I’m not good with numbers, nor am I a qualified, practicing doctor (in this country). I can however say with a good degree of ignorance paired with a 3am Google search that I am having a hard time with this whole probiotic thing. It seems to show up in advertising every January, just when humanity is searching for ways to improve their lives with little to no effort. Curiously, I fall into that camp every year.
The science types claim 1 BILLION active bacteria and microorganisms in every mouthful/spoonful/bucketful of probiotic yogurt. How is that even a thing? 1 billion of anything is a pretty unimaginable quantity which makes me extra skeptical about proving such an outlandish claim. I would agree that it is very likely there are a billion stars in the sky. I could concede that the States is in debt at least a few billion dollars…not because I can physically see their bank balance, but because I know that they spend like crazy on ridiculous shit like wars, deep fried Snicker’s bars and Crocs. Of course you’re in debt with messed up priorities like that. What I’m saying is that a billion of anything is an awful lot.
Here’s the thing…do you remember when you were a kid and you were daring, nay, DOUBLE dog daring someone to do something? You would bet them something like…wait for it….A BILLION popsicles they couldn’t do it. A kid shows up on his bitchin’ bike with a banana seat and low rider handle bars…and would tell you he has done over A BILLION jumps on the bike and never crashed. Kids are notorious for upping the ante to the ridiculous because their gooey little prefrontal cortexes are clueless. A billion seems so unattainable that no one would dare challenge you on your record for most Nerf balls to the sac or number of times you have been bitten by poisonous snakes. Kids aren’t idiots. They invented this game.
The probiotic yogurt pushers are late to the party, like Coke Zero or Blackberry Playbooks. Vision this with me…a heard (Coven? Troop? Hive?) of science-y type people huddled around a massive boardroom table in Big Yogurt’s ivory tower. They of course want to sell more yogurt while continuing to honour the 99 year contract they grudgingly signed with Jamie Lee Curtis, who will likely out-age said contract with grace, style, and a bitchin’ haircut.
The science-ologists toss ideas around until one of them pushes to the front of the group. He climbs onto a chair and turns to Big Yogurt, arms wide, grinning like a madman.
He shouts to the room; A BILLION LIVE BACTERIA! His arms sweep the imaginary horizon slowly and deliberately.
The room falls silent as the other science-ies stare at him with the same amazement they save for the news that one of their gang (Clutch? Pod? Litter?) has moved out of his mom’s basement. Big Yogurt looks up slowly, their faces alight with the pale green glow from their Playbooks.
The murmuring starts among the two groups, like a scene from an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical. Science looks at business, business looks at science. A little shimmy, some classic Broadway moves, some Bob Fosse frolicking, aaaaand JAZZ HANDS. The spotlight singles out the lone science-gician who then winks knowingly at the audience.
Or, maybe they just agree that this is new campaign and Science slinks off to their dank nether-labs to make the magical concoction. Big Yogurt smiles.
Now, I don’t want to harsh your bacterial buzz, but it’s all a ruse. The science-egerians are the ones who never rode a bike with a banana seat. They were never bitten by poisonous snakes. They were the kids who never won a billion popsicles. Now is their chance. They can up the ante. They have invented the probiotic pissing contest. Like a bunch of bragging 5 year olds, they send out the news that they have billions of live bacteria in every tub of cultured goodness. What are we to do other than concede and literally eat it up, or feel like we are failing Jamie Lee if we don’t? You do NOT want to fail Jamie Lee.
**I need to add a note about what could be construed as disrespect towards scientists. I mean no disrespect. Science and its champions of discovery are a crucial thread in the fabric of society and helping us employ our critical thinking skills through family diners with an 82 year old Aunt from Charleston. If not for them we would not have liquid paper, PopTarts or robot maids, as promised to us by The Jetsons in 1963. Wait a minute….where IS my robot maid?
Back to the nether-lab, science nerds.