Martha dumps berries on kid’s head as bodyguards and assistant look on.
It was one of those food events that might have been conceived by a comic novelist. Ocean Spray, in an attempt to elevate the flagging popularity of its red berries, decides to create a cranberry bog in the middle of Rockefeller Center. Well, it’s not really a bog, because there are no actual plants — instead it’s a 50-foot-long wooden bathtub filled with dodgy water, in which 2,000 pounds of berries bob.
New York City schoolkids sit in the cranberry bog, eat Thanksgiving dinner, and only rarely get to slosh around.
Next, trestle tables are installed in the bathtub, and 45 New York schoolkids, plastered with Ocean Spray logos and mainly African-American, are seated on either side. They’re fed a meal of turkey, roll, green beans, mashed potatoes, and (you guessed it!) big wads of cranberry relish, which mainly sits uneaten on their plates.
The food largely goes uneaten.
Kids sit for hours in the artificial cranberry bog in an inadvertent re-creation of The Last Supper.
As if this publicity stunt weren’t enough, Martha Stewart is thrown into the mix, with the purpose of taping a segment of The Martha Stewart Show for the Hallmark network. She arrives a half-hour late, throws on her hip waders, and strides into the bog, picking up handfuls of berries and throwing them at the children.
Waiting for Martha.
There are all sorts of justifications for the strange event, including educational cranberry harvest demonstrations, the ostensible healthfulness of cranberries as part of a balanced diet, and a pledge on the part of Ocean Spray and Share Our Strength (which keeps its logo wisely hidden) to raise awareness of childhood hunger. But really, as the autumn sunset approaches, all you see is an iconic white lady in hip waders throwing berries and a bunch of bored and cold black kids looking like they want to get out of there.
Martha finally appears.
She winds up … and throws!