Today, sources close to HighTechDad (HTD) revealed that E.T. (the Extra Terrestrial) had severe peanut allergies and was NOT homesick contrary to popular belief and media hype. Through an exhaustiveÂ and comprehensive investigation, interviews and footage analysis, HTD has uncovered a grand conspiracy that would even have shocked Agents Mulder and Scully of X-Files fame.
The E.T. Conspiracy
HTD has learned that E.T. producers actually made modifications to the footage of the movie after Hershey, makers of Reese’s Pieces, threatened to sue them for defamation of their product brand. The original plot was much more twisted and would have received an “R” (for Restricted) rating. In the original plot, Elliott encounters E.T., a hostile alien sent to the Earth on a reconnaissance mission for a later invasion. E.T., because of his cuteness and seeming innocence, is able to infiltrate the hearts of children within the movie and through various mind manipulations (as is exemplified through his “control” over and “connection” with Elliott). Elliott discovers a weakness that can cripple E.T., peanut-based products. The producers originally contacted Mars, the makers of Peanut M&M’s and described the plot to them. Fearing damage to their brand, Mars agreed to pay an undisclosed sum of money that went to continue the funding of the movie. When the producers contacted Hershey, the makers of Reese’s Pieces, the Hershey’s Board of Directors did not give in to the demands and the film producers and director decided to use Reese’s Pieces as the “killer candy.”
The plot was built around the fact that while addictive in taste to E.T., Reese’s Pieces were actually deadly to E.T.’s species. In the original plot, Elliott is able to make E.T. sick enough through the use these peanut-based candies and gets several scientists and doctors to analyze the peanut affect and subsequent allergic reaction within the alien. Eventually, the original plot has E.T.’s companions returning to recover and debriefing him in preparation for a later attack on Earth. However, they learn that humans have found this deadly allergy within their species and they simply decide to cancel their original invasion plans. They do try other types of invasions (see Independence Day and War of the Worlds).
Below are several scenes where Elliott continues to get E.T. more and more addicted to Reese’s Pieces, and in the process, furthers the “poisoning” of E.T.’s system.
Eventually, E.T.’s body goes into such a state of anaphylatic shock that he is completely debilitated.
An advanced copy of the film was leaked and got into the hands of the Hershey Company. It was at this point that Hershey decided to level a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Universal Pictures. With the lawsuit pending, Universal forced the producers and editors to analyze the footage and rework the plot to be as it is now seen. E.T. changed from a dark and scary movie to one much more family-oriented with a warm and fuzzy ending. The end result helped drive the Hershey/Reese’s Pieces brand to top of mind awareness and set E.T. as one of the classic children movies of our time.
The Real Story
Ok, wasn’t that fun? I briefly mentioned peanut allergies before. My youngest daughter has severe peanut allergies. Whenever she takes a class, we have to tell the teachers, write letters to the parents, make buttons and badges and t-shirts stating that she has allergies and basically make sure that everyone knows. Whenever we go to a dinner party or birthday party, we are on edge because we don’t know what is in the food or if a table or plate had peanut butter residue on it. Even on a recent visit to the Jellie Belly factory, my daughter started reacting to something that was in the air. One of the flavors of their jelly beans is peanut butter. I’m simply amazed that a chemical equivalent of the peanut butter flavor cannot be created, making Jellie Bellies peanut-free.
The point of this “breaking news story” is really to illustrate how critical it is for people to think about food allergies in general. Respect peoples wishes and concerns when they say they or their children have a certain type of allergy. I was at a Cold Stone Ice Cream parlor and when I mentioned that we needed to have a separate scooper and platter to scoop and fold the ice cream, the guy serving me looked at me like I was crazy. He replied, we don’t have a different platter, it’s just ice and we scrape everything off. I got a bit upset with that response but then thinking back later, many people still don’t get it. Luckily, others are getting it. At a frequent eatery of ours, they used to use peanut oil to cook french fries. They recently made some dramatic changes in the kitchen and now use a type of rice oil for cooking. It seems that there are so many different types of food for children that should really be looked at more carefully. Things are getting better though. We use Sun Butter (made from Sunflower Seeds) in our family (but we still don’t give it to our peanut-intollerant daughter. There are also some genetic engineers that are developing an “allergy-free” peanut. Time will tell.
Perhaps there IS a story to be made out of this. It is often difficult to tell little children about allergies they may have. A child might understand better if it was phrased with a story that they are familiar with: “Remember E.T.? He ate those peanut butter candies and got really sick. You have to be careful what you eat too so that something like that doesn’t happen.” Just a thought. One way or another, when a child has severe allergies to a particular food or ingredient, try to figure out a way to explain it to them on their terms, with a story or a reference to a popular cartoon or movie character. It does help them understand a bit better.
HTD says: If you enjoyed this little fun with E.T. then pass it on or give it a DIGG. It is just another way that I’m trying to spread the word about food allergies.