Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Another Recall--Obama Administration Targets Peeps

This from yesterday's New York Times:

Following a spate of recent food recalls, the Obama administration announced in a surprise news conference that it was now targeting Peeps, the gooey, brightly colored candy-thing that is popular around the Easter holidays. Like fruitcake, the so-called treat is often given, but seldom actually consumed.

In a news conference last week, acting Secretary of Health and Human Services, Charles E. Johnson, announced that Peeps was now a target of an aggressive recall event. Surrounded by officials from the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Homeland Security, Johnson stated that, "The time has come!"

When questioned by reporters, Johnson stated that there had been no complaints by consumers of any potentially health-threatening contaminants in Peeps, or that there were any legal or scientific data showing that Peeps represent a threat to the general public.

"I just think that they're nasty and I want them gone," stated the Secretary.

Further questioning by reporters revealed that Johnson had several bad experiences with Peeps as a child. Apparently, on at least one occasion, several larger children had forced the then younger Johnson to eat several packages of the easily recognizable glowing yellow Peep chicks against his will.

"I got sick as a dog," recalled Secretary Johnson. "And I have made one of the goals of my career to reach a position that would allow me to take the steps that I am taking today."

When reporters asked Johnson what would become of the massive national stockpiles of Peeps (according to the Congressional Technology Office, Peeps have a life-span of approximately 250 years), Johnson was adamant.

"I don't care what happens to the nasty things. As far as I am concerned, we can use them to bomb suspected terrorist targets overseas. Bury them in Yuca Mountain. We can launch them into space, for all I care."

There is some precedent for the Secretary's last comment. A spring 1999 space shuttle mission was nearly scrubbed when astronauts discovered that NASA dietary staff had included Peeps among the items on the in-flight menu. The crew was, however, able to jettison the offending treats, and continue the mission.

The press conference was cut short when one member of the media inquired of Secretary Johnson if, since his earlier negative experiences with Peeps, he had ever tried to eat one. Shuddering noticeably, Secretary Johnson stated that there would be no more questions. He then excused himself from the room, stating that he felt queasy.

Okay. So the above story DID NOT appear in yesterday's New York Times. I made it up. Just wishful thinking on my part. The grocery stores are all ready for Easter, and Peeps are everywhere. And it's making me ill. Just a personal thing.

J. D. Salinger to Appear at the Georgia Center for the Book

In what can only be considered a major literary coup, the Georgia Center for the Book will present J. D. Salinger tonight on stage in the Decatur Library Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, and begins at 7:15 pm.

Salinger will be joined on stage by Thomas Pynchon, Cormac McCarthy and Phillip Roth. What an extraordinary and rare occasion it will be!

Author J. D. Salinger is best known for his iconic coming of age classic, The Catcher in the Rye. He is also--like Pynchon, McCarthy and Roth--known as a somewhat reclusive character in real life.

For more information, visit the Georgia Center for the Book's website at right.

What an incredible opportunity for Georgia's bibliophiles.