Smith’s Hand-Hammered 100% Made In The U.S.A. Olive Oil
Things just hadn’t gone according to plan.
The plan being Tracy’s quest to, as she put it, “topple the European domination of the olive oil market”.
First, there was the whole deal with the olives. It turned out she wasn’t able to find any decent ones in the United States and ended up having to import them from the Mediterranean–at significant expense.
Because of this, her lawyers informed her that having the phrase “100% Made In The U.S.A.” on the labels would pretty much be illegal, so she had to scrap all of the pre-printed labels she’d purchased.
And by “scrapped”, I mean she crossed out the phrase with a Sharpie, as she hadn’t budgeted for a new batch of labels.
Secondly, there was her disdain for what she called “five thousand years of olive oil production tyranny”, which basically meant she decided not to invest in a traditional olive press–the kind which had been in use for the aforementioned five thousand years–and instead inexplicably reasoned there had to be a “better way” of extracting oil from the olive fruit.
She first tried dumping the olives, one small batch at a time, into a colander and hammering away at them. This was–unsurprisingly to everyone but Tracy–a total disaster, resulting in nothing more than smashed, non-oil-producing olives, several severely dented colanders, and a few accidentally hammered fingers.
But oddly enough, the fact that this method of production was a complete failure itself isn’t what stopped Tracy from attempting to hand-hammer her mostly made in the U.S.A. olive oil.
No, what stopped the hammering was her failure to secure Hammer as the celebrity pitchman for Smith’s Hand-Hammered
100% Made In The U.S.A. Olive Oil. He never returned her calls.
Which, of course, meant that the phrase “Hand-Hammered” also had to be excised from the pre-printed labels.
She then switched to extraction by mortar and pestle. This, however, meant the oil had to be produced in even smaller batches than the hand-hammered colander method as even the largest mortar and pestle Tracy could find didn’t hold that many olives.
Ultimately, though, this method resulted in no less than five broken pestles, a broken wrist for Tracy, and a miniscule amount of usable oil, notable for the large chunks of actual olives in the mixture.
Which meant that, shortly before suspending operations indefinitely, Tracy squeezed the in the hand-lettered descriptor “Old World Hand-Ground Chunky Style” above the crossed-out phrase “Hand-Hammered” on her stock of pre-printed Smith’s
Hand-Hammered 100% Made In The U.S.A. Olive Oil labels.
And when all was said and done, Tracy had spent roughly $75,000 of her own money and countless hours producing about a quarter of a Dixie Cup’s worth of olive oil–“oil” that was more solid than liquid.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY: There is no match for good old-fashioned American ingenuity and hard work. Except for good old-fashioned American complete lack of common sense and skill.