Random Thoughts While Driving in Waco

By Jack Smith

I love red velvet cake and red velvet cookies and red velvet cupcakes.

But according to allergy dietitian Isabel Skypala, red velvet cupcakes cause allergies in children. The problem is that the red coloring is derived from cochineal, which is made from ground-up insects. (Thankfully, food manufacturers are now turning to natural additives for the red coloring.) Ground-up insects? OMG. How yucky is that? Maybe we could go to blue velvet cake.

Older folks will remember the song “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton. We could change the words from “She wore blue velvet” to “She ate blue velvet.” Why would anybody grind up insects? I thought “cochineal” was a resort spot in Mexico, but it turns out it’s a bug. Who knew?

There is a new word for a new concept. The word is “sologamy,” and the new concept is marrying yourself. In this new trend, women are committing themselves to themselves with their own wedding ceremony. These women, such as self-styled sologamist Erika Anderson, throw on a white gown, invite their close friends and family and marry themselves in a legally nonbinding way. There is a website called IMarriedMe.com that offers a kit to assist you in planning your own wedding ceremony: “self-wedding” rings and daily self-affirmation cards. Ms. (Mrs.?) Anderson even took a first-year anniversary celebration trip to Mexico. She went by herself, of course.

Possible advantages to sologamy are that at the wedding, guests can sit on either side of the aisle without thinking about it and you would only have to have one wedding cake. So far, it’s only women marrying themselves. Men never could plan a wedding.

Another new word, which I like, is “slacktivism” — a combination of “slacker” and “activism.” Slacktivism is action taken to bring about political or social change that requires minimal commitment. For instance, if you see a political diatribe on Facebook and you hit “like” or you sign an internet petition, you can feel good about yourself without putting out any effort. Slactivists Unite! Or maybe it’s too much trouble.

As you know, you can order most anything online these days. I would never have thought of ordering a mattress online. It will be delivered to your door, and if you’re not home I guess it will be left there. Then you could drag the 70-pound thing inside. (Sologamists would have to haul it in by themselves.) Then what do you do with the old mattress? Put it on the curb? Curb your enthusiasm, not your mattress. Will UPS or FedEx deliver mattresses? If this catches on, they may have to get bigger trucks.

I read a “Hints from Heloise” column about what not to feed your dog. I had always heard that chocolate was bad for dogs, but she added to the list avocados, plums, peaches, cherries and apricots. This is no doubt valid information, but was it necessary? Does anyone feed fruit to their dog? It would probably be better to give them red velvet cake.

Just how smart is a whip?

I think that Seattle and San Francisco have a competition to see which can be the most outlandishly P.C. Seattle police officers were recently told to no longer use the word “suspect.” Instead they must use the term “community member.” San Francisco will probably counter by insisting that its cops use the word “friend.”

IF I WERE KING: Sologamists would become slacktivists and would only think about marrying themselves.