When I was a kid in the previous millenium, TV was a big deal. Until the late 1960s, my family had one set, a black-and-white model in a blond-wood cabinet, and we gathered around it to watch programs as a family.
Interesting, you say (being nice to the old guy), and a little quaint, but what has it got to do with beef jerky?
I was getting to that.
Words have emotive as well as cognitive meaning. They can point outward at things in the world, and at the same time inward to our memories — to seemingly random episodes in our past, almost always rich with feeling. That’s how it is with me and beef jerky.
Odd, you say. But go on.
OK, I will. One TV show that my small, working-class, entirely ordinary American family enjoyed in the 1960s was a comedy called The Beverly Hillbillies. One of the characters, Jethro, played by Max Baer, Jr., was the densest boob to ever grace the boob-tube. Pursuing an acting career, Jethro adopted the screen-name “Beef Jerky.”
Nearly fifty years later, I still remember that, and it colors my reaction to the term. When I hear “beef jerky,” I smile.
One of her products, the Chug-it Bouquet, is described as “nearly a pound of beef and wild game meat stuffed into 25 ounce Beer Mug vase.” Another product, the Sip-it Bouquet, is “nearly a half pound of meat sticks and jerky, neatly tucked into a 23 ounce Pilsner beer glass, vase.”
Walther markets her bouquets as gifts for men. You can buy one for your special guy for Valentine’s Day, or your dad for Father’s Day. (Are you reading this, family?) Assuming the carb-counts of her creations are low — not always the case for some of the jerky I’ve seen in stores — she could also market to the low-carb community.
She already has the perfect slogan for low-carbers: “Say it with meat!”
(If you buy jerky, what’s your favorite brand, flavor, online store?)