Back in the 1940s, all of America lived in fear of Joe McCarthy and his monstrous pet, HUAC. Get caught buying a book of Russian poetry? Must be a Red spy. Profess your love for cute Siberian tigers? Must be a Red spy. Wear a lovely red sun dress out on the town? Enjoy your treason trial, shithead.
McCarthy saw a Soviet mole in every man, woman, and unborn child. In his mind, America was overrun with hidden agents, its airwaves filled with the insidious murmurs of foreign operatives disguised as blue-blooded Yanks. During the Cold War, these moles were largely figments of Old Joe’s hyperactive loyalty to the Stars and Stripes. He persevered, though, and at one hearing famously shouted, “I have here in my hand a list of two hundred and five people that were known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party!”
The import of this may be lost on modern students, so I’ve worked out an easy translation into 21st century terms: “I’m holding a raisin-filled Blue Room cinnamon roll!”
On the surface this sounds like crazy talk. He’s angry at cinnamon rolls? Mounds (well, more like polygons, the way Brown’s look) of gooey, spicy goodness? The supreme deity of foods, if you discount intravenous gravy? And I agree with you — the idea that any sort of mind-warping Lovecraftian horror could possibly be intrinsic to the only USDA-accepted cure for seasonal affective disorder is tantamount to disbelief in the Copernican system, or that Han shot first. It just isn’t done.
But it’s true, and we all know it.
Brown’s cinnamon rolls are as far as you can get from delicious and still fool the health inspector. And it’s because of the raisins.
I repeat, it’s the raisins.
They’re one of the most incomprehensible comestibles out there. Undoubtedly their “usefulness” (some, like me, would instead say “terrorism”) began when a man walked by a grape vine that had sat out in the sun too long. “Oh look!” he cried happily. “Shriveled fruit resembling rabbit scat! I’ll take note of this farmer’s unforgivable laziness and put these in everything.” Thus began a destructive culinary love affair — yes, one greater than even Guy Fieri and [insert noun here].
The people who love raisins have a level of dietary adventurousness that places them somewhere in between Fear Factor contestants and Whole Foods evangelists. They subscribe to the nutritional model, “If it doesn’t kill me, I’m putting it in my face hole.” They justify everything in their diet by A) mentioning that they ate it in Paris last year, B) dropping semi-racist comments about it being an Old World aphrodisiac, or C) announcing their need to get as much roughage as possible. Hell, if I wanted to eat nontraditional natural things I’d steep bark in a jar all day and call myself an Ent. I guarantee you: if the Gate started serving shark fin soup, 10 people would protest and 10 times that amount would try it because “it’s so unique and you gotta live a little.” Those people are the same people that support raisins.
Wait, did I just compare enjoying raisins to the horrific maiming of majestic ocean creatures in service of a niche food product? You bet your frayed tights I did. And you best believe that if the editors don’t stop me, I will be invoking Godwin’s law by the end of this article.
Okay, okay. Maybe by now you’re still somehow thinking, “But…but…I just like eating raisins now and then! I’m not a bad person!” Yes you are, asshat, yes you are. Raisins aren’t just in our cinnamon rolls, they’re also responsible for the cruelist Rickroll in vertebrate history. I’m getting too worked up about this to think straight. Here’s a rage comic instead.
Hell hath no fury like a raisin’s scorn. If you’ve never had this happen to you, I encourage you to reach out to others who have experienced this trauma and tell them…sorry, life will not get better. Yeah. Oops. No use sugar-coating it. Unexpectedly encountering raisins is like the first time you do heroin (and here we encounter assumptions drawn solely from watching The Wire, not from personal experience). It shakes you to your core, and then, while you may end up feeling happy again in your life, you realize — and it is a horrible, aching knowledge — that you will never truly be the same again.
Really the point here is to forge a strong enough link between heroin use and raisins that high school health curricula will take notice.
There may be an opportunity for change, though. It seems like a fool’s hope, but all it may take is a few angry letters. An inside source at the Blue Room revealed that Brown purchases its cinnamon rolls from LaSalle Bakery, a local company that seems to be doing good work (apart from lobbing caustic fruit grenades into our mouths). If I were cruel I would get 4chan users to DDOS their website for the next year. But I’m not that guy! Send an email. Send a letter. Send a grape with a stake through its heart! You get the picture.
It’s either that or we dig up some secular dirt on raisins and get One Million Moms involved.