Loosen up with the help of bio-engineered yogurt

(We’re all familiar with “Deja vu,” and maybe even “Vu daje,” which is a distinct feeling that nothing like this has ever happened before. But today, I’d like to introduce you to “Deja Where-Were-You,” which is a feeling that today’s blog post happened before, but almost no one noticed. That’s what Flashback Sunday is all about! It’s when we go back into the early archives; back when all four of my followers were related; back when my Total Views added up to less than the average weight of a female Olympic gymnast; back when I thought “Freshly Pressed” was an online newsletter for counterfeiters. The blog has come a long way since then, thanks to all of you, and including the tag “Channing Tatum” with all of my posts…)

image It’s that time again when I am faced with the difficult task of sorting through news tips sent in by readers and, after careful consideration, deciding whether to change my mailing address. Based on what I’ve received over the last several weeks, it’s clear that in the wake of events like the economic rollercoaster, the growing momentum of the presidential elections and North Korea’s recurring threat to become a nuclear power “Capable of rivaling the U.S., or at least parts of New Jersey,” there has been one subject on the minds of readers from California to Alberta, Canada. And that subject, as you’ve probably guessed, is “irregularity.”

Thanks to the many sharp-minded readers who send me the kinds of articles that the “bigger,” more “professional” news sources with “computers from this decade” and “ a staff of two or more people,” won’t cover, I have received multiple tips about an important nationwide study sponsored by the Dannon Company, which concluded residents of Orlando, Fla., are — and we’re not pointing fingers here — the most constipated Americans in the country.

In fairness, some say the study is inconclusive since, in many cases, researchers, who were stationed in fast food restaurants throughout Orlando, were chased out by security before many surveys could be completed. The only thing everyone seems to agree on is that Ex-Lax is kicking itself for not conducting the study first. According to Dannon, the 50-city survey was conducted to promote its floundering Activia yogurt, which is designed to help Jamie Lee Curtis with her irregularity.

Admittedly, I’m no scientist, but I think I can explain how Activia works. Let’s say I’m visiting Orlando. Naturally, I become constipated almost immediately. Following the advice of my hotel maid, an observant woman who has noticed my toilet paper has remained sealed for the last three days, I purchase a tub of Activia yogurt and begin shoveling spoonfuls into my mouth at a rate generally reserved for super-sized meals. Nearing the completion of my yogurt, I read the side panel on my container and discover I have just consumed a product which describes itself as “specially designed to survive passage through the digestive system, arriving into the large intestine as a live bacteria culture.”

It is in this moment — while poised with a mouthful of fruit flavored, bio-engineered bacterium — I can feel Activia working to eliminate my constipation by effectively scaring the — [fecal matter] — out of me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no organic health food crusader. Truth be told, I have nightmares about the world’s tofu supply becoming self aware. The difference is that tofu’s rise to power will come naturally, based on its own merits, and after the development of what I suspect will be a large curd army.

Man’s fall from the top of the food chain will be through the process of “natural selection,” and not the result of bio-engineering gone wrong within — and I’m speaking purely in metaphoric terms — mankind’s collective large intestine. Unlike tofu proliferation, we have a choice when it comes to ingesting stool softening bacteria.

One solution? Climb a glacier.

According to a study conducted by Alaska epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin, one in three climbers who ascend the Kahiltna Glacier are stricken with diarrhea. Again, like the makers of Ex-Lax, executives at Charmin are kicking themselves.

My point is this: Solving Orlando’s constipation crisis by introducing bio-engineered yogurt, in my opinion, seems a little drastic. Especially when we could take a more “natural” approach by providing Orlandons with an ice pick and sending them up a glacier.

I tried contacting Orlando mayor Buddy Dyer about this. Unfortunately, all the lines were backed up.

(You can write to Ned Hickson at nhickson@thesiuslawnews.com, or at the Siuslaw News at P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore., 97439)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

32 thoughts on “Loosen up with the help of bio-engineered yogurt”

  1. As a resident of the Greater Orlando area, I take exception with the claim that we folks are the most constipated American’s in the country. I would take the time to argue the point with you, sir, but I feel my bio-engineered breakfast clamoring for attention! If I’m not back in three days, send somebody in after me!

  2. Two weeks ago I had a rather horrible surgery on my throat and I am not able to eat anything solid. Nothing solid in…..nothing solid out. I looked like I had a tumor right behind my belly button. My center of gravity even changed. Severe constipation made me nauseated and retchy. So bring it on, I’ll try it and Take One For The Team….

  3. love this, and do you remember those potato chips they came out with that contained ‘olestra?’. we had them in my ad office to try them and my boss read something on the bag that said, ‘may cause anal leakage.’ what a sales pitch, sold!

    1. That would be “O’Lean” My father told me about him and my mother buying those on the day they came out, and the green clouds that hovered over the whole house as a result.

      1. yes! ned, if there was a jeopardy category for food products that cause internal body function motion/distress, you would be a big winner )

          1. oh that is so funny, guess that’s my lack of focus kicking in, i won’t confuse it again (well i may), mr tom potential jeopardy nerd champion nardone.

  4. First off, Love the artwork. Hey Ned I am glad you have brought this out into the open for us all. I have really never considered using yogurt in that way before. So what you are saying is that many people who are fighting this war on constipation have been sitting on the solution all along. The solution was in the refrigerator the whole time. I will remember that is in my arsenal the next time i need to penetrate the blockade.

  5. You know, I really haven’t heard anything from Dyer in a while. Curious…

    Anyway, I’m thinking that the rate has to be somewhat skewed by all the tourists snarfing theme park food. The stuff is gnarly, just saying.

    But I think I’ll stay here and enjoy regular bowel movements without bio-engineered concoctions… I have no wish to climb any glaciers. Hence why I live here 😉

    1. Sorry about that. Moving from Florida may be your only hope. Or try climbing the Matterhorn at Disneyland when you’re feeling irregular? 😉

      1. My life mission is to move from Florida, haha. We have started hurricane season, the humidity is trying to suffocate us, and my hair looks like I am an extra in one of those caveman movies.

        1. Hahaha! I know that look! You should move to the Oregon coast. All the scenic beauty of Florida, without the hurricanes, with the added benefit of marijuana farms!

          1. As always, I like the way you think! I have been contemplating a visit to the lovely state of Oregon 🙂 I love how health conscious you guys are and out-doorsy you guys are too. I remember chewing coca leaves in the Andes for the altitude, I feel like the marijuana farms will be a nostalgic kind of reminder of that 😉

            1. It helps that you stay in good shape. If you are chewing on a marijuana leaf and get spotted by the grower, you’ll need to be able to run fast. That’s how we Oregonians keep fit 😉

                1. Nice! 🙂 If you ever want to see a movie that is the quin tessential Oregon experience, watch “Without a Paddle.” Aside from being hilarious and reminding me of my childhood, it totally captures the mentality and lifestyle of living here. Have a glass of wine first. Not that it will enhance the movie…

  6. I know some people who smoke a cigarette whenever they need to make themselves poop. Apparently one of those carcinogens is a very effective laxative. Doesn’t quite seem worth it, but then again I eat a lot of Indian food so maybe it’s just because I can’t grasp what it’s like to be desperately backed up…

    1. Lol! I’m glad you clarified that they smoke the cigarette and not use it like a suppository to get things started. Wow, I’m with you. I think I’d go with Ex-Lax or a healthy diet of Indian food instead of fighting colon cancer by increasing my risk of lung cancer.

    1. Thanks, Hottywood! I live by your horoscope advice. I must warn you I am really, really bad at responding to these things in a timely manner, but not because I’m not appreciative. I’m just a jerk…

      (Seriously, thank you ;))

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