Let me say up front that I have nothing against Rachael Ray. Or not much against Rachael Ray. It's always good to see something successful come out of Glens Falls and/or Lake George. So there is that.
The cutesy stuff annoys me, I will confess. "EVOO" for extra-virgin olive oil and "Yum-O" and the line of pet foods ("Nutrish"), all that stuff---I'm fine with cute stuff, but leave it to Hello Kitty. Then again, I'm not the target audience. I don't watch daytime talk shows (I don't hold it against those who do) and I generally only watch shows on Food Network that have some chefs in blood feuds against other chefs, because it combines sports and food, two of my favorite things.
I don't follow the Q Scores, so I don't usually know how well a celebrity is doing until suddenly his show is yanked and he winds up hosting a streaming video show out of a garage studio or, God help the person, writing a daily blog to get attention. I do follow the supermarkets, though. As the family shopper I see things all the time like this:
That was a Wheat Thins box from about 2007/2008, when you could not swing a dead cat in the supermarket without A: Getting the store targeted by health inspectors (dead cat -- come on) and B: Hitting something with Rachael Ray's picture on it. She was about as omnipresent as the Minions are now. I remembered this box because I was in the cracker aisle when I saw an old man and his son looking at it.
Old Man: "There she is again."
Son: "Rachael Ray?"
Old Man: "Yeah."
Son: "You don't like her?"
Old Man: "No, but... it's too much. She's on everything."
I remembered that exchange when I saw this for sale at the store a couple of months ago; 99 cents a box:
Instant oatmeal usually runs between $2.50 and $3 around here. This was a clearance sale. Is it the first sign that the Rachael Ray empire is starting to wane?
Well, she still has the talk show, and the appearances on Food Network, and the Nutrish stuff (Nutrish -- bah) is in the dog aisle, and I see Kohl's is still selling the EVOO crap. So perhaps not. Maybe the oatmeal was just a bridge too far.
Still, when you reach the top of the mountain, there's nowhere to go but down, and life doesn't let you just sit there. It's knowing when you're at the top that's the tricky bit---and the bit where the analogy falls apart, too. After all, when you get to the top of the mountain in real life it's not like you can keep climbing.
Well, Ms. Ray, take comfort in the fact that Target has dropped the Giada De Laurentiis line, so you have plenty of company. No worries---I'm sure neither of you is going to be hitting the bricks anytime soon. Or, God help you, writing a daily blog to get attention.