Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Salt-Free Valentine's Day

Son Number Three had surgery on Valentine’s Day last year. It was only ear tubes and adenoid removal, but it was enough to get me off the hook. I initially thought the doctor was making up the word “adenoid” just to help my cause, but he assured me later that they are a real thing. Anyway, my wife was so focused on making sure her little baby boy was doing OK that I was able to slide on all things Valentine’s Day related. Thanks, little man!

Our pediatrician sounded a little annoyed yesterday when I called to inquire about available surgery openings for this coming Friday. He started out caring and concerned when I mentioned surgery, but the conversation kind of fell apart after I told him I didn’t really have anything specific in mind, since all three boys are perfectly healthy at the moment. I explained that last year worked out so well for me, Valentine’s Day-wise, I was hoping he could come up with some kind of elective surgery for one of the boys. I told him it obviously didn’t have to be anything major.

He had the nerve to hang up on me, and I think we might need to find a new pediatrician. Geez, man, take it easy. A simple “No” would have been fine.

Since it seems that children’s medical visits won’t be helping me avoid Valentine’s Day this year, I am going to turn my attention to a global crisis instead.

Here’s my story: I was going to get my wife chocolates this year, but with the looming sea salt crisis, I just can’t in good conscience contribute to the problem any longer.

Sure, salted caramels are yummy, and the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, but what am I, a monster? Why don’t I just get her a coat made out of baby seal fur with a sea turtle shell purse?

Have you ever seen a salted caramel advertised with regular salt? Of course not. Everything is made with “sea salt” now. This must end. For goodness sake, my discount tortilla chips now advertise “made with sea salt” on the side of the 30-pound bag. Do you have any idea how much sea salt is required to properly salt 30 pounds of tortilla chips? I don’t either, but it must be a lot.

Our love of sea salt has gotten completely out of hand. I’m sure the world’s oceans are being desalinized at alarming rates, all in the name of nachos and chocolate, and it’s only a matter of time before the effects will be seen on our sea life. While it is true that humans cannot live without nachos and chocolate, we can source the salt more responsibly.

I’m sure there is some two-bit environmental activist group somewhere already hard at work trying to educate the public on this, but they are likely having trouble getting their message out because they spent their advertising budget on pot and Cheetos. It’s time for this disturbing issue to receive the kind of worldwide exposure that only Just a Smidge can bring.

World ocean de-salting must end! I don’t care if Valentine’s Day has to suffer. So be it. Our precious marine ecosystems deserve better than this!

Global oceanic catastrophes aside, let’s also not forget the human side of this. No one ever considers all the regular salt miners who are out of work. It’s not as if our demand for salt increased. We simply became enamored with sea salt. In the rush for our oceans’ salty booty, no one stopped to think about all the families that would be affected inland. Besides the obvious layoffs and associated lack of income, hundreds of thousands of people are being deprived of even saying, “Well, I guess it’s back to the salt mines.” That is tragic.

Let’s all work together this year to keep Valentine’s Day simple. No more expensive chocolates! Think of the fish. Think of the families. Think of the children. Think of the children of the fish. Tragic.

Roses? Sure, you could buy her some overpriced flowers if you don’t mind not breathing after we’ve cut down all the world’s vegetation in the name of love.

A $10 Hallmark card? Don’t even get me started on the trees!

A simple kiss on the cheek and an “I love you” should suffice for any couple truly in love. Don’t selfishly destroy the planet just to make me look bad!

And remember, if my wife asks, my objection to Valentine’s Day is an ecological one, not economic.

See you soon,


Copyright © 2014 Marc Schmatjen

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