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Food, Spurious Food

The other day, my mother, who compulsively shops for anything you can think of, bought me a bag of sunflower seeds, as I went through a phase of eating them about a decade ago.

First of all, this was a completely redundant gesture, as they were just the seeds, and everyone knows that sunflowers seeds taste of absolutely nothing at all, and the only pleasure to be derived from them is cracking the zebra-coloured shell to extract them.

No good deed is without merit, however, and in eating them I did manage an idea, which, as those who know me will tell you, is a laborious and taxing process at best.

According to the packaging (which, perhaps naively, I find no reason to doubt) these sunflower seeds were bought in a branch of Boots and are part of a “meal deal.”

Now who, exactly, aside from perhaps squirrels and other small fluffy mammals, would ever consider sunflower seeds a “meal” ? Granted, perhaps Boots receive a lot of custom from numerous pigeons and small tits, but this still doesn’t explain how I ended up with them as my mother doesn’t even HAVE small tits.

Sorry, I seem to have digressed and in doing so swerved perilously close to the territory of the “fat momma” joke, which I’ll avoid.

Meanwhile, back on the subject at hand, why is Boots (are Boots? is Boots? I hate shops with no apostrophes) selling food in the first place?! If a butcher had a deal on moisturiser and sun-tan lotion, I think I personally would give it a miss, but somehow a shop that’s know for medicines and cosmetics has started offering meals and none of us has batted an eyelid.

Food in general, now that I mention it, has been getting stranger, lately. McDonalds, in a frankly ludicrous attempt to improve it’s image, has started offering salads as a direct result of Morgan Spurlock’s “Super Size Me.”

Something about this bothers me, and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Kudos to Mr. Spurlock for shaking an empire to it’s core, it’s impressive by any standards and far more than the more high-profile Michael Moore has managed to do. (Although one does suspect Moore eats all his meals at McDonalds and just forgot to film it…)

McDonalds, though, is about grease. It’s about grease, and junk, and things that will, probably, give you a McCoronary sometime before you make it back to your car A coronary which, by all accounts, you can make bigger and more life threatening for a bargain 30p.

McDonalds isn’t SUPPOSED to offer good food. Everyone knows that McDonalds is bland and bad for you, in the same way we know that alcohol is bad for us and we’ll all regret it in the morning. Several months ago I thought I’d have a go at a McDonalds chocolate donut, and it was f*cking horrible. I remember remarking to those around me in my witty, Wilde-esque style, “This is f*cking ‘orrible.”

Doesn’t matter. I still have one whenever I go in, now, and they’re still terrible.

My point is this: NOBODY goes to McDonalds for a salad. In fact, I wouldn’t trust anyone who did. I think I’ll add that to my list of character indicators. Never listen to anyone who doesn’t like “Columbo”, and never trust anyone who goes to McDonalds for a salad.

Salads go against the whole POINT of McDonalds, and I personally think that they should have more balls than to run for cover when their “secret” gets out. Tobacco companies have known for years that cigarettes kill you, as have the public, but they don’t suddenly branch out and start a new line of Malboro Lollipops as a healthy alternative.

Another thing that’s worried my lately, food-wise, is the reappearance of Pepperami. For those too young to remember, or those living in another country, Pepperami is best described as a stick of peppered meat in a wrapper.

I’ve always been bothered by them, principally because nobody has yet proved to my satisfaction that it isn’t just the spiced penis of some unknown animal that the snack-hungry public has sent rocketing towards extinction, but over the years I sort of forgot about them. Now, all signs (TV adverts, posters, the Beast running loose in the streets of Bethlehem) point to it coming back. We should be on our guard.

Now, some people may level the fair and accurate criticism at me that everything I write has no real structure; that I’m prone to going off on tangents and that I always end abruptly and inconclusively. This is true.

To these people, however, I say that if you can find another article on the web that goes from Sunflower seeds to animal penis by way of a chocolate donut, then good luck to you!

Luke Haines

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