Today, December 3, is Charles Albert Pillsbury's birthday. Born in 1842, in Warner, New Hampshire. Who knows what the face of Minneapolis would look like if Mr. P hadn't set up shop here. We've probably got a lot to be grateful for in that respect, but this much is assured: Without him, there'd be no popping cans of crescent rolls, per-capita consumption of pigs in blankets would be negligible, and we'd live in a dimmer, sadder world, for we'd have no Doughboy.
A quick perusal of the Web revealed many ways that you can celebrate the grandfather of Poppin' Fresh in your own manner: At www.doughboy.com you can take a quiz (is Mr. Boy made of clay, silicon, dough, or rubber? And, no, supple white leather isn't an option). Or you can download Doughboy sounds and pictures, or decorate cookies with the Dough Boy. Or, if you're of a more macabre twist of mind, you can visit the endlessly knick-knacky Web site of Canadian minister Grant McDonald (www.dmmw.com/graceland/dboy.html) and read this punny joke in the form of an obituary: "NOTED DOUGH BOY DIES: Veteran Pillsbury spokesman Pop N. Fresh died Wednesday of a severe yeast infection. He was 71. He was buried Friday in one of the biggest funerals in years. Dozens of celebrities turned out including Mrs. Butterworth, the California Raisins, Hungry Jack, Betty Crocker, and the Hostess Twinkies. The graveside was piled high with flours, as longtime friend Aunt Jemima delivered the eulogy, describing Fresh as a man who 'never knew he was kneaded.' Fresh rose quickly in show business, but his later life was filled with turnovers. He was not considered a smart cookie, and wasted much of his dough on half-baked schemes. Still, even as a crusty old man, he was a roll model to millions. Fresh is survived by his second wife. They have two children and one in the oven."