Fearless Flyer Lives On

Apparently it’s now more of a quarterly.

Let’s get right to it. Readers of this column already know what the deal is, and frankly I’m surprised this thing still exists. We haven’t had an issue since February, and it’s now May and there isn’t a theme or any sort of excitement about asparagus that you might otherwise expect from them. At the top right, we have a giraffe joke-cum-cartoon to justify the punny subhed, “Always sticking our necks out in the name of value.” Okay, fine, but why the need to paint one giraffe plaid and have a subsequent non sequitur of a non-punchline? Probably because when you’re in charge of making the Fearless Flyer, you get to do whatever you want.

You know what you shouldn’t do? Put “Low Calorie Lemonade” on the first page. EVERYONE’S first thought is [sticks tongue out], and maybe their first association is Crystal Light—a powdered-drink product that it somehow still in business because people keep “just giving it a shot.” And then, with the imaginary bad taste in your mouth, you look for a hyphen that isn’t there. This entry is a major letdown in this month’s Flyer and it shouldn’t be on the front page along with… “Organic, Fair Trade Coffee Great Breakfast Brew!” and “Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookies.” What a random assortment?!?! That first one is very confusing because “Great Breakfast Brew!” should actually be a subhed; it is not the name of the product, which is “Trader Joe’s Organic Fair Trade Breakfast Blend.”

What’s going on with the cropping and alignment here?

What is a Chocolate Chip Sandwich Cookie, you ask?

Hahaha SIKE!!! OF COURSE I CAN TALK ABOUT IT! It’s what I was put on this earth to do. I’m going to give you the gift of excerpt:

So, are they chocolate chip cookies or are they sandwich cookies? How would you feel if we told you they were both of those things? We’re telling you that. Because it’s true. Shall we say more? Because we will.

Put simply: a thin layer of creamy chocolate filling is spread generously between two very crispy, very buttery chocolate chip cookies. Very buttery is key here. While there is art to making these cookies as good as they are, what it really comes down to is science. The science of butter. The generous amount of butter in this recipe takes the credit for the rich, caramelized flavor you’ll encounter in each of the small, crunch cookies. Where’s the art, Trader Joe’s? Oh, the art is in the chocolate chips, as well as the velvety, fudgy filling within each delicious Chocolate Chipe Cookie Sandwich.

“Silvia, you made a typo.” NO I DIDN’T, LOOK:

Chipes aside, my main chipe with this particular entry is that it’s a crime against writing and an offense to meaningful content creators everywhere. Do you know how short the Fearless Flyer would be if they let it be edited? It would be like a one-sheet. Another chipe I would like to register is, don’t put a love letter to butter right next to an entry about low-cal lemonade?!??? First of all just the thought of lemonade and cookies together is criminal, but isn’t that a bit weird? All the calories you saved from drinking low-cal lemonade will be made up for and then some by the mysterious silkily ethereal calories of butterfat.

The next spread confuses me to no end. There’s a whole thing about “Spiraling Into Mealtime,” which would make sense if the whole page were about spiral foods, but instead they’re sort of all spread out and there’s no obvious connection between the Carrot Spirals and the Gyro Slices and the Trofie Colore Pasta, which there really should be. First of all, isn’t a gyro meat cone, from which these slices theoretically (but in actuality probably do not) come, sort of indicative of a spiral in that it’s spit-roasted? Alas the blurb for the Gyro Slices contains not such indication. And then the pasta, as FF points out, comes in “a tight spiral shape [requiring] careful crafting, combining traditional, artisanal methods with some very modern machinations.” Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh that is not what machinations means? I know you’re wondering why I’m harping on this but it’s because they went out of their way to include a COMPLETELY INEXPLICABLE drawing, labelled quirkily, “Fig. 1-L: Upon Misunderstanding the Intention of Spiral.” What the hell could that possibly mean, and why put it there if not to have a spiral-themed section of Trader Joe’s-branded foods? This is just one of the many mysteries of the Fearless Flyer.

That was just the first page and following spread! I have a lot more chipes with this particular issue of Fearless Flyer, including the deep suspicion that I’ve seen the “cultured butter” entry, opera jokes and all, before in a previous issue. If I had to choose one overall critique for the rest of the TWENTY-FOUR PAGES, besides the bad writing, which is just a given at this point (what would the Fearless Flyer be without it? It almost doesn’t bother me anymore because I think that’s literally its defining trait?!!), is the inconsistency in the titling. Sometimes they’re puns (“Hey. Jerky!”, “Your Toast.”), sometimes they include subheads with inconsistent or no formatting/punctuation (“Organic Broccoli Florets [line break] They’re In The Bag” vs. “Organic Argan Oil [line break] Not for Eating, Folks…”), and a few of them include prices but for no apparent reason, since almost everything at Trader Joe’s costs $2.99, 3.99, or 4.99.

I’ll leave you with my personal favorite entry from this issue, for low fat cats cookies. Yes cats cookies, with an S. Don’t ask me why. See if you can figure it out (you can’t).