Lynette Sheffield column: Getting Fruity

Here’s a funny column by humorist Lynette Sheffield:

Getting Fruity

While walking through the snack aisle at Costco (And no, it
wasn’t like I was going to actually buyFruitleather anything that would ruin my diet, I was
simply looking. Truly.), I saw this product that was called “Fruit Leather.”

I understand that Fruit Leather is a fruit snack.  But I can’t believe that
“Fruit Leather” was the name chosen by the company name-choosers. 

I mean,

Fruit Leather was the best you could come up with? 

I can tell
you with all sincerity that I have never, not once, looked down at my own shoes
and thought, “I wish they were made out of fruit so I could eat them.”   

Maybe I should get out more. Maybe this is a personal expression that is
quite common and I am so out of it, I cannot even consider this option. 

don’t know. 

What I do know is that if something is presented to me to eat
and part of the name of that food is leather; I will go hungry.

I’m not a
radical vegan, protein disciple or a member of the Carb Police.  I’m just on a
lifelong leather-free diet.

But fruit snacks are a big business.  The
International Market for Fruit Snacks (yes, it really does exist) puts the
annual sales of fruit snacks at over three hundred million U.S. dollars in

These snacks are promoted as healthy alternatives for children. 
However, a quick look at any given package reveals that the sugar content is
high and the fiber content is virtually diddly squat.  The level of Vitamin C is
pumped up from 28% to 42% to 100% of the RDA on any given pouch of
rainbow-colored mutant fruit shapes, but honestly, when was the last time you
heard of any American being deficient in Vitamin C? 

There are no telethons
for scurvy! 

Vitamin C is added to everything, even Ovaltine!

A serving
of Ovaltine has 45% of the RDA for Vitamin C which still doesn’t explain why
their commercials are so demented. 

The actors in the radio commercials,
both children and adults, get so carried away in the excitement of actually
being able to drink Ovaltine mixed with milk, cold, hot or, brace yourself; in
milkshakes, they nearly swoon from an overdose of joy.  Crazed mobs in the
throes of last-minute Christmas shopping appear to be on decaf compared to these
Ovaltine drinkers. 

Perhaps that is why there is so much unrest in the
Middle East: an inadequate supply of Ovaltine.  If you knew you would have to
excise Ovaltine from your diet, wouldn’t you lose all will to live and look for
solace in the form of a roadside bomb? 

Answers a whole lot of nagging
questions, doesn’t it?

Well, if Ovaltine truly does has 45% of the RDA for
Vitamin C, I am convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that, based on their
commercials, the other 55% of Ovaltine has got to be crack. 

I refuse to let
my own children drink it until they are at least 21 and have turned to a life of
Hi-C promotes itself as being a beverage o’ health because they have
injected 183% of the RDA for Vitamin C in their product.  You do know what
happens to the extra 83%, right? 

Hint: it’s not absorbed.

Hi-C’s rival,
Kool-Aid, only has 10%, leaving one to wonder why Kool-Aid Man always looks so
I think we all know the real reason, don’t we? 

He is called
Kool-Aid Man, although try as I may, I cannot see any sign of male or female
genitalia, and he is very, very happy. 

They have tried to brute up Kool-Aid
Man by giving him board shorts and an unbuttoned shirt but underneath he still
wears red tights. 

He has this big permanent smile plastered on his
weirdly-shaped head and is seen bursting through walls of homes much like one
might leap from, oh, say,  a closet.

You guessed it; Kool-Aid Man is yet
another part of the homosexual agenda whose goal it is to seduce our children
into that glamorous, decadent lifestyle with its promises of well-groomed hair,
snappy apparel and matching socks. 

It will only be a matter of time before
our young people are sashaying around with dashing handbags like Teletubbie
TinkyWinky and moving in with Ernie and Bert on Sesame Street, next door to
Patrick and SpongeBob SquarePants while watching reruns of Will and Grace.

To read more of Lynette’s humor, visit her website.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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