All across this beautiful nation of ours people are getting stoned out of their gills. (Which, thanks to fantastic advances in high jinx pharmacological science they literally believe they have. Gills, I mean.) Some get so high, either by themselves or administered by their prostitutes) that they depart for a higher plane of existence.
Me? I’ll imbibe the occasional mint julep (in honor of Dr. Leonard McCoy) but that’s about as far as it goes. I don’t get high. I get even. And man, I am so even right now. But seriously, though, the best I ever accomplish is a temporary hit to my already questionable judgement. And a nap. Alcohol is always followed by a nap.
Beyond that, the only time I have need for drugs is when I’m in pain. P-A-I-N. Like when a tooth goes supernova. It’s the old arrow through the tooth routine. Ha ha.
But unlike every street rat and Silicon Valley exec, my choices are decidedly limited. I have abscess to anything as long as it literally does nothing (except, maybe, the side effects). What a deal!
So I call the dentist. It’s an “emergency,” I say. No problem! “How does Tuesday next week sound?” How does that sound? How about I feast on your soul with my last working tooth?
They always think I’m after the drugs. Yeah, people on the streets are scarfing pills like they’re Fruit Loops but I’m going to call you, my dentist, to get my fix on.
“Just take some over-the-counter stuff,” he says. As if the words uttered by a dentist actually makes them effective and gives them power. Acetaminophen. Ibuprofen. The words just roll off the tongue. Or they ought to for all the good they’ll do. Are you freaking kidding me? They just announced a study this week which revealed acetaminophen is no more effective for lower back pain than placebos. Which is unfortunate because acetaminophen is pretty much the #1 recommended analgesic for lower back pain. Oops. Our bad. (Which, by the way, you can’t spell analgesic without anal. Coincidence? Methinks not. Someone is too damn clever.)
How about you shove that OTC back in your analgesic, k?
I have a question. When you call the dentist why isn’t his response should be limited to one of two possibilities? 1) Come right in and I’ll work on you now and make it stop. 2) Come right in, I’ll take a quick look, and I’ll be happy to prescribe a serious pain reliever until I can see you sometime next week.
Why the hell don’t they do that?
My theory? It’s punishment. It’s the dental equivalent of dad grabbing the belt and taking me out behind the wood shed. Someone has gots to be learned a lesson. Maybe next time you won’t wait so long until you call? How many times do I have to drill this into you? This hurts you a whole lot more than it hurts me.
Today I saw the dentist and he readily agreed my mouth should be toured by the President in a helicopter after being declared eligible for disaster relief. “See? Aren’t you glad I made you wait?” Then I was finally handed a script for Tylenol-Codeine and admonished, “Be careful while taking these. Don’t try to drive or anything. This is powerful stuff.” Yeah, I didn’t just fall off the turnip truck, lady. I saw that episode of M*A*S*H, too. The one that went on to become a template for modern medical science. “Take these sugar pills and call us in the morning. Be careful! Powerful stuff!”
They say life is pain. But maybe that’s just because everyone except me gets abscess to the good stuff.
Yes, I replaced every instance of “access” with “abscess.” That’s my literary genius at work. I don’t even charge extra. -Ed.
I’ve talked in the past about how negativity saved my life. And you can, too!
Come to think of it, that was the day I became the self-entitled self-titled “Guru” of Negativity and earned a Participant ribbon. That was the red letter date in Guru history.
But, if you think about it, negativity can do so much more than simply save your life. I’m talking about the really important stuff. Forget trivialities like staying alive! (Unless you are one of Bee Gees. That’s the only exception and even they don’t do it right.)
Negativity can do the little things, too. Like brightening your day.
I’ll try to think of an example.
Over on yonder shelf sits a massive jar of some life-giving substance that you desperately crave. For the sake of argument, let’s say that it contains granulated sugar. Yeah, that’ll do.
The top of the jar has a screw top lid. So what do you do?
Naturally you reach out and grab that jar, using your krav maga death grip with your overly tiny little hand, and, this is the important part, leech a hold on nothing but the lid.
This is a natural instinct among humans. (Or so I’ve heard. I’m not actually one of you.) It’s an act of faith and trust. It’s a little voice inside you shouting for all to hear, “See? I trust the person before me put the lid back on and secured it tight. I have faith.” This is silly, but especially so when you live alone and are talking about yourself. (That’s the last person you should trust.)
Then what do you do? You hold that sucker out at arm’s length. The jar weighs .01 metric tons and the physics of holding it out that far exponentially increases the amount of force required to keep it aloft.
If that lid comes off what happens next is a certainty. The jar will impact the floor, glass will fly outward in a shrapnel pattern, both eyeballs will be cut out of your face, and the sugar will reach critical mass causing a mini-nuclear explosion that, albeit sweet and delicious, will make one permanently sticky.
This is where negativity comes in. It says, “If you pick that up, you will fail.” It then invites you to picture in your mind what was just described in the previous paragraph.
To negativity you should listen. Get off your ass, walk all the way across the room, grab that sucker, and screw the lid back on tight before attempting anything foolhardy and foolish, fool!
SWIM (Someone Who Isn’t Me) is at it again. In this case, SWIM is a person (or persons) alleged to have perpetrated the dastardly deed of opening a beverage container and heretofore not consuming the entirety of the liquid contents contained therein.
Furthermore, it is alleged that these deeds were committed in the unfriendly confines of the Abyss Castle and at great expense to your Guru.
It goes a little something like this:
- SWIM proclaims, “I’m so thirsty!”
- SWIM takes one of your precious cans of 12-ounce beverage. Likely a soda but it may also be a beer.
- SWIM heartily quaffs some of the precious nectar of the gods.
- SWIM sets the can down and aimlessly wanders away leaving a percentage of contents adrift in the oceans of time.
As you might be able to tell by the level of drama and hyperbole, this all pains me so deeply.
Perhaps, you think, why not just pick up the can (yuck!) and take it to SWIM and request the task to be completed? I’ve tried this, and I’m usually subjected to some rendition of “the contents at the bottom don’t taste as good as those on top.”
Oh, I’m sorry! I didn’t realize this was the first layered can of beverage in the universe! My bad.
Maybe they think they’re doing me a favor. Those partially filled cans are quite decorative strewn about the house.
Rather than debate such twisted logic, I grabbed my trusty calculator and decided to wow SWIM with some facts.
Assumption: A six-pack of [insert deadly sugary soda of your choice here] costs about $3.00. Even without my calculator I reckon that’s about 50 cents a can.
Q. If someone drinks one ounce of a 12-ounce can, how much did that cost?
A. Assuming $3.00 for a six pack, it works out to cost four cents per ounce. But, if only one ounce was consumed and the can costs 50 cents, then that’s the same as paying 50 cents per ounce. And since the can has 12 ounces, that simple act of unthirstiness creates a $6.00 can of soda.
That’s $6 per can!
I’m sorry, SWIM, but I’d never spend that much on a can of soda for a non-drinker like you.
Abyss Island: S1E11 – They’re Gonna Put Me In The Movies / A Night To Dismember
Last night was a heady time on Abyss Island. Lots of comings and goings and what nots and so forths. It was almost too much for a lonely rice-eating bean-eating castaway to deal with. Almost.
It was Day 33 of 39 of my exile from deliciousness. The agenda for the evening included a reward challenge and then watching some weenies on TV try to duplicate my greatness. Ha!
Dinner consisted of, you guess it, a serving a plain white rice. I was out of beans. (They got replenished this morning and the crock pot is crocking them.)
Tree mail hinted at the promise of a reward:
Keep your eye on the ball
Try not to fall
Keep your balance true
And you’ll be A-mazed when you’re thru
Hmm. Sounds like one of those marble labyrinth thingies. Finally! A nice relaxing challenge.
Never underestimate the viciousness of the host.
Continue reading →
I just heard yesterday that “sugary drinks” are now the #1 source of calories in the American diet.
Yeah, baby! We’re #1! We’re #1! We’re #1!
Something I can graph? Excuse me while I sprint to the spreadsheets. I get to graph something!
Lately I’ve been a wagon-follow-offerer. Vegetarian? Check! Granulated sugar? Check! Coke and/or Pepsi? Check! Alcohol? Now wait just a damn minute. I never went on that wagon. Ah. I see what you did there. Well played.
For some damn strange reason I seem to get off on attempting to test my willpower. This is invariably followed by a period of extreme humiliation. Try it! It’s good fun.
I blame my mother for my lifelong love affair with sugar. Some of my earliest memories of life involve the morning bowl of breakfast cereal. Like Cheerios. And it just wasn’t a bowl of soggies unless there was a gooey thick mess of partially disolved granulated sugar remaining in the bottom of the bowl.
To this day I wonder why she deliberately went out of her way to teach me that. I mean, I was only a child. I wouldn’t have known the difference if I was served Cheerios in the raw, right? Continue reading →
HFCS. High-fructose corn syrup.
I was just subjected to an ad by these motherfuckers as payment for watching a YouTube video. Gag me with a spoon!
OK, HFCS. You got my attention. You want to play? Let’s play!
First things first. The ads say they are paid for by the “Corn Refiners Association.”
WTF #1 – Corn can be refined? Now that’s something I didn’t now, and didn’t want to know. Ever!
Technically the ad I saw was paid for by The Center for Consumer Freedom. Ah, freedom! Such a noble concept. Who could ever object to something like “freedom,” right?
So who is this Center for Consumer Freedom, anyway? According to their official web site:
The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition of restaurants, food companies, and consumers working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.
Am I reading that correctly? It seems they are saying that those who use their products are irresponsible but that we should have the freedom to be irresponsible like that if we want.
Not quite the most compelling inducement of all time. Heh!
The commercial I saw had an ear of corn in a police line up with a sugar cube and a bottle of honey. It made the following points:
- All three have the same calories.
- All three are processed by the body in the same way.
As my body double Chris Farley was often wont say, “Well, La-Dee Frickin’ Dah!”
Let’s assume the claims in this ad are true. What has been proved? Is HFCS healthy? No. They make no such claim. If anything, the ad can be interpreted as saying, “Hey, don’t pick on us. We’re just as bad as these other guys.”
But that’s not where my beef lies with these folks. (Did I mention they hate PETA, too?)
Try This at Home Science Experiment
It’s time for a science experiment, boys and girls. One you can even do yourselves!
For this experiment you will need:
- The ability to read
- A grocery store
Step 1 – Go to a grocery store.
Step 2 – Find the soup aisle.
Step 3 – Pick up a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup.
Step 4- Read the label and find the ingredients.
Step 5 – Identify the third ingredient listed, by volume. (Per U.S. labeling laws.)
Well, what did you come up with?
If you found “high-fructose corn syrup” you are a critical thinker and first class scientist! Well done! (For my photograph above I used Brand X and HFCS was the second ingredient. It went: tomato, HFCS, then water. Mmm mmm good food, eh?)
According to the label on the can, that’s 24 grams of sugar carbohydrates per “serving.” And we all know what a “serving” is, right? About 1/4 of what a typical American will eat. 🙂
It’s not just tomato soup, either. HFCS can be found in a dizzying array of surprising products. Why is that, you think? Americans have quite the sweet tooth. Even our non-dessert foods need to be sugary.
Now the people who brought us plan to rename their product. Instead of “high fructose corn syrup” it will be “corn sugar.” Their goal? Obfuscation! It seems HFCS has a negative connotation in the minds of many consumers these days, so the solution is obvious. Rename it! That should be them some time.
The Corn Refiners Association has a high opinion of consumers. “Clearly the name is confusing consumers,” said the president of the group. (Source.)
I don’t think consumers are confused at all.
A high fructose corn syrup by any other name would smell as sweet.
Not too long ago, it’s been three or four weeks now, I gave up on an old friend. That’s right, I no longer add granulated sugar to anything. That includes iced tea, coffee, etc. I’m trying to be healthier.
It’s been rough.
I’d been drinking glasses of water all day. Not my favorite beverage. But I was doing ok. I decided to mix it up a bit.
Suddenly I have a new appreciation for fruit juice. Go figure. After a few weeks of water, I had an apple juice and it was delicious!
So I decided to try some grape juice. I went to the store and picked up two 64-ounce bottles of Welch’s grape juice for $4.59 each. I had a coupon for $1 off when you buy two, so the actual price was $4.09 per bottle.
To stretch things further, I did some experimentation and decided that a ratio of half juice and half water was right for me. I don’t want to be buying a bottle every other day so I want to make this stuff last.
I kept one bottle at home and I took one to work. It is pasteurized and has to be refrigerated after opening. That means I had to keep a bottle in the work refrigerator.
My job doesn’t provide potable water (unless you count the toilet and/or sink) so I bring my own Klean Kanteen with water every day. And I was actually looking forward to enjoying a little grape juice to enliven my otherwise shitty day.
We all know by now how this turns out, right? If I actually dare to want something then that becomes The One Thing that will be denied to me. This is the way of things.
I went to work yesterday and there was my bottle of Welch’s grape juice, completely empty and sitting in the trash!
Out of that 64-ounce bottle I was able to actually drink about 8 ounces. Yes, for those keeping track, that works out to be about $4.09 for a glass of grape juice. What a deal!
As I sat there considering this dastardly turn of events, the boss got up, lumbered over to the fridge, grabbed a bottle of juice, took off the lid, and brought the wide-mouth opening up to his gaping maw. Gulp, gulp, gulp. Ugh, what a sickening sound.
I turned to myself and said, “I dare say, Watson. We have cracked the case!”
This was worth pursuing. I couldn’t help myself. “Say, boss,” I said as casually as possible. “Did you also drink from the bottle of grape juice that was in there?”
He wouldn’t answer the question. How telling.
Then he said, “Oh, was that yours?”
“Yes. It was.” Emphasis on the was. Rest in peace, my dear bottle of grape juice.
WAIT FOR IT. HERE COMES THE KICKER THAT MAKES THIS A TALE WORTH TELLING…
“Oh, I didn’t know who’s that was.”
Excuse me??? What the fuck?????? You unimaginable bastard!
You didn’t know who the grape juice belonged to, therefore you drank it. I see.
Words fail me at a time like this. Seriously. What can you possibly say to that?
“Simple logic, Captain. When ownership of the grape juice is indeterminate, logic suggests you drink it anyway.”
So yeah, I wasn’t really planning to talk about my new job quite so soon, but forces have allied against me. There are usually pros and cons associated with most any decision, and switching jobs was no exception. But I still don’t know, even after a month on the new job, if I’m in the frying pan or in the fire. Either way, one thing is certain. I’m fucking cooked. But more on that later.
Boy I just can’t wait to go to work today.