This tasty dollop of inspired lunacy by Monty Python’s Flying Circus was originally titled “Trade Description Act.” I surmised from this sketch that there were unfortunate people who actually purchased Mr. Milton’s violently nasty chocolates.
Milton: It says ‘crunchy frog’ quite clearly.
[Officer] Praline: Well, the superintendent thought it was an almond whirl. People won’t expect there to be a frog in there. They’re bound to think it’s some form of mock frog.
Milton: (insulted) Mock frog? We use no artificial preservatives or additives of any kind!
Praline: Nevertheless, I must warn you that in future you should delete the words ‘crunchy frog’, and replace them with the legend ‘crunchy raw unboned real dead frog’, if you want to avoid prosecution.
Milton: What about our sales?!?
I also surmised that the success of the Whizzo business model was predicated on keeping the public unaware of the disgusting ingredients involved.
Praline: I’m not interested in your sales, I have to protect the general public. Now how about this one. (superintendent enters) It was number five, wasn’t it? (superintendent nods) Number five, ram’s bladder cup. (exit superintendent) What kind of confection is this?
Milton: We use choicest juicy chunks of fresh Cornish ram’s bladder, emptied, steamed, flavored with sesame seeds whipped into a fondue and garnished with lark’s vomit.
Praline: Lark’s vomit?
Praline: Well it don’t say nothing about that here.
Milton: Oh yes it does, on the bottom of the box, after monosodium glutamate.
Praline: (looking) Well I hardly think this is good enough. I think it would be more appropriate if the box bore a large red label warning lark’s vomit.
Milton: Our sales would plummet!
This might be even worse than lark’s vomit
The reason I mention this sketch is that I recently had a thought that I never thought before. It is a thought related to the labeling of food. For most people, most thoughts are recycled re-runs. But every so often a new thought emerges. What makes this happen? Steps to Knowledge, the book of spiritual practice of the New Message from God, offers an explanation for this phenomenon:
“Your Teachers are with you. They are not speaking to you except on very rare occasions, and then only if you are capable of hearing. From time to time they will send their thoughts into your mind, and you will experience this as your own spark of inspiration.” (Step 129, “My Teachers are with me. I will be with them.”)
I was in my local grocery store, looking at the varieties of canned tuna. I noticed one of the brands of sustainably caught tuna. As I looked at the can, I noticed that the words “sustainably caught” were in tiny white letters.
They might have been smaller letters than those of the words “lark’s vomit” on the offensive box of chocolates. It then occurred to me that any brand of tuna that is not sustainably caught, must be unsustainably caught. Stein’s Law inescapably states, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”
One day, there might not be any more tuna to catch, sustainably or otherwise. The thought that I had that I never thought before was placing a warning label in large red letters on unsustainably caught tuna. Much in the same way as the Whizzo Quality Assortment should have a large red label warning of lark’s vomit. On further review, this might be even worse than lark’s vomit.
I’m not expecting this warning to appear on unsustainably caught tuna anytime soon, but maybe it should. The New Message from God encourages people to reduce their energy consumption to avoid depletion and ruin. One day, humanity will consider unsustainable practices as unacceptable as frog bones or lark’s vomit in chocolates. Who knows, this might be even worse than lark’s vomit.
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