There I was, enjoying a nice cold beverage and a Charms Blow Pop at the Navajo Room, minding my own business. I hadn’t really paid attention to any of the other patrons, as it’s a dimly lit establishment, and I was busy poring over the text of the recently passed financial reform legislation. Soon, though, I noticed that the conversation between a couple of rough-looking characters at the end of the bar was growing in volume, and I began to pick up little snippets such as “bet it’s a goddamned Watermelon one …” and “I bet his mama likes the Grape ones.”
It was obvious that their remarks were aimed at me, and normally, I’d have ignored them, but earlier, when I said “enjoying a nice cold beverage,” I actually meant “enjoying my fourteenth nice cold beverage.” As a result, rather than quietly exiting, I said to the larger of the two “It’s Sour fucking Apple, bucksnort … you got something to say, you say it to me.”
Not surprisingly (in retrospect), he accepted my invitation:
Bucksnort: This here’s a Cherry-only bar, buddy. If you ain’t suckin’ cherry, maybe you oughta find somewhere else to enjoy your beer and lollipop.
Dead Acorn: WTF? I think you’ve been watching too many westerns, Hoss.
Bucksnort-Hoss: Double you tee eff?
DA: It stands for “what the fuck?” It’s a common phrase meant to express disbelief or astonishment.
BH: ummm … right … anyway, we like Cherry around here. Cherry’s what my daddy liked, and his daddy afore him.
DA: Well, I have no problem with Cherry, and in fact, it was found to be the most preferred flavor in the Princeton study.
BH: WT … wait, what was it again? WTF?
DA: Yep, WTF. So, yeah, there was a study done at Princeton a few years back in which subjects were asked to rate the taste of the five original flavors of Charms Blow Pops on a scale of one to 10.
BH: The fuck you say.
At this point, I reached in to my wallet and pulled out my laminated copy of Chart 1 from the study:
Above: Taxpayer-funded research at its finest.
BH: See? Just like I said. You want the first one to the face or to the gut?
DA: Easy there, Skippy. First, check out what happens with older Blow Pops. Watermelon actually improves with age, to where it’s more flavorful than Cherry. Further, in a follow-up study, it was found that the gum on the inside of Cherry ranks 3rd, even behind Strawberry, and that there are strong cross-cultural differences in ratings.
BHS: Hmm. Was them double-blind studies?
DA: Umm … it’s a study in the field of gustatory perception. The whole point is that subjects could consciously differentiate the tastes. Single blind, though, yeah.
BHS: You know, I’m a little embarrassed by being so close-minded all these years. I’ll still always love my Cherry, but I recognize now that life isn’t always so cut and dried, and that maybe I need to be a little more cognizant of the likes of others and embrace the differences between us, rather than live in isolated fear of the unknown.
DA: Attaboy. Let me buy you a Blow Pop … Sour Blue Razz ok?
BHS: Don’t push it.
So once again, I confirmed to myself that I can change peoples’ attitudes and beliefs just by drinking a lot of beer and speaking to them rationally and presenting objective evidence at a bar.
I lead a charmed life.