Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Legend of Chupu A’awi Llakilla

I recently learned that my son likes popsicles. He had never told me of his popsicle penchant, so I never bought any. Then I saw him eating one. He said, “I really like popsicles.” So, I bought some. I ended up eating most of them.

I bought two types of popsicles: the cherry/grape/orange combo pack and the Firecracker pack. Firecracker popsicles are the same as Bomb Pops, engineered with a peculiar, yet suckable, ensemble of an immaculate cherry nose cone, a refreshing lemon body, and the enigmatic blue raspberry propulsion system. Propulsion system – sounds delicious!

Most people don’t know the origins of the blue raspberry flavor. Why, raspberries are red, gosh-darn-me-socks! (as my Uncle Harv used to say) The popular understanding is that the raspberry flavor was doused with blue food coloring (around the time when unnatural looking foods came into vogue – somewhere around the invention of TV dinners and edible sock puppets) to differentiate it from cherry, strawberry and red currant. As is the case with most popular views, this one is wrong. The true origin lies in the early Incan culture and can be explained by neuroscience. The Incas were the first to correlate the effects of the consumption of raspberries with depression.

The Incan people lived on the dangerous terrain of the Andes Mountains in South America. Many of the happy-go-lucky Incans tended to fall off the steep slopes when frolicking with joy. Frolicking became the number one killer in the Incan society. Something had to be done to curtail the senseless, yet joyful, deaths. Some Incans noticed that people who ate raspberries rarely frolicked, because they felt too dismal to do so. Consequently, they were less likely to frolic off a mountain. People are very sure footed when they spend all day inside their huts ruing the day they were born. As a safety measure, King Sinchi Roca decreed that all Incan citizens must eat three handfuls of raspberries a day or else be pushed off a mountain as punishment. The number of deaths by mountain-fall-off-of decreased dramatically. The Incans eventually referred to raspberries as chupu a’awi llakilla (trans. the pimply fruit of sadness). By the time Pizarro got there in the 16th century, the Incan people were so depressed they found it a relief to be pillaged, raped and devastated by sword and disease.

As it happened, Ewald Bonebreak, one of the descendants of a rare surviving Incan, became a chemist for a food additive company in the 1940’s. Luckily, the legend of chupu a’awi llakilla was passed down for generations to him. When faced with the challenge of finding a way to make raspberry flavoring stand up and say “Hey, there are too many damn red flavors!”, Ewald reached into his family bag of heritage . By then the depressive connotation of the English word “blue” had unmasked its dreary face, thus affording Ewald the opportunity to unite the tasty, tongue-staining tandem.

Biological research has since discovered that 99% of a raspberry’s mass consists of bummedoutisol – a chemical greatly associated with depression. The other 1%, ironically, is made up of red raspberry flavoring.

Most raspberry-induced depression goes unnoticed in today’s society. The depression is noticeable, but there are so many other sources of bad vibes, it’s hard to pin it all on the raspberry. Plus, people are fooled by the joy they experience when eating blue raspberry flavored popsicles.


Anonymous said...

You really are an idiot.

keysunset said...

Wow, Moist, have you been sneaking peeks into Mrs. F'er medical books to broaden your neuroscientic knowledge base? "bummedoutisol" is genius. I had to read it out loud to get it.

I think there must be many, many more foods than raspberries that have that component.

keysunset said...

I really can't spel, can I. Nor proofread. That last post should have had the word "neuroscientific" not "neuroscientic."


del said...

Wow, I wish you had taught science at my high school. I might actually have taken a course or two.

gina said...

That Uncle Harv is a hoot!

LeperHouseGroupie said...

Is that true Clark?

ll said...

Blue tongued freak.