The cheesiest element
November 30, 2001 12:32 AM   Subscribe

The cheesiest element of the Christmas season has returned, and now AOL/Time Warner gets into the Ch-ch-ch-chia! act
posted by owillis (18 comments total)
Can somebody explain to this confused foreigner what the zark this is all about?
posted by salmacis at 12:53 AM on November 30, 2001

We don't really understand it either. They're these really cheesy ceramic pots that come with these seeds. You plant them and the sprouts become the "hair". They advertise them relentlessly on tv during Christmas. I assume somebody is buying them, but I've never known anyone who actually had one...
posted by owillis at 1:27 AM on November 30, 2001

I like the bunny one, actually.......
posted by bunnyfire at 2:25 AM on November 30, 2001

How about those Christmas fruitcakes that come in the round tins? Nobody ever eats those things -- they just get passed around as re-wrapped gifts from year to year. I calculate that there are actually only 147 fruitcakes in existence, all made between 1937 and 1974, hardend beyond all measure by now.
posted by Potsy at 4:18 AM on November 30, 2001

There was once a great "Saturday Night Live" skit which featured a bald man using Chia-seeds to grow hair; green, curly hair, just like on Chia pets! I think there was another skit where "Chia-teen" was used by adolscents to get that "grown-up" pubic-hair look of older men in their nether regions. Priceless.

BTW, we've actually bought a Chia-pet or two (for the kids, of course). Cute, simple...but the "hair" turned grey and moldy within weeks.
posted by davidmsc at 4:44 AM on November 30, 2001

I think I did something similar with an egshell and cress when I was about six years old.
posted by salmacis at 5:10 AM on November 30, 2001

You could skip the commercial Chia in favor of a grass head.
posted by Fat Elvis at 5:31 AM on November 30, 2001

I once received a chia-sheep (which is apparently discontinued? I don't see it on the site), purely for the camp value, of course. I actually kinda got a kick out of watching it sprout. Um, purely for the camp value, of course.
posted by jpoulos at 6:38 AM on November 30, 2001

I had one and it never grew. But I never watered it, either. Go figure.
posted by jennyb at 7:20 AM on November 30, 2001

a guy I worked with had the chia guy on his windowsill, which would die periodically and have to be reseeded.

hey, Potsy, don't mock the fruitcake! my mother is one of the top producers of fruitcake in America (or something like childhood was filled with wintry (for LA) afternoons with Mom making fruitcakes, never round, always wrapped in foil, so that we'd make jokes about the house to be made of fruitcake bricks. oddly enough, while I was never too fond of them myself, I had a couple of teachers who loved them, including one who still (the last of us graduated high school in '98) gets one for Xmas from time to time).

um, maybe that shouldn't have been parenthetical. but the fruitcake makes me nostalgic for childhood days of yore.
posted by epersonae at 9:44 AM on November 30, 2001

Mmmmm....fruitcake....good fruitcake....never had homemade, but for me, this is pretty good stuff in its own right.
posted by alumshubby at 10:15 AM on November 30, 2001

These Looney Tunes Chias-Come-Lately violate the essential conceit of the orginial Chia Pet -- the sprouts grow in on the "shorn" sheep, giving it the realistic woolly coat. The plant-coat looks right on the C.P.

But this is all wrong -- Elmer Fudd shouldn't have hair at all, much less the Chia-Fro that this gives him. It doesn't look right on Tweety either.

I reject these shoddy attempts at brand-extension; let us not sully the tradition of a Great American Tchotchke with these unimpressive Chiamitations.
posted by BT at 10:25 AM on November 30, 2001

I am the Metafilter Food Elf, moving from thread to thread to offer input on All Things Culinary.

(insert pointy-hat-jingle here)

Claxton - not my preference, but to each his own. They've been around a long time. The best commercial fruitcake in my opinion is still Collin Street Bakery in Corsicana, Texas. Really tasty stuff.

This year, I made a hundred and seventy-three lbs. of fruitcake batter - most of it became cakes. Old family tradition. Recipe dates back to before the Recent Unpleasantness (the U.S. Civil War to most of you) with some tweaking through the years (removing suet, etc.). Nothing says Christmas to me like fruitcake does - October is when I start feeling holiday-ish while doing cake prep.

What does this have to do with Chia Pets? I dunno. If you don't soak the cake in brandy, I guess it would grow Chia-like fuzz. (All together, now: "Ew.")
posted by ebarker at 11:16 AM on November 30, 2001

But this is all wrong -- Elmer Fudd shouldn't have hair at all, much less the Chia-Fro that this gives him.

Obviously you have forgotten thehair tonic scene from "The Rabbit of Seville". Elmer is altogether apropos for a Chia Pet, methinks.

(Yes, I watched waaaay too many cartoons as a child.)
posted by Avogadro at 11:27 AM on November 30, 2001

I accept the emendation, Avogadro. Well recalled. But still, doesn't the hair grow straight up in that one, and blossom into flowers?

Now that I think about it, you merely underscore my point: baldness is the condition of Being Elmer. It is part of the Essential Fudditude of the character, along with the speech defect, the hunting togs, and the bad luck with firearms. The Rabbit of Seville scene is a gag precisely because of its momentary exception to this rule. I still maintain that it just don't work to grow grass on Elmer's properly egg-like pate.

Obviously, you're not the only one who watched way too many cartoons...
posted by BT at 11:56 AM on November 30, 2001

See, I never get what you folks in America are going on about fruitcakes because I am used to Jamaican fruitcakes. In the really good ones (like my grandmother's) the fruit soaks for a year, and the power of the alcohol is enough to give you some real holiday cheer. Recommended.
posted by owillis at 12:39 PM on November 30, 2001

here's a freeky thing about my mother's fruitcakes: no alcohol (I guess grandma's recipe called for it, but since mom often gave it to teachers, she tweaked the recipe), but yet it still kept for over a year. I don't understand the chemistry involved, but somehow, even w/out booze, it "aged", much to the joy of the aforementioned teachers. I wish I could say they were fabulous, but I was easily disturbed by the candied fruit, and refused to eat fruitcake.

now gingerbread cookies, on the other hand....

posted by epersonae at 2:41 PM on November 30, 2001

In William Gibson's book Iduro one of the main character's names is Chia Pet. So Chia Pets are cool
posted by delmoi at 4:38 PM on November 30, 2001

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