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Vitamin B, Border security
Vegemite, border searches, terror on the back burner
By John Burtis
Monday, October 23, 2006
Now, let's see if I can get this right.
It's about time that the full panoply of federal executive power is finally being directed at the seizure of that dreaded Ozzie delicacy, Vegemite, at our borders and across the fruited plains.
I mean, hell, who knows what evil lurks in the heart of these villainous Australian tourists who feel they must carry this strange concoction with them while vacationing.
Isn't Underwood's Deviled Ham of sufficient heft, consistency, and aroma to satisfy their distorted palates? Couldn't they slather this rather robust mixture of chemicals, pulverized meats, and heady spices across their toast tips with the same gusto as Vegemite?
What? Vegemite has something to do with brewer's yeast? You mean to say that it was developed by good old Doc Cyril P. Callister after months of trial and error in the 1920s and turned into an edible spread? That its name was chosen in a nationwide contest? Anyway, after a series of marketing trials and tribulations, the name, the product, and the Ozzies were linked forever, much as the New York Times is to increasingly grotesque literary fabrication and abysmally shabby management.
During WWII, the British troops reached for Marmite, the Yanks somewhat less eagerly for Spam, while the Ozzies hollered joyously for the ever present Vegemite, which is rich in Vitamin B, I see. The rest is history.
Later, Men at Work would officially immortalize the world renowned product in their hit song, Land Down Under, which features that immortal line, "He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich..."
But today, in our increasingly food conscious society, where trepidations over calories and food additives trump the growing terror evinced over suitcase nukes, anthrax, bio-toxins, the plague, small pox, ebola Zaire, dirty bombs, bags of Sandy Berger's damp socks and equally wilted documents, spies, and the leaks of classified materials to failing left-wing newspapers, the federal government, in its many guises, overwhelmingly fears Vegemite because it contains, hush, folate.
And folate, for the uninitiated, according to HealthLink of the Medical College of Wisconsin is a form of water soluble B vitamins, which, among other things, helps to reduce anemia in pregnant women, which was, interestingly, one of the early marketing points for Vegemite.
Luckily, we are blessed with a government, a group of all seeing solons, an aggregation of knowledgeable geniuses, a confederacy of dolts, of men hewn in the likeness of John Kerry, who can determine that a product with a decidedly dangerous ingredient such as folate, a vitamin, which Vegemite openly states it contains, must only be added to cereals and breads, but not to spreads.
While the US Customs Service is busily impounding Vegemite at the borders, because this product has apparently been moved to the top of their watch list, all while millions of illegal aliens saunter across the vast stretches of open ground to the south, while US Border patrolmen are jailed for shooting identified criminals, US businessmen can no longer even import Vegemite, such are its deleterious effects on consumers because of the vitamins it contains.
Yet I can swagger, unaccompanied, into my local grocery store and purchase cereal, of any brand whatsoever, of any size imaginable, in any volume I may choose, however incredible, without so much as a note from my long suffering wife approving the purchase, leave the store, and face no further judicial actions for my purchases.
But if I am caught with as little as one jar or a single tube of Vegemite -- boom -- there goes my record.
The Vegemite is immediately confiscated. My name will appear in the local paper. The balaclava masked dudes from ICE will seize my vitamin B laced tube of spread and my home. I'll be lined up with the meth heads and the heroin sniffers and I'll have my photo leaked to the new Democrats for use in a garish new Clinton campaign ad. And I'll spend the rest of my life known locally as the guy who was caught with Vegemite, whatever the hell that is.
Oh, what's this world and this country coming to when we waste God knows how much money, time, and effort on seizing Vegemite, for chrissakes, when the whole planet is on fire.
But I'll bet you, if the Democrats gain power again, a lot of things we accept today as common will go the way of Vegemite, while the terrorists run away with the place because they, like that simpering al-Qaeda courier and swinish rump swab, Ms. Lynne Stewart, will be given slaps on the wrist for laying the groundwork for our own destruction. All will be safely done under the guise of "law" and "civil rights."
And the fall of America, like that of so many countries, will come from within, not from without.
But when the US of A finally does go under, maybe then, and only then, will Vegemite finally get through to the survivors.