I don't like reading these stories. I don't like sharing them, or writing about them, and I hate even more that these things happen at all. I cannot fathom what life is like for Bruce Kelly's family now, it's just so heartbreaking. The 22-year-old man died of anaphylaxis after eating chocolates that he'd eaten previously without issue. The problem was that Mr. Kelly was allergic to nuts and peanuts, and these chocolates were labelled "may contain nuts," a warning he often disregarded his whole life with little fear.
It's so terrifying to think that someone can live with a life-threatening allergy for so long, but die at 22, when we assume they have a good handle on allergy management. We tend to worry the most when kids are really young, and unable to understand the severity of their allergies, but the truth is that nobody with severe allergies is ever really safe.
Now, some people with severe allergies never, ever eat foods with the "may contain" warning on the packaging, but here's the thing: that warning is optional, so even products without it can be (and often are) potential risks. For my family, there are things we take calculated risks with, but this story makes me feel like perhaps we're playing Russian roulette with our son's life. No amount of grey area is safe. After all, Bruce Kelly had eaten a number of chocolates from the box without issue, when just one more ended his life. He felt his risk was minimal -- in the past, he'd had reactions, but they'd been controlled with an emergency epinephrine injector. Turns out, no risk is really minimal.
The foods we've trusted in the past may not be safe. Anything that's processed in a factory that processes allergens is not safe. Nothing in a home with nuts is safe.
It's truly exhausting, but this seems to be the reality.
My deepest condolences are being sent to Bruce Kelly's family, and my thoughts are with all the people who, like our family, have to even worry about these things. It's so sad anyone has to die because a little bit of residue from an allergen is on a food they eat. How very tragic.
Finally, there's an ad for AXE men's products that doesn't stink as much as the products themselves. Armed with a new ad agency, the line of products has come out with a brand new ad that shockingly isn't a horrible, sexist piece of junk. I never understood how they got away with their super sexist ads of the past - the idea was that men could spray the product on themselves and women would become brainless sex slaves for them. It would turn even the homeliest of men into irresistible hunks. Um, nope. No thanks. Not a message I want my son or daughter having, thankyouverymuch.
But this ad? It's. . . it's really good.
It's a celebration of a multitude of ways men can be masculine -- it's not the typical chiselled-abs-old-school-man approach to sexuality, that's for sure. And it's not a, "Hey, despite being ugly, you too can get laid" message either. It's a message that truly seems to embrace the beauty in difference. In this commercial we've got atypical cuteness, varying sexualities, alternative lifestyles and different abilities. I love it. It's a montage of how what makes you unique is what makes you attractive, and that's a message I think we can all get behind these days. It's not about the stereotypical nerds snagging hotties gig that AXE is so known for, it's about embracing yourself, being you, and letting your freak flag proudly fly. I love this line: "The most attractive man you can be is yourself. So find what makes you you. Then work on it."
There are beards! Cats! Dudes in heels! It's a big step forward and I mean, ok, the commercial isn't perfect (note that the guy with the big nose in the early scene still snags a very typically beautiful woman despite his lack of six-pack abs), but it's a good start, isn't it?
Cauliflower prices in Canada are through the roof these days. Ringing in around $7 a head (whuuuuuut!?), the ubiquitous vegetable is the hottest topic these days. But listen, you guys: what's up with the cauliflower devotion? You've lost your damn minds, people. Cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower kung pao, cauliflower "rice", cauliflower popcorn -- omfg, stop. Stop it with the bland, virtually tasteless vegetable love already.
Of course, if you're really interested in chewing up some flavourless fodder, let me suggest these alternatives to cauliflower that fit the bill:
This old boot:
A slice of dirty cardboard:
An old pencil:
A dirty foot:
A pile of hair:
source: kim_carpenter_nj on flickr
Filthy nail clippings:
source: quinnanya on Flickr
A used tissue:
source: findingtheobvious on Flickr
POTATOES. For the love of all things, what did potatoes do to deserve your hatred?
Here are some other ideas for what to eat instead of cauliflower, in case you needed even more options.