What comes around, goes around

By Josh Albrecht

Last fall, the Chicago Sun-Times ran a front-page article on the new green ketchup created by the Heinz corporation.

The story featured terrifying photos of little kids with a green, slimy substance slathered over their fingers and face, and while I originally thought it was snot, it turned out to be the new, “hip” ketchup.

My reaction to this modern spin on an old classic was utter confusion, as I didn’t understand why green ketchup would be consumed by anyone, even those under the age of 12. In my original column concerning this subject, I expressed hope that people would laugh at the mediocrity of this new product.

But now, as the months have passed since last October, when Heinz had hoped to make its competitors green with envy through its marketing schemes, I notice something else on grocery store shelves. Instead of dozens of bottles of the green stuff, I fall witness to bottles of Heinz ketchup that are definitely red and plainly stated in large (I believe 21-point font) words: NOT GREEN. One bottle now resides in my refrigerator.

That’s right, Heinz was publically making fun of its own mistake. How beautiful irony can be when it comes to ketchup. What once was heralded as the new thing in condiments is now but a joke for Heinz, and it’s even using it to sell the original ketchup.

Now, that’s marketing genius & and Heinz even states on its Web site, www.heinz.com, that it has “brilliant advertising.”

But green ketchup isn’t the only thing that I’ve written about that needs updating, as I have reencountered many of last year’s topics.

A more recent column of mine explored the new acquisition of Carrols Cinema by NIU. I outlined a possible solution as to how NIU could reopen the theaters to the public while still providing parking spaces for students.

Along with that, I offered the idea of using the cinemas as a place for film festivals where communication majors, not only from NIU but the entire United States, could show their films.

For the most part, other than some people commenting on not letting freshmen have cars, I have received very positive feedback and those I talk to believe that NIU could possibly succeed in opening the cinemas as a second-run theater and one where the Campus Activities Board could show its free films. Even Student Association President Ken Getty agreed that this could add more entertainment options to students.

Speaking of options for students, T.R.A.C.S. is here again for another round of fun in defining our schedules next year. Last semester, I wrote about how much excitement surrounds the making of a new schedule, along with the anticipation for a great semester of classes that are fun.

Of course, the same thing goes every semester, as after the first two weeks of class, one realizes that the classes aren’t nearly as fun as what the schedule book said they’d be like.

Last semester, I also examined the great workout called “8-Minute Abs” and its effects on my stomach. After about two weeks of dedicating eight minutes a day to this program (that’s about 112 minutes), I realized that my stomach still looked the same and that I could use the 112 minutes I spent doing sit-ups for more important things, like watching “Back to the Future.”

However, my friend the television informed me last week that there is a new program out there designed to give you a beach physique. This program is only seven minutes long, which would save me 14 minutes of workout time every two weeks.

But alas, I think “8-Minute Abs” still owns my heart.

Meanwhile, in politics, Bush ended up becoming president, and while I don’t think he is a suitable replacement for Dr. Cool Bill Clinton, he hasn’t messed up yet. However, I still don’t believe that all of the votes have been counted. Keep on pushing, Gore, you know you want to.

In personal news, my grandma turned another page in her book this past Sunday. She is now somewhere in her 80s and still trucking along.

Why, even cell phones, a societal problem that I wrote about earlier this semester, are plaguing my fellow columnist today (see below for details).

Thus, it’s interesting to see how even though we may think things are far in the past, they are still in the present. It’s amazing how much of an impact certain things have on our lives. Everything is reciprocal.

And remember, ketchup is red, not green.