Three-dimensional glasses covered eyes. Hula hoops trimmed hips. Four-cent stamps upholstered letters. Suburbs blossomed.
Baby boomers shrieked their first shrieks in maternity wards between 1946 and 1964, as Coupe de Villes sprouted tail fins and constipation and hemorrhoids in Washington, D.C., reached alarming levels.
The heroic prune, the Paul Revere of fruit, rode to the rescue.
Today baby boomers are reaching the constipation years. Buy prune stock.
Still, most baby boomers are anti-prune. Prunes are not on their hip list.
Prune producers have the unenviable task of overcoming baby boomers’ objections. To do so, the industry has rebranded its product with bright, modern packaging and names such as Pitted Dried Plums Plus.
I can picture the marketing meeting. Four strategists hunker down at a conference room table bathed by fluorescent light. You can imagine what happens next.
Person A: “We need a new name for prunes. How about Pitted Plums?”
Person B: “How about those Mariners?”
The group spends the next 15 minutes discussing the batting prowess of the Seattle professional shortstop, except Person D, who doesn’t know a baseball bat from a wombat.
Person B: How about we call our product Dried Plums?
Person C, a friend of Person A: “I’m going to Mt. Rainier this weekend.”
The group spends the next 15 minutes discussing how crowded the mountain will be, except Person A, who doesn’t know a mountain from a molehill.
Person C: “How about we call our product Pitted Plums Plus?
Person D, a friend of Person B: “I can’t believe the road rage on the commute.”
The group spends the next 15 minutes discussing “bad drivers” — everyone who goes faster (idiot) or slower (moron) — except Person B, who rides a bicycle everywhere.
Person D: How about calling our product Dried Plums Plus?
Then they batter each other with thrown prunes.
No, in the end, civility prevails. However, the winning name, Pitted Dried Plums Plus, has one problem: Unless it is printed in type the size of ants, it spills over the end of the packaging.
Now let’s move to the grocery store. The hip baby boomer consumer, if not careful, reads “itted Dried Plums Plu.” The pony-tailed connoisseur overlooks this marketing blunder. Furtively gazing both ways, making sure no other baby boomers are watching, he stealthily sticks the package in the shopping cart under the soy milk.
Prunes are one of many items on the baby boomer not-hip list. Others include rocking chairs, industrial strength Preparation H, Norman Rockwell paintings, spray-on blue hair, Spam and black knee socks with white dress shoes.
However, maybe it’s time baby boomers, especially those still working, change their thinking. Prunes may be ugly, wrinkly and decidedly unhip. Adding prunes to the diet, though, will make it easier to sit through long meetings.