“Waiter, there's a persistent organic pollutant in my drink!”
I bet ya never heard that one. But, unfortunately, it's probably a more common problem than the proverbial (or actual) fly-in-soup scenario. Persistent organic pollutants, otherwise known as POPs, otherwise known as organo-chlorides, otherwise known by over four hundred chemical names... Call 'em what you will; they're the most pervasive man-made chemicals in the world.
And, alas, the most dangerous. Or so it's speculated. Lotsa scientists around the world are crying out against these chemicals. You've probably heard of them by their generic names: PCBs, furans and dioxins (remember Times Beach or Love Canal?). Created as by-products from chlorine chemistry (including paper and plastic manufacture...the industrial foundations of our society), some of these chemicals are harmful enough that, it is speculated, a mere thimble-full could poison the entire population of New York.
New York State, that is...
Here in Bloomington, Indiana, we're proud to be home to the world's largest concentrated volume of PCBs, thanks to the electrical-capacitor manufacturing plant formerly owned by Westinghouse, out on the west side of town. Thousands of tons of PCB-contaminated soil and sediment underlie Bloomington's rolling countryside and scenic waterways. It's enough to make a man...well, die.
So, in honor of our friendly local pollutant, I thought I'd mix a drink.
4 oz. bourbon
Go outside. Scrape up some dirt from your yard, and put it in a glass. If you live on planet earth, there's a strong likelihood that this ingredient will contain a little bit of organo-chloride.
Let's add some more:
Crack open a live oyster, and drop it in the glass. Add four frozen shrimp (the cooling action of the frozen shrimp will offset the nasty taste of the dirt).
Shred some copy paper or notebook paper and drop it in the glass. While this won't contain much organo-chloride, it WILL help support the paper-manufacturing industry, which is one of the biggest chlorine polluters of them all... Just don't use that tree-hugger hemp or kenaf shit...
If you have a friend who's lactating (especially if she's an Inuit), have her squirt you a dash in your glass. This is certain to be a high-powered (and tasty) blend of persistent organic pollutants. Don't believe me? Ask the German government! They recently discouraged all mothers from breast-feeding their kids, for this very reason...But you LIKE this shit, right? Get two squirts! DOUBLE-NIPPLE ACTION! You never had it so good...
Next, add some water from your tap — which not only contains chlorine, but also (most likely, if you live in the industrialized world) travels through PVC plumbing--and PVC (vinyl) manufacturing is THE BIGGEST cause of organo-chloride pollution.
Finally, top this off with four ounces of bourbon. You'll need it to dull the pain of knowing what you've just consumed...
...And now, raise a toast, to Dow, Westinghouse, Monsanto, Hammermill Paper, and all the other great poisoners of the apocalypse!