Sunday, July 01, 2007

Chem Lab

#262 Chem Lab

Here’s the recipe for making coffee that’s half decaf and half not. First you put a couple of spoons of instant decaf into a cup. Follow that with a half cup of boiled water. Then add actual coffee to almost fill the cup. And finally, add three squirts of French vanilla flavored non-dairy creamer.

If you count the cleaning of the teapot to boil the water and the boiling of the water itself, this is a mere nine steps. It sounds like Rube Goldberg. But it is the most efficient way to make this brew. We tested several methods here in the Secret Mountain Laboratory in Stonewall County, PA, and had begun experimenting with methods back in the Secret Seaside Laboratory in Moote Pointe, NY.

Our tests were more thorough and complete than anything the FDA has done lately. And, by the way, eat your heart out, Consumer Reports Magazine!

Stroll through one of those vitamin stores and you have to wonder what it is we’re ingesting these days, and to what end. That and the homeopathic nutjob websites.

All the formulae are secret. Some ingredients are not on the label. Some of them are shrouded in mystery even if they ARE on the label. “Proprietary herb blend.” Three little words almost as scary as “easy to assemble” or “cashier in training.”

Are we living longer these days because of these potions, or despite them?

Professor Jon in Ohio has this affliction where you never stop growing. He also has a PhD degree in English. You would think this combination of possessions would lead him to find the best medical care he could, especially since the college he works for pays all kinds of dandy medical and pharmaceutical benefits. Nope. At least, not right away.

Professor Jon in Ohio figured he could take care of this himself and on the cheap. So he started with the homeopathics. After awhile, he couldn’t get into his hats and his pants were all too short. So, finally, he went to the doc and the disease got arrested.

If a guy with a weird disease and a PhD degree can’t figure out what he should be doing, how do the rest of us.

If you ask Starbucks to make that coffee blend, they’ll throw you out. If you ask Dr. Homeo for some help with a possibly fatal disease, you’ll get all nine steps and more.

This is why many of us are hooked on pharmacies. The FDA is kind of ho-hum about its testing, but at least it occasionally comes up with a recall, or at least a caution note.

If this column is giving you a headache, try a couple of Arabica Montana under the tongue. Or an Advil.

Or make a cup of coffee for yourself. Recipe above.

I'm Wes Richards, my opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.

(c) 2007 WJR

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