Poptarts in Hell – The Sadism of Breakfast

I’m not sure when advertisers first imagined that anthropomorphizing food products would somehow endear them to us, but I can only imagine that the end result has always been cruel and horrifying. Just look at the M&M people. When the humans aren’t trying to eat them, they’re trying to fuck them. Or both. Is it still considered bestiality if the other species is capable of informed consent?

I want to emphasize an important distinction between food mascots and food people. Mascots are homunculi. Their only purpose is to shill for their corporate masters. One imagines they have a truncated lifespan and are mass produced by techno-magi. Food people, on the other hand, possess all the qualities of a functioning human mind and are seemingly integrated into normal human society.

There are so many awful, anthropomorphized food people on the market, but none live in a world more depraved than the one inhabited by sentient, Don Hertzfeldt-style Poptarts. These characters face unprecedented violence in every human encounter – one wonders how they haven’t been extinguished as a race. What separates them from other food people, like Cinnamon Toast Crunch, is that they display genuine emotions. The Cinnamon Toast Crunch squares are gormless cannibals. They’re like hermit crabs, except they’re probably sterile. Poptarts have a fear of death and a will to be autonomous.

As you can see in the above video, our protagonist (read: murderer) has tricked an innocent Poptart man into becoming a meat shield. The Poptart’s disposition is sweet, if a bit dim. He holds the human’s hands in a obvious display of trust, which the human viciously exploits. Now, maybe you wouldn’t feel bad for the Poptart if he had just kept grinning his idiot grin the whole time. You could tell yourself that the Poptart was meant to be eaten, that his only purpose was to go to the slaughterhouse. But that is not what happens. Visceral panic overcomes his frosted face. Too late does the Poptart realize he’s been betrayed.

In this horrifying example, the Poptart is just minutes from burning alive. Straining with the effort, he manages to free himself from the claustrophobic death box. However, the cries of elation soon turn to pathetic howls of despair as he is launched straight into a nearby freezer where two other victims and some kind of popsicle minion await him. The Poptart looks on in utter shock when one of the other prisoners attempts a joke. This was a creature with hopes and dreams. Somewhere, a family laments his absence, and they’ll never find the body.

In this most sadistic example, two food people are checking up on their newborn son. They watch him through the nursery window. Right away, this establishes that food people are capable of procreating and that obstetricians will not immediately seize upon their infant children like rabid jackals. The same cannot be said of the nursing staff. The parents are helpless to do anything except watch as a predatory nurse swoops in and devours the child. The father wails in agony. The mother is so overcome with grief that she is simply unable to process the loss – she resorts to punning.

It is telling that in all these examples, we never actually see the grisly moment in which the Poptarts are ripped apart and devoured. It’s supposed to be a breakfast commercial after all, not a snuff film, yet the omission betrays guilt. I don’t know who’s responsible for this vile realm of existence in which parents are forced to watch as their babies are eaten alive, but I’ll go ahead and assume that you can reach it after solving the Lament Configuration.

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Karl Fischer

Karl Fischer is a writer and crazy person living in Portland, OR with his wife and their pug child. He is the author of Towers (Eraserhead Press) and is part of the New Bizarro Author Series. He likes bad movies, fantastic movies, black coffee, and stories that make him cry.

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