Beware of radical mint enthusiasts

Written by David Leonhardt

Continued from page 1

Even Little Lady's finger paints come in eight tantalizing fruit flavors. Huh? Why would something parents try so hard to discourage kids from putting in their mouths smell like blueberries and bananas and cherries, whenrepparttar toothpaste we try so hard to encourage them to put in their mouths comes in just mint.

In fairness, Little Lady's edible toothpaste (Most toothpaste is inedible – imagine that!) comes in two flavors: berry and bubble gum ... but that's not much of a choice. Surely Big Mint will soon shut down this renegade operation muscling in on their territory.

I want to seerepparttar 118249 same creativity go into toothpaste flavors as went into "Hot Fudge Sundae" Pop Tarts. Orrepparttar 118250 Plymouth Prowler retro dragster. Or those chocolate covered grasshopper jelly beans.

As I write this column from behindrepparttar 118251 wheel of my car – in a parking lot, of course – I see so many people pass by. Tall people. Short people. Thin people. Neat people. Sloppy people. Human people. Canine people. People carrying. People riding. People smiling. People frowning. If there are so many types of people, and my grocery store stocks 72 types of cereal and 37 types of crackers, doesn't it seem just a little spooky that none ofrepparttar 118252 toothpaste manufacturers are willing to stand up to Big Mint?

Variety isrepparttar 118253 spice of life. Don't let Big Mint oppress you. Don't letrepparttar 118254 mint-enthusiast bullies stifle your democratic right to free taste.

There is no conclusive evidence that a handful of pumpkin-pie-flavored jelly beans will derail your diet more than three tubes of "fresh and minty" toothpaste. So enjoy your multicultural jelly beans ... even if you are on a diet.

The author is David Leonhardt, The Happy Guy, author of The Get Happy Workbook at and publisher of Your Daily Dose of Happiness at . This article is also viewable at .

Stupidity: Its Uses & Abuses

Written by Robert Levin

Continued from page 1

Since I’m focusing here onrepparttar behavior of a specific person, I’ll let passrepparttar 118248 fact that no one at this venerable bank—THE SOLE FUNCTION OF WHICH IS TO HANDLE MONEY!—was able to prevent blatantly bogus currency from infiltrating its stock. As disappointed as I was by this circumstance, I’ll keep to my teller, who (her immediate triggering of a hideous psychosomatic rash on my chin, notwithstanding) had still not committedrepparttar 118249 most egregious and damaging of her offenses.

Hardly. When I protested her action and was, for a solid hour, left to watch her engage in round upon round of whispered phone conversations and huddled meetings, she hadrepparttar 118250 temerity to come back and tell me: "[The bank] has ELECTED [emphasis mine] to reimburse you."

Now I‘ll concede that, inrepparttar 118251 matter of punitive measures,repparttar 118252 antics I’ve described prior to this point may not justify penalties more severe than a modest fine and several weekends of community service. But, in my judgment, when you add condescension to rampant imbecility—AND CONCOCT, IN THE PROCESS, AN ESPECIALLY PERNICIOUS MIX THAT CAN MAKE A PERSON’S PENIS COMPLETELY DISAPPEAR FOR ALMOST A WEEK!—you inviterepparttar 118253 most terrible of consequences. Working for a great financial institution, spending her days not just behind a bullet-proof shield but in a hallowed realm of miracles like compound interest, this teller’s come to feel invulnerable—she actually believes that she’s in all ways protected from harm. To be sure, so neat a self-deception is worthy of admiration. But given her failure to curbrepparttar 118254 arrogance her delusion has engendered (let alone her excess of witlessness) I think she should be disabused of said delusion forthwith. In fact, I don’t think it would be inrepparttar 118255 least draconian to lie in wait for her after work, rip off her face and shove her smug countenance up her ass.

I’m sorry. I really didn’t mean to suggest that we resort to violence and open ourselves to a potential penitentiary situation. But if I had a lapse there, it was due torepparttar 118256 cumulative toxicity ofrepparttar 118257 experiences I’ve reported and it only makes my argument. Exposure to undisciplined mindlessness can compromiserepparttar 118258 most splendid of nervous systems in a trice, and people dealing withrepparttar 118259 public who abuse stupidity must be discouraged from persisting. Collected now, ready to take a sensible approach, I’d say that legislation making gross stupidity in a public context a quality of life violation (and gross stupidity aggravated by a superior attitude a Class A Misdemeanor) ought to serverepparttar 118260 purposes of deterrence and remedy quite sufficiently.

Of course, should Bill of Rights fetishists thwartrepparttar 118261 writing of such statutes, there’s a step I’ve been pondering that we could take on our own. Though it might require us to keep a bottle of Spirit of Ipecac handy (and would obviously be most effective when we’re sitting across a desk from phlegm-flecks like that teller), we could, just suddenly, throw up.

I’m not talking about pinpoint, or "smart," vomiting that’s directed at a specific, limited target, but vomiting which, fashioned afterrepparttar 118262 carpet bombing techniques developed in Vietnam, permeates everything in your immediate vicinity. It may not fixrepparttar 118263 problem, but deliveringrepparttar 118264 remnants ofrepparttar 118265 Chili Surprise you had for lunch torepparttar 118266 clothing and workspace of a creep who’s making your life a roiling sea of excrement, would at least returnrepparttar 118267 favor somewhat in kind and figures to be immensely gratifying.

Plus, you’re not as likely to provokerepparttar 118268 interest of a criminal justice person as you’d be if you abruptly introduced an Uzi intorepparttar 118269 proceedings. Quiterepparttar 118270 opposite: you could be reasonably confident that law enforcement officers would keep their distance.

Former contributor to The Village Voice and Rolling Stone. Coauthor and coeditor, respectively, of two collections of essays about rock and jazz in the '60s: "Music & Politics" and "Giants of Black Music."

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