What’s It All About, Algae?

I enjoy slurping down buckets of green pond scum as much as the next person. I mean, grab me by the ankles; tip my head down; drag me slowly back-and-forth across a swamp; and, well, I just glow.

As a child in the swamplands of Soderville, Minnesota, I so loved the pond slime and appreciated its health benefits that I filled containers with stagnant pond water, and waited for our friend, Mr. Scum, to do his work.

Then, after a few hot and humid weeks, Mom would check the buckets, and shout, “Judy! Dinner! Pond scum’s ready!” (For years, I meant to correct her on that “Judy” thing, but never found the right moment.)

Today, fortified pond residue is neatly packaged and marketed, much like another snooty Madison Avenue product: Cheez Whiz. I recently received a packet on a vitamin-like product called Super Blue Green Algae, sold by a company in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

That state, you may know, is still struggling with the problem of the rare spotted owl, one for which I now offer this suggestion: A large clump of garlic will get rid of that gamy taste in a hurry.

Anyway, the packet came with a huge amount of information intended to answer one question: “Why would anyone without a steel plate in his or her head intentionally allow pond scum into their mouth, then swallow it, and pay huge amounts of money for this privilege?”

Thank you for asking.

I refer now to a Q and A pamphlet, and will try my best to transcribe parts of it without lurching from my chair in a great laughing fit. (The words in parenthesis are my own deep thoughts.)

Question: “Why is Super Blue Green Algae of such vital importance to our diet today?”

Answer: “Blue Green Algae is at the very bottom of the food chain.” (Some scientists disagree, saying it’s in a dead heat with—all together now—lawyers.) “It is more basic to biological life than even bacteria.” (Oddly enough, this line is the exact same sales pitch used by the Spam folks.)

Question: “How should I take it?”

Answer: (Lying down, with friends and next of kin gathered in the room.) “Actually, though it is packaged in a capsule to protect its delicate balance of nutrients, we consider Super Blue Green Algae as a food, and not a supplement, so we usually speak of ‘eating’ algae rather then ‘taking’ it.” (We also like to refer to the cash transactions involved as “eating” your money, rather than “taking” it.) “We feel the ideal way to consume the algae is to…sprinkle it onto our food as a condiment. This allows us to chew and digest it right along with our food.” (They also suggest that for a few moments after chewing the pond scum, you keep a door open, thus avoiding any breaking of glass and/or wood when your bolt into the back yard to heave.) “Some find that when consumed at night or with supper, the algae produces too much energy…to sleep.” (This becomes a good time to knock over a convenience store. Trust us, you get hooked on this stuff, and, at $131 for a big bottle, you’ll need the cash.)

Question: “How much should I use?”

Answer: (This depends on how gullible you are—if you’re in your 50s, and still marvel at the clever hiding places the Easter Bunny keeps finding for the colored eggs, we suggest 100 capsules a day.) “There is no single, simple answer to this question. For some, more than one or two capsules per day produces more…energy than their systems can easily use all at once.” (Put another way, if you set off from Lake Calhoun for a quick jog, and wake up with a raccoon sitting on your forehead in a Kansas cornfield, you might want to cut back on the dosage a wee bit.)

Question: (Geese and ducks are big consumers of pond scum. What does this tell us?)

Answer: (Well, waterfowl today have enough energy to fly thousands of miles in annual migrations. Before discovering algae’s benefits, however, most geese and ducks made the journey by hitchhiking. Some actually stole cars for the trip.)

Question” (Why is it called Super Blue Green Algae?)

Answer: (I believe it has to do with the color of your poop.)

OK. I crossed the line here, but, hey, consider the source.

Bye for now.
Kiss, kiss

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