.

Thanks once again for your time & help!

My pleasure,

-Eric

Wonder if I’ll get a reply?  I just want a good cup holder.

Dear Garmin…


Dear Garmin,

First off, I’d like to say that in the past I have repeatedly vocalized my approval for the Garmin brand, and GPS units in general.  We have a StreetPilot® c340 and a nüvi® 2555LMT.  I have told people for years to just get a Garmin.  Trust the Garmin.  It won’t get you lost.  It’ll get you where you’re going.  Don’t give me directions like “go down whatever street and make a left at the weird looking tree,” just give me an address.  Don’t fight it.  Turn where it wants you to.  I’ve expressed to my Mom & my in-laws to not fight the Garmin.  Let it take you the way it wants.  Even if it’s different from how you would go.

I even bought the nüvi after I was royally screwed by the “lifetime updates” to my StreetPilot.  (Sure, lifetime updates… with new maps that don’t fit on your StreetPilot.  No, Garmin, I’m not settling for regional maps when I bought updates for the entire continent of North America.)

I’m wondering now how the Garmin calculates routes.  The other day, I was driving on a major expressway, and my nüvi wanted me to exit & take a smaller highway riddled with red lights for most of my journey home.  I knew that staying on the interstate meant less stops.  I didn’t turn off.  It recalculated (thankfully this model does it without telling you), and the route I had chosen was actually 3 minutes shorter than the other route.  I had asked the Garmin to calculate the fastest route.  Obviously, it didn’t.  So, what gives?  It wasn’t the shortest mileage route either (according to Google Maps).  What did the Garmin calculate?

Also finding things “along my current route”… is there any way to give an acceptable deviation?  I know that going through Pittsburgh from anywhere north of the city to our place in the south, I can take two routes.  There’s a BBQ joint along one route, and a Wendy’s along the other.  If I let the Garmin pick a route, and I ask for BBQ joints along the route… it won’t find it because it takes the Wendy’s route.  But the BBQ place is still in between where I am & where I’m going.  This is fine in town… but if I’m out of town, I’d like the Garmin to be able to learn acceptable derivations from my route.  I’d go a different way if it meant finding something I’m looking for.

So, I’ve backed Garmin up.  How are you going to back me up?

Recalculating,
-Eric

Skunk Foot Road

Skunk Foot Road? Really?

The Tunnel Monster is a myth? Say it ain’t so!


 

Have you been following the Tunnel Monster saga?  We last left off with a somewhat confusing email from Cryptid hunter Raptorguy14.  I can’t tell if Raptorguy14 thinks I’m being serious, or if he’s just messing with me.  It’s really strange.  I replied to his last email with this:

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 7, 2012
Subject: Re: The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster
To: The Cryptid Hunters <thecryptidhunters@gmail.com>

Hello Raptorguy14,

Nice to “meet” you!  Sorry to hear that several of your people have become inactive.  Hopefully they haven’t all mysteriously disappeared while searching for cryptids.  Good luck in your quest to revive the group!

I understand that you’re not affiliated with MonsterQuest.  If I understand correctly, MonsterQuest isn’t even being made any more?  I find that to be such a shame.  I can only watch the Hatfields & McCoys or How The States Got Their Shapes so many times, but I could watch MonsterQuest or UFO Hunters all day long.

I’m not sure if the tunnel monster is a hoax, but if it does exist… it has special powers that slow down traffic in the morning, afternoon, and during concerts or sporting events.  I have more artist renderings attached if you’d like to tell me if they’re perhaps more accurate?

Have you heard about Tunnel Monsters out west, or anywhere else around the world?  I would like to see this one captured…so I can get to events on time.

Onward & Upward,
-Waldo

P.S. – Your parents are very forward-thinking.  Raptorguy is the coolest name ever, but to include a number like we’re in a science fiction novel?  That’s just awesome.

These photos were attached (thanks to my faithful readers…):

This was the reply:

From: The Cryptid Hunters <thecryptidhunters@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 14, 2012
Subject: Re: The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

No, they’re perfectly fine, they just haven’t been active. I still converse with them on occasion.

That’s right, MonsterQuest is no longer in production. TV networks often get rid of good quality shows for some reason, but I suppose that’s how it works.

Again, I must reiterate my opinion that the tunnel monster is a myth being used to make people drive more carefully in tunnels. Tunnels can be more difficult to drive through than conventional roadways, so one must be more careful. And the fact that the monster targets speeders and wrecked vehicles strengthens this opinion; it makes people think, “I don’t want to encounter this ‘beast’, so I should be more careful in the tunnel.” The likelihood that this creature is real is very low.

To my knowledge, no tunnel monsters (myth or otherwise) exist in the Western United States. I’m not sure about the rest of the world, though.

What?

We’ll find that tunnel monster someday, & prove Raptorguy14 wrong!

 

The Tunnel Monster may have eaten me by now…


Pittsburgh tunnel

Pittsburgh tunnel (Photo credit: glowingfish)

OK, so remember my post about the Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster & the artist renderings?  Well, I just got this reply.  It came a little late, and it came from someone who couldn’t pick up on the fact that I was goofing around.  I mean, I don’t even know how I should respond to this.  Should I tell them, or keep it going?  Surely a quick Google search of my email address or “Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster” would have landed you here?  I kind of feel bad that this cat didn’t “get” it.

I poked around several forums and web pages until I found email addresses or forums or anywhere where I could post my goofiness.  They mostly all fell entirely flat (Fail 1/Fail 2/Fail 3).  This email eventually found someone, I guess.

Oh well, here’s the reply:

From: The Cryptid Hunters <thecryptidhunters@gmail.com>

Date: Fri, Aug 3, 2012
Subject: Re: The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Hello, and thank you for emailing The Cryptid Hunters.

Firstly, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Raptorguy14, currently the only active member of this group. We used to have several people, but they’ve since become inactive. I’ve been thinking many times about reviving this group, and I may do that soon, but for now I can only investigate reports of cryptids in the Western United States.

Secondly, I, nor anyone else in this group, do not represent MonsterQuest or anything/anyone affiliated with it. I understand that the link to our email is on the History Channel website, so I apologize for any confusion. We are simply a group of amateur cryptid hunters.

Thirdly, the photos definitely appear to be fake. I know that you said they are artist renderings, but I’m certain that it’s impossible for creatures that look like those “renderings” in the photos to exist. After some preliminary research online, I can conclude that the Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster is likely a hoax, an urban legend, as no solid evidence has turned up yet. As I said, I would be open to investigating, but at this time I can only investigate cryptid reports in the Western United States (specifically the Intermountain West). I will try to find somebody to investigate, but I find it unlikely that any evidence will turn up. More than likely it’s just a myth that makes drivers be more cautious in the tunnel, as tunnels can be very dangerous places if certain driving precautions are not taken.

~Raptorguy14

I guess I should write back.

Also, if I neglected to post your artist rendering, please send it again!  I was sitting on a few until I had another related post… wanna make sure I don’t miss any.  Here’s one from Valley of Steel‘s Eric Yano:

Flying Tunnel Monster (by Eric Yano)

Flying Tunnel Monster (by Eric Yano)

https://twitter.com/suburbsasquatch/status/195707700351479812?iid=am-85321533413354953266169787&nid=4+status_timestamp&uid=89820926

Neat Maze Solution [✏ Can you do it? (Another Maze)] and (I think) fan mail!


I recently received an email containing a solution to one of my mazes, along with a what I’ll interpret as a fan-letter and some constructive criticism.  Check out the incredibly detailed solution & the message below:

✏ Can you do it? (Another Maze) SOLUTION

✏ Can you do it? (Another Maze) SOLUTION

And the accompanying email:

From: Rick Jaspers
Date: Mon, Jun 25, 2012
Subject:
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Hi, I saw a post in which you asked people to solve a maze, and send the solution to you, but I just can’t seem to find the post now. Oh well, here is my solution.

It was a great maze! Your style of utilizing tight squiggly paths and many dead ends made it a real challenge to solve. I enjoyed the complexity and design of this wonderful maze.

I did find a couple issues that I should bring to your attention. I hesitate to say anything because I fear it could be taken in the wrong spirit. But I assure you that even though we don’t know each other, I wish you every success with your mazes. The things I found are very minor, and things I have done many times myself, and not caught until much later. Furthermore none of these issues keep this from being a very good maze.

With that said, this is what I found (refer to the attachment for a visual):

The areas marked in red are closed off from the rest of the maze so the solver is not able to get into them from the starting line. This is an easy fix, open up an end in each of these areas, and you have created additional dead end to frustrate the solver.

The second thing is the three loops marked with green dotted lines. Some maze designers use loops, others do not. Personally, I don’t like using loops except in certain specialized mazes. As the designer, you get to chose the rules you apply to your designs. Since you only have a small amount of loops, I am thinking that they were not intentional. Again, if you did not mean to include loops, they are easy to fix. Closing off one end makes yet more dead ends. Having loops along the solution route adds a further complication of having alternate paths which lead to the end, and these other ways to get to the finish must be shown when you provide solutions.

If you can bare one more suggestion, here it is. As you make the last turn for the finish line, the trail forks off into three paths. When solvers are so close to the finish, they can see which path is the right one. I would recommend closing off the two false paths at this point, and finding another place to open them up, so you create two more dead ends right at the finish.

These are all minor things, but I hope they help. I don’t see myself as an expert maze designer. Many of my mazes are poorly designed. I lack a mathematical sense, which can be very helpful in designing mazes. Also I have a really horrible sense of direction, seriously. I am constantly getting lost when I go places. But I enjoy making mazes, so I do it.

I sincerely hope you can find a way for more people to enjoy your fine mazes.

Rick Jaspers

So, I wrote back…

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Jun 26, 2012
Subject: Re:
To: Rick Jaspers

Wow Rick!

Thanks for taking the time to complete the maze & for all the pointers!  How did you find me?

I should be able to look through them to find the one that this matches without a problem.

I don’t know if I really “design” mazes, I kind of just draw them.  I do appreciate your advice though… it would be easier to complete without the loops, and more challenging without the areas that are closed off.

Do you have any of your mazes up online anywhere?

Would you mind if I posted your email in a blog along with your solution?

Thanks for writing!
-Eric
aixelsyd13.wordpress.com

Permission granted:

From: Rick Jaspers
Date: Wed, Jun 27, 2012
Subject: RE: Maze Solution
To: world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com

Hey Eric,

I enjoyed doing your maze, so no problem. Much more challenging than any of mine.

Originally, I found your site when I did a WordPress Topics Search for “Mazes”, and was able to get a hold of you because your e-mail was listed on your About page.

I do not have any mazes on-line. I no longer own the rights to the 33 in the published book. All of the other mazes I have done are part of unpublished or unfinished books. I guess I don’t like the idea of putting mazes on-line that I am trying to get into print.

You are welcome to do whatever you wish with the solution I made, and if you want to include my e-mail, that is fine also.

Rick

That’s pretty cool!  Rick had to take some serious time solving the maze & doing his photo-editing work in the solution.  This encourages me that there are more people out there who dig mazes, & we all may benefit from me getting a book published.  Maybe I can put more though into my mazes, instead of just doodling.  I certainly could use more money to buy goofy guitars.

Go to Best Buy and set all the alarms to go off, right now.


Did you read the email that I sent to them?

I see this email reply as an (incredibly boring) invitation to go in to your local Best Buy & monkey around with everything.  Especially the alarm clocks.  Does Best Buy even sell alarm clocks any more?  If they do, do set them all to go off at weird intervals after hours… or even 10 or 15 minutes before they close.  If they’re clock radios, put them on the classical station or talk radio.  Do it on the demo cell phones if you can too.

This was their only [yawn] reply:

From: online.communities <online.communities@bestbuy.com>
Date: Fri, Jun 8, 2012 at 12:05 PM
Subject: RE: A Formal Apology
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Hello,

We always encourage you, our customer, to come in and look around or even test out our products, so you know what you like or don’t like about them. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us and I’ll be sure to pass this along to our Leadership Team.

Respectfully,
Justin|Community Connector
Corporate Campus
Online.Communities@BestBuy.com

I guess they didn’t “get” it, or find it amusing.  Of course setting all the alarm clocks is an innocuous thing to do at best, but I was acting like it was a big deal.  That’s why (I thought) it was funny.  Wow.  Best Buy popped my funny balloon.

What a boring dud.

English: Vintage clock radio

English: Vintage clock radio (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

<shameless plug> Oh yeah, while you’re at it… set all the browsers to http://www.ErnieAndTheBerts.com, too. </shameless plug>