Why Size Matters | HumorOutcasts

Why Size Matters

August 3, 2014

bagel 3For the last several months I’ve been living one of those science fiction stories where the protagonist knows something that the rest of the world doesn’t.

It’s time to get it off my chest, so here goes.

It all started with bagels (as many great stories do). As is my habit, I bought a dozen bagels and was transferring them to freezer bags. I’ve done this a million times before, and have always managed to fit at least six bagels in a bag. But on this occasion I was able to load seven bagels comfortably into each bag. The bagels were smaller than usual.

At first I thought that the bagel shop guy had run low on ingredients and skimped. But the same thing happened the following week and the week after that.

Finally I had to admit it: bagels are shrinking in size.

I began to look at the size of other items, and was shocked to discover that my favorite candy bars have become smaller. Size-wise, the bars are shadows of the ones I remember buying as a kid. More revelations followed. The contents of cereal boxes, deodorant, bags of chips, and (gulp) toilet rolls, are among the many items that have shrunk over recent times.

Do you know that airline seats are getting smaller? Within a decade we’ll probably be squatting on a piece of upholstery about the size of an iPad (electronic gadgets are diminishing too).

What is happening? I’ve a couple of theories.

Is an alien race bathing the planet in a shrink ray? When the aliens have cut us down to size, they will simply put us in a pocket and make off with Earth. It’s much cheaper and less messy than invading.

Alternatively, Earth is getting smaller as part of some universal law that the government is keeping secret. In a few hundred years the planet will be about the size of a jumbo cotton ball (they’re probably shrinking too). Superman will be able to pop us into a jar like the one that houses the city of Kandor.

So, now you know.

What can be done? Well, that’s for smarter people than I to figure out.

I do have one other theory, but it’s too far-fetched to be given serious consideration. But I suppose in the interests of full disclosure I should mention it.

Companies are secretly padding their profits by gradually reducing the size of products.

I told you it was a crazy idea.

E. V. Erton

E. V. Erton’s career as a writer spans blogging, books and short stories, corporate communications, journalism, plays and comedy sketches, satirical essays, and TV documentaries. Possibly the best way to trace his career path is to dip a sugared-up fly with ADHD in ink, and let the insect wander around a blank sheet of paper. Comedy has long been a passion. A book of short stories and a play about George Washington crossing the River Delaware are almost ready to attract the first rejections. He would love to get involved in another comedy production and write for The Onion. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, two kids, and a dog called Spike who should be named Obnoxious.

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10 Responses to Why Size Matters

  1. August 5, 2014 at 9:58 am

    The bagels were in the pool! The bagels were in the pool!

  2. Bill Y Ledden
    August 4, 2014 at 6:21 am

    I was trying to figure out how you fit 7 bagels in each bag when you only bought a dozen of them. It took me a few hours but I’m good now.

    • August 4, 2014 at 3:59 pm

      Glad you worked out the math Bill. For those who have not, the answer, of course, is that numbers are shrinking too, so 12 is now 7

  3. Kathy Minicozzi
    August 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    Even those “World’s Finest Chocolate” bars that we used to sell as a fundraiser for our girls’ high school (I sold most of mine to my family, of course) used to be a lot bigger than they are now.

    The ones we sold were a pretty good size. The ones they sell now are barely two bites.

    • August 4, 2014 at 3:57 pm

      Yes, the shrinking cookie is hard on fundraisers. Not sure if Girl Scout Cookies are getting smaller.

  4. August 3, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    Did you stop to think that the bags are getting bigger?

    • August 3, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Good point Donna and I did check with the International Freezer Bag Measurement Authority in Containerville, AZ, that confirmed no increase in dimensions.

    • Kathy Minicozzi
      August 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm


  5. August 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    Great post, even if you’re crazy retail conspiracy theories are more unbelievable than alien using shrink rays on us…reducing the size of our products…as if!

    • August 3, 2014 at 4:24 pm

      I know, I know, I’m too cynical for my own good.

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