Democracy Dies In Mango

Trader Joe’s “Fearless Flyer,” June 2017

“we dive in deep and keep it light”

June’s edition of “Fearless Flyer” (further confusing the issue of this newsletter’s publishing schedule, but WHATEVER) came last week and I forgot to write about it on Friday because summer. What does summer mean in Trader Joe’s land? Mangoes, obviously. Which frankly, I don’t even really believe has traditionally always been summer since they seem to sort of just roll with ingredients thematically whenever they want. I suppose it’s theoretically (the end of?) mango season somewhere right now, but then again I don’t know where TJ’s sources its mangoes, so that’s vaguely moot. But the mango theme is implicit, not explicit. Nowhere is there an overarching thing that’s like “Ahh, mangoes,” and neither is there a single “drupe” joke. Tsk tsk.

Anyway this FF is a large-format 4-page pamphlet that folds in half once kind of like a newspaper. I couldn’t possibly tell you whether it’s CMYK or RGB but I can tell you that it has a watercolor wash and is one of the most colorful/lively looking issues I’ve seen yet. The folios leave something to be desired:

My questions for this month’s edition fall into five broad categories:

  • What’s going on with this section header?
  • What’s going on with this sentence?
  • What’s going on with this illustration.
  • What’s going on with this typesetting?
  • Generally, what the hell?

Let’s start with the headers.

Here are some, but not all of them:

THE TASTE OF REFRESHMENT (watermelon and lemonade)
BARE THE SUMMER WISELY (shaving cream and sunscreen)
NOW MATCHA (matcha items)
GRILL ED. (“Whether ’tis nobler in the heat to cook the burgers and dogs”)
DESSERT ED. ISLAND (mango ice cream, etc.)

Is there a theme? No. Do they sometimes make sense? Sure. But what is the saladdish days? Is that a reference I’m supposed to know? Or does it just mean like, “items that could go in around or near salads, like greens, ravioli, cauliflower pizza crust, and quinoa cowboy burgers? I don’t know. But in this section I cam—OH HANG ON I JUST GOT THE DESERT ISLAND “JOKE”—sorry, I came across what I thought was going to be the shortest most efficient listing of all time. It was only six lines long and mainly a list of vegetables. Was it possible to write a Fearless Flyer blurb without making an extremely cheesy (like FONTINA cheesy) joke? Nope. Let’s take a closer look on a sentence level.

This sentence—why?

Super greens! Vegetable, nut, legume, cheese, more leafy vegetables. Everything seems fine here! Oh wait no the avocado dressing complements the salad, just like the price complements you!!

How about this one, on Unsweetened Matcha Green Tea: “It’s best served chilled, but it’s your can to do with what you please.” What? It never even CROSSED MY MIND to shove the can under my armpit to cool down but now I’m totally going to do that!

TJ claims its Organic Cole Slaw can be combined with Sweet & Spicy (you guessed it) Mango Vinaigrette… “or with any other dressing that suits your mood. The price is a mood lifter, $1.99 for a nine ounce package.” I can’t even talk about the lack of hyphens or the inconsistency for numerals anymore, but can someone clarify for me what the dressing is for a low mood that needs to be lifted by thrift? Like maybe some really dark squid ink Caesar dressing?

OK last one before we move on to illustrations: Apparently this is a physics joke, and something something Isaac Newton:

Would a seventeenth-century Englishman not be appalled by that price? He would be like, “What the bloody hell is a dollar and please stop eating my apple.”

Some illustrations to think about:

Why’s Alice’s neck so long? Why does that (peach??) flower have a Q-tip? Why does the strawberry have a hat and a misquotation of Shakespeare? And for the grand finale, why is a lobster with a top hat asking me if I am Scandinavian (swimmer)?

What happened type-wise?

I’m not going to point them all out to you but there are a lot of errant spaces as well as missing spaces. Please just trust me on this one and DM me if you need proof.

Generally speaking, what??????????

1. which dad came up with LONGBOARD tortilla chips, and 2. there should be no guilt in guacamole, only in typos

And now the piece de resistance, this edition of Fearless Flyer’s motto is…

we dive in deep and keep it light

I will have to get back to you on what Volume 6.5 could possibly mean. In the meantime, have a great summer and sorry for those of you with mango allergies!!!