Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Fruits Of Technology

It all resulted from breaking one rule; at least that’s what the bible says. Adam and Eve could live in Paradise, never be bothered by phone calls from credit card salesmen, run around naked, and not have to listen to paid political announcements or watch ‘Lost in Space’ reruns. And then they blew it. Instead of having a nice fresh 4044, they just had to eat a 3070. If the Divine Grocer had only used PLU’s in the fruit and veg section, the world might still be as perfect as the Garden of Eden.

A PLU (Price Look Up) is the small sticker that is applied to fresh fruits and vegetables in food stores. This little identifier is used to help the customer and the clerk in a supermarket. The idea is to prevent time consuming misunderstandings at the check-out point. When a PLU comes unstuck from an anise (4515), commerce can grind to a halt.

Clerk: ‘What’s that funny looking, disgusting thing and what’s the price?’ Customer: ‘I don’t know but I saw it on the food channel.’ Clerk: ‘There’s no picture of it in my Photo Guidebook to Funny Looking Fresh Things.’ 9th Customer in the check-out queue: ‘Hey Tree Hugger, eat real American food!’ 27th Customer in line: ‘Hey, you asshole, I’m late for Bible study!’ Incredibly obese 14th customer: ‘Can we move it along? My 5 gallons of choco-marshy ice cream is melting.’ 4th customer, who pays for the weekly groceries in pennies, muttering: ‘where is my handbag?’ 45 minutes later and the local cable station reports: ‘It is not clear why the normally loving grandmother massacred the 31 people ahead of her in the check-out line at Wal-Mart with a special-sale chainsaw from the garden department.’

Luckily, Greg Douillard and the Durand-Wayland Company have an answer to the problem of wayward PLU’s. Greg invented a way to tattoo fresh produce. All kinds of information can be permanently laser etched into the skin of an orange (4455) or a potato (9162) in addition to the price. The country of origin can be listed. (For US grown items, privacy laws probably prohibit listing the country of origin of the guy who picked it.) Handy safety tips can be included like ‘cut on dotted line’. Republicans can choose regular corn (4078), Democrats can select organic corn (94078), and Scientologists can enjoy genetically modified Frankencorn (84078). Helpful notices can be provided; single men can be advised to ‘dispose of onion (4669) if it grows hair’. Lawyers can demand a whole new range of safety notices: ‘Warning: Swallowing this pineapple (4471) whole is a choking hazard’. The new technology is particularly useful in the War on Terror. Using the ‘source and trace’ strategy to protect the food chain, every single piece of produce in the country can be monitored for threatening substances at each stage from farm to shopping cart. Employing everyone who lives west of Maine to do the monitoring will also dramatically improve the jobs figures. Fred Durand III, president of Durand-Wayland has another exciting idea. Why not sell advertising space! It might not be possible to fit an advert for a laxative on a grape (4499), but touting a sports bra on a melon (4050) would be a natural!

If the Deity is so smart, why was this idea missed so long ago. The world could have been a paradise! Why didn’t they grab that tomato (4044)? Life would be a bowl of cherries (4045) today if that large Gravenstein apple (3070) that Adam and Eve checked out had carried the message: ‘Eating this will really piss Me off’.


Anonymous Kim said...

That was a laugh riot! You...you're good.

8:08 PM  
Blogger Abby Taylor said...

And the Ten Commandments could have been written on Ten Persimmons (5932).

8:58 PM  
Blogger ozymandiaz said...

I don't know, man, this is getting scary. First it's the fruit and vaggies, and then the next thing you know...POW...we're all sporting par codes on our necks. I'm sure the Patriot Act has a provision for this somewhere.

9:32 AM  
Blogger planetmoron said...

The end of days is surely nigh!

(Never pass up an opportunity to use "nigh" in a sentence. And "my car keys are surely nigh" doesn't usually cut it.)

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...


4:44 PM  
Blogger birdwoman said...

NO! They MUSTN'T irradiate my fruit and veggies with those AWFUL laser beams! The mutations that result will be sure to cause cancer.

I expect the center for science in the public interest to be all over this.


9:37 AM  
Blogger Ken Grandlund said...

Bbut wait...there's more! Scientists and secret government policy geniuses have devised a digestible barcode transmitter that can be placed in food, doing all the things mentioned in this essay. But they can also transmit a biochemical reading from the eater, letting spy agencies and public health patrols zero in on anyone found with unapproved ingestibles in their bloodstream.

The transmitters an nearly invisible, using nanobot technology, are impervious to the stomach acids and salivary enzymes, and best of all, they taste like chicken!

2:57 PM  
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9:33 PM  

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