I have many, many, strange conversations with my friend Bob.
The one I had today simply has to be shared. You may not think so after you read it, but that's not important right now.Â ;-)
He hadÂ a bottle of Mexican Coke (the soda, not the drug; click here). Whenever he drinks it, he brags about its flavor and low sodium, and that it's made with cane sugar.Â This does not impress me because I don't drink sugared sodas (Coke Zeroâ„¢ for life! Avast!!), but he likes to talk it up.
Since I had a bottle of my Coke Zero handy, he wanted to compare ingredients, and this led toÂ me, after reading out "natural flavors," joking that I wondered what substance in nature tasted like Coke.
Without missing a beat, he said "Grasshopper butt." Then he quickly added, "Grind it up with shingles from a 50-year-old roof, add pine needles, squeeze the juice out, and there you have a natural flavor."
I had to argue; I said the flaw in this was that roof shingles do not occur naturally. He wasn't fazed: "They're just tar! And gravel. That's natural."Â
I said, "If you threw globs ofÂ tar and handfuls of gravel up on top of your house, it wouldn't keep the rain out. There's another ingredient in there, methinks."Â
"Formed!" he insisted. "It's just formed into squares. It's natural!"
I asked if these three ingredients -- grasshopper butt, shingles and pine needles -- comprised "natural flavors" in every instance you might see it. He said of course not; that was just one example.
So. There you go.
(Where? Madness of course.)