Of all the things on the planet to get people's knickers in a twist, this week it happens to be Flamin' Hot Cheetos. Several public schools in California, New Mexico and Illinois have banned these spicy red snacks, claiming they are unhealthy, germy, messy, addictive and salty. Sure, a tiny bag of Flamin' Hot Cheetos has almost thirty grams of fat and enough sodium to kill a modest-sized houseplant, but is banning chips really the solution to correcting the ills that public school children face in these complicated times?
Here are five reasons why banning Flamin' Hot Cheetos is f*cking ridiculous. And I ate an entire four-ounce bag of them while I was writing this....
5. Flamin' Hot Cheetos are unhealthy compared to what?
While these Cheetos are probably not the most nutritionally viable snack option in the world, but if you are familiar with the current state of most school lunches, it's no surprise that kids are cramming their gullets full of bagged snack chips rather than tucking into plastic trays covered with Saharan dry turkey, corn swimming in melted margarine, concrete spheres of instant mashed potatoes and, if the children are super-lucky, gravy from a can. Yes, Cheetos are unhealthy, but at least they don't traumatize kids for years -- with the only real cure coming when they hit college and discover Cheetos all over again, hopefully future-jazzed up versions with added caffeine, blue dye and edible glitter.
4. Sharing Cheetos isn't germier than most things kids do.
Anyone who has school-aged youngsters knows the daily germ-orgies that their children actively participate in, like licking the family pets, drinking toilet water and shoving their chubby little fingers in there. One of the gripes put forth by school administrators is that kids sharing bags of Flamin' Hot Cheetos are swapping germs. They are probably right about that, but kids are growing up pretty fast these days, so if sharing bags of chips is the only way these freaky little pre-adolescents are getting germs from each other, then school officials should be grateful.
3. They ARE messy, but what about job security?
Any variety of Cheetos leaves fiery fingers, stained shirts and flamey-colored powder prints on walls, desks, safety scissors and construction paper, but aside from the novel concept of asking those spoiled little bastards to clean up after themselves, maybe more red fingerprints are a good thing -- for the janitorial staff. If children stopped being sloppy, messy little sh*ts, we'd have yet more unemployed workers in our still-sluggish economy. And as much as I empathize with janitors having to polish off Cheeto-prints from the hallowed halls of educational institutions, that still beats waiting for a paltry unemployment check or standing in line at the human services offices to get food stamps. You can buy Flamin' Hot Cheetos with food stamps, so the full-circle there is depressing as hell.
2. Flamin' Hot Cheetos prohibition could cause a spike in organized crime.
The fervent snack-nannies at these schools are failing miserably to see the big picture here: Prohibition, especially of addictive substances like drugs, alcohol and Cheetos, could very well cause a rash of organized crime in our public schools. We've all seen Boardwalk Empire -- it'll start with black-market Cheetos with inflated prices bought on credit, and it will proceed to muscle used to enforce debts, with ten-year-olds trying to get on the busses to go home every day with little, broken kneecaps. And inevitably the situation will devolve into drive-bike shootings, kiddie-sized zoot suits and wallet chains, and before you know it these children will transform into pint-sized, hardened criminals who say things like "Leave the gun -- take the Cheetos."
1. Too much salt? Put the soda machines back in the schools.
Flamin' Hot Cheetos are seriously salty, and what those kids need is a solution to the crippling thirst that Cheetos cause, not an outright ban. Instead, just put the Coke machines back in the schools. Better still, install dual Coke/Cheetos vending machines so that students can purchase the snack/drink combos for one low price. I'm relatively certain that both Coca-Cola and Frito Lay execs would be open to the proposal. READ: They will send the machines to schools, for free, accompanied by fruit baskets and strippers. And to add bonus gold to the new business plan, they should get the best celebrity spokesperson to boost sales: Honey Boo Boo.
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Does any of this seem ridiculous? If so, you obviously haven't watched the Learning Channel lately. The sale in schools of Flamin' Hot Cheetos is really not the worst of our cosmetic, first-world problems: Here Comes Honey Boo Boo is.