I was struck by a thundering realization this morning (more of the rumbling kind of thunder than the really loud booming kind) as I spread my Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese on my whole-grain bagels. I discovered a conspiracy, and I'd like to share it with the world, and expose this scam.
What's the main reason you buy cream cheese (Yiddish: schmear)? It has many uses, but for me, and for many others I suspect, the main reason is to put it on bagels. For years I've noticed that if you buy a pack of bagels (usually has six bagels) and one regular-sized container of cream cheese, the bagels run out before the cream cheese does. You're left with about a third to a fourth of a container of cream cheese (depending on the liberalness of your spreading) and no bagels.
What's up? And for years, I wrote that fact off as the same kind of lack of inter-industry coordination in the hot dogs and buns industries.
Think about it for a moment: what happens to that 1/4 container of cream cheese? It either goes bad if you don't buy new bagels on time, or you are forced to buy more bagels to use the remaining cream cheese. But here's the catch: if you buy a new pack of bagels, you will finish the cream cheese before you finish the bagels. Then you have to buy more cream cheese. But those bagels will run out before you finish the new cream cheese. You begin to see the pattern.
So you are stuck with two options:
- You get stuck in an endless cycle of buying cream cheese and bagels, desperately trying to portion your cream cheese per bagel ratio so that they run out at the same time and there's no leftover to waste; or
- You don't buy new bagels on time (and who has the time and energy to continuously keep running to the store to buy more packs of bagels or cream cheese?) and your 1/4 container of cream cheese runs out, and thus you wasted about 25% of the money you spent on that container.
When I told this theory to my wife this morning, she asked me why I don't simply use the remaining cream cheese on toasted bread?
I suspect her of trying to cover up the conspiracy.