It’s the same every year. I wake up on a certain morning in December with the tiniest glimmer of hope: Maybe this year will be different. Maybe this year we will be seen; heard; acknowledged. Maybe this is our year. And then I think, No, I’m sure it’s not. Why should this year be any different? The world doesn’t really change. The world just stays as it is. And then I think, I think I’m out of Lucky Charms. Fuck. My. Life.
And then I wait. I oscillate between feeling hopeful and feeling realistic and feeling hungry until I can’t take it anymore. Just as I’m about to slam my face into a toilet seat (it actually makes you feel a lot better most of the time, if you can get past the bruises), the nominations are announced. I dive into them like a naked mole rat into a shallow pool of sharks. There’s nothing else to do.
I’m the manager for pretty much all of the major wrappers: Twix, Three Musketeers, Big Red Gum, Lays — and those are just the heavy-hitters. This year alone I took on 23 new wrappers, including Cape Cod Waffle Cut Potato Skins, Nestle’s Overload Bars (if you thought Taylor Swift was pure sugar, you clearly didn’t try Overload), and even an indie wrapper called Salted Caramel Pretzel Thins.
Given the complex range of artists I represent, you’d think at least one of them would be recognized by the Grammy nominating committee. It’s tough for wrappers. People don’t trust them; the liberal lobby is trying to do away with them completely, arguing that they’re “wasteful” and “bad for the planet.”
People just don’t appreciate wrappers the way they used to. To be perfectly honest, it’s been decades since I’ve had any hope at all that my wrappers would be recognized for their craftsmanship. The last good year was 1967. That was the year Pringles moved potato chips from humdrum bags to an elegant can with a removable plastic lid. The day I heard that lid come off — the crisp “pop” it emitted, unlike anything I’d heard before — I knew we had something. This was Mozart; it was Louis Armstrong; it was the Beatles at Shae Stadium. This was it. Our moment.
But the Grammy nominations came and went without so much as a nod to the Pringles wrapper. And it’s been downhill since then. There was a brief glimpse of hope in 2008 when Sun Chips tried the compostable bags that made a ton of noise. They sounded like shit, but hey, if Mumford and Sons can take home Album of the Year, anything is possible, right? But, of course, we were overlooked again that year, and every year since.
And it was no different this year. I thought for a second maybe Bruno Mars was a wrapper when I read through the nominees, but it turns out he’s just a great dancer.
I’m not surprised. Why should I be? Chalk it up to just another week of day drinking and listening to the Cracker Jacks’ Greatest Hits. Call me old-fashioned, but “Crinkle Crinkle Shake” still sounds as good to me now as it did when I got into this business, on nothing but a nickel and dream.