The Last Will and Testament of John Cadbury

The Last Will

&

Testament of

John Cadbury

March 10, 1889

I, Sir John Cadbury, with sound mind and able pen will now reveal my wishes and bestowals for my family, my business, and mankind.  Let it be known throughout all of England, and to the four corners of the world, that I lived a full and rich life.  Also, let it be known that I loved chocolate.  It is very good.  Very, very, very good indeed…

First, to my wife, Candia Barrow Cadbury, I leave the quilt that she knit for me.  And that is all. She once suggested that we shrink the Cadbury Creme Egg to save a few pounds.  What a wretch.

Second, to my son, Richard Cadbury, I leave co-ownership to my thriving business, and the key to my candy safe.  You may eat the five-pound custom made Cadbury Creme Egg, but please share it with someone special.

Third, to my other son, George Cadbury, I leave co-ownership to my thriving business, and the key to my money safe.  Half of the coins are chocolate, but I’m sure you won’t mind.

Fourth, to the people of the world, I leave a vision and a promise…

Before I became a candy maker, I had an awesome dream.  A giant bird made out of solid gold flew over the countryside dropping giant chocolate eggs whenever it flapped its wings.  All of the people gathered around the eggs to see what strange things had fallen from the heavens.  Soon they were holding hands and dancing in harmony.  Amidst the celebration, a terrible witch began to spread a cursed rumor: giant chocolate eggs should not be eaten because they are poisonous.  In no time at all, the people became divided.

There were those who stood by the giant eggs, and those who wished to bash them to tiny pieces.  Well, the people fought for many days, and they may have fought forever if not for the second stage of the witch’s plan.  Disguised as a businessman with a large white H on his jacket, the witch tricked the people into believing that the eggs belonged to her.  The witch even made the people carry all of the eggs to her castle.  There, she used her magic to shrink the eggs until they were almost too tiny to see.  Once she had all of her tiny eggs, she charged all the people a fortune to have just one of those minuscule eggs.  The people had forgotten the days of the giant eggs, and they had forgotten that the eggs truly belonged to all.  Only one man held firm to the truth.  And that man fought the witch by reminding the people of the giant eggs of old.  Unfortunately, by then, no one cared to listen.  Desperate, for a taste of even a tiny egg, the man stood in line with all of the others, defeated.

I share this dream and vision with you all in the hopes that you will never fall victim to any “witch” that may come to steal my product.  I do not know what the H on the witch’s shirt means, but perhaps it stands for my evil competitor, Milton Hershey.

  The fiend only cares about making a profit, and he will steal your money if he has to!  Do not let him, or any other profiteering villain fool you into buying a shriveled candy at exorbitant prices.

People of the world, the Cadbury Creme Egg is meant to be 39 grams.  It shall be no more and no less.  Accept no alternatives.  As long as a Cadbury is in charge of production, you will get the candy that you deserve.

John Cadbury

A Universe of Infinite Chimps

Imagine for a moment that there is a parallel universe that is entirely populated by chimpanzees.  Let’s say that this universe has hundreds of billions of galaxies. In each galaxy there are hundreds of millions of stars.  Circling these stars are even more planets.  Now let’s say that each planet is capable of sustaining life, and the only form of life is a chimpanzee.  Let’s see now, that’s going to be about… near infinite chimps.  Excellent.

Now imagine that another universe entirely populated by typewriters collides with this one, and each chimp has one at his disposal.  So we have a trillion trillion trillion chimps beating away at a trillion trillion trillion typewriters.   Do you have this picture in your head? Good.

Oh wait!  I almost forgot.  Another universe collides with the chimp universe and it is a paper universe.  Then a universe made up entirely of ink enters through a million wormholes and supplies the chimps.  Ok, now we’re on target.

Now to my point.

None of these chimps will write an accidental novel.  This is a probability illustration, and it is supposed to say something about time and infinity.  If you have an infinite number of chimps punching an infinite number of typewriters, eventually one of them will hit all of the right keys to write a classic piece of literature.  I challenge this theory, and here is why.

The chimps would starve to death.

But in all seriousness, excellence is no accident.  And if a chimp produced Shakespeare’s work, it wouldn’t mean anything.  A writer is intentional and each word is influenced by the words surrounding it.  So, even though this isn’t the point of the theory, I just wanted to point out that an infinite number of chimps couldn’t produce good literature.

 

How I Envision A Think Tank To Be

For a good number of years I have wanted to work in a think tank.  Have you ever heard that term before?  They seem to have a lot of think tanks in Washington D.C.  As far as I can tell a think tank refers to a group of people who work together to develop various policies, strategies, and solutions.  But how does one join this exclusive group?  And what exactly goes on inside one of them?  The following is my vision of what really happens inside one of these think tanks.

There are between five and thirty people.  Some of them wear expensive suits and others wear stained t-shirts.  The reasons for such a range in attire are two.  First, the members must wear an outfit that provides them with the confidence to work at their mental maximum.  Second, the discrepancy in clothing produces a deep sense of competition.  The bums have to prove their worthiness, while the well-to-do battle their own feelings of inadequacy as a result of the threat posed by classless slobs challenging their mental prowess.  Competition is at the heart of any high-powered professional endeavor.

There is a room filled with every type of candy.  Twix, Snickers, lollipops, licorice, jelly beans, cadbury eggs, Hershey bars etc etc etc…   This room is locked and guarded by a middle-aged man suffering from delusions of conspiracy theories and major paranoia.  The crazy man is the only one who knows the combination to the lock.  He is under strict orders to only open the room once he feels at ease.  This means that the members of the think tank must first accomplish their lofty objective before they can have any chance of getting the candy.  The rationale behind this is, if a crazy paranoid person finds their solution to be satisfactory it must be so.   It’s air-tight logic.

There are twenty-seven televisions lining the walls of the main room. Showing on each is the film, Bill Cosby: Himself. The film is playing exactly one second off from the one next to it.  This creates a hypnotic echoing effect, which is magnified by Bill Cosby’s ridiculous voice.  Indeed.

The room is constantly being pumped with pure oxygen.  Well, oxygen laced with a rare gaseous form of the drug, speed.

Every two hours a cake is delivered to one of the members.  The cake says, Happy Birthday Tim.  It says that on every cake.  The name, Tim, causes people to think harder.  Also, the cake is made out of speed.

A crack team of helper monkeys run around the main room wearing butler outfits.  One of the monkeys is dressed as a doctor, but he has no formal training.

At random intervals the power is shut off to the main room.  This sends everyone into a frenzy until the power is restored.  Once the power is restored,  members are required to flip a coin until it lands on heads three times in a row.

There is one room that serves as a ball pit.

Chinese food is constantly being delivered.  But there are no utensils.

At the end of every day the members of the think tank are tranquilized and flown to a secret military base.  When they wake up they are told that the world is spinning in the wrong direction, and Tuesday no longer exists.

That’s probably something like what really goes on in one of those think tanks.

I want in.

Guilt Free Day 2011

 

A long long time ago, in the sophomore year of my college career,  I helped to create a holiday.  Samm Zachs, Jon Vickers, and myself developed something called Guilt Free Day.  Here’s the deal.

I was tired of hearing how guilty people felt after eating something fattening and delicious.  You’ve probably witnessed this, or perhaps been one of those people yourself.  My reaction was, if you’re going to eat something delicious why not simply enjoy it without all of the negative attitude?  No one is forcing you to eat the ice cream or McDonald’s, so stop complaining.  Either eat it and love it or don’t eat it at all.  Guilt Free Day came out of a response to this attitude.

On Guilt Free Day one has the freedom to eat whatever they wish without having to justify anything.  If you want to put butter on your Milk Duds, go right ahead.  If you want to eat Chinese food and pizza in the same meal, you got it.  It is the one day a year in which you can eat terrible delicious food without feeling a heavy conscience.  Sure, if you overdo it you will feel like death, but that’s the name of the game.  Even if your body protests, you can still put your mind at ease.  It’s Guilt Free Day.

Now, initially there was some confusion regarding the scope of this freedom.  People began to ask if they could skip classes or not study on Guilt Free Day.  Let me set the record straight that the day is intended only for food.  It came as a response to people bellyaching about calories, so let’s keep it simple.  You can’t hurt people on Guilt Free Day.  You can just eat unhealthy food without feeling guilty.

Every year, a date must be set for this special day.  In 2011, I have chosen Wednesday, February 2 as the official Guilt Free Day of 2011.  This is also Groundhog Day.  I figure, this is at the peak of the winter doldrums, and if the groundhog sees his shadow we will all need a little morale booster.

So let it be known throughout the land!  Guilt Free Day is nearly upon us.

Let each man and woman celebrate as they see fit.

 

 

Disclaimer:  The creators of Guilt Free Day are aware of the ever-growing obesity epidemic in this country. That being said, Guilt Free Day exists as a matter of principle, and not as a means to alter the regular diets of average Americans.  Every individual is responsible for his or her radical food intake on said dayand every other day.

Eat responsibly- ish

Who’s More Likely To Eat People?

(I feel that a disclaimer is needed.  Today’s topic came out of a conversation I had at work.  Someone mentioned cannibalism and I thought, who becomes a cannibal in the first place?  Naturally, my mind went to the most ridiculous place and I thought of vegans.  Then I thought it would be fun to try to make an impossible argument for such a ridiculous statement.  I recognize that the conditions that most chickens and cows are raised in is deplorable, and steps should be made to improve their quality of life.  And I don’t have strong feelings about vegans or vegetarians.  People can eat what they want.  They just can’t eat who they want. )

I want you to imagine a pyramid.  Plants are on the bottom.  Fish are a little higher.  Livestock are even higher.  Then you have more intelligent animals like dolphins and dogs and chimps.  Then, on the top, you have humans.  This is basically how your average human views their standing in the food chain.  We are at the top.  Sure, we generally don’t eat chimps and dolphins, but we wouldn’t consider it murder if we ate one in order to avoid starvation.

Most of us eat meat without any feeling of guilt.  We don’t carry the moral burden of a thousand dead chickens, or a thousand dead cows.  Meat tastes good and it is part of the natural order.  That being said, we draw the line at eating people.  It is acceptable to eat other animals, but it is completely unacceptable to eat one of our own.  The reasons for this are many, but the overriding one is the high (even sacred) value we place on human life.  Humans are not only more intelligent and resourceful than the other animals, we also carry a unique spark of the divine.  The smartest chimp in the world still lacks this eternal and invaluable human characteristic.  We are different.  We are above.  We are separate.

Now I want you to imagine a circle.  A circle doesn’t have a top or a bottom.  Each point on the circle is equal.  At one point in the circle are plants. At another, fish.  At another, livestock.  At another, chimps.  And at another, humans.  They are all equal.  One is not superior or higher than another.  This is closer to how a vegan views the food chain.  Humans do not have the right to take the lives of other animals.  All life is sacred.

You may be thinking, how could you possibly make an argument showing that vegans are closer to becoming cannibals than meat eaters?  Well, this is how.

In order to view all animals as equals, you have to reduce the potential value of human life.  In the classic (Judeo-Christian) view, humans are made in the image of God.  They are far above the other creatures.  They are moral beings.  You wouldn’t sue a chicken because a chicken has no moral responsibility.

If the value of a cow’s life is equal to that of a human,  surely it is at a great loss to the human.  We do not ask the cow to elevate himself to our position.  So it is up to us to reduce our superior standing.  You don’t see any other animal refusing to eat meat out of a moral objection.  The only reason humans can do this is the same reason they are above the animals in the first place.

So if someone views the lesser animals as having the same sacred life as humans, that sacred life becomes less sacred.  I know this is probably offensive to a number of people, but how could it not be true?  How does a son of God retain his dignity and eternal worth when he is the equal to a chicken?  Or a chimp?

Who is more likely to eat other humans?  The one who views humans as a unique creation with a value far greater than that of other animals, or the one who views humans and other animals as fundamentally equal?  I submit that it would be easier for a vegan to turn to cannibalism since their working philosophy  reduces the sacredness of human life.

The Cookie Monster: A Tale of Forsaken Identity

It has been about four years since the Cookie Monster sold his soul to the gods of political correctness.  With five little words, he lost himself forever.

COOKIES ARE A SOMETIMES FOOD.

They say that the change came as a response to the growing obesity epidemic among American children.  Sesame Street decided to feature more segments about healthy living, and it only made sense to address the Cookie Monster’s insatiable appetite for sweets.  Namely, cookies.  Seems harmless, right?

The Cookie monster is defined by his love for cookies.  Cookies are his religion.  They are his passion.  They are his purpose.  Every time he appears, he is either talking about cookies or eating cookies.  We know him as a monster.  A cookie monster.  A monster fueled by cookies.

He has a famous song.  Here it is.

C is for cookie.  It’s good enough for me.

C is for cookie. It’s good enough for me.

Cookies are good enough for Cookie Monster.  His love of cookies is directly tied to his sense of self-worth.  Cookies are good enough for him because his sole purpose in life is to eat and worship them.  The Cookie Monster couldn’t ever sell his soul for a cookie because his soul is already cookie.  Cookie Monster is cookie.  The two cannot be torn asunder.  So when he goes on television and claims that, “Cookies are a sometimes food”, we should be concerned.  Deeply concerned; for the Cookie Monster and for our children.

When the Cookie Monster claims that life is more than cookies, he is forsaking his own identity.  It is the Muppet equivalent of a Christian claiming that Jesus isn’t good enough.  He is lying to himself.  And that means he is also lying to the children.  He is telling them not to be true to themselves.  He is saying, “Forsake your personal convictions as not to offend anyone.”

When the Cookie Monster forsakes his cookies, he forsakes himself.  A cookie monster lives for cookies.  They are one.

So ask yourself, which is more important:  the health of the body, or the health of the soul?  The Cookie Monster has already made his choice.  And the world is a little darker because of it.

100th Post Extravaganza! Or, How I Fell in Love With Lady Gaga

 

Here we are at 100 posts.  I thought, on this occasion,  I would look back on a few of the best and worst posts of the past 99.

The Worst

Failed Attempts at Writing Fiction: (August 8th) I just copied and pasted the opening paragraphs to a bunch of my old stories.  This was pretty lazy and I would imagine boring to read.

Short People Got No Reason to Live: ( August 25) This consisted of a long rant about being short.  This received absolutely no response from anyone.  After reading it over, I can see why.  It ended with the line,  “Height is relative. Tell that to the short, lonely, sad, poor man dying of a heart attack.”

Conspiracy Theorist Theorizes That Conspiracy Theories Are Part of Larger Conspiracy: (September 27) I think the title says it all.  It was a made up interview from the future in which Highlights for Kids questions a conspiracy author.  Solid gold premise, but poor execution.

Gods of Truth:  (November 26)  This was very recent.  Since I started using WordPress, I have been able to check the popularity of each post.  On average, a post receives 20 views after a couple of days.  This one has had the fewest since I’ve been keeping track.  It has 2.   I’m not sure why.

 

The Best

California Gurlz: A Floozy in Candyland: (October 5) By a significant margin, this is the most viewed of all my recent (past two months) posts.  It has 52 views; while the second place one has 37.  I really do get a kick out of analyzing popular music.  I had a lot of fun writing it, and that translates into a fun read.

The Joy of Friendship Series: (Mid October) I enjoyed reflecting on what it means to be a friend and where the joy in friendship comes from.  I know a few people were bored by this, but it came straight from the heart.

Elementary Hell: The Worst Year of My Life:  (September 1)  People seemed to get a kick out of this account of my miserable days as a First Grader.

God and the Shawshank Redemption: (November 24)  This was posted only last week, but it is already one of the top 3 in terms of popularity.  I looked into the biblical elements woven into the movie, The Shawshank Redemption.

My Thoughts on Glenn Beck (And Jon Stewart Too): (September 24) Once in a while I attempt to tackle more serious topics.  This was one of the most difficult things I’ve written in blog form since it focused on the controversial figure, Glenn Beck.  But I am pleased with the end result.

A New Kind of Christianity Series: (May)  After reading Brian McLaren’s book, I responded over the course of five posts.  It was an in-depth (for a blog anyway) analysis of a new movement within Christianity.

 

My All Time Favorite Post


What Lady Gaga is Truly Saying: (August 10)  This was easily the most entertaining and rewarding blog writing experience thus far.  This might disappoint some.  But I’d be lying if I claimed any other before it.  I view this post as the unofficial beginning of my blog.  What I mean is, this was the first post to truly capture the spirit of what I’m trying to do.  It deals directly with popular culture while offering insights into the true human condition.  It is at once entertaining and informative.  And it led to a crush with Lady Gaga that continues to this day.

 

After 100 posts, I am curious if you have any particular favorite, or least favorite.  If you read my blog regularly, I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

 

Cell Phones Are Too Convenient Not To Kill Us

This is the cost of pride

Talk to anyone thousands of miles away in an instant.  And not only that, carry around the tiny device in your pocket.  At a whim, call your cousin in Alaska.  Such convenience.  Don’t want to talk, just send a text message.  We’re the envy of John and Abigail Adams (random yet appropriate reference).

Everything costs something.  If you want to be healthy, you have to exercise and eat right.  If you want to play an instrument, you have to practice for years.  The natural order of things is progress through adversity.  So, when mankind creates a machine that can function as a portable telephone and computer, I get a little uneasy.  This black magic has to come at a price.  And not just the cost of your plan.

Do cell phones cause brain cancer?  Who am I to say?  Do they wipe out entire bee colonies?  I’m no bee expert.  What I can say is that they aren’t harmless.  Let me explain.

George Lucas filmed the first Star Wars not knowing if it would be a success.  Not only that, he faced a number of setbacks during the production and struggled to complete it on time.  Nevertheless, the end product was cinematic gold.  George created art through adversity.  Now fast forward to the late 20th century.  George is riding high off the success of the  Star Wars films he created, and his ego is almost as big as his second chin.  He has all of the power in the world to make whatever film he wants.  At the seat of power and security he creates what we know as The Phantom Menace.  You see, a price must be paid.   For the first film, the price was paid in the hard labor of production.  For the latter film, the price was paid by the fans, who were robbed of their satisfaction.  Someone has to pay the price.

You might point out that texting is extremely dangerous while driving.  Yes, it certainly is, and that’s why it is now illegal in Massachusetts.  But that’s only a small piece of the whole picture. This is much bigger.

For eons, if we wanted to speak to each other we had to use only our voices.  If someone was far away, we had to yell, which required more effort.  Now I can talk to someone on the other side of the world as if they were sitting right next to me.  So little effort for so astounding an accomplishment.

Did you really think there wouldn’t be consequences for such convenience?

Thanksgiving Doesn’t Need a Friend

 

Every year it’s the same old song and dance.  The stores put out the Christmas stuff in late October, and people complain about how early it is.  Then the radio stations play Christmas music right after Halloween, and people complain about how early it is.  And every year I hear over and over again that it’s not even Thanksgiving yet!  What about Thanksgiving?  And all of these people come out of the woodwork to proclaim that they prefer Thanksgiving to Christmas.  And I’m supposed to congratulate them on their fine taste in holidays.

No.

Here’s the thing; if Thanksgiving were anything spectacular it wouldn’t be threatened by Christmas.  But it’s really not very special.  Hear me out.

What is Thanksgiving?  It’s a day to eat a lot of good food with people you care about (hopefully).  Do we honestly remember the pilgrims and the Indians?  No, we do not.  We aren’t honoring them with our feasting.  We just set a day aside to eat until we burst.  For some people, this happens all of the time.  They eat a lot of food on a regular basis.  So in that way, Thanksgiving is nothing special.

But what about giving thanks?  Sure, the day may inspire some to be more thankful than usual.  And yes, many charitable people and organizations use the day as a means to provide for the needy.  But honestly, is that what you love about Thanksgiving?  If it were, I have a feeling that you would be doing those things more than once a year.

People love to eat good food.  That’s the selling point of Thanksgiving.

Now consider Christmas.  It has a season, first of all.  There is a Christmas season.  There is a feel and a spirit to this season.  It is captured in holiday music, decorations, and yes, movies.  Christmas has hundreds and hundreds of songs and movies.  Thanksgiving has Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and the Macy’s parade.  There is no spirit of Thanksgiving beyond the day.  And if you want to argue that there is a spirit of Thanksgiving, I would respond that the spirit of Christmas includes thanksgiving.

Christmas also has two awesome figures at the center.  For the secular, Santa is the symbol of the holiday.  He is giving and jolly.  Children love him since he rewards them with presents.  People dress up as him, and his picture pops up everywhere.  For the Christians, Jesus is the figure at the center (hopefully).  Christmas celebrates the moment in history when God humbled Himself and became a human baby for the sake of mankind’s salvation.  This is the source of the joy and thanksgiving at Christmas.  The living God came to live as one of us.  Thanksgiving has a turkey.

Thanksgiving is about the big and delicious meal.  But don’t we tend to eat the same type of big and delicious meal at Christmas anyway?  You get the food on top of the gifts and the joy.

This leads me to believe that the battle between Christmas and Thanksgiving is more about what Thanksgiving isn’t than it is about what Thanksgiving is.  Surely, people must not like the wonderful aspects of the Christmas season if they are placing it below a simple feast day.

So don’t have pity on Thanksgiving.  Don’t humor it with your shallow praises.  It is about the food.  Appreciate it for what it is.  Don’t befriend it, hoping to make Christmas jealous.  Christmas is way too good to care.