Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Assault with a deadly sugar

Can you outrun molasses? Don’t be too sure.

Ninety-four years ago, on January 15, 1919, Boston suffered the Great Molasses Flood, in which a large storage tank collapsed—releasing some two million gallons of the viscous goo upon the poor unsuspecting souls of the North End.

According to the Great Wizards of Wiki, the resulting gush created a 15-foot wave traveling 35 miles per hour! A plaque in the North End suggests the wave was 40 feet.

In 1919, there were not a lot of creatures who could outrun a 35-mph treacle tsunami. There were no cheetahs in the North End. (No doubt, in pre-Prohibition Boston, there were plenty of “cheatahs” ...  mischief-makahs, swindlahs, prankstahs, and whippah-snappahs, too. But no cheetahs.) And there were not many gnarly dudes prepared to go syrup surfing.

As a result, this was a tragedy. Twenty-one dead.  And that’s just counting the humans. Boy, talk about taking the bitter with the sweet.

I’m up to my glasses in a sea of molasses.
But I won’t complain.
Cuz’ under the grasses, lie vole and mole asses
Who drowned in sweet disdain …
Who drowned in sweet disdain.

So it’s time to reconsider our idioms. Slow as molasses? How about unforgiving as molasses? Deadly as molasses?  Guys don’t make passes at girls covered in molasses.

This sugary surge of yore, of course, serves as another example that sweets kill. Need another? Coca-Cola has launched an anti-obesity campaign. Coca-Cola! That’s like me launching an anti-sarcasm campaign. (Yeah, that’s a real super idea, dude. Sarcasm is soooo dangerous.) 

Coke wants you to count calories. So rather than making fizzy shit with better ingredients, they’re going to print the number of calories in a bigger font on the can.

The message here is clear: If you’re fat, it’s your own damn fault. Can’t you read? The calories are printed right there on the can!

Of course, never mind that high fructose corn syrup might be more addictive than cocaine. (Wow, I just wrapped my fat brain around that. I’m not saying it totally blew my mind, but it feels like my medulla oblongata just popped into a bowl’s worth of Sugar Puffs. … I like sugar. What can I say? I’d make a vampire pack insulin.)

So Coke wants me to not drink Coke? OK. I can live with that. 

At least I better try. 

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