Friday, October 25, 2013

Attack of the Mint Chocolate Pringles

It’s been a weird sort of week. All sorts of oddities keep popping up, like mushrooms in the forest after an autumn shower of rain.

But somehow rather less natural, or appetising.

Take for instance the Case of the Odd-Flavoured Pringles. A highly reliable source (ie Twitter) has reported, with no little horror, that the curvaceous and scrunchy snack is now available in a limited edition Mint Chocolate flavour.

Imagine, if you can, a largish crisp that tastes of After Eights. Now try to stop imagining. You can’t, can you? Thanks, Pringles, you’ve really made our day.

What next? Raspberry-flavoured Marmite? Orange-infused fishpaste? Salted meringues?

No. Sweet is sweet, and savoury is savoury, and never the twain shall meet, not even in Heston Blumenthal’s darkest nightmares.

(Latest reports suggest that you can also get Sweet Cinnamon Pringles. A top Bath Chronicle fact-checker was sent out to investigate, but they haven’t come back yet, and don’t seem likely to. Who could blame them?)

If that wasn’t weird enough for you, the BBC reported earlier this week that the carcasses of two giant oarfish have been washed up on the coast of California.

Now, at up to 56 feet long, a giant oarfish is the longest fish alive but is generally peaceable, despite its resemblance to a sea serpent. According to that BBC report, it “hovers vertically in the ocean and grazes on passing proteins”.

Once again it’s time to crank up the imagination. Picture a school of oarfish, with an oarfish teacher showing her oarpupils how to spot the right kind of food. “Watch out, Class Nine,” says Teach. “Here comes some protein. Have a quick nibble, and if it doesn’t taste of Mint Chocolate Pringles then it’s good to eat – get grazing!”

The really worrying thing about beached oarfish is that they are believed to herald earthquakes. No fun if you’re in San Francisco, which has previous history.

But Post hoc non propter hoc, as they say in Latin. Just because thing A happened before thing B, it doesn’t mean that it caused it. That’s enough philosophy.

Meanwhile, closer to home, strange signs have been popping up in the roads around Weston Village. Round they are, with a blood red border, a spooky white background and the mystical number 20 in the middle.

Yes, newer, lower speed limits are coming in across Bath, and no bad thing if they help to prevent just one death or injury on our roads.

But for several days no-one got round to changing the white roundels in the roadways, which carried on reading 30.

So guess which limit most drivers were observing? That’s right, neither. Some, it appears, still believe they have an inalienable right to do 40mph on any urban road they like.

While the limit was still 30, your law-abiding columnist was recently overtaken doing a little bit less than that along Penn Hill Road. Which suggests there needs to be rather more enforcement.

Still, that’s enough odd things popping up for now. But do watch out for the poisonous spiders.

They’re popping up everywhere.

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