Full disclosure, it’s been a long, long time since we had an issue of the Flipside, and we were going to do one before Thanksgiving, but I could only get one person to write an article. That person was Leo Baum, and what an article it was. He wrote no fewer than 1464 words about Sugar Substitutes in what could only be described as an unhinged diatribe about Splenda, Sweet and Low, and Equal, and their effects on his wild life, and was much too long to include in the Flipside. Yet, I thought it would be wrong to let such brilliance be wasted, so I’d like to provide my readers with an unedited excerpt from the article, where Leo recalls a visit to the Cheese Cake Factory.

” The Cheesecake Factory, a chain which is doing pretty well, decided to introduce a Cheesecake where instead of normal sugar, as you would expect, there would be Splenda, and the Splenda would be the primary ingredient of the cheesecake that would provide the cheesecake with at least some sweetness. The thing is, I’ve tried that cheesecake, and I purchased it with real American dollars, or at least I used my Debit Card and I handed it to the woman at the Cheesecake counter at the Cheesecake factory and she took the credit card and swiped the little line on the back of the card on the slot which is conveniently placed on the side of the cash register screen, and then she handed it back to me and told me that my card was declined because I didn’t have enough money on my credit card and the bank which my debit card is associated with said “Sorry, but you don’t have the money to buy this slice of awful Splenda cheesecake from the Cheesecake factory,” and the woman got very uncomfortable, but I said, “hold on just give me one second please,” and I turned on my iphone and transferred seventeen dollars from the money I made over the summer onto my debit card, and then gave the debit card back to the woman who was now both annoyed with me for creating an entire production, and also because there was a line of hungry cheesecake-wanters lined up right behind me, and my cheesecake production was creating a line of traffic as Cheesecake Factory Corporate only allotted one cash register for the Cheesecake counter, and so finally Chase Bank said, “okay, we tried to warn you not to buy that disgusting cheesecake by declining your debit card from purchasing it, but you went ahead and made the conscious effort to add more money to the debit card which puts us in the uncomfortable position of now having to allow you to purchase the cheesecake, so alas now we’ll reluctantly let you purchase the Splenda cheesecake,” and so I got my Splenda cheesecake and walked outside of the Cheesecake factory and sat on the little bench they have out there in that beautiful Lincolnshire strip-mall which used to have a Barnes and Noble, but the Barnes and Noble went out of business and so it’s now a NorthShore medical facility, which is basically what happened to Borders over on Lake-Cook road, which prompts me to wonder if NorthShore Medical Group is trying to drive bookstores out of business, yet regardless I sat down on that bench and used the plastic fork they gave me to try a bite of the Splenda cheesecake and it was awful.”

In all my life thus far, I have seen nothing that better describes the human condition than this memoir. See it for yourself, the full article can be found at www.jewishspacelaser.net/notsugar.

Leo Baum
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