On a road trip last June, the Director & I picked this beauty up at a truck-stop counter, fully prepared for all of 5 seconds to share in the glories of its contents. As they really began to sink in, however, we reconsidered and decided to save it for a rainy day. Make that a post-apocalyptic, near-death-by-starvation-since-all-other-food-sources-were-wiped-off-the-face-of-the-earth day. It’s remained in a special place on a shelf in our fridge ever since, its presence a daily reminder to ooh & aah at the wonder of it all.

Behold the Fire Cracker—The Original Giant Red Hot Pickled Sausage:


The money shot:


Did you catch that? It says:

Ingredients: Beef, Beef Lips, Water, Salt, Mechanically Separated Chicken, Less Than 2% of Corn Syrup, Soy Protein Concentrate, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Dextrose, Flavorings, Paprika, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite, Red 40. Pickled in Vinegar, Salt, Red 40.
Contains: Soy

If there’s a single thing in there that isn’t funny, I can’t find it.
And by funny I mean heartbreaking. And funny.