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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Post # 37- K.C. Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce and the Crematorium

This was sent 6/15/1997:

Dear Sauce Bosses,

As one who works in a crematory, barbecues have always made me squeamish—as though I’m taking my work home with me. My work/home-life conflict parallels childless obstetricians, police officers with hellions, and accountants who, after April 15, can’t bring themselves to help little Sally Jo with long division.

A career in cremation is just so dismal, and the smell and sound of meat on a grill serves only as a poignant reminder. For years, I dodged family barbecues, faking flu by licking my palms. We always ate stew because that was far enough removed from my job. The strange part is that my job, burning dead guys, did not make me squeamish in the least bit…until the following events unfolded.

One day during lunch, I decided to buy some Lay’s Potato Chips and accidentally grabbed the wrong bag—K.C. Masterpiece Barbecue Flavored. At first, I was skeptical—would my weak stomach reject the chips like microwave popcorn to a Mennonite? Loyal to the Lay’s label, I decided to give them a try.

I loved them! In fact, they made me curious to try barbecuing meat—to refute the signs that my stomach had sent me in the form of jumping jacks each time I smelled mesquite.

To condense a Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon into a 30 second movie trailer, I now love barbecuing. Your sauce has turned me into a barbecue freak. I put K.C. Masterpiece on everything. But the problem is that while I enjoy barbecuing, my job at the crematory has become absolute torture. You see, cremation now nauseates me the way barbecuing once did. My yin and yang have shifted a full 180.

Because a) my family needs food and heat and b) cremation is my only trade skill, I am trapped in this scenario. Therefore, I have formulated what I feel to be the only approach to handle my problem (brace yourself):

In order to stomach the odors and sounds of a cremation, I have been putting a little of your sauce on the dead guys. It may sound disgusting, but believe it or not, it helps, and the association of something so dismal to something that I love makes my job more bearable. Please don’t think me strange—my job is not a glorious one, but someone has to do it.

Do you have any coupons to help out a man who uses three gallons of your sauce per week? It might help because I can’t ask my boss to foot the bill. You see, my little solution must be kept secret or people might think I’m “creepy”.

Anyway, I want to thank you for the wonderful sauces that you produce. My family thanks you for the sanity that your sauce has caused by making my job bearable.

Keeping Lunch Down While I’m Cooking ‘Em Up,

Larry Barnowski

KC Masterpiece letter after second note. They sent this on 3/18/1998

Dear Mr. Barnowski,

Thank you for taking the time to let us know how pleased you are with our K.C. Masterpiece Barbecue Sauce. Your letter to our CEO, Mr. G. Craig Sullivan, has been referred to me. We regret that you did not receive a reply to your letter of June 15, 1997; unfortunately, we do not have a record of the original letter being received.

Knowing that you like our product is important, and we value the generous comments you have shared with us. Because the marketing specialists working on the development of this product will enjoy hearing your opinion, I am forwarding your comments to them.

KC Masterpiece barbecue sauce was veloped by Mr. Rich Davis in the 1970’s, and was acquired by the Chlorox Company in September, 1986. Since that time, our staff has continued to develop new flavors and uses for K.C. Masterpiece. We appreciate hearing about your many uses and I have enclosed some literature, which will answer dome of the questions you have regarding grilling techniques and recipe ideas. I have also enclosed a few complimentary coupons to thank you for your continued loyalty.

We’re confident that our product will continue to serve you well in the future. Again, thank you for letting us know that our efforts have been successful.


Executive Officer Administrator

Enclosed: K.C. Masterpiece Brochure and coupons for three (3) 18 ounce bottles of K.C. Masterpiece

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