Monday, January 10, 2011

Expires On Jan. 22

TigerBlog is okay with the Nature Valley crunchy granola bars. His favorite is the oats and dark chocolate, though he also likes the apple crisp (that's the one in the red box) and whatever they call the one in the green box.

Of course, he'd rather have, say, s'mores Pop Tarts, though he can sum the difference between the two up this way: Two oats and dark chocolate bars are 190 calories, while one s'mores Pop Tart is 200 calories.

As anyone who has growing kids knows, you can't buy food fast enough to suit them. It makes expiration dates somewhat irrelevant, since your average good item isn't going to come anyway near reaching that date.

And things that don't come with expiration dates, like fruit, are even less likely to ever go bad. If you've ever seen a, oh, middle school kid go after bananas, apples and oranges, then you understand.

Still, most things come with expiration dates, even things that you'd figure would never expire. Bottled water, for instance.

And crunchy granola bars. In the case of the most recent ones that TB bought, they expire on Dec. 11, 2011. Maybe they just have an expiration date one year after they're packaged?

TigerBlog's belief is that many expiration dates are put on products not because the product goes bad but because the company that makes the product wants the consumer to buy a new one after a certain point. The thought of using something beyond its expiration date causes most people to conjure up images of getting violently sick on something that has gone bad or, in the case of medicine, using something that no longer will work (or will make the situation worse).

It's a great marketing strategy. You have an already hooked audience that clearly likes your product, and you scare them into throwing out perfectly good stuff and buying new.

As an aside, TB last week wrote about "The Jumble" word game. Check out today's and get the first word, which is an apt word to describe TB.

One thing that clearly does go bad is milk. The gallon that TB bought on Saturday had an expiration date of Jan. 22, which meant that it was two full weeks away. TB figures no milk can ever make it through more than a few days in the house anyway, so a two-week window is probably twice what will be necessary. On the other hand, when you buy multiple gallons of milk at once, you never can tell.

As TB stood in the store and checked out the expiration timetable, it dawned on him that Princeton will be coming out of exam break on that Jan. 22 date with a men's and women's track meet. That date will be long after the milk itself will be gone, and in fact, TB is probably looking at multiple trips to the supermarket between now and when Princeton athletics starts up again.

The next Princeton athletic events are for that Jan. 22 weekend and feature:
Jan. 22 - m/w track hosting the Princeton Relays
Jan. 23 - m/w swimming/diving vs. Dartmouth
Jan. 23 - m basketball vs. The College of New Jersey
Jan. 25 - m hockey vs. Sacred Heart.

The all-sport schedule lists 22 events the following weekend, between Friday the 28th and Sunday the 30th.

If you're fired up to see how the men's and women's basketball teams are going to do in the league, or if the men's hockey team is ready for another postseason run, or if Princeton can equal last year's total of seven winter Ivy League championships, that's all great.

Except you're going to have to wait two weeks to see any of it.

It's the start of the weirdest two weeks of the Princeton Athletic calendar.

No comments: