Has anyone ever read Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs? It’s a kid’s book about the town of Chewandswallow. There, citizens don’t ever have to worry about stopping by a deli for milk or scouring blogs for the sexiest place to eat dinner out because their food quite literally falls from the sky. Four square meals a day come in the form of weather fronts that move through the community at a predictable pace, until one day the forecast turns on them. The food becomes inedible and the people are forced to make a mass exodus on boats constructed from stale bread.
The same story could be told about my experience with Jafflechutes. When I first heard about the premise of Jafflechutes, I shivered with delight. Their business model is simple and in equal parts mysterious. Submit an order via PayPal on their website, show up at a given location at your designated time and have a grilled cheese sandwich (or as Aussies call them, a Jaffle) parachuted into your open palm.
There wasn’t much talk of logistics on the site. In my most elaborate fantasies, I pictured a sandwich hovercraft buzzing over tree tops and telephone poles, coming to rest directly above a painted X where I was standing. Where did it come from? Who sent it? Can it be placed directly into my mouth?
In reality, the process ended up being a disorganized, slightly comedic operation by which two people hurled sandwiches attached to parachutes off the roof of The Diamond bar to a crowd waiting below. The sandwiches were labeled, but that didn’t seem to guarantee that you would get to eat yours, as many ended up tangled in fire escapes and wires during their lazy descent. At one point, an organizer shouted down to us, “How does everything taste?” Everything tasted like a soggy cheese sandwich tinged with disappointment.
The idea of airborne snackage is definitely a novel one and is what prompted me to participate in the first place. I still think Jafflechutes could do well with a bit more structure and better aim. Brooklyn itself is a place where people have the chutzpah to invent crazy schemes and the audience necessary to support them. Looking around the yard, I saw a dog chewing on leftover parachute strings, free beer being shared between picnic tables and a bunch of youngins who were willing to spend their Thursday night noshing on a mashed Jaffle that was supposed to be for some MIA girl named Hannah.