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Friday, July 07, 2006


Blueberry Confusion

So I'm enjoying the hell out of my first full week of summer. I've been taking my dogs on extra-long walks. I've been catching up on my laundry. And I've been taking full advantage of the painfully short blueberry season. I've made pancakes and I've made my favorite French blueberry pie. I've also expanded my blueberry repertoire somewhat by making a blueberry tart with lemon curd. I've never made curd before, and I've found that I like it. I like curd. Who knew?

But life isn't all sunshine and lemon drops. There's been a dark side to this time off. For example, I've been watching Wimbledon this week and I've once again had to sit through Rafael Nadal and his incessant grunting. The boy is hitting the ball so hard every time he hits it that his arm is apparently in danger of coming off. Or is grunting a Spanish thing? Do Spaniards grunt when they're, say, pouring a glass of milk? One wonders.

Even worse than Nadal, though, are the commercials I've had to sit through while trying to enjoy a rousing episode of Jeopardy. I'm assuming the commercials shown during Jeopardy are, for the most part, the same nation-wide.

If that's the case, then perhaps some of you have seen the commercial for Activia. It's a yogurt. But it's not just a yogurt. The set-up goes something like this: A young woman studying, possibly working on her doctoral thesis, possibly plotting to rob a local Chuck E. Cheese. Her roommate (sister? lover?) enters and says, "Hey, you want to go out?" The studier replies, "No. I'm bloated and I've been irregular. The roommate responds with, "I used to have that problem. Now, I eat Activia every day."

Activia, you see, helps you in some way to expel waste products from your body. Now, what I'm wondering is, how the hell often do you ask someone to go do something and the excuse they give you is that they'd rather not because they haven't been able to take a shit? I know I've never given that excuse to anyone. Are there things that you can't enjoy with your friends when you've been unable to evacuate your bowels?

Also, do I really want to eat a yogurt that's designed to move things along down there? What if you're feeling okay, colon-wise, and you mix up Activia with your regular brand of yogurt? Will you have yogurt-induced diarrhea?

And this disturbing roommate ad isn't the only Jeopardy commercial that worries me. There's also the utterly baffling spot for "Head On". They don't say what it is. They don't say what it does. They simply show a generic woman rubbing a stick of something above her eyes while some over-caffeinated announcer fairly yells, "Head On! Apply directly to the forehead! Head On! Apply directly to the forehead! Head On! Apply directly to the forehead!"

That's it. Just the same screechy sentence three times in a row. What the hell is this stuff? Is it some sort of acu-pressure deodorant? Is it a soylent-green-esque wonder nutrient? Why do you apply it directly to the forehead? None of these questions is answered.

And so I remain confused and disturbed. Excuse me. I'm going to eat some plain old non-laxative yogurt. Maybe I'll put some blueberries in it. Blueberries! Apply them directly to the yogurt! Blueberries! Apply them directly to the yogurt! Blueberries! Apply them directly to the yogurt!

I too wonder at the gruntiness of the Spaniards. (You are too funny Hairshirt!)

I wondered when they would make them change the name from "Bio" to Activa. I thought that would be a great marketing ploy, though. "Well, its ok if our product isn't really organic, its just named organic. Not at all to mess with the consumers!" Then when they did change it every commercial was like, "don't be alarmed, only the name is changing. Take the revolver out ouf your mouth, Pierre, you can still have your little yougurt!"

Apparently, women live sad lives of isolation, waiting at home for our bowels to move, our distended stomachs brushing the floor as we race to WC. Oh, my friends that eat Activa are out dancing the night away, but here I am, lolling on my back, unable to move from the bloating (what do we eat, baking powder and vinegar?) just hoping it will all go away. But it won't!! Only Dannon can save womenkind!

Can I come over for blueberry pancakes?
That depends. You got syrup?
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