Jonathan Wolfman's Blog
JUNE 29, 2012 6:07AM

'Omaha Steaks' Ends Crisis in American Table Conversation

Rate: 18 Flag






      Like Holden's grandmother who sent him money four times each year for his birthday, Tamar's folks send her a large, white styrofoam salmon- and filet mignon Omaha Steaks crate about as often to celebrate her, on

                 The Caulfield Rotation Cosmology Paradigm

that has

          . the Earth spinning four times swifter than we'd been led to believe.


and that


          . Knows Where The Ducks Go in Winter. 


     Now, Omaha Steaks are tried and very truly pretty darned good. What is not is the new packaging insert. While we all expect goodie-packs to come with a library of adverts dripping with better-than-life snaps of bounty-unordered, what came with yesterday's quarterly peppery lemon buttered tidings is evidence of deep distrust in contemporary culture's  ability and/or inclination to engage in dinner conversation. 

    With the edibles and adverts now come cards,

               Omaha Steaks Conversation Cards.

        The 2x3-s come in a holder. They're an encouragement.



"Have fun with family and friends when you  get them talking with Omaha Steaks Conversation Cards. Simply pull out a question and let the chit-chat begin! It's a great way to bring families, fun, and laughter back to the table. Let the games begin!"



                               "Chit-Chat"? Really?


      Omaha Steaks Conversation Cards (TM) are probably indispensible to all of your intimate dinners with all of your geeky and complete strangers, and to family meals during which someone has made you really mad ordering you to turn down or off an L&O re-run from '93 when

                                 Chris Noth still looked

                                   So Deliciously Metro.

     Beyond that, tell me.

     Here are the Conversation Starters --


          . What is your favorite Country-Western song title? 

                          [See? Right away a winner....]               

          .  How many songs can you think of that have the word "bird" in them?

                         [Pass the creamed corn.]

          . Can you hang a spoon from your nose? 

                        [Gol-ly !]

          . Can you play the spoons? 

                        [a. Now I understand 'Omahaw' in the company name.

                          b. Where is Curly-Joe Stooge when you need him?]

           .  If you had a large sailboat, where would you sail?

                   [Omaha Steaks supports all demographics.]

          . Can you wiggle your ears?

                   [Back in Omahaw pretty fast.]

          . Asian or Italian?

                   [Yakuza, Tong, or Mafia?]

          . What's the worst thing you did that your parents never knew about?

                   [I don't reveal my sashimi- or antipasti-based felonies, and

                    I never sit with my back to the door.] 

          .  Do you trust anyone enough to tell them everything?

                   [a- I never answer ungrammatical questions.

                    b- Really?]


     I hope this pack isn't it, that future styrofoam crates will have more and new question-cards bound to raise my Table Commensality to new, even more radically conversational heights.


      Or, I'll just have to think of something engaging to raise on my own. 

          Wait. No. Who'm I kidding? 


     ... ... ...

     How's this: 

     Where, Holden?  Where Do the Steaks Go In Winter?

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I have a call into Holden. If he doesn't get back to me shortly, I'll email Phoebe. Or Zoey.
I really do hope the steak was good. It had to be better than the conversation card.
Kenny far better BTW What's your fave doowop number with shellfish in the title?
haha......2012 and doofus marketing ideas still flourish.....oh well....guess it's better than 'vote for' cards....
Awkward conversation starter #235 (this was a get acquainted question in basic training):

Where's the most unusual place you've ever had sex?

Guaranteed conversation starter.
Phyllis sure but for me to join that conversation I'd have to remember sex.
Our dinner conversation is usually the same...
"Where do you want to go?"
"I dunno know"
"Do you want to call the Williams?"

Miss the days of kids at the our age we've answered most of the questions.

The ducks go to Florida.
Gee, conversation cards. So, couples married (almost) 30 years still have to talk to each other at meals? Whatta concept! Of course we'd have to turn off TruTV's "World's Dumbest" first...
cc My God! Don't do that!
I can play the spoons. *blush*
The ducks are in my back yard pooping on my deck, just so you know.

What distresses me about these "question starters" is that they broke the rule: all questions MUST be open ended?

Here's an example of how not to do it:
Jon, have you ever heard of anything so freaking stupid as these question-starters?

Great post. I hope you enjoy the steaks and salmon, though I wouldn't recommend cooking outside today. Supposed to be 108 here.
Amy the filets really are pretty good, marinated and w chopped garlic and pepper on top.
Phoebe is Holden Zoey. ;) Shame on you, Jon. Everybody knows ye ain't supposed to talk and chew cud...jesting, of course. I'm sure you two had stimulating convo without cards.
B. We all may need the Cards. :)
What were your sides? I hope you saved room for dessert.
B. garlic creames spinach.
This is further proof that our nation is on the slide. I expect the Kardashians will be included on the cards soon.
Thanks, Mr. Wolfman, for a piece with some levity. But, of course, I gotta add my two cents. First of all, Omaha Steaks are a stupid yuppie pretension. Those people who can still afford steaks, and there's not many of us, can get great unfrozen steaks at the supermarket.

When I was a kid, back in the days when steak was affordable even to lower-middle-class families, the supermarket would take their older steaks, freeze them and sell them at discount prices late Saturday night. (The grocery stores closed on Sunday in St. Louis.) Mom would do her local steak shopping then. Frozen steaks were a staple; fresh steaks were an occasional luxury.

Now these Nebraskan guys freeze steaks in pouches, either air-tight or with nitrogen gas, and charge premium prices for them! Of course they decided to include "conversation cards" with their freezer-burn stuff; the people who buy them aren't smart enough to talk on their own low mental power.

I think they could expand these cards to include common-sense things also unavailable to the customers of Omaha Steaks.

Helpful Hint #46: wash your hands and dry them after going to the bathroom. If you're a woman, wash and dry both before and after.

Helpful Hint #122: It's considered rude form to place your box of wine on the table during dinner.

Helpful Hint #181: If your dinner is disrupted by a drive-by shooting, and one of your dinner party is hit, it's polite to drag the body (or corpse) out of the dining room before resuming your meal.
What a perfect open call topic. Write your own conversation cards.

What number is the Food Channel?

Can you get through an entire meal without (your blank here)? Hey, I've got a preteen daughter.

What's your best idea for a mystery ingredient on Iron Chef? Allen Cuisine!
Is this marketing done by the Chinese????
Linda if so, by alll the Omahaw Chinese.
Those were the best "conversation starters" they could come up with?
Sheesh. I wonder whose corn-fed, fresh-out-of-college nephew wrote that copy? ... Love the steaks, though.
I wanna be at your dinner table this Thanksgiving. Oh boy!
OMG, REALLY??? WOw, we used to buy those back in the day. Interesting.
Deborah he's likely a lot better than THIS!
Deborah he's likely a lot better than THIS!
Sheila they help me I never have anything to discuss.
Sheila they help me I never have anything to discuss.
Bud you're welcome. Just bring some new cards!
I don't eat much beef anymore, but the next time I decide to have steak, I'll remember this.
Matt It'll chNGE YOUR LIFE.
I can see some serious eye rollig going on if I used them!!
Slow down, I am still counting songs with birds in them! Now Charlie Parker is on my mind . I need to play "Take Five" for my son on his new I-Pad docking system. I know it isn't Birdman but, I just heard it again for the first time for like the twentieth time. I thought my typing was bad before but, with a spoon dangling from my nose........
J, do not "rib" me about this, but I actually worked as a telemarketer for Omaha Steaks and that is all I can say about that.

I don't even like myself enough to acknowledge everything.
Dinner conversations beyond, "please pass the potatoes"? I need to get out more often.
Dianne-It is a decent product-I think anytime you see behind teh curtain you are disapointed.