Saturday, November 23, 2013


Today is Saturday, and that means sugary cereal, footie pajamas, and violent cartoons! I am thankful for sugar, harvested by machete in the cane fields of Hawaii, and the corn flour blend fields of Nebraska, where corn flour blend plants stand taller than a man for miles and miles. I am thankful for the whole grain yellow corn flour paddies of Asia, and the degerminated yellow corn flour mines of Moria, where degerminated yellow corn flour is mined by the stoic dwarves of Middle Earth. I am thankful for wheat flour from Kansas, and whole grain oat flour from the whole grain trees of Florida. I am thankful for oat fiber from the Hanging Oat Flour Gardens of Babylon, and soluble corn fiber, harvested by the corn fiber divers of Japan: a corn fiber diver of Japan can stay underwater for seven or eight minutes at a time. 

I am thankful for the hydrogenated vegetable oil drillers of Texas, who drill thousands of feet below the earth to extract this precious resource. I am thankful for salt, collected by following absentminded girls on rainy days. I am thankful for "red 40", painstakingly harvested through backbreaking labor by immigrant workers under harsh conditions from the beautiful yet deadly red 40 poinsettias. I am thankful for Natural Flavor, which is the indefinable essence brought into being by meditating monks in Tibetan temples. Natural Flavor is collected like dew from the low ceilings of their solitary cells, and carted down mountain trails by Sherpas in handcrafted glass bottles with cork stoppers inscribed with mysterious koans. I am thankful for Blue 2, extracted from the ice below Superman's Fortress of Solitude by Intuit villagers rowing outrigger canoes. I am thankful for turmeric color, mined from the surface of the planet mars by blind robots that worship a forgotten god. I am thankful for yellow 6, rubbed patiently from the Lotus flowers of Nepal by virgin Buddhist nuns. 

I am thankful for annatto color, which is dreamed by four Precogs floating in a nutritional bath in a futuristic police headquarters. The elusive annatto color is captured by computer and converted from digital to analog signal, which is then scraped from the solder joints of circuit boards within the Metabase computer. Annatto color isn't actually a physical thing, but a concept brought forth by complicated algorithms within the Metabase, a byproduct of pre-crime screening. Annatto color is very rare, difficult to harvest, and you should be damned lucky it is in your Fruit Loops, for which I am thankful. God Bless America. I am thankful for blue 1, which is scraped from the surface of blueberries by Army widowers, and mixed with their tears to enhance flavor. 

And finally, I am thankful for BHT, as everyone knows, is Butylated hydroxytoluene, also known as butylhydroxytoluene, is a lipophilic organic compound, chemically a derivative of phenol, that is useful for its antioxidant properties. European and U.S. regulations allow small percentages to be used as a food additive. While there may be some dispute in BHT's use in the human diet, the chemical is widely used in industry wherever oxidation in fluids (e.g. fuel, oil) and other materials must be treated, and free radicals must be kept in check and I totally did not just cut and paste that last part from Wikipedia. BHT was developed in the childhood laboratory of our 34th President.

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I am the author of 5 books: Android Down, Firewood for Cannibals, The Cubicles of Madness, Robot Stories, and most recently, Various Meats and Cheeses. I live and write in Michigan. My website is at