The Shrubbery
October
1999
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The Tao of the Supermarket><BR>
<a href=by Jason Morrison

I sure don't know a lot about Zen Buddhism. Or the Tao, for that matter, though one time I did read the Tao of Pooh. I'm just a middle-class kid from Ohio, honestly, what should I know about inner peace, enlightenment, etc, and whatnot? But I have achieved Buddha nature.

You don't get it from Judeo-Christian ethics, I'll tell you that. Jesus was very love-thy-neighbor, but don't turn your back on his dad-an angry and vengeful god. Turning people into pillars of salt, telling you to kill your son then Ooops! It was just a test. But I have ultimate tranquility, a merging of mind spirit and soul, one of my hands is clapping and the other isn't.

It all started early this summer. I was in a supermarket I've never been to before, when I saw it- Sobe. Sobe? Of course. The drink of enlightenment. Liquid Zen. With Guarana.

I took one sip and I was hooked. Actually, I was hooked just by reading the bottle. Sobe comes in flavors like Energy, Wisdom, Karma, and even Lizard Fuel. Energy, for instance, has guarana, yohimbe and arginine. Does Coca-Cola provide hormone stimulation and improved blood flow to the major muscle groups? Of course not. But Sobe, with a sublime blend of holistic pseudo-science herbs and secret ingredients, will connect your mind to your spirit and give you the sublime energy of yohimbe and rose hips.

One sip, and whole bunch of trees fell in a forest and I didn't hear a thing. The fine people at Snapple were quick to get into the liquid-Zen market, with an array of Transcendental beverages including Sun, Fire, Earth, Rain, Lightning, and even moon. Looking for Gingko Biloba and Kava Kava? Probably not, because you're an uncultured western hick. But not me. I now realize the serious lack of yin and yang in my life, and the best way to replenish my bodily balance is not Gatorade, as I once believedů It's a drink called Earth.

So how is it that a native of Northfield can have achieved a state of all-knowledge and passivity known only to the ancients of the east? I pondered this koan for a while, and came up with the answer: corn syrup. All these drinks have corn syrup, and where is corn grown? Ohio. Where was I grown? Ohio. The connection to the earth is so unbelievably illustrative of my newfound philosophy. One might say it was ironic, except that there is no irony, only the way of things.

Now I read the Tao of Pooh in a new light, with a bottle of Wisdom and a mouthful of St. John's Wort. Someday perhaps I will read some of the stuff about these eastern religions that I've seen in libraries, but it hardly seems necessary. I drink like 10 bottles of this stuff a week, and you have no idea how much Biloba that is. Way more than stupid monks ever get.

And if it weren't for the fact that I now see the material world as a farce, and have become consistently tantric, I would be pissed that all this stuff costs like $1.19 a bottle or more. But I have no need of material wealth, because of all the spiritual wealth and Red #40 I get from this stuff, but damn, it's almost $1.50 a bottle sometimes, without tax. Do they think money grows on trees? Oh wait, I think that's a koan.

No it isn't, but here's one- if a giant corporation waters down an actual religion and a bunch of clueless people buy it, is it an insult?

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