UnRisk 7

Chocolate Digestives

Enough with the bailout and Lehman. The papers keep writing about it but they have nothing more to say. Let me rather think about consumer products and how to get people to buy more and more so we can live happily ever after with continuously growing GDP.

I discovered in a deli nearby recently that they sell the English sweets (candy to you) I grew up on, such as wine gums (no wine, mostly gelatin really), Crunchies, Bountys, Fruit Pastilles, Aeros. Those are all near the checkout counter. But a few shelves away from there lie McVitie's Chocolate Digestives, in dark and light chocolate.

When I was living as a kid in South Africa, you could get what I think were Cadbury's Chocolate Digestives, and these are similar. A coarse gingery colored brown wheaty inside, crumbly and rough, covered with a layer of smooth rippled dark chocolate (unless you want the light chocolate, not enough contrast and too milky for me, though normally I don't like dark chocolate by itself.) The combination of coarseness and smoothness without too sweet a taste is excellent.It reminds me of people wearing dark suits with white sneakers, and of Nick Cave's coarse voice when he sings romantic songs, also of Leonard Cohen. The contrast adds to the effect. And the name -- the word Digestive, nice and 19th Century colonial, now evocative of post-prandial Digestifs, but without that pretentious frenchified ending. This isn't continental alcohol with herbs, made in monasteries by (once) celibate priests; it's good healthy British whole wheat, simple and sturdy, even if it is made in Canada. If you want to jump start the consumer revival of the economy, you could find worse places to start. I recommend them. I have not been paid to write this, not even in kind.

The deli also sells generic Q-tips, the guilty secret of so many people. I read the label. I trace the insidious start of political correctness in America to the day that the ear-bud producers first started printing

WARNING: do not insert swab into ear canal. Entering the ear canal could cause injury. If used to clean the ears, stroke swab gently around the outer surface of the ear only.

on their cardboard boxes, professing mock ignorance of what's really going on.