13 May 2010

The Full Bull Happy Plate Club

The current pace of business around the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) is pretty hectic these days, as we try to catch up with the work of planning events that are still-but-only months away. When you're moving approximately 3,000 people and their equipment halfway around the world, months blur past as if they were minutes. Days tick by like seconds.

Through this background of mental fog and constant organizational distraction, I had a vision. While other believers may witness the Blessed Virgin appear in their breakfast corn flakes, I have begun to see a cartoony red cow over (or rather, under) a lunch of macaroni-and-cheese.

In a product line of animal-themed tableware for children, Hefty-brand Zoo Pals features more than 50 animal-faced paper plate designs. You put lunch on the face part, and condiments such as ketchup in the "ears." Each pack comes is a different assortment, but the Sherpa kids were lucky enough to encounter what can only be described as a Red Bull.

I don't think I'm just seeing things, either. The face-and-condiment-ears outline bears uncanny resemblance, I think, to the Mexican-water-jug shape of the 34th Infantry Division's "Red Bull" patch.

At this particular lunch hour, however, the character of the plate revealed itself slowly. "Kids look forward to eating all their food so they can see the entire animal face," the Zoo Pals website says. Let me tell you: That's not quickly enough, friend. I had to ask the kids to eat faster, because Daddy wanted to see the cartoon face beneath.

At the Zoo Pals website, you can even check out what each of the 50 animal characters is named. For example:
  • "Randy the Rooster."
  • "Sushi the Panda."
  • "Puddles the Duck."
  • "Baha the Black Sheep."
The Red Bull? His real name, according to the manufacturer, is "Bruiser the Bull." Not the butchest callsign in the animal-plate kingdom, I suppose, but at least they didn't try to name him "Terry."

(I'll wait for a moment while you consider that one ...)

I seem to recall that, in rodeo--or maybe in bar-room mechanical simulations of rodeos--riding the bull beyond a certain length of time is called a "full bull." (Sort of like how, in tractor-pulls, you can go a "full pull"? But, hey, I'm a city kid from Iowa. What do I know?)

In our house, despite our parental admonitions to eat only until they are full, the Sherpa kids consider a clean plate a "happy plate."

Put the two concepts together, and that, my friends, is how the Sherpa kids got themselves roped into the "Full Bull Happy Plate Club."

Heck of a brand, no?


  1. Heck of brand, yes! Now start looking for the number 34 repeating itself in your life... it will drive you nuts as well. I had (still have) a similar experience after doing a lot of research on a unit designated 116... it shows up everywhere to this day, it is almost like it is meant to be... PDV

  2. I'd be ordering crates of those if I were you!


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