Friday, November 15, 2013

Recession Taking a Toll on People's Backsides: Toilet Paper Use Down

OK, so I am standing in the toilet paper aisle at the Harris Teeter staring at a wall of white rolls clad in all sorts of colorful packaging claiming all kinds of benefits for my backside. Of course that is how toilet paper is marketed...either because it feels good (which makes it more expensive) or it doesn't (but is a much better deal). I figured that if people wanted to save money, their butt was always the sacrificial lamb of sorts, and they would still be using the same amount of toilet paper, just a cheaper brand. But I have just read that people are using LESS toilet paper of all kinds because of the recession, and I am trying to figure out how to do that.

According to Advertising Age Magazine "People long have taken for granted that some categories of consumer goods, such as toilet paper, truly are recession-proof. Turns out that, like many assumptions, is wrong. As a result of the recession, consumers went beyond trading down to cheaper, private-label products and actually bought less toilet paper of any kind. The recession has turned bad enough that people bought less toilet paper — about 5.5% less last quarter in the U.S., according to Kimberly Clark Corp. Chairman-CEO Tom Falk, who blamed the economy for disappointing fourth-quarter earnings and a weak forecast for 2009."

Whilst standing there trying to work this out, I pulled out my trusted iPhone and searched Google for "how to save toilet paper" I was led to a site called These were their suggestions.

"1.Use less. (Duh) The standard frugal guide is three or four sheets. If you fold it instead of grabbing a bunch and crinkling it up, you will need less. A wad of toilet paper will have more sheets in it that a fold." (this is a known scientific fact)

"2. Buy a lower priced brand. I think this works only to a point. If the paper is too thin, you'll wind up using more of it. Some people swear their family uses the same amount no matter which brand they buy." (and your butt will hate you for it.)

"3. Separate two-ply paper into two rolls. A friend of mine swears this works. When she gets home from the store, she and the kids go to work separating out the two ply roll so that there is a layer or "ply" per roll. She uses empty toilet paper tubes to roll the separated toilet paper and keep things neat." (Freud called this "Anal Retentive Syndrome" which is a precursor to "Obsessive Compulsive Syndrome" which is supposedly caused by kids being potty trained too soon. I know a lot of people with this affliction but would not even think about consulting them for this article, knowing how wound up it would make them.)

"4. Use something else. Beside newspaper, frugal people use all sorts of things as a substitute for toilet paper." (The chick that is now famous for buying a PC instead of a Mac in the new Microsoft ad says she uses leaves from her yard to save money...)

"You can make your own flannel wipes to dry yourself. Flannel can be bought for less than $1 a yard sometimes, especially if it is a seasonal flannel. Cut the flannel into squares and you are all set. You will need a bucket or wipe box to store the used flannel until you have enough to wash." (Yes flannel...not terry cloth...not silk...not old cotton tee shirts...must be flannel)

"You can also just rinse with a squirt bottle and use a washcloth to dry. You might even get cleaner with a rinse instead of wiping with toilet paper." (In other words go buy a bidet. Men...get used to it.)

Truth in Marketing?

Although toilet-paper marketers are promoting more sheets, more layers and the added sanitation of wet wipes, the promises don't always hold true. More plies aren't always stronger according to Consumer Reports. (speaking of Anal Retentive Syndrome, a magazine that caters to those types)

To test toilet paper Consumer Reports technicians measured how much lead shot dampened sheets could hold before they broke. "The strongest sheets were thickest and typically had two plies compared with just one for rolls that scored lower. However, Quilted Northern Ultra Plus has three plies and it was neither thickest nor strongest, and Scott Extra Soft proved about as strong as many two-ply rolls, despite having just one." According to CR, "Scott 1000, (my favorite brand) at 6 cents per 100 sheets, delivered the most sheets for the lowest price, however its individual sheets were thinner than that of most other brands tested."

In our family we test our toilet paper not with lead shot but with a high fiber diet that is recommended by People Magazine and many of the famous inhabitants of Malibu, California. While we have found this diet almost useless for controlling our weight, it day in and day out provides a great testing ground for toilet paper.

What we have discovered is that we use the same amount of toilet paper every month, no matter what the brand, so the only way to save money is buy the cheapest and most hardy brand. Again, let me suggest Scott 1000, or the "Endless Roll" as my son calls it. (He is a surfer and loves that movie, "The Endless Summer" and movie allusions are encouraged in our house.)

You cannot go wrong with a toilet paper brand that's name sounds more like a racing bike, and touts strength, performance and longevity over comfort and gentleness. Use Scott 1000 for a month, and your butt will feel just like you road The Tour de France on said racing bike as well. But you'll save serious money.

True story, I went on an adult Outward Bound kayak trip in the Bahamas where 12 people, men and women had to share one roll of toilet paper for over a week. There simply wasn't the room for more toilet paper after we had stuffed the boats with food, water, tents, sleeping bags and other provisions. Well, as you can imagine, the roll didn't even last a day. Let me just say that the palm trees down there do not supply a natural alternative. The next thing you know, people are standing on the shoreline, looking longingly at the water, and not because the wanted to go snorkeling. Everyone sort of had to make do (do) with what was available which was an entire ocean serving as sort of a natural bidet.

It was gentle and soft as a Caribbean breeze. Sounds like a great tag line for a new toilet paper brand.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Man List
Men have certain jobs they are "expected" to do because of their sex.  (My wife refines this further by referring to them as "penis jobs", and I haven't spent too much time trying to correct her as to what that type of job actually is.)  These jobs are unique to the male in that they involved filth, dead animals, weapons, chainsaws, complicated electronic systems, dangerous plumbing, pest control and making book cases.  In most households these jobs have been translated into chores, habits and other expectations.
Some men create confusion in regards to this system, by actually cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, changing diapers, etc.  Usually these confused genders roles are acceptable to the female as long as she is still in charge of them.  What is rare, however, is crossover of gender roles in the other direction.  For example, you will not find a women who readily takes on operating a chainsaw on a tree leaning on the house, removing a dead possum from the garage or killing a spider/cockroach/wasp in the corner of the bedroom. 
This video deals with some of the dangers we men all have to deal with...usually with very little appreciation by the gentler sex.  Please watch...maybe your significant other will watch it with you. (HA)  Here is the podcast with The Complete Man List. 
What is nearly impossible is trading one of these tasks for something in the other category. Can you imagine?  "Honey, I'll do the laundry and wash the dishes if you dig a hole in the back yard and bury the possum I just extracted from the garage."  

Here are some great deals on some products that will help any man perform his gender specific duties.  Most of these are the best deals you can find.  To indemnify myself, I must add that you shouldn't try to use any of these products at home.  Guns, chainsaws, backhoes, and jack hammers are tools for real men jobs...not for guys like me that would prefer blackening some fish while drinking a glass of white wine. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

iBodyLanguage 2.0

Scientists say that before we could talk, we were communicating with body language, very much like those guys who wave airplanes in at the airport.  And since our brains still operate much like they did in those days, we supposedly still carry around the inherent ability to communicate just with our gestures and expressions.  Many say it is still our primary form of communication, especially when it comes to our emotions. Darwin even thought that certain body language was shared among all animals, due to the needs of procreation, emotion, spotting and reacting to threats. 

To many, the business of body language and procreation is of primary interest because, well, we are interested in sex and not just for procreation (although the brain at it’s most basic level apparently doesn’t know the difference.)  Even though we are supposed to inherently “know” the “signs” that someone is interested in us, I am posting some accepted body language cues for those of you who are not so in touch with your primal side.  BTW, I will also be announcing an iPhone app soon that serves as real time guide to these things for you geeks who have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTACT with your reptilian brain.

For the female, the following signs seem to be pan-gender, but depending on the culture can have important differences and nuance.  I make no representations or warranties regarding them.

1. Eye contact - anything more than a glance indicates initial interest.
2. Eye catch and look away - establishing eye contact then looking away or down is said by many experts to be the     standard initial signal of interest designed to hook male reaction. The reliability of the signal meaning is strengthened   when repeated and/or reinforced with longer eye-contact.
3. Eye-widening - interest, simultaneously increasing attractiveness/appeal.
4. Eyelash flicker - subtle movement of eyelashes to widen eyes briefly.
   pupil dilating - interest, liking what is seen, arousal.
5. Looking sideways up - lowering head, slightly sideways, and looking up - also known as doe-eyes, with eyelashes normally slightly lowered - displays interest and vulnerability/coyness
6. Shoulder glance - looking sideways towards the target over the shoulder signals availability, and hence interest.
7. Smiling - obvious sign of welcoming and friendliness.
8. Moistening lips - lips are significant in signaling because (psychologists say) they mimic the female labia, hence the potency of red lipstick (suggesting increased blood flow) and moistening/licking the lips.
9. Parted lips - significant and potent attraction signal.
10. Preening - especially of hair, which exposes the soft underarm.
11. Flicking hair - often combined with a slight tossing movement of the head.
12. Canting (tilting) head - also exposes neck.
13. Showing inner wrist or forearm - a soft vulnerable area and erogenous zone.
14. Straightening posture - standing taller, chest out, stomach in - a natural response to feeling the urge to appear more appealing.
15. Self-touching - drawing attention to sexually appealing parts of the body; neck, hair, cleavage, thigh, etc. - additionally self-touching is said to represent transference/imagining of being touched - and of course demonstration of what it would be like for the target to do the touching; teasing in other words.
16. Self thigh-stroking - usually while sitting down - same as self-touching.
17. Standing opposite - normally a confrontational positioning, but in flirting allows direct eye contact and optimizes  engagement. Refer also to personal space rules: less than 4ft between people is personal; less than 18 inches is intimate and only sustainable when there is some mutual interest and attraction, especially when direct facing and not in a crowded environment. N.B. Crowded environments distort the personal space rules, where implied permissions (e.g., for public transport and dense crowds or queues) override normal interpretations.
18. Leaning forward - sitting or standing; leaning forwards towards a person indicates interest and attraction.
19. Foot pointing - direction can indicate person of interest.
20. Knee-pointing - as foot pointing.
21. Leg twine - a tight-leg cross 'aimed' (combined with eye contact) at a target, or when sitting one-to-one, increases sexual allure since it emphasizes leg shape and tone. When employed flirtatiously, female leg crossing and uncrossing also has obvious sexual connotations and stimulates basic urges in males.
22. Shoe-dangling - positive signal of relaxation or of greater promise, especially if the foot thrusts in and out of the shoe.
23. Pouting - pouting involves tightening the lips together; the tongue rises to the roof of the mouth as if ready to swallow. Pouting displays various emotions, not always a sexual one, for example projection of the lower lip indicates upset. An attraction pout looks more like the initial forming of a kiss.
24. Picking fluff - removing fluff, hair, etc., from the target's clothes is playing in the intimate personal space zone, in which the fluff picking is merely a pretext or excuse.
fondling cylindrical objects - phallic transference, for instance using pens, a dangling earring, a wine glass stem, etc.
25. Mirroring - mirroring or synchronizing gestures and positions is a signal of interest and attraction. See mirroring.

The body language that men use is much more simple to understand.  In fact, stunted, primal and sophomoric displays are the norm, further proving Darwin’s hypothesis. Most of the males signs signal their availability and attract female attention are summarized below. Perhaps my new iPhone app can serve to accelerate male body language evolution, since little has changed in the last million years.

1. Posturing - erect stance, chest out, shoulders back, stomach in.
2. Wide stance - legs apart (standing or sitting) - to increase size.
3. Cowboy stance - thumbs in belt loops, fingers pointing to genital area.
4. Hands in pockets - thumbs out and pointing to genitals.
'chest-thumping' - a metaphor describing various male antics designed to draw attention to themselves, often involving play-punching or wresting other males, laughing too loudly, head-tossing, acting the fool, etc.
5. Room scanning - males who are available and looking for females tend to scan the room, partly to look for available females, but also to indicate they are available themselves.
6. Dress - clothing: style, fit, cleanliness, etc - is all an extension of personality and is therefore part of body language.
7. Preening and grooming - adjusting clothes, ties, cuffs, sleeves, tugging at trouser crotch, running hands through or over hair, etc.
8. Smell - certain smells are attractive to females but it's a complex and highly personal area yet to be understood well. 
9. Tattoos - here's an interesting one, commonly ignored in conventional body language flirting guides.  Tattoos are significant attention-grabbers, and given the variety of subjects featured, also provide interesting talking points.
10. Body piercings - again more complex than traditionally considered, piercings do attract attention and signify the wearer to be different.
11. Dancing - dancing, in a suitable place of course, has for thousands of years been an opportunity for males and females to display their physical and sexual potential. With the exception perhaps of pogo-ing and head-banging most dance styles replicate sexual movements - lots of rhythmic hip and leg work, contorted facial expressions, sweating and occasional grunting, etc.

My iPhone app, iBodyLanguage 2.0, in combination with alcohol can translate and accelerate mutual body language exchanges in such a way to move two people out of the primal and into the 21st Century by just aiming the camera around the room.  Even though most people will think you are looking at Facebook, the app will be reading body language from people in the room, giving you an instant guide to who may be interested in you.  

BTW, the algorithm has a filter for the first reaction to the user which is “look at that loser checking his lame Facebook profile” and tests for secondary reaction which could be “for a loser he’s kinda cute”.  Once at this stage, the app starts giving you specific instructions on how to proceed from there.  Once you have used the app several times, much of the body language will become intuitive and you can turn the “loser” filter off.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

"Kitty Kinnin's North Carolina": Watch out Sarah!

So I was watching "Sarah Palin's Alaska" the other night and it was so funny, I thought it was a "Saturday Night Live" special starring Tina Fey.  But then Bristol Palin…or someone who looked a lot like she does on "Dancing with the Stars" was on the show too and well, I couldn't think of any of the SNL crew that looks like her so I was like "Dude..maybe this is real".   Could it be possible?

After watching Sarah and Bristol getting blood on their hands from the slaughter of a variety of animals and climbing mountains with designer ropes and fleeces, all for the very first time,  it occurred to me that:  1.  North Carolina has more things to do than Alaska and 2. Kitty Kinnin is certainly more versatile than Sarah.  So, why not do a real reality show with someone who has actually done real things here, in North Carolina?

I know for fact Kitty has rafted some of the world's most dangerous rivers, fought her way to the front row of some of the most raucous rock concerts and tasted some of NC's most challenging foods ( I saw her eating raw meat being cut directly off an organic beef carcass…really…no kidding…I have video).  

Kitty has been committed to NC her whole career and never once quit a job to pursue politics/money, a book deal/money or a TV show/money.  So we are thinking this is the time for her to breakout like Sarah but in a substantially different way.  She will not quit her morning show/no money job to do a TV show/no money deal….she will shoehorn the Kitty Kinnin reality show into her already busy schedule doing REAL things in NC.

Among the many exciting things she will be doing on the show includes:  Deer hunting in Edgecombe County.  In this episode, she will be decked in designer camouflage complete with blaze orange accessories all by "Mossy Oak".  Her gun, a semi-automatic 30-06 will be of the Springfield variety….and she will be wearing Doe Urine from "Buck Magic".  Her beer will be "Rolling Rock", her whiskey "Jim Beam" and her smokeless tobacco "Skoal". 

Of course in the event she successfully "bags" a deer, she will be reciting all of these sponsors in much the same way a Nascar driver does after he hits the wall and is interviewed on the way out of the ambulance (this will take some coaching, but there is a company in Charlotte that specializes in it).   BTW, we tried to get a "factory" truck sponsorship for this section but for lack of time choose a local yokel's chopped truck called "Redneck 1".  This vehicle had parts from all the major manufacturers holding it together, but I would say its mostly a GMC.

Shots of Kitty skinning and butchering the deer will be integral to the show if she has any chance of competing with Sarah…who while beating a Halibut senseless with a billy club (really happened) got blood all over her and it grossed Bristol out bad.  In preparation, we had Kitty practice on a fresh pork butt from the Piggly Wiggly (not a sponsor yet but trying…anybody know someone there?).   Even though she gagged a bunch and didn't have an appetite for a few days after the training she thought she could fake it for the camera.  We are however, looking for a body double just in case.

Other shows in the planning stages are:  Surfing with the sharks in Hatteras, eating barbecue in both Kinston and Lexington on the same day (to compare the vinegar-based versus the ketchup-based in close proximity).  She will be walking out on the "Mile High Swinging Bridge" at Grandfather Mountain all by her lonesome and without ropes or restraining devices.  Also, she will driving a race car with Jeff in Charlotte and working out with the Tar Heels and Roy in Chapel Hill.

Since everyone in the US thinks that most NC residents make their living somehow connected to either hog raising or tobacco, we are looking for a farm to do that segment.  Oh yeah, and we're going to shoot a piece called "Rocky Mount: The Birthplace of Hardees".  This one should do well in the California market because they call the chain "Carl's Jr."  out there and most people like to know the history of these sort of things….especially those pointy headed CA liberals.

The show is a work in progress, so if any of you have some ideas please let us know.  BTW, we really do need a body double for Kitty before we can start shooting, so anyone who knows a tall brunette with either Roller Derby or Mud Wrestling experience who isn't working right now should contact us.  Thanks much.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leslie Nielson, Nietzsche, and the Metaphysics of "Airplane"

R.I.P. Leslie Nielson.

The seminal film "Airplane" starring Leslie Nielson was treated as slapstick humor in its time, with Nielson's Dr. Rumack serving up deadpan jokes while the plane was "in danger".  But this was where Nielson was having the last laugh because his seemingly funny lines were actually infused with important existentialist thinking, with the stricken crew and airplane serving as a multifaceted flying platform for many metaphysical concepts and unsolvable paradoxes.  Let's explore.

In the dramatic "Airplane" scene in which Dr. Rumack tells brainy stewardess Elaine that: 

"You'd better tell the Captain we've got to land as soon as we can. This woman has to be gotten to a hospital." 

Elaine Dickinson: A hospital? What is it? 

Rumack: It's a big building with patients, but that's not important right now. 

In this passage Nielson's character is signaling that all life is an illusion and that the airplane could just as well be a hospital, but in this case it "appears" to be an aluminum tube flying through the air at 500 miles per hour.  If suddenly, all of the passengers were sick and plugged into medical devices….it would then be a hospital.  

Significantly, no one in this scene attempted to roll down the windows and check if they were actually flying or simply parked….or maybe just in a movie set…perhaps in the back of a large hospital.  Neitzsche would have a lot to say about this. 

In another scene, Nielson adroitly combines existentialism, metaphysics and politics in an interesting paradox….one of his favorite tricks. 

Dr. Rumack: Can you fly this plane, and land it? 

Ted Striker: Surely you can't be serious. 

Rumack: I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

Brilliant!  This one has Nietzsche rolling over in his grave searching for a more comfortable position.  The paradox is obvious… can you both fly a plane and land it and the same time?  Landing the plane means that it is on the ground…flying it is in the air.  How can you fly the plane both on the ground and in the air?

This is reminiscent of the "unstoppable object and impenetrable force paradox" that is discussed so frequently in freshman philosophy, unusually in smoke filled dorm rooms.  Striker's response signifies the complexity and absurdity of the question simultaneously, but is still polite.

Nielson deflects the emerging philosophical conflict by immediately bringing politics into play when he alludes to Shirley Chisholm, the famous African American women who ran for president.  He says…."don't call me Shirley".   By making it clear he is NOT Shirley Chisholm, while obvious, he is saying that on this airplane, we are in the moment…we have an issue, i.e. that plane is in trouble and that Shirley Chisholm, while important, certainly can't fly and land the plane at the same time.  Even SHE cannot fix the paradox.

Ah, but as with any great paradox and in the case of the tireless philosopher Nielson, you can never give up the discourse.  Later in the film this scene is telling:

Rumack: I won't deceive you, Mr. Striker. We're running out of time. 

Ted Striker: Surely there must be something you can do. 

Rumack: I'm doing everything I can... and stop calling me Shirley!

Again…its a film…they are not in an airplane, so only in theory are they running out of time.  This is a classic philosophical debate strategy when is comes to discussing paradoxes….you force a decision which will necessarily be absurd…then you ridicule your adversary.   When Striker successfully deflects the debate back to Rumack he bails on the debate yet again by bringing up Chisholm.  

I argue Nietzsche would have loved this style of debate, saying that since it is totally meaningless it necessarily should be both unstructured and illogical…but that is where it gets its meaning.  I think Leslie Nielson totally agreed, and this is what he was going for in this deeply considered metaphysical masterpiece.

It is regretful that "Airplane" is not more respected in academic philosophical circles…although it is talked about with reverence outside the lecture halls by forward thinkers who are not so constrained by the formalistic thinking of the 17th and 18th century icons.

I am convinced that Leslie Nielson and his "Airplane" ilk will emerge sometime in the coming decades as representative of 20th century Nilhilsm…sort of a demonstration of the practical application of that type of thinking.  Nietzsche would have argued passionately that his thinking was not designed to save an airplane in distress…but even he had not considered the possibility that such a man as Nielson could grab hold of such difficult material and ride it like a cowboy.

Friday, November 12, 2010

The World's Sexiest Music

For those of you that will try anything to improve your sex life, now there is a list of music that purportedly will help.  So now you should keep an iPod on the bedside table along with the vitamin supplements, the little blue pills with the big V on them, the tequila and the Victorias Secret catalogues.

BTW, the list was compiled by the Fox News Health department which appears to be staffed with some of those ditzy blondes who report “the news” on the cable channel.

FYI, other than this list of sexy songs, the other most read articles on Fox Health were:

1. Doctor Admits to Performing Wrong Surgery (he was supposed to be performing a  sex change but instead replaced the persons hip).
2. Erotica: Sexy Bedtime Stories (coming soon to Kitty’s show), 
3. 10 Ways to Become a Better Lover (one was “don’t get a hip replacement”).
4. Sex Toys at the Drive-Thru (“ I do not want fries with that and do not want to try the Frappe!”). 
5.  New Phone App Will Test for STD’s (unfortunately this does not work on AT&T’s network...but of course nothing does).

Since I always believe everything I read or watch from News Corp, the owners of Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and The National Star (latest headline read while in check out line at the Food Lion, “Jen says Angelina refuses to potty train her kids....Brad furious”),   I tried to download all the songs from Limewire.  I was unsuccessful...they said the service had been “cease and desisted”  by music industry lawyers, in advance of the whole music industry shutting down.  I suggest looking for the music at yard sales...8-track tapes are down to 10 cents in that market.

Meanwhile, Kitty was familiar with most of the music on the list and thought many were “buzz kill” with the exception of “Closer” by Nine Inch Nails and “On the Couch” by Prince.  I agree with her, but added that “Shining Star” by the Manhattans reminds me and some of my friends of liquored-up UNC sorority girls, which has some merit in this regard.

Here is the list: 
1. Dreamworld by Robin Thicke
2. When The World Ends by Dave Matthews.
3. Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover by Sophie B. Hawkins
4. Halo and Naughty Girl by Beyoncé
5. Woman Like A Man by Damien Rice
6. Possession by Sarah McLachlan
7. You Shook Me All Night Long by AC/DC
8. Just Say Yes and Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
9. The Woman in Me by Donna Summer
10. On the Couch by Prince
11. Avalon and Slave to Love by Brian Ferry
12. Summer, Highland Falls by Billy Joel
13. I Love You by BareNakedLadies
14. Shining Star by The Manhattans
15. Every Woman in the World by Air Supply
16. Mozart's Symphony No. 2
17. Zoo York by Paul Oakenfeld
18. Closer by Nine Inch Nails
19. When it's Love from Van Halen
20. Feelin' Love by Paula Cole
21. Little Freak by Usher
22. I Want To by Nazzereth

Kitty, sensing an opportunity,  is working on a collection of sexy songs tentatively titled “Kitty’s House Rocking Love Tunes”, cleverly playing off the famous song, “If the house is rockin’...don’t come a knockin’.  Her love of music, entrepreneurial instinct and knowledge of the subject matter will no doubt have this collection on everyone’s bedside table very soon.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Driving that train, high on caffeine.....

So what’s the first thing you think about when you wake up in the morning?  My back hurts...wish I had slept better...wish I hadn’t drank so much last night...shit...I’m already running late...I NEED SOME COFFEE!  Sound familiar?  (BTW, I don’t think this way but most people I know do...I just jump up and get on my bike for a predawn 25 miler.  However while riding I usually am hearing the lyrics from a Clapton song...”If your thing is gone and you wanna ride on....caffeine”)

We drink coffee habitually to wake attack the day.  We also drink it because of our addiction to it.  Yep..there’s a reason you wake up thinking about a cup of black coffee from Starbucks...and it’s the driver of the economic engine that has made that company wildly successful.  It’s the same force that has toppled banana republics and is killing Mexican tourism...addiction to a drug...and the business of supplying that drug.

Yes, coffee is legal.  So is Jim Beam and Oxycodone (by prescription).  The active ingredient in coffee, caffeine,  is not only addictive...its dirt cheap to produce.  So cheap, that if you can create a product that successfully hooks people you can get rich quick.  

Its sort of like the potato chip business...if you can get your brand in the store and have reasonable success, you will be garnering around $3.99 for .08 cents of potatoes, oil and salt.

I mean these caffeine dealers are smart...and their product is available at every corner.  And the branding is straight from Madison Avenue.  A partial list includes: Kronik, Jolt Energy, Hype, Howling Monkey, Hydrive, Kaboom Infinite Energy, (Infinite?) Monster Nitrous (also used in drag racing machines), NeuroGasm, (over-rated), OnGo Energy Shot, Rage and Rage Inferno (one cold, one hot), Roaring Lion, RockStar Juiced (If you wanna hang out you’ve got to take her out....caffeine), Speed Stack Pumped N.O., Vault, Who’s Your Daddy and finally Whoop Ass. 

The complete list is at “” sort of the Physicians Desk Reference of caffeine addiction.

All the big brands are listed there as well including Coke, Pepsi, Sun Drop, Mountain Dew, Starbucks, McDonalds, Venom Death Adder, Zombie Blood Energy Potion, Diet Dr. Pepper and Cougar Energy Double Shot.  This last one is named after it’s target market, who drinks it with high end vodka in an attempt to match the energy level of testosterone fueled 20 year old males and to ease the pain of Botox injections.

She don’t lie, she don’t like, she don’t lie; caffeine!

Just so you’ll know...but you won’t care, here is the science of caffeine addiction. Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist. This means it prevents adenosine from doing its job. Your brain is filled with keys which fit specific keyholes. Adenosine is one of those keys, but caffeine can fit in the same keyhole.  This is how cocaine and nicotine addiction works as well.

When caffeine gets in there, it keeps adenosine from getting in.
Adenosine does a lot of stuff all throughout your body, but the most noticeable job it has is to suppress your nervous system. With caffeine stuck in the keyhole, adenosine can’t calm you down. It can’t make you drowsy. It can’t get you to shut up.

That crazy wired feeling you get when you drink a lot of coffee is what it feels like when your brain can’t its natural dose of adenosine.  When this happens, your brain starts to rewire itself.

Your smart-ass brain creates a ton of new receptor sites. The plan is to have more keyholes than false keys. The result is you become very sensitive to adenosine, and without coffee you get overwhelmed by its effects.

After eight hours of sleep, you wake up with a head swimming with adenosine. You feel like shit until you get that black gold in you to clean out those receptor sites. That perk you feel isn’t adding anything substantial to you – it’s bringing you back to just above zero.

In addition, coffee stimulates your adrenal glands, which makes you feel like you could take a bullet and eat glass. When the adrenaline runs dry, you feel like you’ve been running a marathon, which leads you to look for more coffee to get those glands pumping again.

After a few rides on the adrenal roller-coaster, you crash.
You might think all of this probably takes a while, but it takes about seven days to become addicted to caffeine.
Once addicted, you need more and more coffee to get buzzed as your brain gets covered in receptor sites. Neurologists report seeing patients regularly who drink two or three pots of coffee in one sitting before starting their day.
Coffee also releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical in the brain which is released when you have an orgasm, win the lottery and shoot heroin.

So next time you are sucking down a tall Starbucks and huffing on a Marlboro Light, perhaps you will feel more compassion for the homeless guy down the street whose hooked on crack.  You have much more in common with him than you ever thought.  At least your brain does.  

What’s really stunning is the profit margin in all those caffeinated drinks...and our willingness to pay the price every, every day.  Well, my adenosine receptors are sort of aching, and I could really use a dopamine lift.  Will end this caffeine addled ramble and go get more coffee...maybe then I can get some real work done.