So it reminded me years ago when my mother bought Olestra Doritos. Olestra was some kind of chemical that acts as a fat substitute. They used it "crisps". So I guess the idea was the same as sugar-free soda where they put some weird chemical in there instead of sugar. So now your beverage tastes like weird chemicals and you'll probably get cancer from drinking it but it's fewer calories.
Olestra didn't give you cancer, as far as I'm aware, but it had an even crazier side-effect: "loose stool". This was the warning which was actually on the packags:
This Product Contains Olestra. Olestra may cause abdominal cramping and loose stools (anal leakage). Olestra inhibits the absorption of some vitamins and other nutrients. Vitamins A, D, E, and K have been added
I remember reading that warning label on a bag of these Doritos. I must have been 18 or 19. I enjoyed just about every type of "crisp", but no way was I touching this shit.
So week after week, this bag of Doritos went unopened and it became a joke. I told my mother that I'm not eating them so she threatened to give them to my sister (who had moved out of the house by the time). I would encourage her to do that. "Give her the loose stool Doritos", I would say.
She never did and eventually, the unopened bag was just thrown out.
Common decency prevailed and olestra Doritos were soon taken off the market and the whole olestra craze (such as it was) died. Apparently, this stuff can't be sold in the EU or Canada.
They really sell some shit in the US. Put all kinds of chemicals in the food. And good luck buying candy with sugar in it. Can you believe that? They don't sell candy with sugar in it. It's all "high fructose corn syrup" because that stuff costs 1 cent less per barrel or whatever. These companies will do absolutely anything they can to maximise profits, including poisoning their consumers.
That threat to give away the diarrhea Doritos to my sister reminds me of another incident. My mother bought me a shirt, I think, and I didn't like the shirt. So she threatened to send it to my uncle. So I took the shirt and said, "Here you go. Send it to your brother." She never did and it became a joke for a few weeks. "Does your brother need a shirt? Just send him mine."
Or there was the time when she threatened to stop giving me the aluminim cans to recycle because I wasn't crushing them at a fast enough rate for her. I was laughing like a madman. "Oh, no. Please don't take away my cans. You get $20 for a car-load of crushed cans". Not long after, I stopped bringing them to the recyling centre and we just left them in the recycling bin to be collected for no profit. Not that there was much profit in collecting them.
I mean, think of the time invested in crushing cans. We had a manual can crushing thing. Let me see if I can find a picture. Yeah, just something like this:
So you put one can at a time into there and pull the lever. It takes a bit of energy and it's time-consuming. To get a car-load of cans, you're talking about many hours of work in that digusting basement full of centipedes, crushing sticky cans.
Then you load up your car with garbage bags full of crushed cans.
Then you drive 30 minutes out to some sleazy industrial park to drop your cans off. You have to put them into big ####ing crates. Everyone working there is Mexican.
Then you go to the pay window and get $20. There's no way that it's worth it. Even as a kid, which I wasn't...I was over 18 by this point...there are better ways to make money. I guess paper routes were already gone by the time I was a kid. I don't know. Could buy and sell baseball cards.
But as I say, I was an adult. I could have gone and worked in Burger King and made way more money.
It's tough to estimate how many hours were required to get a car-load of crushed cans. Let's be really conservative and say that it takes four hours. It's probably at least three times that but let's just say four.
So that's five bucks an hour. But then you have to drive there and back. And load and unload. That's another two hours. So six hours total...put that into $20...$3.33/hour.
Then there's gas. I didn't exactly have a fuel-efficient car. So an hour's trip...let's say that's $5 worth of gas. So...I'm only making $15...divided by the six hours...$2.50/hour. Minimum wage was more than twice that. And as I say, I'm sure that I spent WAY more time crushing those cans.
It just got ridiculous and eventually my mother got tired of telling me to go crush the cans. And why on earth should I have to crush cans? I didn't want to do it. Are we saving the planet by doing this? We're certainly not making money by doing this.
There's a guy on YouTube who does a lot of "scrapping" videos. He hauls people's garbage away, picks shit off the street, et cetera, and then dismantles them and takes them to the scrapyard. He always shows how much he gets paid at the end. It's nothing. I can't believe that he does it. The amount of work involved...and then he's getting twenty bucks. He looks at it as free money, like these people are idiots for just throwing stuff away. But he spends hours on this.
In other news, I've been looking at flats in Edinburgh, and yeah, they're overwhelmingly in the £600-700 range. What if you want something cheaper or more expensive? I mean, in London, it was £600 if you were really lucky to...who knows...£5000? Something crazy.
Looking at the prices now. These are mostly between £1000 and £2000. Yeah. If you set your search for less than £800, it's almost entirely rooms in a shared flat, "semi-studios" (whatever that is), and shit way out in the sticks.
I was reading that Scotland has the lowest house prices in the UK. I can believe it.
Let me check out the Darlington action. Holy crap. Yeah, these are ridiculously cheap. Even cheaper than the stuff I was looking up for small towns in Scotland. Almost all of these are £300 to £400. What kind of place are you getting for that price...I don't know. They look pretty decent. Hardly luxury but better than a lof places I've seen. Full baths. Seem to be a lot of purpose-built apartment complexes too.
I was talking to my lady friend about moving to Scotland and she said, "If you're only planning to be in Edinburgh for six months, it's not really worth me moving, is it?".
She's frustratingly slow sometimes. First of all, yes, it's very possible that this job will end soon and then I'll have to look at other options. But who knows? I also constantly planned on leaving London in the next six months and that lasted ten years.
Secondly, WE CAN DECIDE TOGETHER WHERE WE WANT TO MOVE when the time comes. She seems to think I'm going to say, "Well, I'm going to move to the US/Finland/Hong Kong now. Thanks for coming but it's time for you to go back to London now."
Holy crap. You can get a nice house in Falkirk for £425/month. It's the most expensive property on here.
Maybe I should look into moving to one of these small towns. Could save a lot of money and live in a surprisingly nice place. Of course, there are issues with being far from grocery stores, transport issues, and so on. Might be cool to try, though. And that is what my lady friend suggested she'd like to do. Maybe a place near Edinburgh like Stirling or something. That would still give me good transport links to Glasgow too.
« Back to index