Taste Test: Little Debbie Nutty Bars

Dramatic Reenactment
ISLE OF PALMS, South Carolina -- Niece Deborah insisted we drop everything and rush to the Piggly Wiggly to purchase Nutty Bars.

"I'm on vacation," I said.

"But Nutty Bars are my favorite, Uncle Mike," Deborah said.

"This, ahem, Piggly Wiggly of which you speak," I elucidated, inexplicably assuming a 1939 Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes demeanor sans pipe. (I did produce a deerstalker detective hat, however. Oh, the delightful bric-a-brac one finds in a time share!) "I am a strict vegetarian. Shall there be pork fumes?"

"I don't think so, Uncle Mike. Tut. Tut. Tut, my good fellow. Hot tea, old man?" Deborah had inexplicably become Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson, although much younger and lovelier. I think it was the sea air blowing in across the pond from Great Britain. And maybe the cocktails.

"Ah, my niece, I shall be obliged to escort you to the Piggle Wiggle."

"Piggly Wiggly."

"I shan't be common. Piggle Wiggle."

"Don't you like Nutty Bars, Uncle Mike?" Deborah asked.

"Never had the pleasure of their hilarity," I said. "I've seen the rascals strewn hither and yon my entire existence, but a failure am I, alas, to have not partaken of the drollery of the Nutty Bars. I beg your forgiveness and condolence.

"They are wafer cookies with peanut butter," Deborah said. "You shall consume one this very eve."

"Nutty," I said. "We shall har-de-har 'til dawn."

"We're off," said Deborah, addressing assorted kindred and country men. "Hot tea?"

We returned posthaste from the supermarket, alternately clutching -- and romancing -- an entire carton of Nutty Bars.

Being a patron of laughter, I couldn't wait to sink my glistening fangs into the Nutty Bars' implied wholesome wackiness, or, as you Americans say, nuttiness.

I announced for all to hear I would chose the moment to conduct one of my patented Taste Tests here in the field, 400 miles afar from my beloved laboratory with kitchenette and the occasional tofu weenie tongs.

Tonight's experiment would be further enhanced with my trademarked Windblown, Tousled Beach Lad Hair™. There was animated applause, as there should be.

I admired the attractive Nutty Bars packaging. "This Little Debbie child must be one of the greatest of comediennes to produce such nuttiness. There, I have acclimated to this New World and I cannot wait to chomp and guffaw and savor mademoiselle's clever confection. Shall we commence?"

"Ever so amused you shall be, Uncle Mike," said Deborah.

"I forage without fear, lass. I embrace thy whimsy."

The Taste Test

Dramatic Reenactment
The Verdict

It don't taste funny.

More Taste Tests: Kellogg's Disney-Pixar "Finding Nemo" Cereal | Kellogg's Disney-Pixar "The Incredibles" Multi-Grain Cereal | Kellogg's Disney Chocolate Mud & Bugs Cereal | Rice Krispies - The Cat in the Hat Recipe | Scooby-Doo! Baked Cheddar Crackers | Dexter's Mini Sandwich Cookies
Photos copyright ©2005 Mike Durrett. All rights reserved.


The High and the Mikey

ISLE OF PALMS, South Carolina -- Each evening during our vacation stay, we were treated to an elaborate kite show by an unknown man on the beach. It was truly amazing to see him make the kites swirl and dance in the ocean breeze.

I never had much luck with kites. I've run miles along the surf, dragging balsa wood, thin paper, and rag tails through the sand, yet the air currents were either insignificant or too tumultuous for this boy to get anything up.

Are you finished with your little joke? Okay, I'll move on.

(Sorry about that. My wife proofreads these pages.)

When I was 10, my mother would drive me to a shopping center on Sundays, back when such establishments were closed for the Sabbath -- long before man said, "Suck it up, God, we're opening the Crud Shack."

In the empty parking lot, however, I could run a great distance in a clearing and, with luck, fly a kite.

One day, my dream came true. I achieved lift off. My kite ascended and must have soared 300 feet into the rich, blue sky. I stood there with a big smile on my face, my neck craning backwards so I could see into the clouds, as I gripped that taught, very long string. What a special, special time.

I said to myself, "The Dairy Queen down the street is open."

I let go and moved onto something else.


Sea, Me Sides of Life

ISLE OF PALMS, South Carolina -- During a long walk on the beach, I noticed a phenomenon I had never seen before: live starfish. What was curious is the creatures -- and I observed dozens on this sizzling hot day -- had apparently buried themselves in the wet sand to remain cool and camouflaged.

When I snapped the photograph, it was low tide and this star (nicknamed Joan Crawford for those tiny feet and encyclopedic knowledge of "Humoresque") was slowtailing it back to the ocean one foot away.

I looked up to share my discovery with my wife and saw this startling picture....

I thought the world was out-of-frame, being the retired movie projectionist I am, but, no, and lo, I'll be damned if my Donna wasn't returning to the sea, too.

I begged her to come back to me. I confessed I knew I was not as cute as primordial ooze, but I would do better and floss an holiday assortment of tooths, and -- shudder -- let her use the remote control to see doilies on Home Shopping Club.

She caved. Sheesh, do I have it or what?

We reunited and -- I dare only now to speak of the passion -- spooned, and I felt my way lovingly up her torso to the Cheez-Its in her bag.


Something Fishy

ISLE OF PALMS, South Carolina -- My nephew and brother drop hooks into Breach Inlet, opposite Sullivan's Island. Bob's the one frowning.


The Circle of Life

ISLE OF PALMS, South Carolina -- Mother was born in Charleston, so the city and the nearby islands became our vacation destinations throughout my childhood summers.

The photograph captures the public beach on the Isle of Palms today, where we and my brother's family shared a condo and 168 hours near the pier. The beach has become much more commercial and upscale since the simpler, toddler '50s, when I enjoyed my oceanic debut on the identical spot.

I remember being impressed by our rented-for-an-entire-hour rubber raft, a plastic bucket and shovel, and the hilarious chutzpah of the waves splashing my baby face. Mom said I was like that in '57, too.

The circle of life goes on, indeed. During this visit, my grandniece, one-year-old Madison, entertained her first seaside frolic in the very same surf.

We had successfully coaxed her outside, away from the TV's continuous loop of "The Lion King," which commanded her hallucinogenic attention and silence. Good film, but after listening to "The Lion King" soundtrack's relentless reverberations for a week, I do believe I'm ready to open on Broadway.

Why, I can see my press notices through these wavy lines.... Do I hear a harp? ... I do. I do hear a harp....

"Mike Durrett is the toast of the town, burnt and missing raisins!"

"Mr. Durrett brings new meaning to warthogs -- and, dare we say, warts!"

"Move over Wal-Mart, your small town fat-ass graces our crap now!"

"Love is in the air, say the walk-outs pounding the exits!"

"Disney's 'The Lion King' was never like this before! Mike Durrett would make Max Bialystock proud, but he's supposed to be portraying Pumbaa, not Swedish Ulla."

"Mike Durrett is the most powerful force to hit Broadway since Somnatrol™, Ambiatol™, Somnulin™, Nite-Rite™, Dromias ™, Schiff Knockout Formula™, Doctor's Trust Fall Asleep™, Boericke & Tafel Insomnia Chewable™, Simply Sleep Nighttime Sleep Aid™, and Sominex™! Good night!"


Pop Groin

Mike inches his box of popcorn to the parking lot.

CHARLESTON, South Carolina -- I have no resistance to the fragrance of fresh, delicious, crisp theatre popcorn, so I bought a box to chomp in the car.
"How much?" I asked, thumbing through my wallet.

"Three-twelve," said the snack bar attendant.

"Three dol--"

"Three hundred-twelve dollars."

"You've got to be kidding!" I exclaimed, handing over the last of our vacation cash and $15 I'd won in a beauty contest.

"You want butter on that?" he mumbled.

"How much?"

"You driving the Dodge?"

I nodded, pointing out the window, "See--"




"That's ridiculous!" I yelped. "I'm not paying that. What else do you have?"




"What kind of salt?"




Long pause. "How mu--"


I declined the butter and the salt, as we needed the rental vehicle to drive me to the emergency room for a truss. This Kiddie size popcorn is kinda heavy.

"Mr. Durrett," said the doctor, "your x-rays show you have a hernia."



"Now, cut that out!"

I woke up groggy. Gee.


The Boat Cave

CHARLESTON, South Carolina -- The city's IMAX movie theatre (pictured, left) is next door to the South Carolina Aquarium. I'm told the building, which also rests on the harbor, was originally a giant shell for housing large boat maintenance. Massive crafts were hauled out of the water and given the once over, much like Anna Nicole Smith after a bath.

Since the average IMAX screen is six stories high and 80-feet wide, the building was perfect for a theatre. Just add seats and furnishings and carve-your-heart-out,-get-some-of-that-spleen,-too pricing and it's showtime!

Several IMAX large format features were playing during our walk-through.

The story of candy man Willy Wonka, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," didn't appeal to me. I would put on weight watching that movie.

Moreover, I get scared when nuts reach the size of the Hindenburg, covered up in salt granules the size of Nazis. That's just too close to history repeating itself for my mindless entertainment.

Plus, I couldn't face the zits.

When you're looking at an 80-foot pimple enhanced with booming IMAX stereophonic sound, you can also hear the unmistakable fluids sloshing around inside the acne. I don't want to listen to pus tide changes.

I've got Young "Da Snowman" Jeezy on my iPod for that.

The excellent "Batman Begins" was also magnified to humongous spectacle. I'd seen it before in IMAX. I liked the part where Bruce Wayne's daddy went to the drugstore to buy a condom.

"Closed," said the pharmacist.

"Okay, I'll do without," said Mr. Wayne.

"You're making a big mistake," said the pharmacist.

"Oh, yeah," said Mr. Wayne. "It's IMAX."

"The DVD will be out in October," said the pharmacist. "It'll be a tinier mistake then."

And Batfetus begins.


What You See on a Bridge...

What I See...

The horror! The horror!

The black-and-white! The black-and-white!

Oh, well, ain't this just grand?

I'm a stranger in town....

No one will help me....

You can never find a sexopus swatter when you need one....

That thing, there, is gonna give me such a hickey....

It leaked ink on my new shirt....

Charleston bridge photo copyright 2005 Donna Durrett, all rights reserved. "It Came From Beneath the Sea" images, other marks, names, and titles are property of their respective owners.


Spanning the Generations

CHARLESTON, South Carolina -- The tops of the older Cooper River bridges are visible on the left side of the photo. The outer two-lane bridge, the original connector of the city to Mount Pleasant, was built in the 1920s.

My mother was a small child residing in Charleston at the time. One Sunday, her grandmother walked the girl to the top of the first arch. That point was the extent of the completed construction. Incredibly, standing at a probable 150 feet into the windy sky, they peered over the bridge's dangerous, temporary edge into the choppy harbor waters below.

When I was a little boy, my grandmother showed me a two-inch curl of cigarette ash dangling from the filter tip on her lip. Daily.

On Sundays, she would let me walk to the village for cartons of Luckies.

I miss her. We were adventure.

Photo copyright 2005 Donna Durrett, all rights reserved.


A Piece of Work

CHARLESTON, South Carolina -- Donna snapped this photo on her drive across the new bridge. I detoured the long way around. Vermont is lovely in July.

Roadtraffic-Technology.com said, prior to the extremely high road's construction:

"The Cooper River Bridge incorporates 2.8 miles of structures, including two interchanges, a pedestrian and bicycle pathway, as well as eight traffic lanes and the cable-stay span over the shipping channel."

Hmmm. So there are only eight traffic lanes? I was mistaken about a 10-lane bridge. Good.

That means I'm actually 20 percent less chicken than I thought. Zoloft for everyone!

There's more:
"The main span towers are founded on 10ft diameter drilled shafts surrounded by rock islands. The towers will stand 570ft above the water and the bridge will rise 186ft above the water and have the longest cable-stayed main span in North America. The bridge will measure 2.5 miles."

Not one mention of a Hardee's on top. I work up a powerful man's appetite when I'm panicked.

"Sir, would you like the 100% Angus™ beef Thickburger™? Goes great with shortness of breath and a jackrabbity headache."

"No, I've got the hives and feral drool. Better give me The Loaded Omelet Biscuit™ packed with a rich blend of poultry progeny and shredded cheddar cheese, folded into a dewy shiny breadstuff and topped with a slice of something that won't make a loud splash when I jump."

"Your total is $5.90. Crawl around."

"--Uh oh. My heart just skipped a beat and cha-cha-chaed a medley of Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66. I'm woozy and seeing monochrome and an ad for Prell. Give me the hash rounds and a Diet Sierra Mist. Medium. Can I have a kiddie meal collectible?"

I can't go onto the bridge ever and that's that.

Photo copyright 2005 Donna Durrett, all rights reserved.


Charleston's New Toy

Here I am leaning against the safety rail outside the South Carolina Aquarium. That's a beautiful new vehicular suspension bridge posing behind me. Actually, there are three parallel bridges in the photograph. The two distant ones are the oldest and they are now retired.

I guess that means they'll be set up in Miami.

Charleston's atwitter about their big 10-lane bridge. It opened on the very day we arrived for our vacation. Free balloonfish for the kids.

I refuse to cross the structure. I'm going to let the bridge stand the test of time first, maybe in five years.

I don't like bridges, never have. I want nothing to do with them. I even forbade my dentist from erecting one in me. Instead, my mouth has a teensy catapult that flings food from the bicuspid over to the molar.

We tried a wee ferry, but the tide was usually out. Eventually, the boat was lost in a typhoon. That's what the dentist calls his spit sink. He's silly.

Photo copyright 2005 Donna Durrett, all rights reserved.


Sucks, You All, Eeling

After my little talk with the medics -- and a nice brushing -- I agreed to leave the Aquarium immediately.

Donna followed under dark glasses, a veil, and an embarrassment which otherwise exists on the far side of "The Honeymooners" movie.

View of Charleston Harbor at the South Carolina Aquarium.

The Aquarium is located on the shore of the Charleston harbor. How convenient whenever they need to scoop up some more fish.

There's probably underwater piping to suck fish directly into the tank or maybe a swim-thru window for swim-by minnows or something. I don't know. I'm not a marine biologist.

Ew, what's that? Oh, some tourists were lounging against the building. I thought they were bait.

Charleston Harbor at the Aquarium photo copyright 2005 Donna Durrett, all rights reserved.


Turn Right at the Gill Slit

CHARLESTON, South Carolina, South Carolina Aquarium -- I was strangely attracted to this fish. This fish I should've taken home with me. Its epidermis is the Google Map to our house.

"I have no sense of direction," I said, strolling into the eels.


Could We Add the Mikeyfingers to the Menu, Please?

CHARLESTON, South Carolina, South Carolina Aquarium -- The piranha tank. Voracious appetites with fins.

These deadly flesh shredders remained motionless during my entire viewing. I think they were waiting for their lunch check.

It occurred to me: serves them right. They probably ate the waitress.

I poked on the glass until my little time-out with Stubby the Guide. He said he had first hand information poking tended to annoy the fish.

I held up an 8x10 of Dom DeLuise. Piranhas seem to like him. How else can we explain the smacking ovation?

I hadn't realized piranhas are freshwater carnivores. I'm sure this notion will contribute to my fear of sitz baths.

Fortunately, on becoming a vegetarian, I all but gave up my soaky toys of meat.

--Oh, how stupid of me. A sign! I've had a sign!

I can see now I may be in imminent piranha danger. At my house, Mr. Bubble skippers a submersible.

He's employed a safety measure. And there I was figuring he didn't have access to Internet porn.


Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Water

Returning to the snapshots of our vacation in Charleston, SC, here's another marvel at the South Carolina Aquarium, the jellyfish tank. Moon jellies, sea nettles, and comb jellies, strange, slow-swimming, gelatinous globules of poisonous toxins seemingly coagulate as--


Ahh. Nope. This is the x-ray of my sinus infection.

Sorry for your trouble.


100 Things About Me


Smooth Talking
As a young announcer, I was being groomed.

Each morning, the radio station hair stylist force-waxed my epiglottis.

#1 | Previous | Next


Announcing: The Top One List

I've been busy on a top secret project in my underground lair. Well, it's not actually an underground lair. It's more like the fifth stool from the jukebox at the Waffle House.

I like to sit near where they scatter, smother, and cover the hash brown potatoes. I'm into violence.

That and the hot coffee give me creative energy. Plus, I gawk and smirk at the parade of bad hats coming through those doors for syrup.

My latest brainchild, sure to take the Internet by a chance of isolated storms replaced with drought and 100% humidity, is The Top One List.

I'm one lazy schmuck. Who would want to write top 10 lists when they can get away with 90% less effort?

Not me. I'm all for showing up, eating your food, and then running like the wind to a bed with "MIKE" carved by a Waffle House fork on it.

The Top One List is up and purring. New Top Ones are planned every weekday. I'm working ahead. I've got enough to publish through yesterday.

The Top One List screenshot.

Give The Top One List a visit and, perhaps, a bookmark and a coveted linkback, shan't you?


In a Land Where Men Elongate Words -- and Their Limo

I know you're enjoying the beach vacation photographs as much as we are here in the studio, but I thought we'd take a break. The splendor of my life must be shared in small doses. (That may be why we don't have kids.)

Over at my About site this morning, I was amused more so than usual with The Funny Site of the Day. Here's a snippet of what I wrote as an introduction.
I spend the days roaming the house, talking to myself, impersonating the NBC announcer guy. I narrate my life as in a TV promo, speaking softly and STRETCHING those words. I say things like:

"In a world ... where we seem to be out of blue toilet bowl cleanser, ... a magical, misunderstood man ... embarks on his way ... through a very special ... sandwich. It's an all-new "Mike!"

Imagine ... my glee when I discovered the short comedy film, "5 Men in a Limo."

"Imagine ... five of the top voiceover artists in our country, all in one car!..."

Read More and Watch: "5 Men in a Limo"
Related Mike Audios: Episodes #04-160 | #04-161 | #04-162 | #04-163 | #04-166


Deep Peep

Under the bubbles, a diver shares the shark tank.

CHARLESTON, South Carolina, South Carolina Aquarium -- How exciting! During the 30th anniversary of "Jaws," we observed a diver, while sharks circled in this tank. Nice to see Richard Dreyfuss getting work.
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