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Long, long ago, when my grandfather was a boy, he would pay very little(a coin or two) for a bag of Cracker Jack, and would get a very good prize. Maybe he got a ring, maybe he got a toy truck(one of which we still have to this day). Of my childhood(which is still technically going on), you pay much more, and get much less. You would get a piece of paper. OH NO! It's not a piece of paper! It's a pencil eraser-topper! Hours of fun! Whee!

Well, those plentiful days of paper-prizes are apparently gone. On a very cold, tiring ride back from Florida to Virginia, I stopped to get a snack at a rest stop. I decide to get a bag of Cracker Jack. I open my bag on the bus, excited to see my papery treasure.


Imagine my disappointment when I saw that my bag contained no prize, but crushed caramelly popcorn and two or three peanuts. Heartbreaking.

Have they no soul? To crush a girl's chances of brightening her day with a prize? It is so.

One thing is for certain, I am shocked and ashamed at the decline of such a product that has set the benchmark of the caramel-corn industry.

I will never buy Cracker Jack again. Forget you, Sailor Jack. You too, Bingo.

So, has anyone else experienced this absurd ordeal?

Product or Service Mentioned: Cracker Jack Popcorn.

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One might have to count the bean counters as primary in the decline of yet another Once At Least Reliably Good American product. Cracker Jacks they still call it, but they've taken as much out of it as they could without abandoning the concept altogether.

Only enough miserable looking...and tasting...peanuts to qualify as having any...some kind of very inferior, non-Cracker Jack coating on synthetic tasting popped corn.

The whole box a kind of shrunken, off-putting design.

As for the "toys," they're horrible. There's nothing creative about them, and as for their value, I would have to guess something like one thousandth of a penny each.

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