Sundays in Bethlehem are generally "my day". I turn down invitations for fun and focus on school work and cleaning my apartment. The day always starts with laundry at the University Laundromat.
Today, I was running late because I was distracted by Sunday morning political shows (Ted Kennedy & Arnold ... you'd be distracted too). Normally, I chat with "Leggings Lady" and her 8-year-old daughter while I wait for my sheets to become snuggle-fresh. But, I caught her on her way out of the laundromat today ("You're late today!" she said as she held the door open).
So, I sat down with my Speciation book and attempted to read about Behavioral Isolation. Suddenly, a woman came in with coffee spilled down her shirt. She was sopping it up with napkins and I offered her some bottled water to help get the stain out.
We began talking and I discovered she was waiting for the bus. She usually drives her car and never takes the bus, had a kid, a boyfriend in Allentown, a BA in English from Syracuse, was a quasi-vegan, and worked for Pfizer. Apparently anyone who has a four-year degree can work for Pfizer's "help hotline". You know, that 1-800 number on all products made by the company.
She tells me stories about the stupidity of people in America.
I learned many things from her:
~Pfizer makes many more products than I ever thought (not just viagara!!!).
~Some people don't understand how ept pregnancy tests are supposed to be used (ouch).
~If your kid takes too many Benedryl or drinks Listerine, you should call Posion Control NOT the 1-800 number on the package (these people have degrees in English -- they are not doctors).
~And, the most disturbing thing I learned today: Don't buy Cirtus Listerine (the orange kind). It is orange because of cochineal coloring -- made from the eggs of beetles.
YUMMY! I totally want to clean my mouth with beetle eggs!!
Apparently, cochineal extract and carmine or carminic acid (its derivitive) are used in many red & orange foods because other red food dyes are thought to be carcinogenic. Though, many people have an allergy to the cochineal coloring. Read more on the Vegetarians in Paradise website about it.
And read the ingredients the next time you eat or drink something red or orange.
It's funny the things you learn from random people while washing laundry! I think I'll try to get there earlier next week!