"Good stuff, Maynard" is a phrase one hears from time to time, usually to reinforce the idea that some edible substance of questionable visual appeal is actually tasty and nutritious.

"Come on, just try some of this Ethiopian food."

"But, but… it's brown fucking goop!"

"No no. It's good stuff, Maynard!"

The phrase comes from a Malt-O-Meal commercial broadcast in the '70s. The commercial featured some dysfunctional family unit where the boy expressed his displeasure to an imaginary breakfast table companion named "Maynard". His dad -- too cheap to buy real cereal like Post Choco Sugar Mallow Puffs Now With Real Cake Icing And A Toy M16 Just Like The Ones America Used to Kill The Chinaman In Every Box because of his addiction to off-track betting and French Canadian strippers -- tried to force some cream of wheat type gruel down his son's gullet.

The kid, like most children his age, was sensitive to his father's ways. He could easily see what his mother had long turned a blind eye to. The kid never did quite buy "that's what daddies sometimes do" line he was given during that long, pointless Sunday drive out to nowhere to explain why daddy was going to be living in a motel for a couple months while mommy and daddy worked out grown up things. He realized being fed soggy oats isn't what God intended for a growing white boy.

The boy, naturally, tried to express his horror by giving his Malt-O-Meal to his imaginary friend Maynard. (Even the boy's choice in names for an imaginary friend is evidence of his background psychological problems. Most kids would pick a name like Ace or Neil Armstrong for an imaginary friend. But this boy picked a name you only give to a child if you want him to experience the joys of daily playground atomic wedgies.)

Instead of trying to simply force the kid to eat what will probably be his only meal of the day because the mother had been secretly skimming from her meager grocery allowance to create an escape fund, the father resorted to lies and deception to bend the child to his will. The father's skills had naturally been perfected over the years to hide his gambling and paid sex addictions from his wife, family, and co-workers. Did the father feel an ounce of remorse knowing he was now turning these "talents" towards his son? Probably not. The father, knowing the best lie is a lie that plays off and reinforces the lies other people tell themselves to maintain their sense of self-worth, addressed the boy's imaginary friend instead. With the bowl now before the imaginary friend, the father quipped "Good stuff, Maynard!"

The boy was convinced and dug into his slop. And they were one big happily family again until 1980 when the father tried to re-mortgage the house at a 20% interest rate, lost his job at US Steel, and then joined the Jim Jones cult, thinking some nutball religion would save his family.

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