On my way to work this morning I heard a commercial over the radio for Trader Joe’s. If you don’t know what Trader Joe’s is, they’re a chain of specialty grocery stores that sells mostly high-end, healthy, organic food. The employees are always friendly and helpful (at least here in So Cal), and their products are very reasonably priced. The first time I went I was shocked at how cheap some things were.

You see, I have this embarrassing addiction to olives, especially kalamata. I can eat an entire jar in one sitting. I can’t believe I just admitted that. ANYWAY, at regular big-chain supermarkets like Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons, a jar of kalamata olives can cost you anywhere from 4 to 6 dollars. For a puny little jar, too. At Trader Joe’s though, you can buy a much larger jar for … get this … $1.99. One freakin’ ninety-nine!

I remember seeing the price on the shelf and shrieking. Seriously. I turned to the guy next to me and said, “Can you believe it??? Two dollars for kalamata olives!! That’s insane!”

Hmm, in retrospect, he probably thought I was insane.

Ok, so now that I’ve completely veered (sorta) off topic, let me bring you back to this morning, in my car. The commercial on the radio went something like this:

“I’m Rob, and I work at Trader Joe’s. Halloween’s just around the corner, and that means trick-or-treaters! Prepackaged candy has been used and done before, and no one wants that nasty stuff! Instead, this Halloween, why not try handing out bags of Trader Joe’s Unbleached All-Purpose Flour!”

Pause. OK, so at this point I am certain this is a joke. It’s going to be like those cheesy Robbins Brothers commercials where one brother starts talking and the other jumps in:

“Skip here from Robbins Brothers! ‘Tis the season for engagements! Right now we’re offering a Santa sized deal! Buy one ring and get a second one half off! This offer is just too good-”

“Woah, woah, woah, what are you doing Skip? You can’t offer that kind of a deal! We’ll go bankrupt!”

“Oh, come on, Steve! Where’s your holiday spirit? ‘Tis the season for giving!”

And so on and so on.

But it wasn’t a joke. It kept going.

“Yes, there’s nothing the kids (and those teenagers who are too old to trick-or-treat!) will like better in their trick-or-treat bag than a five pound bag of Trader Joe’s Unbleached All-Purpose Flour! They can use it to make cakes, muffins, cookies and so much more! So stop by your local Trader Joe’s and stock up on five pound bags of Trader Joe’s Unbleached All-Purpose Flour! And have a safe and happy Halloween!”

That’s pretty much a word-for-word, exact reenactment of the commercial. Seriously.

I laughed out loud. If I dared to give out flippin bags of flour to the kids who came by trick-or-treating in my neighborhood, I would wake up the next morning to find my house, my front yard, and probably my car, too, covered in flour. And there would be empty flour bags scattered everywhere, like fallen soldiers.

I know they are trying to help boost sales and awareness of their new brand flour, (after selling King Arthur Brand Flour for so many years) but seriously???

Trader Joe’s, I love you, but … no. This time, you fail.

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