A letter from a hopeful customer

Dear Quaker Rice Cakes,

Last night after an exhausting day spent mothering, nurturing, feeding, and driving my three children to school, scouts, ballet, and home again, I was tired and hungry.

I am trying (somewhat eagerly) to lose a few pounds. I recently picked up some of your delicious-looking rice cake snacks at my local Sam's Club. I bought them in bulk (which was a gamble on my part), trusting them to provide me with a tasty low-calorie snack. I took a risk, knowing that if nobody in the house liked them, we would be stuck with a large case of rice cakes.

And we don't have a dog to feed uneaten snacks to.

So while foraging through my pantry like a hungry raccoon, I saw two viable options with which to curb my nighttime craving. One, was a stale, half-eaten package of Oreo cookies (not really a good choice, I know); and the other was one of your rice cake snack bags. Really wanting the Oreos, but yet not wanting to find myself yelling at the scale in the morning, I resisted temptation and went with your rice cakes. The turning point in this decision came when I noticed a pretty little green rectangle in the top left corner of the bag, shouting out to me that the entire bag contained only 60 calories.

So I dug in. And I found myself really enjoying the crispy, crunchy, slightly chocolately snack. I thought to myself, "Damn! I need to buy these again." And you must know that I rarely swear in my mind.

Usually it's out loud.

I got about halfway through the package and started reading the bag. You know, because sometimes when snacking, one likes to have something to read. And I noticed, to my shock and horror, that the back of the package claimed that I was not consuming 60 little, itty-bitty calories; but that I was actually eating 110 calories.

I almost fell off the couch, I was that disturbed.

But I composed myself, and double checked.

Then I did fall off the couch.

The back side of the package DOES in fact claim that one entire bag of the mini-rice cakes contains 110 calories.

And yes, I am aware that sometimes tricky companies like to make you think you're eating less by posting the calories for a serving size, and there are often multiple servings in a given bag. But not yours. Yours says, one package, 110 calories (on the back). And 1 bag, 60 calories (on the front).

So which is it?

I have a solution for you. Since you seem to be unsure as to which is the correct number of calories, I offer this negotiation. How about we just go with the 60 calories then? Let's round down this time, instead of rounding up.

Because this little-too-late discovery put me in a bit of a spot. I had already eaten at least half of the bag. But I was already so addicted to the crunchy sweetness that I found myself unable to put down my half-eaten treat. And so I finished the entire bag, all the while praying they were truly the lower number.

So please, dear friends at Quaker, let's call it 60 calories. Just for me. And my scale. Do this, and we can part friends. Do it not, and I will be unable to buy this product again. Which would cost your company at least like ten dollars a month.

And just think, with my new 60-calorie best friend at my side, I could live to be well over 100, which gives me at least 66 more years as your loyal customer, netting you a minimum of $8,000 over my lifetime.

I think it's worth it. And I know you'll agree.

Your hopeful new friend,