Off the Wall, July 23,

One thing I enjoy doing, believe it or not, is food shopping. If I can leisurely walk through a supermarket and study each container, glass or box, I’m at peace.

So, there I was, on my day off, Friday afternoon approximately 2 p.m. to be exact, when I found myself at my favorite destination, the produce section. In the past, I used to buy bags of fruit, but then I couldn’t consume them fast enough and they ended up in my garden, if you wish to call it that.

I spied just off to one side a watermelon cut in a quarter-sized piece. Beside it were three or more containers of the red, juicy fruit with the label on top that read, “Seedless.” I normally don’t buy fresh fruit like this. But I heard recently how good this large, football-shaped treat was and I decided to make a small investment. I bought two containers, one for yours truly, and one for the wife. It always pleases me when I can take home something for her and surprise her with a bit of this or that.

Upon arriving home, I took all the items to be kept cool and stuck them in the refrigerator, including the desert for which I longed. I gobbled down my salad (usually my dinner delight) and headed for the “icebox” and pulled out one of the plastic containers. I could almost taste the cubes before I placed them in my mouth. There is something about watermelon that one does not forget, its flavor. That is why, in my opinion, so many people crave for that fruit – it’s yummy and it’s scrumptious.

As I did when I bought the product, I noted the word “Seedless” on the label on top of the package. When I opened the lid, low and behold, I found chunks of goodness loaded with seeds. Good natured as I am, I ate the seeds along with the rest of the watermelon. It really was no big deal to me. I just thought it funny that an employee would go to all the trouble of mislabeling a product and think he or she would get away with it. I don’t make a verbal stink about things like that. I use another ploy. I write about it.

Someone once told me, don’t sweat the little stuff. To me this was little. But someone may have stated this product was fraudulently advertised and taken it to the manager. If you may have gotten one of the “seedless” containers, maybe you got upset. Try to keep your cool and move on. The reason you purchased the watermelon was to enjoy it so do it!

Talk about reading the packaging, I noticed in the March 2015 issue of Consumer Reports, a product with several phrases that particularly caught my eye, as the saying goes.

On the front of the packaging were these words, “No purchase necessary.” Standing out in bright red letters were the words, “$5 off on a $20 purchase.” OK, how do you figure, now answer me that question?

A label on the front of an Old Spice packaging caught the attention of a chap from Maine when he read, “Contains odor-fighting ‘Atomic Robots’ that ‘Shoot Lasers’ at your ‘stench monsters’ and replaces them with fresh, clean, masculine ‘scent elves.’

Now there is a product that is power-packed to the nth degree. It’s a little scary if you ask me. I think I’ll pass on this one.

Next, from that same page, we have a work belt. The front cover description reads, “This work belt symbolizes the quality, toughness, and pride that embodies the spirit of the American worker.” Do you suppose a poet came up with that sentence? I mean, how beautifully stated, every word bringing to the table that “gut feeling” of a product made by laborers of the U.S.A.

But was this merchandise manufactured in this country? Studying the packaging a little longer, one will discover the sad thing that will bring tears to one’s eyes – “Made in China.”

In the June, 2015 issue, there were more bloopers that made me chuckle.

A New Jersey man told of an ad that read, “Wednesday Salad Special, $6.99.” Sounds like a good price. In very small print on the bottom front of the package, the restaurateur stated, “Not valid on Wednesdays.” Hmmmmm….

Finally, a salon is having a special for seniors. The ad reads: “Medicare + Pedicure…$35.

One can only shake his head and wonder.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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