Saturday, May 29, 2010

Just a Dash

The white stuff of above is sodium chloride, otherwise known as salt, and for reasons that will become clear it is our hero of the day. The human list of possible heroes was a bit disappointing, and so I began to look around for something, anything to continue my hero parade. Salt is a bit of a stretch, but it is my list, so I guess I can do what I want within reason. So, salt it is. It is essential, in small qualities for animal life, and since we are animals, in more ways that one, there is one good reason for it to be a hero. Of course, like all good things that you can't live without a little of, too much of it will kill you. Its major function is to help regulate the water content in the human body, but too much of it and you will probably stroke out from high blood pressure. However, the table salt that you and I use to season our food is not the only useful thing that salt does. Only 17.5% of the world salt production is used for food purposes, it is a necessary ingredient in the production of pulp, paper, soap, and detergents among many other things. It is supposed to be good luck to throw a pinch of it over your shoulder, and it has many mentions in various religions throughout world history. But, today's reason for it being my hero is something a little more sinister. Salt has also been used throughout history as a weapon of war. When Rome finally defeated Carthage, and razed that city to the ground, they sowed the earth with salt to make sure that nothing would ever grow there again. Now, if you read this blog, you know of my ongoing battle with Mother Nature (the Bitch). Well, today I decided to go all Roman on her, and salt a little portion of the earth under my possession. It was not to be merely symbolic, it was for the purpose of helping a couple of well entrenched stumps (the remnants of trees that I have cut down) come out of the ground. I tried at two separate places to buy large quantities of salt, and was foiled at both. The first place I tried, the people looked at me like I had two heads when I asked if they even HAD salt. Salt? Do we sell salt? was the puzzled reply I received to my question. I almost said "yes, salt you know the stuff Romans used to salt the earth at Carthage" but, I figured that would probably only result in them calling the police, and asking them to remove me from the premises because I was clearly a madman. The second place I tried did have salt, but only in small packages. Clearly, my need for salt is a need for salt in large amounts, and I asked an employee if perhaps, they sold salt in larger portions. Once again, I was looked at as if I was an alien, and told "no." I did not bother with any further attempts to find large sacks of salt, and purchased an smaller amount just to get the ball rolling on my project of salting my own little bit of earth. So, for all its commercial, food, and symbolic uses, Salt (sodium chloride), you are my (276th) hero of the day.

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