Barb returned from another trip to Japan last weekend, and she brought back something wondrous for me:
BlackBlack Chewing Gum.
Now, if youâ€™re like me (and I know I am), youâ€™ll be asking, “Whatâ€™s so wondrous about BlackBlack Chewing Gum? Does it have a unique, delicious flavor? Does that flavor last a long, long time? Do the packages contain decoder rings that enable one to discover Jessica Albaâ€™s phone number hidden within the text of her Wikipedia entry?”
The answer to all of the above is “No, who needs that stuff? If I want a unique, delicious flavor, Iâ€™ll eat a nectarine. [Rory: A nectarine is a kind of fruit.] If I want flavor that lasts a long, long time, Iâ€™ll consume a clove of garlic. And if I want Jessica Albaâ€™s phone number, Iâ€™ll look for it in my kitchen trash, which is where I threw it after hearing that sheâ€™s having a baby with another man.”
“So whatâ€™s the attraction?” youâ€™ll ask. “If BlackBlackâ€™s flavor isnâ€™t especially unique, delicious, or long-lasting, and itâ€™s no help in stalking starlets, then why all the BlackBlack love?”
One word, my poor, deprived Brainiacs:
BlackBlack tastes just fine, but Iâ€™d chew it even if it tasted like (and were made of) recycled road-grader tires. Because itâ€™s loaded with my favorite legal drug: Sweet Mistress Caffeine.
Ah, legal, schmegal. I might as well come clean. Caffeine isnâ€™t just my favorite legal drug. Itâ€™s my favorite drug, period. And if it ever becomes illegal, Iâ€™ll be buying small party balloons and/or Trojans by the boxcar so I can launch the largest smuggling operation the world has ever seen.
(And I know for a fact that there’ll be no shortage of mules.)
Yes, Iâ€™m a stone junkie, and I know it. But I didnâ€™t used to be like this.
Hand to God, I was virtually caffeine-free until I was in my early thirties. That was when Ben & Jerry introduced their “Coffee Heath Bar Crunch” ice cream flavor.
For me, devouring that first pint was like Navin Johnson hearing his first Mantovani record. “If I like this so much,” I thought, scouring the empty cardboard shell with my tongue while hanging upside-down from a streetlight, “how much more might be out there?”
So it began, and so it progressed: Ben & Jerry. Hot cocoa. Milk chocolate. Dark chocolate. Constant Comment. Red Bull. Ovaltine.
And, especially, always and forever, coffee.
I mean, Sweet Merciful Jesus, if You had really loved Your people, You wouldnâ€™t have turned that water into wine. Youâ€™d have turned it into a nice, balanced, medium-roast Kona with a shot of Half & Half.
Sadly, I canâ€™t drink coffee all day long. That first morning pot of black gold gets me up and working . . . but if I kept making more as the day progressed, Iâ€™d have to move my office to the little room down the hall. You know, the one with all the porcelain.
Now,Â thoughÂ â€“ thanks to my lovely spouse, hereafter known to history as The Enabler â€“ I have BlackBlack. So when the afternoon drowsies hit me, I can hit back.
This is in keeping with BlackBlackâ€™s clearly intended purpose: To help its consumers get more work done. The large box of Chiclet-style BlackBlack even comes with a tiny green Post-It-style notepad in a special slot inside, just in case you have to write a memo while digging for your next hit.
In fact, Iâ€™ve already scribbled on the first tiny Post-ItÂ from my BlackBlack pad and have stuck it on my computer monitor. That way, Iâ€™ll be sure to see it every day between now andÂ next March . . . when Barb and I will both be taking another trip to Japan.
The note says:
BUY MORE BLACKBLACK!
As if a junkie would ever forget.