I don’t trust anything that says “It’s just like the real thing!”  Everything from Hydrox cookies to sex dolls – if it was as good as the real thing, the real thing wouldn’t exist.

I’m not saying there’s not a place for “fat free” or “Mike’s Hard fill-in-the-blank”.  I like Reduced Fat Cheeze-Its better than original (even though they both attack my bowels like Homer eating an orange); I like Caffeine-Free Mountain Dew better than the original (even though they both taste like a urinal cake dipped in cat medicine).  It’ s just that you shouldn’t buy something that completely replaces a vice without thinking there won’t be some sort of consequence.


Mike’s Hard Enfamil: “We’re now openly encouraging under-age drinking”

My entire life, my mom has consumed a liter of soda per day.  As she’s aged, she’s switched over to Diet Pepsi because it’s diet; it’s better for you (even though study after study says otherwise).  When they say, “It’s just like the real thing!”, we think they mean “it tastes so similar to the thing you love but is probably killing you, won’t be able to tell the difference!”  What they really mean is “our product is chemically similar on our arbitrary sweetness scale.  Our beta-testing shows that your body will react in the same exact way to this completely synthetic substitute; therefore the lawyers tell us that we can legally say ‘It’s just like the real thing!’ even though we’re not quite sure exactly when we started playing God.”

Case in point; I was getting a cup of coffee when I noticed this:


They have a specific spot for each of the “creamers”.  There is no cream in these; they are made from water, sugar, and vegetable oil.  Normally when I think “This coffee is a little strong” I also think “I should add oil”.

They have a spot for the “half and half”.  From their website: “creamers do not contain lactose. However, they do contain sodium caseinate, a milk derivative”.  Because when I think my coffee needs a splash of milk, “legally milk” will do just fine.

But they have no idea what to call the fake sugar.  Sometimes it’s Splenda.  Sometimes it’s Nutrisweet.  Sometimes it’s Aspartame, or AminoSweet, or Equal, or NatraTaste, or TwinSweet, or Cyclamate, or Sucaryl, or Erythritol, Zerose, Zsweet, Glycerol, ClearCut, Isomalt, Decomalt, DiabetiSweet, Lactitol, MaltiSweet, SweetPearl, Mannitol, Neotame, Dextrose, Saccharin, Necta Sweet, Sweet N Low, Sweet Twin, Sorbitol, Sucralose, Natrulose, Smart Sweet, Xylipure, Xylosweet… so they named it “Pink” and “Yellow.”  Because when I think that my brew is a little bitter, I think “two packets of yellow should do the trick.”


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