December 13, 2007

Today's Tip: Don't Mess With A Texan's Breakfast

SELF-PROCLAIMED TEXAN Randy Taylor is a serious man: a man set in his ways and fine with them. We know this because Mr Taylor called the customer complaint line established by the makers of Jimmy Dean sausage, and left a two-minute complaint for the firm over its supposed decision to reduce the size of its sausage tubes. Mr Taylor argues he cannot feed his family of five on a mere 12 ounce tube of sausage, and demands that Jimmy Dean return to its 16 ounce package forthwith. Downsizing to a 12 oz. package, Mr Taylor argues, represents unfair profiteering on the part of the sausage-maker at the expense of a hardworking American family. (Or, as Mr Taylor put it, "Save money, save money, save money -- fuck, I wanna eat, goddammit.")

The full audio of Mr Taylor's complaint can be heard here. The first 75 seconds are free of profanity, although he does get worked up after that. Especially at the end, when he is apparently talking to one of his children but has not yet ended the call.

As Mr Taylor noted at the beginning of his call, he did not know where "you people" at Jimmy Dean were based, so I did some looking for him. Apparently, the Sara Lee Corp., based in the Chicago suburb of Downers Grove, Ill., produces the stuff. Sara Lee (NYSE: SLE) has a market capitalization of some $12 billion and made $504 million on revenues of about $12.3 billion in fiscal year 2007. Thus, at first blush, Mr Taylor's comment may seem to be the cri de coeur of a solid workingman against a giant food distribution concern.

However, after doing some basic research, I do wonder if Mr Taylor may have made a mistake. Perusing Jimmy Dean's Web site, one finds that although the "light" version of its sausage comes in a 12 oz. container, one can purchase a full pound of the regular sausage. Or two pounds. Hell, Mr Taylor could go out and buy a three pound tube of Jimmy Dean sausage if he so wished, if the company's Web site is correct.

Much has been made of the family breakfast which Mr Taylor describes as regular eating for his household, but I daresay people may be reading too much into that. At least I hope. As Mr Taylor sounds like a man who works for a living, and his family sounds like people who work for a living, it is arguable that an entire pound worth of sausage for a family of five -- plus a whole buncha fried eggs -- is a reasonable breakfast, if they are engaged in heavy, physical labor. Then again, it might be a completely ridiculous breakfast. I don't know.

I would quibble with one facet of Mr Taylor's argument. On the recording, Mr Taylor says, "As far as your 16 oz. maple and sage (sausage), I don't eat that. I'm not from the North." Hey, pal, we don't eat it either! As one person commenting about this recording has already said, we eat scrapple in the North. Yeah. Scrapple. Although, there are various reasons why we don't eat it all that much.

(Thanks to Jesse).

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at December 13, 2007 09:17 PM | TrackBack
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