Today’s my birthday and I figured I ought to kick off the bacchanal with a good breakfast. I’m a closeted oatmeal lover. As soon as the air gets nippy and the nipples get snappy, I’m heating up a cup of Quaker in the communal microwave. Today was different, though. To adequately prepare myself for the fall season, I prepared a cup of Rokit Fuel, a new brand I spotted at the school convenience store the night before.
Rokit Fuel has a subtitle following its endearingly misspelled name. “For humans.” It seems like less of a descriptor than a disclaimer. Although Rokit Fuel doesn’t explicitly say it was originally intended for dogs or elephants or infants, its oatmeal certainly contradicts that. Not to swerve off our grand highway onto a tangent as dirty and controversial as a trucker’s rest stop, but well, tough crap. Rokit Fuel employs a passive-aggressive little statement at the bottom of each of their products (and also, I hear, in the form of bumper stickers) that says “Not for Wussies- Wussie (noun) A person whose pursuit of excellence is eclipsed by a total lack of discipline and drive.”
Wow. Never thought I’d see the day when I had to write about sexist oatmeal. While that’s laudable in a wacky Jackie Gleason hi-jinks/domestic abuse fashion, I’m pretty irked by the word “wussie.” It doesn’t take a genius with a degree in vagology to know what that’s loosely imitating by rhyming, and I’m a little insulted that Rokit Fuel, in all their creative misspelling and edgy graphics, turns to a staid mysogynistic stereotype to imply weakness. I’ve been told I have a good sense of humor, and a dark one at that. And even I don’t particularly find it funny or effective. I’m actually less annoyed that they’re ragging on lady bits so much as irritated at the feeble structure of their joke. It’s like something an angry child of a single dad would make up. I don’t see who the intended “non-wussie” audience is. I bought it and I’m an overweight food writer. I’m the direct antithesis of a tennis ball. It wasn’t an endorsement for the contents inside. Rokit Fuel didn’t make me any more driven in my day. It’s a low blow appropriate for an already shoddy product.
Back to our college dining theme, you’ll be pleased to know that since I ran out of spoons to eat with, I used a tablespoon and can accurately report to you that there were 13 1/2 tablespoons in this cup. Which brings me to my next point. Not only is Rokit Fuel heavy on the calories, with a hefty 340, 120 of which come from fat, and 20 grams of sugar, (the most blasphemous Quaker variety, Banana Bread, has 150 calories, 18 from fat, and 14 grams of sugar) it’s annoyingly minimal in its cooking instructions. It provides consumers with the basic, Captain Obvious facts anyone out or in an assisted living facility for retarded adults would be aware of and leaves the important stuff out. How much milk or water should I put in this? Nobody knows, so get the hell out. Leave the resealable top on while cooking? No fucking clue.
I still wound up with an oatmeal with a decent consistency, but I finished with a bad taste in my stomach and a frown on my face. What the creators imagined tasting like a “freshly baked pumpkin chocolate chip cookie” tastes like a muddled gravy-like concoction reminiscent of overbaked butternut squash and tepid stuffing. The consistency was thick, but wet and pasty with a very dense, unsweetened flavor. Believe me when I tell you that when I went to bed last night I was more excited to wake up and eat this oatmeal than I was to watch the season seven finale of Weeds, close the book on another year, and sleep in. So gulping down a flavor typically reserved for soup kitchen Thanksgivings and retirement home meals was not optimal. The flavor made eating the entire cup feel like a chore around the last few bites, and the stupid jokes and sparse instructions annoyed me. I’d spent $3.29 on a single serving of sub-par oatmeal. Hikers and bikers may have elevated standards, but in the end, the man in the wideawake hat knows best. Straying from the pack has devastating consequences.