Five ways to improve Colorado cantaloupes' image

Colorado's cantaloupes have gotten a bad rap lately -- and perhaps rightfully so. A listeria outbreak traced to melons from Jensen Farms in Holly has been linked to 29 deaths. But not all of the state's cantaloupes are to blame -- a point Colorado Agriculture Commissioner John Salazar hopes to make with a project to boost confidence in the vilified fruits, according to The Pueblo Chieftan. Here, we offer five ripe (tee-hee) suggestions.

5. Change its name. The cantaloupe has several alter egos, including the mushmelon, the rockmelon and the muskmelon. All of them are pretty gross (mushmelon? seriously?), but at least they're not cantaloupe.

4. Adopt a catchy slogan. Fact: The flesh (ew) of cantaloupes is orange. Fact: Jack in the Box gives people e.Coli. Catchy slogan: "Orange you glad we're not Jack in the Box?"

3. Subliminal marketing. Cut a deal with King Soopers to repeatedly play Us3's 1993 jazz-rap hit "Cantaloop" in the produce section. If it doesn't inspire people to buy cantaloupes, it'll at least inspire them to "get funky." So, win-win.

2. Make cantaloupes funny again. Were cantaloupes ever funny? Doesn't matter. This plan will still work: Infiltrate the ranks of Laffy Taffy joke writers, get them drunk and convince them it'd be like, so awesome to make every joke on the wrappers, "Why didn't the melons get married? Because they cantaloupe!"

1. Make "cantaloupe" easier to spell. How about just "cantelope"? After all, nobody likes things they can't spell. See: Connecticut, Wednesday and hors d'oeuvres. Okay, maybe not hors d'oeuvres. They're delicious. But definitely Connecticut.

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