Big giant head

In Other News

Take heed, I'm giving you fair warning. I'm just about guaranteed to become a giant walking prick in about, oh, 30 minutes or so. I'll show Ben Stiller what Mr. Furious (of Mystery Men, a movie I'm looking forward to, even though it will suck, has to suck, because Ben Stiller is in it) is really all about.

I smoked my last cigarette about an hour ago and I don't intend to buy any more. I also don't intend to bum them, so that means I'm not going to be smoking them. In other words, I quit.

The cravings are kicking in already -- stick me in front of a keyboard and I reach for the smokes before I reach for the keys -- and they should be ratcheting up nicely very soon. I tend to get cranky.

You might want to keep your children off the street for the next couple of days. And if you drive like an idiot, you might want to keep yourself off the streets, too. The urge to drive right the fuck over you might be too strong to resist. I'll feel bad about it later, but in the moment I'll be laughing maniacally and calling you names.

Wish me luck. And pray for those around me.


Sunday -- August 1, 1999
Tonight's Reading: "Ingredients"

Doing a random check of my referral logs earlier today I found what looked to be a new referrer, so I clicked on over to see what it was all about and found that I have a new best friend.

People who link to me -- for whatever reason, good or bad -- are my bestest friends in the whole wide world. They're putting the Good Word out there, spreading the Gospel of the 'stake, and ya gotta love anybody who does that. Can I get an Amen? All right, brother. You people linking to me are clearly individuals of discriminating taste and class and I just want you to know that I love you more than my folks. I wish you'd spell my journal title correctly (chuck'stake, not Chuck'stake -- it's a lower-case e.e. cummings kinda thang), but let's not quibble about that now. Right now is all about the love.

Anyway, I found a new best friend: Georgina and her journal, Just A Girl. I've read through a few of her entries and she's all right. (Well of course she's all right! She links to me!) I think I'll add her to my reading list and see what develops. You might want to check her out yourself.

Georgina linked to me from her Daily Fix page, where she lists the journals she reads and includes a blurb on each entry. My blurb reads in part: "I'd probably read him describing the ingredients on a cornflake packet." Ooh! A challenge! Let's find out if it's true!

A perusal of the pantry put a quick kibosh on my acceptance of Georgina's gauntlet: we don't have cornflakes. Damn. But what the hell, I'll improvise. Georgina, will you settle for NesQuik™? It "turns your milk NesQuik™chocolatey!"

All right, then. Here, for Georgina's pleasure, are the ingredients of General Mills' naturally and artificially flavored Nestlé® NesQuik™, a "chocolatey rice & corn puff cereal."

Rice and corn flour
Cocoa processed with alkali
Partially hydrogenated soybean oil
Modified wheat starch
Wheat starch
Baking soda

Everything up to this point is okay, I guess. These items don't seem totally out of place. They sound like food, so maybe they belong in there. But the rest of this stuff...

Calcium carbonate
Dicalcium phosphate
Trisodium phosphate

What the hell is this stuff doing here? Is this cereal or a science experiment? When your cereal falls in the "mineral" category, you know you've got problems.

Natural & artificial flavor

Wha? Artificial flavor? Why, to compliment the natural flavor? Does the artificial make it taste better than the natural? What is this, the boob job of the breakfast table? And just what flavor are we bandying about here anyway?

Soy lecithin
Chocolate liquor

Booze? In a childrens cereal? Oh, lovely. Well, if they're going to be boozing the kids up, I say they should've made it creme de menthe. Chocolate liquor is just gross.

Caramel color
Yellow 6
Red 40
Blue 1

This is an awful lot of color for a brown cereal, but then I guess they wanted to get the shade just right. I hear the Yellow 5/Red 29/Blue 37 combination looked a little too much like ... uh ... something that goes in a different kind of bowl in the morning.

Zinc and iron (mineral nutrients)

Oh, mineral nutrients. Okay. I thought maybe those metals were particles falling in from the packaging machinery.

Vitamin C (sodium ascorbate)
A B vitamin (niacinamide)
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine hydrochloride
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Vitamin B1 (thiamin mononitrate)
Vitamin A (palmitate)
A B vitamin (folic acid)
Vitamin B12
Vitamin D

Wow, look at all those vitamins. This cereal must be darned good for you! And who knew they had those hard chemical names? How thoughtful of them to give them easy alphanumeric names to make them easier to say and remember.

(A side story on the riboflavin: When I was in high school I ran with a group of guys and we were always making up thematic names for ourselves. In our vitamin phase Rick was Riboflavin, Alex was Alboflavin, Keith was Keeboflavin and I was Chuboflavin. I didn't like this phase much and was glad when we moved on to Battlestar Galactica names. Boomer is way cooler than Chuboflavin. Less fat jokes, too.)

Peanut flour

Um... Okay. But I thought this was a "chocolatey rice & corn puff cereal." What's with the peanuts?

Freshness preserved by BHT

And finally, this. You see it everywhere, it's in everything. I have to know: what the hell is BHT? Big Honkey Terrorists? Blue Hued Testicles? Better Homes and Terrariums? I'll still eat it, I promise, I just want to know what it is.

So that's it, that's the list of ingredients. How'd I do, Georgina? Still reading?






backward indexward onward

Copyright © 1999
Chuck Atkins