Start you false teeth clackin’ for a snack that’s cracklin’

As seniors, we were prepared for giving up things days, months, years before the COVID-19 containment period started. We have expertise the government should tap.

Just one example, or maybe it’s three. By the time I entered Freedom 55, then headed for Freedom 65, now possibly Freedom 75, I had given up alcohol, nicotine and almost all caffeine. Like many of you, I’m gradually giving up new technology, sex appeal, body mass in any of the right places, any semblance of sex appeal, hearing, respect in the community, all pretense of sex appeal, parallel parking and driving at night.

Especially in these isolated times, particularly for those of us who overused caffeine and nicotine and sometimes alcohol in our youth and are now cut off, what’s left? Where to turn for comfort?

Instead of going full-tilt theological or mystical or Facebook on you, I offer one word: Doritos.

With Doritos, the parent company, Frito-Lay has become what Coke and Kleenex and Hoover worked years to achieve. The brand name is the product, and they have cornered a market they invented: heavily flavoured corn chips.

Frito-Lay’s success with Doritos is certainly not based on price, unless you consider a sale prices of 2 bags for $7 a deal. Could someone please tell the Aboriginal population about the pricing situation? Hereditary chiefs, opportunity is knocking as it once did with cigarettes.

However, the baking formula for these curved triangles of pulverized corn is considerably more complicated than for the drying and rolling of tobacco. Given that Sweet Chili Heat has about 23 ingredients, and 20 of them are in the seasoning, including corn maltodextrin and sodium diacetate, the exact formula sounds as esoteric as the one for producing blue crystal meth on the Breaking Bad series.

As once was the case with cigarettes, Frito-Lay offers variety and packaging options: Cheese, Zesty Cheese, Cool Ranch, Sweet Chili Heat, for as little as $2 for a smallish bag at a $1 store (see what I mean about price?) $3.50 on sale in the regular size and whatever the market will bear for king size, I mean, party pack.

Think I’m exaggerating by putting Doritos in the same paragraphs as cigarettes and meth? Only a little. Try eating just one chip. Attempt to eat one bowlful today and not scarf down a second bowlful tomorrow. Never sit down in front of Breaking Bad with a bag.

But feel free to mix ’em at your leisure. I have a personal preference for Sweet Chili Heat, Cheese and some regular corn chips to slow things down in the potential digestive discomfort department. It’s like a personal filter on my cigarette.

And if there is some rumble in the tumble, reach for Tums, another product that has reached the brand stature of Coke and the rest. Come to think of it, if Tums was as smart as Frito-Lay, they would learn to manufacture their coloured pills as wafers, twisted just enough so the package you are buying is at least 25 per cent more air.

Give it up, I say, for Doritos.