Congratulations on your purchase of Frito-Lay's new Wow! brand fat-free snack chips. As Wow! chips are made with Procter & Gamble's ground-breaking new fat substitute Olean, we've provided you this handy Q&A brochure to help dispel any untruths you may have heard in the liberal media about this wholesome, delicious food-like substance, now available in products found in supermarkets throughout the country.
Q. What is Olean?
A. Olean is the brand name for "olestra," an amazing new fat substitute from Procter & Gamble. Last year, olestra was infused into snack chips planted in select, unsuspecting test markets across the country. Most people who enjoyed these snacks reported that the chips were wholesome and delicious. However, some consumers did call our comment line to report "explosive diarrhea," anal leakage and "stomach pains like in 'Alien'," reports which were then, unfortunately, taken out of context by the liberal media.
Q. Given that fateful encounter, what steps has Procter & Gamble taken to improve olestra in recent years?
A. It renamed the substance "Olean."
Q. How does Olean work?
A. Olean keeps your body from absorbing fat by accelerating it through your digestive system at speeds upwards of 100 miles an hour. The resultant stomach pain and embarrassing discharge is often such that consumers cannot stomach food of any kind for several days, leading to further weight loss and resultant healthful effects.
Q. Will Olean affect vitamins in my body?
A. Yes. It will hoover them from your system faster than a White House intern. At Procter & Gamble, we're proud to be among the first companies to bring a food product to market that not only has no inherent nutritional value, but actually flushes other nutrients (such as vitamins A, D, E and K) from your body. Truly, this is progress at its best.
Q. How do I know Olean is safe?
A. Olean is one of the most-tested products to ever gain FDA approval, joining the proud ranks of other food-like substances such as saccharin, aspartame and disodium guanylate. In addition, we're a large American corporation, and thus can assure the trustful public that we'd never feed the populace anything harmful (like tobacco) just to turn a quick buck.
Q. Is it true that there's an entire Web site devoted to "olestra haiku" at http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~kosak/olestra/?
A. No. Absolutely not.
Q. Why call these chips Wow!?
A. Shortly after eating Wow! brand snacks, many of our customers were heard to say "Wow! These sure are wholesome and delicious!" We steadfastly deny reports from the liberal media that others were heard to say, "Wow! My stomach hurts!", "Wow! I guess that's what they mean by 'anal leakage'!" or "Wow! I guess this pretty much ends our blind date!"
Q. How is it possible to get people to buy a product best known for its capacity to induce "anal leakage" anyway?
A. Frankly, we don't appreciate your tone. Anal leakage is no laughing matter. We are committed to fighting the scourge of anal leakage and the heartbreak it causes. In fact, at Procter & Gamble's underground labs, scientists are currently working day and night to produce an improved version of Olean that may -- now we're not promising anything here -- but just may provide the same healthful benefits of Olean with 15% less anal leakage! Truly, yet more proof that this a great time to be alive.
Q. Why should I choose Wow! snack chips?
A. Because you're an American, and America enjoys the curious dichotomy of being a chronically overweight nation which worships a chronically underweight body image. As a citizen of this very special country, you have the God-given right to enjoy a perfect body without suffering unpleasant side effects such as "nutrition" or "exercise." At long last, Olean gives you a means to exercise that sense of entitlement. Enjoy your fat-free fat, proud citizens, and God bless America.
© 2002 by firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published in the Boulder Weekly, April 2, 1998.