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Nina In New York: Welcome To The Yogurt State

Greek Yogurt

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
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By Nina Pajak

Have you seen that idiotic yogurt commercial in which a family finds themselves spending a rainy night in the dark during a blackout? The daughter immediately runs to the fridge, opens it (WRONG!), and grabs a yogurt for each family member. Then they all eat their yogurt and play games and laugh and talk and continue eating their yogurt and play more games and they’re still eating yogurt, because they are the world’s slowest yogurt eaters. I have to imagine by this point the yogurt is quite warm and gummy and everyone is just pretending to enjoy it because otherwise they’d have finished it HOURS AGO. Or maybe they’re all on their twelfth yogurt, in which case at least two of them should be lying on the bathroom floor wondering if this might be where they die. But then the lights come on and the family is sort of sad because they’ve been having such a fun, yogurt-y time, so after a brief moment of disappointment they decide to turn them back off and continue their night of bonding over dairy.

When I saw this, I thought—well it’s pretty clear what I thought. But how wrong I was! As fate would have it, the New York State Senate voted this week to declare yogurt our official state snack. The legislation (yes, this is legislation) was proposed by a fourth grade class in Bergen, NY.

Yes. Evidently, states have official snacks. Let’s just acknowledge that this is weird, accept it as fact and move along. Otherwise we could be stuck here for days.

Anyway, politics are politics and there are no exceptions. That means that there was a full hour of “feisty” debate over whether yogurt merited endorsement. And honestly, the reports of this conversation reveal some really questionable and troubling lines of thought from the characters we’ve got running the joint.

The senator from Manhattan brought up the very valid issue of alienating the lactose intolerant, but felt the nine-year-old constituency would be equally alienated by an alternative soy selection. The senator from the Bronx struck out with the hard hitting questions: what about pretzels dipped in yogurt? (What?) How about cheesecake? (Good thought, but if cheesecake becomes a “snack” we’re all in big fat trouble.) Were raisins even considered? (No, they weren’t, because what loser state would glorify everyone’s least favorite Halloween treat? Honestly, I’d rather get a toothbrush. Or pennies. Also, you go from cheesecake to raisins? Talk about a flip flopper.) The senator from Queens made an eleventh hour plea on behalf of the carrot cookie. The. What? What in the Sam Hill is a carrot cookie? Who eats it? Is there a carrot cookie fanbase proliferating throughout the state? Is there an underground carrot cookie scene I’m not cool enough to know about? Did I actually vote for this person? If I’d known she was planning to govern on the carrot cookie platform, I’d have paid a lot more attention to that portion of my ballot. I staunchly disagree. I’m a straight non-carrot cookie ticket voter.

Anyway, yogurt was approved in a resounding 52-8 victory after all. No word on whether this includes the frozen variety, although I think that already might be the official snack of the Upper West Side.

For those upset about this development, fret not. The bill must still pass in the State Assembly before yogurt is installed in office, so get those sandwich boards ready.

Mmmm. Sandwiches. I’ve got a lot to say about sandwiches, but I’ll save it for the “official lunch” debate.

Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!