So I’m enjoying my regular after-lunch piece of gum (sugar free of course because it’s good for your teeth) when I notice the following warning on the packet: “EXCESS CONSUMPTION MAY HAVE A LAXATIVE EFFECT.” This is printed after the ingredients in bold capitals twice the size of the other printing so I figure this is important information. I have one question regarding this:
WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT ALL ABOUT?
When someone mentions a “laxative effect” I want some specific fucking information. And it’s so goddam vague! This vaguely threatening warning full of ambiguous langauge so you’re not sure what exactly is going on. What exactly is a laxative effect? What’s excess consumption? And what do they mean “may”? What are my fucking chances here?
Now, I’m not a cynical man. All right – I’m deeply cynical. But can you blame me when these evil fucking corporations are messing with us like this? The laxative effect is apparently the by-product of the PHENYLKETONURICS (also printed in big bold capitals – very fucking scary sounding) in the gum but I’m really none the wiser for reading that.
Let’s break it down: first, the laxative effect. What level of laxative effect are we talking about here? I have a suspicion if it was the good “that’s a nice regular start to my day” sort that the gum maker would be teaming up with a health food company to promote it as a bran substitute. No, I think it’s safe we’re talking about the uncontrolled underpants-filling type of laxative effect here.
And what exactly is “excess” in this case? One pack a day? Two packs? Ten packs a day non-stop for five years? It’s a real weasel word. I think it’s safe to assume that this “excess” is an amount that normal people might hit. The only reason a company is going to put such a scary sounding warning on their packaging is to protect themselves against lawsuits. And they’d only worry about that in this case if there’s a real risk that one of their customers is going to end up losing control of their bowels and shitting their pants in public.
And that brings me to “may”. Don’t bullshit me with “may”, you bastards know what the risks are. You did lab tests and saw the results. Stop fucking around with us and come clean. All I want is a clear warning. Something like: “eating more than a pack a day of this gum will cause your bowels to unpredictably and spontaneously loosen resulting in the uncontrollable shitting of your pants at inopportune moments.”
Is that too much to ask for?