If the board of directors at the Smithsonian Institution ever wants a sure crowd-pleaser, it will open a museum devoted to the American Failure. On one floor tourists could gawk at engineering follies past, like the 1959 Taylor Aerocar, yet another stab at the fool's-gold dream of an airplane that doubles as a car; or Hardiman 1, a '60s-era mechanical exoskeleton intended to provide its wearer with superhuman strength. Upstairs there would be a room of bygone fads. What is the going rate for a Jerry Garcia Beanie Baby, anyhow? And a gallery of one-hit wonders. Heard anything out of the New Radicals lately?
Of course, the Museum of the American Failure will have an entire wing devoted to comestibles. Those whose time has passed: Reggie bar, anyone? And those whose time has yet to come: Is anybody really lovin' McDonald's new "Asian Salad?"
Finally, there will be a permanent exhibition of those food products that were simply against nature. The exhibit will no doubt feature several of the foodstuffs born of the Oreo cookie juggernaut, an enterprise that at this writing boasts at least 37 products. I say at least 37, because noticeably absent amid the listings for Oreo Chocolate Ice Cream Cones, Oreo Pie Crusts and Chocolate Fudge Mint Covered Oreos is the Kraft subsidiary's latest product: Handi-Snacks Oreo Cookie Sticks 'n Creme.
Now, why would the folks at Kraft-Nabisco-Oreo neglect to list Handi-Snacks Oreo Cookie Sticks 'n Creme on their Web site? I don't know. But here's a guess: If the Smithsonian ever gets its act together on the Failure Museum, Handi-Snacks Oreo Cookie Sticks 'n Creme will get the climate-controlled case set off from the rest and backlit that it so richly deserves.
Building on Kraft Foods' successful Handi-Snack fat-delivery technology, one package of Oreo Cookie Sticks 'n Creme comprises eight Oreo "Cookie Sticks" and one tub of "Creme." Sounds like heaven: No longer must we twist our Oreos apart, scrape off the niggardly portion of "creme," toss out the two denuded creme carriers and repeat. Now we can simply dive into a tub of the white glop with the aid of our "Cookie Stick."
But like Jack Kerouac said: Be careful what you ask for; you might get it. As a Handi-Snack, Oreo's signature "Creme" has morphed from a sweet kiss that leaves you pining for more into a bullying confection that steamrolls your taste buds, leaving them flaccid and begging for a drink. The straw-like "Cookie Sticks" are unobjectionable (if a smidge dry), though their depiction on the package bears a disconcerting resemblance to South Park's "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo."
And Handi-Snacks Oreo Cookie Sticks 'n Creme have this going for them: They don't need to be refrigerated, which really opens up an exhibition's display options.