Monday, May 18, 2015

If You're About to Eat a Packet of Silica Gel Desiccant, That Probably Means You Should

For better or worse, the uninterrupted process of natural selection in human evolution has been lost to modernity, and here's an everyday example of what I mean.

If you've ever bought a new pair of shoes, a bag, a toy, or pretty much any consumer depreciable, you'll notice that it often comes with a little white packet of "silica gel desiccant," ostensibly to control humidity (or so the word "desiccant" suggests).

I discovered one of these at the bottom of my purse/bag today, having apparently never removed it. (See also prior post titled, My Purse (Bag?) is a Shit Hole). I was struck again--as I am each time I find one of these packets--by the directive to "throw [it] away" and "do not eat."

The instruction strikes me as odd, because if you think about it, the silica gel packet offers an unparalleled opportunity to watch Darwinism in action and improve the overall intelligence of the species. If you're an able-bodied/minded adult who thinks your new pair of Nikes is a box of Cracker Jacks and comes with a little packet of beige Nerds candies as a bonus, you probably need to do exactly what the package says not to do, and eat it, because you are too stupid to remain in the gene pool.

The only conceivable person who might actually think that candy comes with socks is a child of ordinary intelligence who is not yet literate and/or not yet worldly enough to realize that candy doesn't actually come with everything. Even my kids (including the one who can't read yet) seem to know that, despite daily indications to the contrary.

Yet this time, I viewed the invitation to throw the packet away without consuming its contents as a tempting dare, one which prompted me to tentatively taste one of the tiny beads. It was chalky and a bit piquant, and not something I'd recommend making a regular part of one's diet or putting on ice cream in lieu of sprinkles.

You can decide for yourself if this means I should remain in the gene pool, or perhaps that decision will be made for me in the next one to three hours. 

If so, it's been nice knowing all of you, and goodbye, cruel world.



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