Saturday, February 02, 2013
Monday, January 28, 2013
And frankly, I'm trying not to be outraged, because there is a scam being perpetrated, and it's one I could and will blow wide open. In a second. But first, this word from People Who Hate Brominated Vegetable Oil.
Brominated Vegetable Oil is vegetable oil that has had bromine atoms bonded to it, like they all went to camp as kids or something. It's considered "safe" by the FDA except that it's not, unless by safe you mean
In one case, a man who drank eight liters of Ruby-Red Squirt daily had a reaction that caused his skin color to turn red and produced lesions diagnosed as bromoderma. The excessive quantities together with the fact that the man had a higher than normal sensitivity to bromine made this an unusual case.
An unusual case except that it happened again in the very next sentence:
A similar case reported that a man who consumed two to four liters of a cola containing BVO on a daily basis experienced memory loss, tremors, fatigue, loss of muscle coordination, headache, and ptosis of the right eyelid, as well as elevated serum chloride.
I mean, okay, headache, ptosis of the right eyelid, small price to pay for drinking Squirt soda, right?
In the two months it took to correctly diagnose the problem, the patient also lost the ability to walk.*spits soda out, scrubs mouth vigorously with steel wool, goes right on eating "Hot Pocket."*
So anyway, all over the news today is that some guy somewhere got some 200,000 signatures on a petition to get Pepsi to remove BVO from Gatorade, which means now professional athletes will only have 2,000,000 other chemicals in their system and that's not even counting Ryan Braun's magic urine (WARNING: DO NOT REFRIGERATE) but here is where I come into the picture:
I started all this.
SERIOUSLY PEOPLE LISTEN TO ME. I started this. Me.
This petition, of which there are many but the main one seems to be from "a Mississippi teenager" (true fact: I can spell Mississippi backwards by memory ippississiM) is getting all sorts of hype now, but where was the media when I tweeted this all the way back on August 28, 2012:
BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IN THE WORLD... except it's too late because I already am that change.
You can thank me with 10s and 20s, sent to my home, and I will accept them with all the grace of a man burning with the intensity of SN2012aw, which we all know is the newest-discovered supernova and one that is getting brighter, not dimmer, which is how mad I am at this obvious hoax that made it onto legitimate news sites (HuffPo is that now, right?)
Longtime reader(s?) of this blog will instantly realize why I am so mad and so sure that this is a hoax, but for you new reader(s?) let me bring you up to speed, by recalling the halcyon days of yore when I let a Twinkie sit out for 100 days and then ate it:
EVERY STEP of Twinkie Watch was documented by SCIENCE and then I ate it, so I proved then that Twinkies cannot spoil.
But now along comes some Internet Huckster, trying to sell a molded Twinkie (he claims this
is a real picture of it) and frankly SCIENCE will not stand for this, and as the living embodiment of SCIENCE, it is up to me to debunk this horrible person's attempt to grab fame by disproving a law of nature.
I will begin by using Dan Savage's rules for detecting fake letters on his advice column, and I will (SPOILER ALERT! PUN INTENDED!) end by announcing a new SCIENCE!
First, the obviously fake explanation. This is verbatim from Fraudster's Ebay sales site:
Up for sale today is one (1) semiunwrapped authentic Hostess Twinkie, rotten as hell.
I've never seen one, and neither have you! I really did believe that these things and cockroaches would be the only thing to survive a nuclear war, but I was wrong.
Easiest way to do this is to explain my story. I have impulse control issues, and one of them concerns (concerned) Twinkies. To put it bluntly, I love them. Like a dog, I eat them (ate) until I got sick.
So, my wife rarely buys a box for me because she knows what will happen.Dan Savage's rules begin with "the piling on of unnecessary details." As my old law school roommate used to say, it's the details that get a person to believe. Piling on unnecessary details shows a story to be a lie.
Well, last year she took pity on me one movie night, and brought home a box of the creamy goodness in addition to something out of redbox. We pop the corn, dim the lights, and I bust into my box. I inhale the first one, and crack open the second one while watching the movie. Something catches my attention out of the corner of my eye. Inches from my mouth, I actually stop to look at the golden wonder for a second. It is GREEN. Not yellow, green. I turn the lights on to make sure my eyes aren't playing a trick on me.
They aren't. That sumbitch is GREEN. With streaks. My mouth starts tingling. I don't feel so well.
So, I survived, but I wrapped the green twinkie in clingwrap, and then decided I'd write Hostess. Obviously, they wanted it but I said no. They sent me a few weeks later a letter saying hey, guess what. It's not kryptonite, and surprise, they do go bad. Then, they gave me two coupons for free boxes of twinkies.
It was suggested I toss the Twinkie, but I was fascinated. So, like a biology experiment, I've kept it in my completely environmentally controlled top of my refrigerator, where I occasionally check on it to see what it's gonna morph into.
Then, Hostess went tits up.
Maybe someone will start making them again, maybe not. You will never be able to get this Twinkie, from the original recipe, original machinery, and original plant conditions again. Who knows what this thing will turn into? And, who knows why this thing went bad in the wrapper. Bad QA/QC at the end? Intentional infection of the supply by a striker??
I will NOT sell this to any country or nation state with an active biological weapons program, because I don't want them to weaponize whatever bug is capable of taking out a Twinkie. Nor do I want to release a Twinkie virus into the wild, ruining future supplies, so you have to promise to treat this thing responsibly.
Also, I guess I need to explain to some people, that although at one time this might have been considered food, IT IS NOT FOOD NOW. DO NOT EAT. DO NOT EAT. DO NOT EAT. It is a scientific and historical curiosity only!
I added some pics so that you can see how it originally looked.
Here, Fraudster, who got the attention he wanted, notes that he has a junk food problem, then really loads it on when he tells how he discovered this:
Well, last year
This was a year ago? Interesting. And hard to prove you wrong since you can always say "I don't remember the exact details." Why'd you wait a year to bring this up? A whole year to put it on eBay? YOU ARE A PATIENT MAN.
she took pity on me one movie night, and brought home a box of the creamy goodness in addition to something out of redbox.It's not important to the story to know where he rents movies. But it is important to a liar to add details.
We pop the corn,
Wait, what? Did your wife -- who is soooo controlling that you only get Twinkies when she allows it-- also approve the popcorn? Or was that for her?
dim the lights, and I bust into my box. I inhale the first one, and crack open the second one while watching the movie.So: They popped the corn, but took the unopened box of Twinkies -- the entire unopened box -- into whatever room they were going to watch the movie in. Controlling Wife did not have an issue about him intending, apparently, to eat the entire box while they watched the movie, and it's important to the story that the box not have been opened in the light.
Remember the lights were dimmed in the room. That's important, as is the fact that this is the second one.
Something catches my attention out of the corner of my eye. Inches from my mouth, I actually stop to look at the golden wonder for a second. It is GREEN. Not yellow, green. I turn the lights on to make sure my eyes aren't playing a trick on me.
BAM! It was a surprise! he was as surprised as you are! IF ONLY HE HAD OPENED THE PACKAGE IN THE LIGHT, but that would have been anticlimactic: "So I bought some Twinkies and one was rotten," his story would have been. NOT A GRABBER. He needs your attention: "I NEARLY ATE A TWINKIE OF DEATH!"
As for his eyes, they must have been playing a trick on you, but WHAT A TRICK! because in low light, only the rods of your eyes are active and while they are hypersensitive to light, they only see in black and white, so you did NOT see green or yellow.
Also, the corner of your eye would not be looking at a Twinkie directly in front of your face. And if it was, it's even less likely you'd see color because we only see black and white out of peripheral vision, as our brain blocks colors from the side.
It is strongly implied that Fraudster felt sick then -- so maybe he ATE a bad Twinkie? But he didn't notice anything wrong until he saw (?) the green -- so what are we to assume? That the Twinkie was so rotten it could activate his Spider-Sense... only after he saw it? SO: "I NEARLY ATE A TWINKIE OF DEATH AND MIGHT HAVE ACTUALLY EATEN ONE TOO WITHOUT EVEN KNOWING IT BECAUSE IT TOOK SO LONG FOR MY EYES TO ADJUST TO THE LIGHT AND MOLDY TWINKIES TASTE EXACTLY LIKE REAL TWINKIES OH IF ONLY I HAD OPENED THE BOX IN THE LIGHT WHILE POPPIN' THE CORN! WHY MUST I HAVE SUCH A JUNK FOOD PROBLEM?"
Here's something else: He ate them "until [he] got sick." Sick with what? Twinkie disease? Diabetes? Chronic fabricationitis? If he got so sick eating them, why'd Controlling Wife break down and get him some? Was she planning on cashing in his life insurance? Or do you mean that in the past you would just eat them until you got so full of them you'd barf, in which case, it was okay with your wife on this occasion that you take the entire box into the room to watch the movie? "Here you go, honey, and if you have to barf at least do not interrupt the part where Ryan Gosling takes his shirt off."
Second on Dan Savage's tips are needlessly elaborate stories: he wrote to Hostess, got a letter back, got a coupon for some free Twinkies (no photos of any of this, of course), the possibility of the Hostess strike being involved, the overly-broad warnings not to eat the spoiled food.
Finally, Dan Savage's third factor is the attention-seeking nature of the letter-writer. Note THOSE details: The guy has a problem with junk food, and a controlling wife! But he got attention from a massive corporation, and not only that, he has the only original spoiled Twinkie!
Maybe someone will start making them again, maybe not. You will never be able to get this Twinkie, from the original recipe, original machinery, and original plant conditions again.
The bid on the Twinkie went from 0 to $46 between when HuffPo wrote that story and when I looked at the site, and it appears that Fraudster has sold other items on the site and could no doubt use the attention.
In short, this is a scam. This Twinkie did not spoil. It did not arrive in the package green from mold. Not a single thing that Fraudster wrote in support of this sale is true. Unless maybe he's married. That might be true.
Well, I'm not taking this. I'm not putting up with some stupid scam artist getting publicity trying to claim a fake spoiled Twinkie is real. I am PUTTING MY FOOT DOWN, and GETTING A NEW TWINKIE.
THAT'S RIGHT. SCIENCE is back, and this time, it's serious. Or personal. Or whatever. I have directed Sweetie to get me a Twinkie today. And beginning tomorrow, that Twinkie is going to be exposed to the world forever, to see if it ever ever rots.
You don't mess with me, man. I'll take you down like yesterday's news. Or whatever.