the same slippery scenario

Where's my tinfoil hat?
The other day I was having lunch, and my broccoli cheese soup was rather bland. Thankfully, I keep a small supply of salt and pepper packets, deftly lifted from the cafe, tucked away in my desk drawer. As I pulled out some salt, I noticed the label read “iodized salt.” I’ve always known that most salt has iodine added, and I kinda knew that we need iodine to function (as humans I mean). I guess I never really thought about it though. Down in the cafe, my only option for salt is salt with iodine. Now, I don’t really mind iodine… I’m just using this as another example of the man stickin’ it to me. I didn’t ask for iodine in my salt, I didn’t ask for fluoride in my tapwater, and I didn’t ask for my bread or milk to be “enriched” or “fortified” with vitamins.

Turns out we need iodine for some gland to work, and our body can’t store it so we need constant small supplies of it. OK cool, put it in peoples’ salt. Let’s put fluoride in their water too so their teeth are nice and strong. Oh and lets dose them with extra vitamin D goodness in their bread and milk. Can I get no un-doctored foodstuffs? I guess I don’t really care, it’s just kind of crazy to me that most everything I eat can be manipulated into a delivery system for all kinds of stuff I may or may not want in me. My apples’ genes have been twiddled with to make them resistant to worms, my beef is laced with hormones, and my lettuce had gallons of pesticide dropped on it from the bellies of planes flying above.

Even my milk at one point was driven down the highway in one of those chrome-tube trucks. Sure the outside of the truck is shiny and has a happy cow painted on it, but what the heck must the inside of a milk tank look like? Ugh. From utter to my glass, I hate to think how many pipes, hoses, tanks, and other things my milk went through. Not to mention the various processes by which it’s “fortified,” “pasteurized,” and “homogenized.”

I mean, it comes out of an utter into a mechanical milking thing. Then it travels down a tube into a holding tank. At some point it’s infused with vitamins, heated to somewhere around 70°, re-cooled, and shot through hair-like tubes at extremely high pressure so the fat mixes evenly with the liquid. After all this, it may or may not get pumped (through more hoses and tubes) into a tanker truck, where it might travel hundreds of miles to be piped out again and squirted into the plastic jugs we’re used to.

I wonder, by the time it gets to the table, how many times my milk changed containers, traveled through piping and hosing, and how many miles it came to get there. Would be interesting to find out. Hopefully the same evil government that can use my food and water to hop me up on chemicals has some kinda program in place that regulates this process, because thinking about how often all those tubes and tanks get cleaned kinda grosses me out.

For some reason all that milk talk got me thinking about eggs. Thinking about eggs got me thinking about something I’ve always wondered about: How do birds do it? I’ve never really seen two birds humping, so I’m not sure. The other night I was thinking about it, and try to imagine how hard it would be for some birds to get it on. Take penguins for instance. I mean, these creatures are so awkward with their little wing/fin things and their waddle-only feet. They can basically stand up, or slide around on their bellies. To me, their bodies look fairly inflexible? like a walking Coke can or something. How in the world do these things mate? I can’t imagine it’s easy to mount another penguin – especially since their native environment is ice. Each time you thrust, your partner is propelled across the ice and you have to use your near-pointless waddle-feet to lumber over to her eventual resting point and have another go at it; only to have the same slippery scenario play out again. But birds obviously do it, as do penguins. Just not out in the open or something.

Suckin’ milk from a teat and watching birds hump, Dave out.


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