Editor’s Note: Reposted from the SATIRICAL site, PreOccupied Territory
Jerusalem, March 14– What becomes of the racks and racks of masks, wigs, cloaks, and other mass-produced paraphernalia that no one bought, but occupies valuable display space in the stores? More and more in recent years, the all-plastic products wind up bleached, shredded, dyed, and marketed again, this time as kosher-for-Passover breakfast cereal, according to several store proprietors.
Sunday morning saw employees at MaxStock in downtown Jerusalem continuing to remove hundreds of Purim costumes and costume pieces from the shelves and racks of the discount retail chain, now that the festival of Purim has concluded and the market for such items will wane until late winter next year. But rather than stow the products in storage until then, dispose of them, or attempt to return them to suppliers in China, several years ago a group of vendors realized that some people become so obsessed with finding Passover-compatible equivalents to their everyday foods that they will buy anything, no matter how repulsive, marketed in the appropriate niche – leading those vendors to a joint venture that processes the unsold costumes into colored flakes that they can sell as “Passover Flakes” that enough desperate consumers will buy.
“I don’t know why it took us so many years to have that epiphany,” recalled one manager. “I don’t know if it’s a function of our society just getting wealthier or what, but folks are willing to spend good money so on Passover they can badly replicate the food experiences they have during the rest of the year. Heaven forfend they adapt their cuisine for a week! But hey, if they’re willing to pay for products of questionable edibility, I’m willing to provide those products. Sometimes all we have to do is add sugar.”
The products in question obtain certification as kosher-for-Passover with relative ease. The restrictions for the festival require that products contain no grain component, lest it came into contact with water and became “leavened” under Jewish law. Various communities have adopted further stringencies involving other ingredients similar in appearance or use to those grains as a safety measure. The complete lack of food ingredients makes Rabbinate certification as kosher-for-Passover a formality.
Industry sources indicated that so far, Purim costumes have become breakfast cereal, snack crackers, imitation pretzels, and croutons for soup or salad. A small team of retailers has also formed a task force to explore other products stupid consumers will pay to acquire as substitutes for things they could simply go without for a few days, such as popcorn and chocolate-coated wafers.