On the blog Welcome to My MidLife Crisis, in the unexplained mysteries section, someone has taken issue with my Christmas short story about growing up in a mining town during the longest strike in North American history because I identified Campbell’s Tomato Soup in the opening sentence. Sorry!
I like Campbell’s Tomato Soup, it is the ultimate comfort food. I don’t eat much anymore by I did when I was growing up. It does not taste like any other tomato soup. I was not paid to mention it in my story. In the 1970s there were only a few brands of soup, and the leading one was Campbells. It is a Canadian thing. I think it used to be canned in my hometown, Chatham, made with Leamington tomatoes.
Here is what was written on the MidLife Crisis Blog, I can’ stop laughing:
The 2007 award for “Unecessary and Distracting Use Of Detail” has been won by a writer on staff of a little northern newspaper based out of Sudbury, Ontario ,Canada called The Northern Life. The story was written for the holidays and is titled “A Merry Little Christmas”, and was written by Vicki Gilhula. It unfortunately was published, and I, unfortunately read the first paragraph, which was more then I needed to read before deciding that this particular story absolutely HAD to win this particular award…Here’s why, in only eight words….”Mathew watched his Mother make CAMPBELL”S TOMATO SOUP”….(caps mine)…Branding in the form of a short story now? Did Campbell’s pay her for that? Wouldn’t they have chosen a more prestigious publication if that were the case? The detail does nothing to move the story forward! What was the point? Did the author feel the menton of the brand would help her story? Does she have relatives who work for that particular company? WTH????? That single opening sentence was, to me, on par with something like this…”Mary Jane,who was named after her Granny Patty and her uncle Mary, ( who was actually Marc before the sex reassignment surgery) ( which was done at Catlitter hospital in sunny downtown Bonanza, Newfoundland) (by the famous Dr Johnson Snort) (who lost his vision in an OR accident involving a patient that wasn’t quite “out”) (if you know what I mean) ( said patient being the infamous Cat Lady of Hanover) ( who was in for whisker removal) ( who gives new meaning to the words “Scratch yer eyes out”)…see what I mean? A million sentences little details could be added, but SHOULD they?