Yes, I have lost my mind.

September 18, 1998

Because shopping requires so little brainpower, I’m always on the lookout for strange and innovative products in the grocery store. This week’s winner is: sauerkraut juice. I’m not kidding. The same people who make sauerkraut in a jar, sauerkraut in a can, and sauerkraut that already comes with a written list of comments your kids can make when you put sauerkraut in front of them (including such appetizing remarks as, "What monkey threw this up?") apparently took a complete holiday from reality and decided to try to carve a wedge out of the juice market. So, in my local grocery store, and probably in yours too, in the same aisle where you find beet juice, clam juice, and tomato-orange-mutton juice cocktail, you can now find aluminum cans of sauerkraut juice sold in six-packs for convenience.

Why would anyone want or need sauerkraut juice? Well, let’s say you’re throwing an elegant dinner party for the ambassador from Austria and you realize that you don’t have any sauerkraut to serve alongside the lobster thermidor. How embarrassing! And, as so often happens, all the grocery stores in town are out of sauerkraut, but one does happen to have just one sixpack of sauerkraut juice left. So you buy half a dozen cabbages, chop them into a pot, and pour sauerkraut juice over the whole thing and cook it. This is, believe it or not, how regular sauerkraut is made. It’s a little known fact that most store-bought varieties of sauerkraut are made with juice stock that is decades old and has been recycled countless times. There are huge refineries that capture sauerkraut juice from kitchen sinks and landfills everywhere.

Recently, though, successful experiments with sauerkraut cloning have threatened to make these factories obsolete, which would cost millions of workers their jobs and cripple sauerkraut-based economies all over the world. In response, the sauerkraut industry has boldly moved into the juice market. And just think of the possibilities! You can put it in your childrens’ lunches. You can replace your friend’s soda for a prank. And what drab punch wouldn’t be livened up with a shot or two of sauerkraut juice? So support the workers and be the life of the party–buy some sauerkraut juice today!


FOOD SPOILAGE TABLE

THE GAG TEST
Anything that makes you gag is spoiled (except for leftovers from what you cooked for yourself last night).

EGGS
When something starts pecking its way out of the shell, the egg is probably past its prime.

DAIRY PRODUCTS
Milk is spoiled when it starts to look like yogurt. Yogurt is spoiled when it starts to look like cottage cheese. Cottage cheese is spoiled when it starts to look like regular cheese. Regular cheese is nothing but spoiled milk anyway and can’t get any more spoiled than it is already.

MAYONNAISE
If it makes you violently ill after you eat it, then the mayonnaise is spoiled.

FROZEN FOODS
Frozen foods that have become an integral part of the defrosting problem in your freezer compartment will probably be spoiled – (or wrecked anyway) by the time you pry them out with a kitchen knife.

MEAT
If opening the refrigerator door causes stray animals from a three-block radius to congregate outside your house, the meat is spoiled.

LETTUCE
Bib lettuce is spoiled when you can’t get it off the bottom of the vegetable crisper without Comet.

CANNED GOODS
Any canned goods that have become the size or shape of a basketball should be disposed of. Carefully.

CARROTS
A carrot that you can tie a clove hitch in is not fresh.

WINE
It should not taste like salad dressing.

POTATOES
Fresh potatoes do not have roots, branches, or dense, leafy undergrowth.

CHIP DIP
If you can take it out of its container and bounce it on the floor, it has gone bad.

GENERAL RULE OF THUMB:
Most food cannot be kept longer than the average life span of a hamster. Keep a hamster in your refrigerator to gauge this.


  • Whose cruel idea was it for the word "lisp" to have an "s" in it?

  • Light travels faster than sound – isn’t that why some people appear bright until you hear them speak?

  • How come abbreviated is such a long word?

  • If it’s zero degrees outside today and it’s supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold is it going to be?

  • Why do you press harder on a remote-control when you know the battery is dead?

  • Since Americans throw rice at weddings, do people in Asia throw hamburgers?

  • Why are they called buildings, when they’re already finished? Shouldn’t they be called builts?

  • Why are they called apartments when they’re all stuck together?

  • Why do people without a watch look at their wrist when you ask them what time it is?

  • Why do you ask someone without a watch what time it is?

  • Why does sour cream have an expiration date?

  • Who is general failure and why is he reading my disk?

  • The light went out, but where to?

  • Why do banks charge you a non-sufficient funds fee on money they already know you don’t have?

  • Does the reverse side also have a reverse side?

  • Why is the alphabet in that order?

  • If the universe is everything, and scientists say that the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?

  • Why is a carrot more orange than an orange?

  • When two airplanes almost collide why do they call it a near miss? Shouldn’t it be called a near hit?

  • Do fish get cramps after eating?

  • Why are there 5 syllables in the word "monosyllabic"?

  • Why do they call it the Department of the Interior when they are in charge of everything outdoors?

  • Why do scientists call it research when looking for something new?

  • When I erase a word with a pencil, where does it go?

  • Why is it, when a door is open it’s ajar, but when a jar is open, it’s not a door?

  • How come Superman could stop bullets with his chest, but always ducked when someone threw a gun at him?

  • If "con" is the opposite of "pro", then what is the opposite of progress? (go on – go there)

  • Why is lemon juice mostly artificial ingredients but dishwashing liquid contains real lemons?

  • How much deeper would the ocean be if sponges didn’t grow in it?

  • Why buy a product that it takes 2000 flushes to get rid of?

  • Why do we wash bath towels? Aren’t we clean when we use them?

  • Why do we put suits in a garment bag and put garments in a suitcase?

  • Why doesn’t glue stick to the inside of the bottle?

  • Do Roman paramedics refer to IV’s as "4’s"?

  • Why doesn’t Tarzan have a beard?

  • If man evolved from monkeys and apes, why do we still have monkeys and apes? Neanderthals are extinct.

  • Should you trust a stockbroker who’s married to a travel agent?

  • Is boneless chicken considered an invertebrate?

  • Do married people live longer than single people or does it just SEEM longer?

  • I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, "Where’s the self-help section?" She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.

  • If all those psychics know the winning lottery numbers, why are they all still working?

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