} Yes, insolent one, it is VERY difficult to make, especially when you
} don't have hands -- a condition you may soon experience due to your
} lack of sufficient respect for The Oracle!
} Of course, this is only from an end user perspective. Let us take a
} short journey to Battle Ax, Michigan, where the Kraft Company union
} bakers are hard at work producing macaroni and cheese -- or, "Kraft
} Cheese and Macaroni," as they now fondly refer to it. Please note the
} difference. "Cheese" before "Macaroni." What gifted marketers!!
} As we stop outside the plant door, we are greeted by Mimi, our bouncy,
} perky, and peppy Kraft Plant Tour Guide. Mimi shakes our hands
} vigorously and tells us enthusiastically about a hundred times that
} she's glad to meet us. She provides us with official Kraft
} Protecto-Smocks and hardhats, and we enter the big metal doors.
} Inside, bakers are busily hurrying and scurrying about, pouring tons of
} processed, purified, petrified, percolated white flour into enormous
} bubbling vats. We stare in awe as the vats churn and spin. We watch
} as gallons of milk, streams of eggs, and beaches of salt are added to
} the mixture, which is now congealing into enough dough to cover Coney
} "Over there," Mimi squawks in her annoyingly girlish twang, finger
} pointed to a network of hoses nearly obscured by the vats "is where the
} dough comes out into the Pasta-izers, which make that neat little elbow
} macaroni shape that families across America love so much." We watch
} expectantly, and sure enough, the hoses wriggle, and through the other
} end, miles and miles of wet macaroni noodles spew forth. It's amazing,
} in a sickening kind of way.
} "It takes approximately four hours for the wet macaroni dough to harden
} into the dry, brittle, plastic consistency that we ship it in." Mimi
} explains as we walk to the conveyor belt where miles of noodles are
} traveling up into an unseen chamber beyond. "That's the drying room.
} Temperatures in the drying rooms are a constant 285 degrees Farenheit.
} This is the ideal drying temperature." Mimi continues to explain with
} a smile that we can't actually go into the drying rooms, or we'll get
} severely burned. We chuckle briefly, and continue on.
} We stop at a large viewing area outside the middle of the drying room.
} At the exact center of the drying room is the Cutting Room, where
} massive blades spin continuously on an enormous fanbelt-like
} contraption. The macaroni noodles are cut "in mid-dry," Mimi explains,
} "so that they're not too soft nor too hard. Just like the beds in
} Goldilocks and the Three Bears!" We laugh again and, as Mimi turns
} away, roll our eyes at each other and shrug our shoulders.
} "Now we come to the highlight of the tour!" Mimi announces gleefully.
} "The Cheese!!" Ooh, the Cheese! We've finally come to the Cheese. We
} are very excited.
} Before entering the Cheese Room, Mimi hands us Kraft Protective
} Goggles, so we aren't blinded by the dazzling dayglow orange chemicals
} that give the Cheese its familiar color.
} We enter.
} Even with our goggles in place, the Cheese Room is startlingly bright.
} Huge silver cannisters glow brilliantly with their flourescent orange
} contents. Human forms cloaked in aluminum-colored suits man mysterious
} levers and switches safely above the tops of the cannisters. The rich
} smells of romano, cheddar, parmesan, and sulfur are stifling. We can
} hardly breathe. We lean against a column for support while our heads
} clear, and our lungs adjust to the feeling of having too little oxygen.
} "It took more than twenty years to perfect the Cheese recipe," Mimi
} recites as we regain our senses. "Years of research and millions of
} dollars have resulted in the 'sauce' you and your families now enjoy in
} your homes. I can't tell you exactly what goes into the Cheese. It's
} a closely guarded secret. But I can tell you that the Cheese powder
} has roughly the same nutritional value as Tang. The first astronauts
} could have substituted a glass of Kraft Cheese in their daily
} breakfasts, and come out in tip top physical shape." We are impressed,
} although queazy, at the prospect.
} Mimi leads us into a small white office tucked against the base of the
} far wall in the Cheese Room. Inside, we are introduced to Jack, the
} Cheese Room General Manager. He shakes our hands firmly, and we note
} the seemingly permanent orange tint on his fingers.
} "The Cheese Room wasn't always the picture of precision it is today."
} Jack tells us in his bellowing voice. "Years before Cheese research
} was completed, the Cheese was produced in large vats, similar to the
} ones in which the dough is made. And everyone wore Smocks, like yours.
} After an unfortunate incident occured years ago, we re-examined our
} safety measures and implemented the procedures you see today."
} Jack points to a newspaper clipping on the wall. It shows a neat,
} grinning, dark-haired young man, probably a college photo, and the
} front yard of a small house being scoured by policemen and dogs. We
} read as Jack recounts the story of this man, a former Cheese Room
} worker, who started complaining of frequent headaches and slowly began
} suffering from a personality disorder. "No one noticed at first," Jack
} said solemnly, "but one day, Robert didn't come into work and he didn't
} call. He was always real responsible. So someone went to check on
} Apparently, Robert had purchased a shotgun and slaughtered his wife and
} three children. He was discovered still in the house, naked and
} drooling, yelling "It told me to do it! It said 'Robert, I'm the
} Cheesiest! I'm the Cheesiest!! Kill your family, Robert! Kill your
} "A terrible, terrible thing," Jack says quietly. We stand, heads
} bowed, in a moment of silence. "On the other hand," Jack perks up, "it
} resulted in one helluvan advertising campaign!"
} We say our goodbyes to Jack, and Mimi leads us to the Kraft Guest
} Center, where we return our Smocks and Goggles, and are offered
} beverages and snacks. Mimi thanks us profusely for coming today,
} shaking our hands vigorously yet again. We are each given three boxes
} of "Kraft Cheese and Macaroni," and we exchange final pleasantries and
} exit the Kraft Plant.
} Once outside, we quickly deposit the "Kraft Cheese and Macaroni" in the
} garbage, and rush to our cars, never to return.
} So you now see that not only is "Kraft Cheese and Macaroni" difficult
} to make, it is, in fact, unfit for human consumption.
} You owe The Oracle a large box of Rolaids.