Fame and hot sauce 

Popular culture often presents its heroes with a dilemma similar to the one blues legend Robert Johnson faced at the crossroads. Johnson, as the story goes, and as it was later repackaged in the horrible 1986 Ralph Macchio film Crossroads, traded his soul to the devil for the musical ability that would make him immortal. Like the King of the Delta Blues, celebrities can obtain lifelong fame, but at a different cost — typecasting. Cheech Marin, of Cheech & Chong fame, seems to have finally resolved this dilemma. While Tommy Chong unabashedly pimps his famous stoner image (see “That ’70s Show” or any issue of High Times magazine), Cheech attempted for several years to move beyond his most famous role/archetype of the Hispanic Stoner; to no avail, of course. Now, with his introduction of Cheech Foods, Inc. he seems to be saying, “fuck it.” At www.melindas.com, you can order the Cheech 3-Pack of hot sauces — Gnarly Garlic, Smokin’ Chipotle and Mojo Mango for $12.50. As expected, you can also get the Cheech Hot Sauce T-shirt ($15.95 in black or white) as well. Surprisingly, the sauces taste pretty good — and they contain no marijuana.

Tom A’Hearn pays attention here every other week. E-mail [email protected]

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