When I first moved back to Wichita, KS five years ago I was convinced my wife was messing with me when she told me she couldn’t find Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Chips at the grocery store. It was impossible. Dillon’s, the Death Star of grocery stores, had everything in their “Super Stores.” Heck, if I can buy patio furniture and toothpicks…I should be able to get Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Chips too. The next trip to the store my wife Kate and I went together and divided the list to save time. “I’ll find the chips!” I exclaimed, which was only appropriate seeing as I am the certified snacker in the family. I huffed it over to the chip aisle and was shocked to find there were no Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Chips! I snagged an employee and they pointed out the next aisle over. An entire half an aisle dedicated solely to Lay’s Potato Chips! Jackpot! Kate had clearly done what I had done and only gone to the chip aisle and not looked for…hey…wait…there are no Salt & Vinegar Chips here! I flagged down the employee and asked what the deal was. “Maybe they were discontinued?” He explained. Then he offered me Cape Cop Chips or Pringles instead.
I think I cried.
Five long years later and I can tell you that Dillon’s does not carry Lay’s Salt & Vinegar, nor does Walmart, or Target, or QuickTrip, or any other place I’ve looked…and I’ve looked. Co-workers claim to have seen them and bought them in stores but I am sure they got them in Kansas City, other towns, or the individual bags instead of the full-size. If so, there is a salt & vinegar conspiracy going on and I want to know who’s behind it!!! Labor Day Weekend was the final straw for me…my taste buds yearned for them so I tweeted a few retailers who replied with directions on how to contact their complaints departments. I kindly obliged and urged Dillon’s (among others) to carry this fruit of the gods. However, I felt the most energy should be focused on the source, so I wrote this letter to Frito-Lay:
To Whom It May Concern at FRITO-LAY NORTH AMERICA, INC.,
When I first moved back home to Wichita, Kansas five years ago I was convinced that your company had discontinued LAY’S® Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips due to the fact that I was unable to find them in any grocer or retailer throughout the Wichita area: A sad proposition. Upon traveling to Kansas City I was delighted to find the beloved chips on the shelves of a grocery store there and ceremoniously purchased what can only be referred to as “a boat-load” for my return to Kansas’s largest city. Armed with the knowledge that my favorite chips in the world had not been discontinued, I set forth on an epic chip-quest to find them in Wichita. Alas, my quest failed and instead of feasting on the tangy nectar of vinegar and salt clad potato chips…I was forced to swallow the fact that there were no LAY’S® Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips in Wichita, Kansas.
I have written letters to Dillon’s, QuikTrip, Walmart, Target, and other area retailers of chips. In five years, I have yet to get LAY’S® Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips into Wichita. I have been presented with other salt & vinegar options, but none of them suit my taste. Must I be shunned to ingest detestable and harrowing options such as Cape Cod Potato Chips or the admissible Pringles when all I yearn for is to gormandize the contents of that light blue bag which haunts my dreams?
Snacking has become…spiritless.
You see, LAY’S® Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips has the perfect ratio of vinegar to salt. Other charlatans veil their so-called chips in salt to besiege one’s tongue to eat more out of necessity, while LAY’S® Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips create a sense of longing to masticate more from the transcendence of flavor. In layman’s terms: Your chips burn the roof of my mouth from the vinegar and that’s the flavor I’m looking for because I associate it with a happy childhood.
As I’m sure you know Wichita was home to Pizza Hut under the PepsiCo brand from 1977-1997. Being born in Wichita in 1979, LAY’S® was a part of my upbringing ‘til I left for college to pursue my dreams. Now, a man of restaurateur ilk and persuasion, I have returned to Wichita with my culinary insight and sophisticated salt & vinegar chip palette. These mountebanks being peddled to Wichita’s citizens is a wrongdoing of epic chip proportions and must be rectified forthwith before LAY’S® Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips become a forgotten memory in our nation’s heartland.
Please, I beseech you to bring LAY’S® Salt & Vinegar Flavored Potato Chips back to Wichita before their awesomeness is forgotten. The last five years have taught me that once you pop…you can stop. However, we can’t stop popping without your support. Help me in the fight against poorly salted spuds and return peace to the taste buds of hundreds of thousands…or at least just me.
Your brother in alkali marinated fried potatoes,
Ryan W. Gates
Now…we wait. If you want to join in my crusade of kindness to return Lay’s Salt & Vinegar Chips to Wichita, please let me know. If you find them in Wichita, please let me know where. If you are visiting Wichita, please bring some with you and share with me.
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