Mixing like Zaphod Beeblebrox (sorta)

Today’s local paper carries an opinion piece about blue raspberry–flavored foods. “When did blue raspberry become a thing?” asks Angie Quaale of the Langley Times, noting that food is not generally supposed to be blue.

Indeed, a blue hue often reliably indicates that food is off. Even blue food that’s ostensibly palatable, such as blue cheese and that weird potato-like thing that Arthur Dent sampled in the hull of a Vogon ship, gives plenty of consumers the dry heaves. Yet here we have a marketplace where blue raspberry everything shimmers and sparkles at us. You name it: Jell-O, kids’ lunch snacks and juices, and popsicles, the very product Angie tags as responsible for the incursion of blue raspberry into the marketplace.

More troublingly, Angie says blue raspberry is artificial.

I didn’t know this, my fellow inebriates. I just thought scientists had gone ahead and engineered blue raspberries. Why not? The other day the family ate yellow tomatoes and red peppers, and earlier at the bowling alley Miss V gobbled down a handful of blue M&Ms.

If they can make blue M&Ms, why couldn’t they engineer a blue raspberry? The two feats seem about equivalent, don’t they?

I pondered this briefly before deciding to make a Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster. It’s supposed to be kind of bluish-green and taste like Jack Daniels with peach schnapps and blue curacao plus some orange juice. But you know the sorry state of our liquor cabinet, so I substituted gin for, well, all the ingredients—even the one item we had (best to save the OJ for the kiddies). Curiously enough, my Pan-Galactic Gargle Blaster wasn’t bluish-green but clear. Given Douglas Adams’s description of the drink as “like having your brains smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped around a gold brick,” I’d say my version was close enough.

The (sinister?) mystery of the two Langley bears

Lest you think there’s no news worth reporting in Langley, today’s local paper carried a letter to the editor describing the disappearance and return of two teddy bears.

What the hell does it mean? I wondered. Which bears does the writer mean?

Seriously, I wondered if my friend Scarybear had been getting into someone’s garbage again. A picnic bear like Scary has just as much trouble staying away from old watermelon rinds as I do keeping away from the empties. Had this writer spotted some foraging grizzlies? I wondered? And felt affection for them? Could you feel affection for Scary?

And what next? Would someone be writing to the editor about spotting a diminutive, mangy light tan bear rooting through the beer cans outside their house? It could happen…especially since my mum finished the gin.

Turns out the letter’s subjects are more similar to Scary and me than I’d imagined. A couple of years ago Gayle Brown noticed a teddy bear sitting on a stump by a North Langley ravine, which was joined soon after by a second bear, along with an umbrella to protect them from the elements. She enjoyed driving past these whimsically positioned bears, imagining them to be picnicking—although if my parents stuck me outside for two years with, say, Scary, and no TV and no booze, I might call it abandonment.

Gayle seems to be a well-meaning person who, in fairness, believes the outdoors to be a fitting ursine setting. Apparently these bears are tough mothers too:

“…they always looked the same—no moss or mould—just cuddled together in the rain and snow and sunshine… Last week, I noticed only the umbrella was there. What happened to the bears? Where did they go? Maybe they went to a teddy bears’ picnic in the woods.”

I would freaking hope somebody adopted them so they could catch up on Breaking Bad while pounding a six-pack. We “teddy” bears don’t fare so well outside. Like Gayle, I wondered what had happened to them. Had they been abducted? Interrogated? Imprisoned? Did someone make them rub lotion on themselves? OMG!

Holy crap, is “spa” some sort of euphemism for “washing machine”? Only the bears know for sure. I’m going to visit them this week and give them some beer.