As I waited in line at Wal-Mart to pay for a bottle of shampoo and a new toothbrush, I found myself standing next to an entire display of Slim Jim and beef jerky.
These weren’t the Slim Jims of my youth. Those were small, just six inches.
The Slim Jims on display were sixteen or eighteen inches long. Giant greasy tubes of over-processed and over-spiced unidentifiable meat products.
And there was every kind of beef jerky imaginable. Teriyaki flavor jerky, buffalo chicken jerky, bags of bite-sized jerky.
Do people still eat this stuff?
I understand the purpose of jerky. Before refrigeration people had to dry meat in order to store it so it wouldn’t rot. Beef jerky makes perfect sense if you’re a cowboy or living on the prairie.
Wal-Mart shoppers don’t really need it, though. We have access to fresh meat. And refrigerators.
And, while I’ll admit to enjoying a Slim Jim when I was a kid just for the novelty of it, no one needs eighteen inches of Slim Jim. Six inches of the stuff is enough to induce slight nausea. Three times that amount would probably make you feel like you’ve just spent an hour on a Tilt-A-Whirl.
Judging by the display, beef jerky and Slim Jims sell. Someone is still eating that crap.
I’m just happy it’s not me.