Mood: party time!
Topic: "Good Ol Mountain Dew"(5)
Occasionally Frodo will get sucked into something and will find that he is unable to get out. It used to happen to him when he wore the wrong kind of shoes after a big rainstorm, and walked among the puddles. These days however, Frodo actually begins to pay attention to something he swore would be of no interest whatsoever. The result can be just as unpleasant as the view of your shoe stuck in the mud from the vantage point of a socking foot hovering nervously above.
Diane Sawyer has always been a little "too, too" for Frodo. When first he heard the broadcaster talk about her younger days growing up in Kentucky, all Frodo could think of was a fashionable hat, a mint julep, and a bunch of "silly boys" trying to impress her on Derby Day. Her days in the Nixon White House, and her subsequent appearances as a journalist left Frodo convinced that the most successful results in affirmative action always involve who looks the best.
That was why Frodo became suspicious when he noted Ms. Sawyer in the Eastern Kentucky coalfields talking about Appalachia. Ms. Sawyer was apparently purporting to understand why some people fail to rise above their situations in life. Frodo thought he was going to puke. Despite his fervor for opportunity and a helping hand, Frodo gets a wee bit defensive when the unknowing enter into insoluble circumstances and generalize about "what needs to be done." He began to pay attention with the potential intent of blasting the bitch entirely out of her side-saddle with words like these.
It was then that she started to talk about "Mountain Dew."
Pepsi-Cola is the manufacturer of a soft drink with the highest sugar content among all such beverages. Imbibing "Mountain Dew," is not dissimilar to the inhaling of "Kool" cigarettes, which is among those highest in levels of nicotine. It is addictive, in its own manner, and the "market share" it enjoys in the Appalachian areas of Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, and Ohio is formidable. At the same time, Frodo learned from Ms. Sawyer, in the same area, among the same people, the instances of tooth decay, dental disease, and tooth loss is the highest in the nation.
Frodo started to think about people he has known who live or lived in Appalachia. Long has he considered dietary deficiency a prime reason for the inordinate obeseity of the populace therein, and a preference for beer over other beverages was always an assumption he made about adults. To his shame, Frodo had not looked hard enough at the problem, and had failed to see that the sweet taste of "Mountain Dew" was replacing the protective saliva from the teeth of children.
There is a plastic bottle of "Mountain Dew" in nearly every refrigerator in West Virginia. The empties litter the roadsides, and every convenience store has the light green liquid up front and center in the cooler. The "sugar high" is a great pick-me-up on the way home from school, or while you're cruising around looking for girls. "Mountain Dew" is the same branding as "Budweiser" to those looking for social acceptance. The fact that so few take time to brush their teeth after drinking the crap tells the tale.
"Caveat emptor?" How about selective marketing?
Frodo owes a debt and an apology to Diane Sawyer, but he also asks her what the hell she's going to do about it?
Frodo has stopped drinking that crap, and he fully intends to communicate to Mr. Pepsi himself. He won't make the mistake of blaming Pepsi for all the ills that befall those a rung or two down on the social ladder, but every hand needing help needs to know that being toothless doesn't do much for your chances at a better job.