Gluten for punishment

There have been rumours for years. This time they’re true. People said it would never happen, but it’s already in the works.

Stanstead is to be the home of an industrial gluten repository.

But let’s not beat around the bushel here: it’s a gluten dump.

If you’re not sure what a gluten dump is or why anyone would need one, think about all the gluten-free foods that have been flooding the market like yesterday’s oat bran: gluten-free cereal, gluten-free cake, gluten-free pasta, gluten-free goulash, gluten-free gruel, gluten-free gluten.

They’ve gotten rid of the gluten all right, but where do you suppose all that gluten goes? Gluten doesn’t just disappear like your hopes of ever again fitting into your high school band uniform. Gluten has a half-life of 142 years, which is also, not coincidentally, the shelf life of a loaf of Wonderbread.

This is the problem with humanity. We’re so fixated on short-term gratification and avoiding cramps after binging on a box of honey-glazed that we just don’t see the big picture. Take electric cars, for example. On the one hand, we’re going to reduce our reliance on gasoline, but on the other we’re going to tangle up the planet in really super-long extension cords.

The same with gluten. We wanted it out, but now the food industry has a super-sized portion of unwanted, highly demonized gluten on its hands. Have you ever had gluten on your hands? Disgusting!

And faced with this gluten glut, what does industry do? They pass the bucket. The buckets of gluten.

Not an actual gluten dump.

Not an actual gluten dump.

Very big buckets, it turns out. Enough to fill the abandoned Druid Granite quarry in Stanstead, which will soon become the holding site for Glutenous Maximus Inc.

Many people are saying this is the turning point for Stanstead, that gluten is exactly what the town needs to rise again. It’s true that it will create jobs – gluten must be constantly stirred, obviously. And somebody has to guard the gluten, it goes without saying. So, sure, these may be the jobs we want, but are they the jobs we knead?

First of all, what do we really know about gluten? Not much, really, but that doesn’t stop us from blaming our stomach ailments on it. It is a proven fact we heard somewhere that gluten is bad for us. All of us? Probably. It’s hard to say. Better safe than sorry.

And yet we’re planning to flood our town with gluten? All that exposed gluten, the gluten spores floating through the air, the gluten runoff contaminating our water supply – isn’t that putting our children at risk? This is gluten! Won’t it give them tummy aches? And if they get tummy aches, won’t they miss school? And if they miss school, won’t they drop out? And if they drop out, where will they work? The gluten dump probably, lured by the half-baked promise of making a little dough. It’s a vicious, pun-filled circle.

What about safety? It has been documented in some place I can’t remember (no doubt because of gluten-related memory loss) that these gluten pits attract packs of pastry chefs, among the most savage of culinary industry professionals, second only to the roaming gangs of napkins-into-swans transformers.

Also, will Stanstead be accepting only domestic gluten? Or, being so close to the border, will we be flooded by the more volatile variety from the Home of the Brave and Land of the Gluten-Free? I think I speak on behalf of all Canadians when I say we do not want Gwyneth Paltrow’s cast-off gluten!

Town officials are saying that there will be economic spinoffs for the community, that secondary industries could be established to transform the gluten into building materials, McDonald’s shakes, buttock implants; that tourists will flock to our Gluten Moulding Festival; that Stanstead could hold an annual Gluten Ball. But quite frankly I find these ideas hard to swallow.

The Gluten Ball

The Gluten Ball

Turning Stanstead into Glutenamo Bay may seem like the greatest thing since sliced bread (which is poison, by the way), but what’s next? Trans-fat holding facilities? MSG pits? Carbs behind bars?

Call me gluten sensitive, but there’s a reason everyone in the world is saying no to gluten. I’m not quite sure what that reason is but I bet it’s a good one.

Please share your opposition to the Stanstead gluten dump on my Facebook page, Keep gluten out of Stanstead; let Ayer’s Cliff have it.


To non-local readers: Stanstead is my home on the Quebec-Vermont border. Ayer’s Cliff is a nearby town; I mean them no harm. This is all funnier if you live here. Come visit. We’re getting a Tim Horton’s.

About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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51 Responses to Gluten for punishment

  1. pinklightsabre says:

    These are mere ways to distinguish ourselves and hold out hope, we’re different.

  2. Karen says:

    I laughed at loud at this part: “[G]luten must be constantly stirred, obviously. And somebody has to guard the gluten, it goes without saying.”

    But then you just could not resist that need/knead pun, could you? 😉

  3. List of X says:

    But think of it this way – food trends change all the time, and 20 years from now gluten will be all the rage – and Stansteand will control 40% of the world’s gluten deposits.

  4. [doing my best Welcome Back Kotter Horshack impression] OOH! Me! Me! Pick me to guard the glutinous gluten glop!! I’ll gladly dispose of it properly (patting belly). It’s either that or continue eating at Tim Horton’s. I think we all know which one is better for my health.

    (and this post was puntastic!)

  5. Paul says:

    Just think about all the jobs though:

    Gluten Receiving:

    Gluten pressure monitoring – Oh No – Something Is Wrong! She’s Gonna Blow!

    Run! Run! It’s Loose in Stanstead!

    And then there were the hundreds of clean-up jobs for decades.

  6. I’m not sure if I should laugh or cry by this article…definitely a point of view from someone who has never experienced the devastating physical or mental effects of gluten intolerance. I assure you it is more than a belly ache.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      No doubt. There’s not much point in explaining humour, but this is written via the persona of ignorance, and the target is more the trendiness than the actual condition. Still, I admit to being a bit of a jerk here.

      • I appreciate your admitting to such and will try to slink off without being thoroughly disgusted with the lack of compassion I am seeing in your feed, joke or no. Be blessed this has not affected your children and their abilities to function. If it were only a fad, my then, we could have fun.

  7. Ohhh. You said ‘re’-pository. I’m going to have to go back and read this again.

  8. Sheila Moss says:

    Funny how we never heard of gluten until a few years ago. I tried some gluten-free bread. It tasted a whole lot like Styrofoam. I am perfectly willing to let those with an actual medical necessity be gluten free. I still haven’t mastered fat-free myself and cannot worry about a fad-free diet.

  9. Sheila Moss says:

    PS: I forgot to say hilarious article. Kudos

  10. Stanstead’s getting a Tim’s? Well I never thought I’d see the day.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      When I started thinking about this article a couple of weeks ago it was still a rumour. But there is an actual building going up. I’d laugh it turned out to be a Robin’s.

  11. I wish I could like this thirty seven times over.

  12. Elyse says:

    Oh I love this. My only disappointment is that you didn’t post it shortly before a relative arrived for Thanksgiving and announced that she was on a gluten-free diet. Because I could have suggested that she go to Stanstead instead of that very warm place.

  13. Sounds like a viscous circle to me.

    Brilliant post! 🙂

  14. God, I’m going to puke. Are you serious? The whole gluten thing is a red herring, anyway. They didn’t have gluten when I was a kid. You can take gluten and throw it on the same heap of fakery as feng shui, crystals, pyramids and a thoughtful electorate. Feh.

  15. Ned's Blog says:

    “Glutenus Maximus, Inc.”
    *Snort!* (and I’m not really a snorter) I smiled and laughed all the way through this. Even after having a gluten-filled breakfast. I like to live dengerously…

  16. Ned's Blog says:

    *dAngerously* (Damn you, gluten!!)

  17. LEF says:

    thank you thank you thank you because I was really bothered about where it was all going. I am a gluten for punishment so I will eat bread forever.

  18. Trent Lewin says:

    Dude, call me when you get a Starbucks, and I’ll come over. Sounds like an interesting place.

    As for the gluten problem, I do have a solution that you have not pointed out. Just feed it to the animals, like the pigs and chickens and cows. They will go wild for it and grow very quickly and deliciously. Yes I know that we will end up eating the gluten anyway, but by then it will be extra-tasty, and I can only dream about what extra-tasty meat-flavored gluten may be like. If you feel the need to fire any royalties by me for the above idea, feel free. I’m far away from Vermont, but still approximately in Canada.

  19. Jon Pinette sums up my thoughts on the matter nicely:

    • rossmurray1 says:

      He was a great one. Every time he did a set, I feared for his life. Rightfully so, as it turns out.

      • Contrary to appearances, Pinette’s health stats were quite good and he only kicked the bucket after he lost a lot of weight, just another testament to the scientific and cultural bias against adipose tissue being a killer.

        Actually, it’s the sedentary/depression combo that will off you faster than a Walmart semi at rush hour, regardless of weight. However, it’s currently socially repugnant to shame depressed people into changing their lives while going up a jeans size automatically makes you the scapegoat of society’s self-loathing and pizza memes. Even when you can out-run, out-lift, and out-dance your own doctor.

        Just move, laugh, relax, and have something to get up for in the morning and you are already living a better life than 99% of the population wearing smaller pants than you. Neener, neener. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go eat some fudge and mow the lawn.

        Watch from 17:54 to 19:05:

  20. Pingback: A soapless case | Drinking Tips for Teens

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