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May 01, 2009

A Fool and His Money

I love Reader's Digest. As a kid, it was a fixture on the back of my parent's toilet right there beside the little wicker basket of pink, seashell-shaped soaps wrapped in cellophane (Which we were never allowed to use. Besides, there was always that bar of Lava soap that only got used once in a blue word.) and the large can of Lysol. (Father and two brothers. 'Nuff said.) One feature that I particularly loved were the little *filler* anecdotes where an article had fallen a little short of a full page but didn't leave enough space for an ad. These were almost always funny stories, quick one-liners or typos that had appeared in print in some small town paper and were generally guaranteed to elicit a giggle or three. One in particular stuck in my teenage mind like a Band-Aid on a Bologna sandwich:

"How did a fool and his money ever get together in the first place?"

Many have been the times since in which I've had cause to wonder that very same thing. Granted, in true 20/20 hindsight, plenty of those times involved me.... So it wasn't without a little curiosity, and a lot of rememberance of that quip, that I watched as people everywhere, caught up in the latest "This is what healthy (cool) people do" fad, began to pay extra for water. And as time passed by, I couldn't help but wonder if there wasn't a kernel of truth in the old joke that said the first bottled water company named their product "Evian" because they knew the American people (their major marketing demographic) would never *get* that their product's name was "Naive" spelled backwards.

Now we have Vitamin Water.

Single vitamin water.bmp

Yep. Water (distilled to remove any impurities like vitamins, minerals, fish poop, etc.) with vitamins and minerals put back in. Oh, and a little flavoring added in so it doesn't taste like water. I can see the brainstorming group now:

Great Leader: So, ok, now we have water...
Mr. I Say Mr. Potayto Not Potahto: With vitamins!
Ms. Fly In My Soup: But our test market group isn't buying into the idea because it tastes like water.
(Shirley, you jest!)
Captain Obvious: Anybody can buy water and take a vitamin pill.
Great Leader: We need to find the hook, people, so customers will buy it.
Boy Genius: Hey let's make it taste like something other than water!
Great Leader: Brilliant! How do we do that?
Boy Genius: Let's add Flavor.
Great Leader: Flaaavorrr....Hey, that just might work. That way it doesn't taste like water...
Mr. I Say Potayto Not Potahto: With vitamins!

Adding flavor is a simple process, however, there is one small set-back: a manufacturer's "flavoring", in and of it's chemical self, is bitter. So, in order to counter the bitter, a sweetener is added. (Yeahyeahyeah! That's the ticket! Now people will buy it.)

Soooo, why are we calling it water?

When I was a kid, flavored water was Kool-Aid. Then, sometime in the mid-70's, everything became fortified -- bread, milk, breakfast cereal (fortified Cap'N Crunch?!?).....Kool-Aid. Good job, guys. You've just reinvented fortified Kool-Aid. And now we have more brands of flavored water than toilet paper. (Honestly, how many brands of toilet paper do we need anyway?) Except this particular one has about as many calories as a regular can of soda. Umm, yeah,...that's gonna sit well on the hips of the calorie-counting cadre. What to do, what to do.....
(Shirley, there must be a visionary with a *Big Idea* that doesn't involve vanilla icing. 0>;~})

Viola! In the quest for more money, now we have Diet Vitamin Water! With only 10.....er, 25 calories!!


Think about those words for a minute.

Diet - in food product terms, it generally means an alternate version of a product containing fewer calories than the original.

Vitamin - any of various organic substances that are essential to nutrition, but do not provide energy or serve as building units. (IOW, no calories.)

Water - clear liquid comprised of oxidized hydrogen atoms that, when pure, is odorless and tasteless. (Nope, no calories here...move along.)

Ok, so water=0 calories + vitamins=0 calories. How can you make that any more *diet*? Because, if you have water....with vitamins! in a bottle, isn't that already the most *diet* you can get?

Unless, of course, you don't want it to taste like water.

Personally, I'll take beer over water. If I'm gonna drink calories, I want to enjoy it.

Besides, fish poop in water.


Posted by at May 1, 2009 11:22 AM



That's not 'fish poop' it's caviar, don't you know!

By the way, beer is mostly water infused with fermented organics aka cattle feed or nutrition bars that may or may not be roasted.

Personally, I prefer the stylized bubbles in Perrier while perusing Readers Digest. Sticking up for the guys, did you ever have to put roller bearings on the toilet paper dispenser to allow the ladies to more efficiently unroll about 10 feet of said tissue for a "splash" episode? This on top of the entire can of Lysol to disinfect the porcelain GOD that they don't even sit on. Most of the LYSOL then settles on the tile floor making it more slippery than black ice on the freeway overpass for the unsuspecting husband.

One more thing that is worth sharing is the propensity for the ladies on another part of the property to somehow sense that their husband or significant other is SNEAKING into the bathroom a la Al Bundy, of Married With Children fame. The room is then sprayed with some concoction usually reserved to knock down haz mat at the nail salon.

They then leave the hapless guy, his devoted dog, and the Readers Digest to his ablutions and fond memories of a faraway latrine festooned with 55 gallon drums cut in half dispensing a faint odor of diesel teasing the nostrils.

Nothing changes, now that I think about it.

Or is it just me??!! I doubt it.

Posted by: vet66 at May 1, 2009 01:19 PM

When I was a kid, I loved Reader's Digest too. I couldn't wait for it to arrive in the mailbox.

I had all of the Reader's Digest condensed classics too - and we got the regular Reader's Digest condensed books volumes. I read every single one of the selections every time it showed up.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 1, 2009 01:28 PM

Same here, Cass. My folks ordered all of the condensed classics. Alas, they have disappeared over the course of too many moves.

That is not caviar coming out of my goldfish's butt. Although, the other fish in the tank seem to think so.....

Posted by: DL Sly at May 1, 2009 01:35 PM


I rest my case!

Posted by: vet66 at May 1, 2009 02:10 PM

I suspect, but cannot prove it, that there was no visqueen used in making this post.

And now DL Sly posts here.
Villainous Company, indeed!!!!!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 1, 2009 02:32 PM

She's a marvelous writer :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 1, 2009 02:37 PM

...stuck in my teenage mind like a Band-Aid on a Bologna sandwich:

I remember that little "fool and his money" bit. April 1997, wasn't it?

I remember when the TeeVees told everybody who felt tired after splitting logs for fourteen hours that they might just be anemic, and "New! Fortified With Iron!" was the Mad Ave cure-du-jour.

After consuming a kid-sized bowl (i.e., a half-box) of Kay-Ee-Double-Ell-Owe-Double-Good-Good's® Frosted Flakes (Now Fortified With Iron!), I noticed an accumulation of black specks in the milk dregs in the bottom of the bowl.

A *large* accumulation of black specks.

Having distinctly remembered that I had not sprinkled pepper into the cereal, and, since the assortment of houseflies in the kitchen was entirely too sparse (i.e., zilch) for the next-likely alternative, I was a tad nonplussed. My dad noticed my look of puzzled concentration and came over to investigate. After about a minute of poking and examining the specks, he went to the basement and returned with a bar magnet, which he introduced to the specks in the bowl.


Having now determined the properties of the specks, the two of us investigated the remainder of the contents of the box, and discovered small black specks on all of the remaining flakes, thereby confirming that the Sugar Frosted Flakes were indeed fortified with iron.

Kellogg's® merely mixed a spoonful of iron filings into the sugar coating.

Cheerios immediately became the household cereal of choice...

Posted by: BillT at May 1, 2009 02:42 PM

(Honestly, how many brands of toilet paper do we need anyway?) Except this particular one has about as many calories as a regular can of soda. Umm, yeah,...that's gonna sit well on the hips of the calorie-counting cadre.

Oooooooh, the possibilities...

Posted by: BillT at May 1, 2009 02:48 PM

"I suspect, but cannot prove it, that there was no visqueen used in making this post."

Nope, but there was copious amounts of ABN-12-OZ;fl Focusing Fuel involved.

"And now DL Sly posts here.
Villainous Company, indeed!!!!!"

Best compliment I've had today....

Err....well, at least 'til the next comment.
Thx, Boss.

Posted by: DL Sly at May 1, 2009 02:56 PM

"...iron filings into the sugar coating."

"Oooooooh, the possibilities..."

You said it, Mr. DeBille.....


Posted by: DL Sly at May 1, 2009 03:01 PM

Mad Magazine once did a riff on Gone With the Wind which included the Readers' Digest version of same. The war got shortened to "BOOM."

Posted by: Jules Bernard at May 1, 2009 03:02 PM

That made me laugh out loud :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 1, 2009 03:07 PM

"I rest my case!

Yep, I'll let ya have that one, but I still ain't drinking water. My Pop always said drinking water would rust my innards.....hey, maybe he met Mr. DeBille, resident fling-whinge thong jockey and *Big Idea* extraordinairre, in his earlier military incarnation!


Posted by: DL Sly at May 1, 2009 03:11 PM

My innards were neither rusted *then* nor are they rusted *now*. Liqiud preservatives, y'know.

And all my hydraulic systems are operational.

Posted by: BillT at May 1, 2009 03:28 PM

Speaking of which, remind me to have the gaffer install the electromagnet over the diorama while I confer with your wardrobe mistress.


Where'd that rasp and box of 10d nails get to?

Posted by: BillT at May 1, 2009 03:38 PM

Hey, what happened to the raising your children thread from yesterday? Is VC having site problems or did someone raise a copyright issues for the video?

Posted by: a former european at May 1, 2009 03:47 PM


[hands on hips]

Kindly do not force me to unleash the full majesty of my Secret Power upon thee.

Tremble... tremble, O p*n*s having ones.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 1, 2009 03:54 PM

Oh, I'm sooo getting that for my *older* sister.
Right after I order her Tee-Bows...


Posted by: DL Sly at May 1, 2009 04:06 PM

Hey I just made Fiddy Cent .50¢ richer today! I'm drinking summ dat kool-aid vitamin water right now! Nummy

Posted by: Red at May 1, 2009 04:36 PM

And all my hydraulic systems are operational.

Whoa. TMI :p

Posted by: *THUD* at May 1, 2009 04:49 PM

Nup. No meltdown here...

Posted by: BillT at May 1, 2009 05:44 PM


It's still "out there", but no one has added to the comments. It actually "disappeared" last night...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at May 1, 2009 09:29 PM

We're conferring? Did I miss the conference call? Dammit.

Posted by: Sly's Wardrobe Mistress at May 1, 2009 09:43 PM

She reads, she sips her wine gratefully.

Posted by: Donna B. at May 2, 2009 12:27 AM

I remember around 1978, driving I-5 between Modesto and LA seeing a billboard advertizing DIET Perrier!

Posted by: EdBDiver at May 2, 2009 05:28 PM

I, for one, would love to have at least one satisfactory brand of TP here a Bagram.

We are stuck with Single Ply Industrial grade Institutional 000 Grit etc. etc. etc.

When I was home last February, I fully appreciated
the quilted Charmin.

Posted by: unkawill at May 3, 2009 12:12 AM

We are stuck with Single Ply Industrial grade Institutional 000 Grit etc. etc. etc.

Wanna trade for Extra-strength non-perforated waxed paper with partially-embedded wood chips?

Posted by: Cecil B. deBille, Lyricist at May 3, 2009 04:43 AM

Fish poop ?


"I don't drink water, fish fornicate in it."
- W. C. Fields --

Posted by: OBloodyHell, I'll Wait... at February 13, 2014 09:35 PM

True, OBH, but at the time, if you'll note the date of the post, I was behaving. It's been many moons into the Blog Princess' and my friendship since this post.
Now I say whatever the fuck I feel like saying.

Posted by: DL Sly at February 13, 2014 10:58 PM

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