Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | January 27, 2009

A Change of Heart…

You know, I’ve been doing some serious thinking lately.

In these mental ponderings I’ve come to the conclusion that Chester Cheetah does, in fact, deserve the ultimate blessing I can give…“legit street cred …Iowa-style.”

chester001For the longest time I was sour toward ole Chester, but in time he’s won me over.

In our initial interactions I thought Chester was nothing more than some rip-off of Tony the Tiger and the Pink Panther. Plus he was sooooooo lame. The dude would show up and try to steal Cheetos from kids.

I mean come on, Chester, seriously?!

That bit has been done before. There’s a rabbit named Trix who has been running that same routine for years and doing it way better. Plus, come on dude, you’re a f’n cheetah. Just kill the kids and take the cheesy puffs, dude. Quit being such a tool.

Then he got two videogames. That’s right, at some point in the early-to-mid ‘90s a freakin’ snack-food mascot had not just one, but two videogames. Do you know what’s absolutely disheartening to a nine-year-old boy?! When they go to the store and they see that some cartoon cat from the Cheetos bag is on the cover of two videogames and that poor kid is never going to grace the cover of a videogame.

Although in retrospect I think I had it all wrong looking to be on the cover of a baseball game. I mean think about it, how bad-ass would a library-themed videogame be, huh?! Think “DieHard” in a library…with me playing the library-equivalent of John McClane!! I can picture it now “DEATH IN THE STACKS!” Give it time to process, you know it sounds sweet!!

Anyway, somewhere around the Cheetah videogame phase, he was also supposed to have a cartoon. I remember my brother was really psyched for it. I think I beat my brother up a lot that year for that very reason. Anyway…something happened—probably logical reasoning—and the show never made it to the airwaves…or at least not in northwest Iowa.

Once the cartoon fell apart Chester went to overseas to earn some money and rebuild his credibility, but the Korean people did not give him the warm, Cheeto-filled reception he had anticipated and he returned to the states soon after. After the Korea-debacle Chester went through some hard times. He sort of vanished from the scene for awhile, looking to battle his demons and return to the scene a new man.

When he did return, it was as a wiser and more mature cheetah. He was no longer trying to steal Trix’s gimmick. Rumor has it Trix and Count Chocula got together and roughed him up “General Mills-style” at a night club a few years back. To this day all three parties refuse to comment on the allegations.

Without a doubt Chester had learned his lesson and was looking to make amends to all those from whom he’d tried to steal Cheetos in his younger, wilder days. Chester…or “Papa Chester” as he now prefers to be called…can now be found encouraging others to use their Cheeto-habits to help themselves as evidenced by many of his new television spots.

It is as a result of Chester’s impressive life turn-around I’m awarding him some “Iowa Street Cred.”

Use it wisely, “Papa Chester,” you’ve earned it!!


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