Monday, November 11, 2013

1251 It's Not a Good Sign

1251 It’s Not a Good Sign
I.
It’s not a good sign when you can’t remove the glued-on label from the non-stick surface of the frying pan.
Let’s see. First, try peeling it off.

Nope.

Okay. A little gentle scraping with a fingernail.

Nope.

Maybe some water and a sponge?

Nope.

How about boiling it off?

Nope.

Vinegar and lemon juice?

Nope.

They sure make good label glue these days.

How you supposed to cook with this?

Use anything rougher, like Brillo, and you’ll remove more non-stick surface than you will label glue. “That can be fatal to your health,” explained Walt, who knows his cooking. “You don’t wanna be cooking with busted Teflon. Gets into your blood… you know—like lead poisoning.”
Walt is a leading anti-lead activist. He was the first guy to try unleaded gasoline in his 56 Packard, even though he didn’t have to.
“Get the Lead Out!” That was Walt’s motto back then.

Now, he may be the country’s first Anti Teflon Activist.

It’s not that he doesn’t like Teflon. It’s just that he sees its dangers, perhaps more vividly than others.

Presenting the label problem to Walt wasn’t easy. You can never find an anti-teflon activist when you need one.

But once on the case, Walt cannot be moved.

“Take the thing back,” he counsels. “Don’t let those bozos fill you with chemicals. We don’t know what’s in that glue. What happens if you slip a couple of  burgers on the fire one day… and you come back with beef and glue!”

Maybe that’s the way to get the label off.

Or not.

Where was this label glue when we needed it?

The Teflon President, the Teflon Don. Could have used some of that glue in their day.

Does Walt want to ban Teflon? Is he trying to work up a class action lawsuit? He gets cagy when you ask:“That’s a tough question,” he answers. Then when you try to rephrase, “do you think there’s money in this problem?” he smiles a little and repeats “That’s a tough question.”
II.
It’s not a good sign when you’re a reporter trying to renew your visa in Beijing and you’ve waited almost a year and the only answer you get from the Foreign Ministry is “I’m sorry, they’re all in a meeting.”

People from the New York Times, Reuters and Bloomberg News are having trouble getting into or getting back into China because -- silly them -- they or their employers have violated one of the billion rules that govern such things.  What rules?  Oh, you know, like the ones that forbid you from making the government look bad.

Not only are the reporters barred but in some cases, so are their websites.

Bloomberg Zombified a story critical of China recently.  Zombified? Yes.  They didn’t kill the story, they just made it un-dead. The highest ranking editor said it would run… “eventually.”  This after a team spent almost a year putting the piece together.

III.
It’s not a good sign when your “check engine” light glows.  It probably means you’re in violation of one of the billion laws that cover everything from emissions to whether your gas filler cap is too loose.

In an era when everything -- everything -- is controlled by a touch screen, you’d think they could program all the sensors in your car to actually tell you what’s wrong instead of forcing you into a dealership or a diagnostic specialty center and pay big bucks for them just to tell you what the light is warning you about.

Shrapnel:
--We don’t pay much attention to Veterans Day these days.  But we often pay even less attention to veterans themselves. As one vet put it, “when I hear ‘thank you for your service,’ I reply ‘thank you for your lip service.’”

I’m Wes Richards.  My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to wesrichards@gmail.com

© WJR 2013

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