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Spoofs & Satire

Photograph by Kaptain Kobold

The Treatloaf® FAQ

The only thing better than meatloaf is meatloaf with a surprise tucked inside. Common questions about the original mystery meat.

Is Treatloaf® like meatloaf?

Yes, except instead of more meat in the middle, there’s a treat.

Can the treats inside a Treatloaf® be choking hazards?

Quite often they can be. I suppose that’s one of the tradeoffs with how much fun it is to discover a treat inside your meatloaf.

How important is the element of surprise in a Treatloaf®?

Very. Always keep your treats unexpected. For example, leave the packaging from a fancy new watch lying around the house, then sit back at the dinner table and enjoy your husband’s confused expression as he swirls a pair of sizzling hot cufflinks around his mouth.

I made a Treatloaf® at a recent dinner party and my guests were upset by the treat I chose—a handful of loose coins. Did I do something wrong?

It sounds like the only thing you did wrong was inviting a bunch of people over who don’t like money.

It sounds like Treatloaves® can be dangerous.

I guess that depends on your definition of dangerous, which for most people is living a life void of the enchantment and wonder that comes with scoring prizes in their food.

Is cold, leftover Treatloaf® as good as regular meatloaf the next day?

Not really. A lot of excavation, so to speak, often goes into unearthing the treats from a Treatloaf®, so the leftovers are less appetizing than you might hope. Which isn’t to say you can’t remold this cooked rubble into a smaller loaf, jam a little something special in the middle and start all over again.

Can the treat inside a Treatloaf® be meat-based?

That’s very existential. And the answer is, yes it can. Lambshanks are a popular choice, as are meatballs. But to avoid confusion with the surrounding meat, it helps to package this “treat meat” in some sort of decorative baggie.

Can a Treatloaf® be hung from a rope and beaten like a piñata until the treat comes out?

It can and it should. But safety first. To hang your Treatloaf®, I highly recommend the Treatloaf Sac®. This durable mesh satchel will keep your loaf secure while protecting your children from flying beef schrapnel. Needless to say, goggles should be word by all onlookers—this isn’t some cute paper mache donkey you’re dealing with, this is hot meat. And hot candy.

Is this a family recipe?

It is actually. My grandmother started making Treatloaves® during the Great Depression to stretch their meals. My parents told wonderful stories of finding old shoes in their Treatloaves®, then making a game of guessing whose shoe was missing from around the table. Treatloaf® not only nourished their cravings for merriment, it also nourished their cravings for food.

So your family invented Treatloaf®?

That’s right.

So they invented stuffing things into other things?

I don’t think I like your tone.

I’m a vegetarian but I’d still like to experience the enjoyment of Treatloaf®.

As long as you don’t have a similarly irrational aversion to treats, this shouldn’t be a problem. Simply make your Treatloaf® from tempeh or seitan and keep your fingers crossed that you can work through enough of that nasty crap and get to the treat.

It seems like mini Treatloaves® would be a natural giveaway during Halloween.

Such a natural. The only problem is it’s not always socially acceptable to be the house that’s giving out meat. In addition to running the risk of getting some terrible, nasty names shaving-creamed onto your lawn, like “The Beefersons,” you also run the risk of retribution in the form of a doorstep Trickloaf, which we all know is just a fancy name for a bag of flaming poop inside a meatloaf.

I live alone. Does making a Treatloaf® for myself sound pathetic?

A little bit. It’s also very difficult to surprise yourself. Which is why there are Treatloaf® swaps. Online forums where really lonely people just like yourself can exchange frozen Treatloaves® with other really lonely people and guarantee a surprise each time.

I noticed there’s a registered mark next to the word Treatloaf® literally every time it’s used. Did you actually trademark that stupid word?

Here comes the tone again.

We’re getting a hamster for my son’s birthday, can I put it in a Treatloaf® to surprise him?

I wouldn’t, unless you’re familiar with the process of Treatloaf®-airation, necessary during instances of advanced “live treating.” Which, judging by your question, you don’t appear to be. But, yes.

I think I had Treatloaf® at a restaurant recently because it had several long, beautiful hairs in it.

I don’t think that was Treatloaf®.

Aren’t Treatloaves® illegal?

You’re thinking of Muleloaves®—meatloaves that are stuffed with illicit drugs and used as narcotic couriers across international borders. Muleloaves® are a felony and are in no way affiliated with Treatloaf®.

Colin Nissan is a freelance advertising copywriter living in Brooklyn. When he isn’t writing commercials, he’s doing voice-over work and contributing to sites like McSweeney’s and the Huffington Post. His first book, Don’t Be That Guy, was published in April. His work can be seen at More by Colin Nissan