Tuesday, December 1, 2015


                                                          Who are "They" kiddin'?

    ROOFTOP – I apologize for the sudden call for a roofsit. I do appreciate you band of brothers and sisters who came to sit with me so readily on this month or so after St. Crispin’s Day. (It gets better from this point on.)

Two things drove me up here this evening. One of ‘em was “sea salt.” When I got home from watching Dennis and Larry’s softball teams play one another for the championship, I was tired and hungry. It’s so confusing when you have to yell for both teams.

    So I finally make it home where I start looking for something to snack on before supper. Atop the fridge I spy a partially eaten bag of HEB Central Market Multigrain Chips. (It’s the chips that were atop the fridge, not me.) I bought the chips a couple of weeks back because the bag was so attractive. You can’t judge green peas by the can, but you can judge chips by the bag. Been my experience.

    Not only did the bag look cool, it had something printed on it that was a big selling factor… for someone. I just bought it because of the nice-looking bag. At the bottom of the bag in large print were the words “Sea Salt.” That didn’t bother me at the time, but a little while ago it touched a nerve.

    How on earth did the origin of salt become a buying incentive? Am I supposed to think – “Not salt from a mine or desert, but salt from the ocean! It has the taste of salt! It’s the best salt money can buy.”

Apparently, it’s not even close to being the best. An acquaintance of mine has one container of salt in the house. It’s called Himalayan Pink Salt. Himalayan pink costs more than other salt because it contains 84 different minerals. And -- get this -- it’s advertised as the PUREST form of salt on the planet. Not only does it have salt in it, but it also has 84 other minerals. Leaving one to wonder, how many minerals are found in less-pure salt? And, how on earth is there any room for salt in the salt?

    Oh, and pink salt is hand gathered from ancient sea salt deposits. It’s an older salt. You add all this stuff up and you’ve got an expensive small chunk of salt. And, people buy it, ‘cause they trust the one who came up with all this info.

    I don’t have a great deal to base this on, but I believe that salt is salt. It comes in one flavor, and three portions. The flavor is “salty.” The portions are: too much, not enough, and about right. Anything other salt “fact” is beyond my Zone of Concern.

Nor do I care to get all wound-up about what is supposed to be the most widely consumed drug in the world  -- Caffeine. Some coffee drinkers purchase only decaf coffee, because they fear caffeine. Truth is, decaf coffee also has caffeine in it. Only uncaffeinated coffee has no caffeine, and there’s no such thing as uncaffeinated coffee. Prunes are an example of an uncaffeinated substance. You don’t have to worry about prunes giving you the shakes. It will likely give you something else, just not the shakes. 

    The FDA does not require companies to list the amount of caffeine in decaf coffee. What they have done is announce that decaf coffee should be 97 percent caffeine free. To eliminate that much caffeine from a coffee bean costs a great deal of money. That’s apparently why the FDA doesn’t require coffee companies to label how much caffeine is in their decaf. 

    Like I said, I don’t choose to worry about the caffeine in my coffee. About three years ago, I read that three to four cups of coffee a day does not hurt the normal person. Look at me. I’m as close to normal as you can get without opening your mouth. After reading the good-coffee-report, I haven’t read anything else on the topic. I refuse to read anything else.

    The only one in our family who drinks decaf is Dennis. If I choose to invite the family over, I must have some decaf on hand… for Dennis. Unfortunately, there has been a time or two when I didn’t care to buy decaf just… for Dennis, so I poured him the real stuff. He didn’t notice. He trusted that it was just good-tasting decaf.

Was I concerned for my brother’s health? Somewhat. From a moral standpoint, I had no concern for my big brother, because over the years, that guy has tricked me a million times. Remember the Fanner Fifty holster? The cardboard football helmet? The oiled baseball glove? Well, a couple of you might. Dennis swindled, hoodwinked and flimflammed me so many times when we were kids.  

He was able to do that because I trusted my big brother more than anyone on the planet… except for Elsie. If Dennis recommended I do something, I did it. A smart person sees that as vulnerability. He was able to swindle me so many times, because I was a trusting dumb person.

Yep, in youth and in adulthood, we make many decisions based on faith. Occasionally, our faith is misplaced. (D’uh.)  Is sea salt better than ordinary ol’ salt? Is Himalayan pink God’s gift to Saltdom? Is coffee slowly killing me?

    More importantly, did we really need to sit on this roof to better address life’s complexities? Some would think not. But, who are you gonna believe? Me, or a person who not only looks, but also sounds normal? – Uh, strike that last part. – Next time.

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