Food scientists created olestra, a fat-substitute that was lower in calories and could be used in snack foods.
But the drawbacks outweighed the benefits.
It caused gas and bloating and severe diarrhea and flatulence.
So, people didn’t like it.
Never mind that regular snack foods cause arteriosclerosis, heart disease, obesity, and other severe conditions.
God forbid someone shit or fart a bit, more, right?
They’d rather sit all fat and happy, getting fatter and sicker as they’re chowing down their bucket of potato chips.
As if any of this matters. Just look at the label on this French onion dip.

Random stuff

The office coffee bar had sprinkle dispensers.
I totally loved them.
So, a coworker got me a bag of sprinkles.
I bought a dispenser and put it in our team conference area.
No, I’m not going to put it in the break room.
People can be messy things.
If I could still eat M&Ms, I’d buy every kind of M&M.
Then, I’d put them in a dispenser all mixed up.
Because life’s about mystery and randomness and fun.
It’s why I did the candy cane roulette.
A basket of random candy canes.
And why I’d make a random M&M dispenser.

The Pope’s ring

It’s considered an honor to kiss The Pope’s ring.
Well, the one on his finger.
Which finger?
Any of them, but the big one is the one most people talk about.
The one on his big toe, that’s different.
He usually needs help getting his slippers on and off, so he usually only lets people do that in private.
The ring in his nose, that’s off-limits. Don’t even try to go for that one.
Or the one in his belly button.
As for the one on his you-know-what, that’s strictly for the altar boys.
He’s a Catholic priest, after all.

Maria gets vanished

The State has ordered Maria’s removal.
She has been removed from her apartment along with everything she owned.
All photographs of Maria have been collected and burned.
The article about her arrest, censored.
Maria’s family no longer has a daughter.
If you ask them, they respond “Maria who?”
And they will look around to see if anyone is watching and listening.
Why did this happen? What did Maria do? Where did she go?
She asked about Leslie too much.
The State had removed Leslie.
So, they removed Maria, too.
And if you keep asking about Maria, they’ll remove you, too.

Warm bed

Theodore loved the comfort of his nice warm bed.
But what made it warm?
The blankets didn’t.
The sheets didn’t.
Yes, it was his own body heat.
Trapped by the blankets and sheets.
Theodore did experiments with the number of blankets and sheets and the fabric of them.
He tried an electric blanket, and then an electric mattress.
He got cats and dogs to sleep with him.
Once, he went as far as hiring a hooker to hold him while he slept.
This annoyed his wife quite a bit.
She set the bed on fire, which warmed up Theodore considerably.

Trevor’s dad is a hero

You know that weird kid Trevor?
Trevor’s dad is a hero.
Trevor tells everybody this. Over and over.
“What does your dad do?” everybody asks.
“He’s a hero!” says Trevor.
“But what heroic things does your dad do?” everybody asks.
“Lots of them!” says Trevor.
You’ll never get a straight answer out of Trevor.
Believe me, I’ve tried.
And it’s not like Trevor’s dad is some kind of superhero.
Those are pretty rare.
The only one I know of is my dad.
He’s a superhero.
What superheroic things does my dad do?
Lots of them!
He’s a superhero, after all.

The pest

Myst is the bedcat.
When I go to bed, she is there, wanting attention.
She’ll try to paw my face or bite my nose.
I just want to sleep, so I cover myself completely with the blanket.
Myst tries to dig in, poking and prodding until she finds a way.
When Gina comes to bed, Myst will bother her for a while.
One of us gets the butt and the other gets the bite.
And then, Myst gets the pillow.
A simple whomp convinces the annoying little baby panther to stop being a pest, and we all go to sleep.

Collect Calls

When I was little, long distance calls were expensive.
So when my Great Aunt Rose or my Grandmother would call, they’d use a code.
They’d call collect and ask for themselves.
We’d say “Sorry, they’re not in right now.” and hang up.
That way, my dad could call back on his company line to save money.
Nobody told me this, so the first time I picked up the phone and this happened, I said “Oh, hi Aunt Rose!”
Everybody yelled at me.
Now, when I get collect calls from the rest home, I just hang up and don’t call back.

Ferguson Fitts

Ferguson Fitts ran a four-minute mile.
The store was four minutes away, and Ferguson ordered something for pickup.
“I’ll be there in a minute!” Ferguson hollered into his phone, and he ran to the store.
A minute later, Ferguson was there.
“Thank you,” he said to the salesperson, handing him a dollar and grabbing a bag. “See you next time!”
Ferguson then ran home.
It took more than a minute, because he had a bag in his hand.
And after running a four-minute mile, Ferguson is a little winded and can’t run so fast.
And, man, he smells really bad.

Alabama vs Clemson

Someone came up with the bright idea to end the college football season with a playoff.
Four teams were invited to play against each other, and, in the end, it was Alabama playing Clemson.
Oh, sure there were other teams playing in bowl games, but all that really mattered was that final game.
The rest of it was just noise.
NFL scouts only watched Alabama and Clemson.
Teams only drafted Alabama and Clemson players.
Pretty soon, every other college gave up on football.
One game a year: Alabama and Clemson.
Which gave more time to enjoy college basketball’s March Madness.