Friday, October 02, 2009

Silly Rabbits

The year was 1982.

I was 10 years old and just beginning to develop my own taste in music1 when Men at Work's Down Under hit the pop charts in the US.

I totally loved that song even if Colin Hay's unblinking stare in the video creeped me out a little.

That said, there was a lyric in there that made absolutely no sense to me at all. It went like this:

"I met a man from Brussels.
He was 6 foot 4 and full of muscles.
I said 'Do ya speak-a my language?'
He just smiled and gave me a [bitch of my] sandwich."

At least that's what I thought the lyrics were at 10. And I wasn't completely comfortable with saying "bitch" quite yet. It always made me think Uhmmmm-burrrrr! I'm telling!

Then I found out it was actually a complete nonsense lyric that said "He just smiled and gave me a Vegemite sandwich." Since I couldn't think of a sandwich name that might fit in there as well either, I figured they'd made up the word Vegemite and I went about my life...

Until now.

totally swiped from the internet

It turns out there actually is such a thing as Vegemite that people in Australia eat. Would you like to know what it is?

Are you sure?

It's primarily used brewer's yeast. As in the kind of yeast beer manufacturers have used already to process beer. In essence, the main ingredient in Vegemite is...

beer excrement.

I know, right?

As it happens, while visiting my sister and my quirky, wonderful, brilliant brother-in-law in Seattle, my BIL offered me some Vegemite for my toast. Actually, it wasn't quite Vegemite as Vegemite isn't generally allowed in the USofA because the manufacturers2 add folic acid to it and the FDA does not allow added folic acid in foods other than in breads and cereals3.

No, what my BIL tried to offer me was the British equivalent, Marmite. It boils down to the same thing (no pun intended). Used brewer's yeast.

Now, maybe if I were a beer drinker, this would not have appalled me quite so much. But I went on a brewery tour when I was in my early teens and never quite got over the tour guide describing the brewing process and the subsequent product as "yeast pee". Seriously. So I've never liked beer pretty much ever.

But really? There are people out there that really actually want to eat the beer leftovers? On toast?

Can I ask...why? And honestly...who thought this was a good idea?

Needless to say, I passed on the Marmite.

1: Incidentally, this was the same year I purchased my first LP...Soft Cell's Non-Stop Erotic Cabaret. If you think singing the word "bitch" was tough, imagine figuring out what Sex Dwarf was about and trying to sing that without anyone noticing. I consider that album to be my formal introduction to sex ed.

2: Kraft Foods. Unsettling.

3: According to my friend, The Wiki, and also

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