Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Governmental Brownies

You are aware of the fact that the government is extremely inefficient in many, many ways, aren't you? You have to be. It doesn't matter who the President is. It doesn't matter which party controls Congress. None of that matters. Government itself is its own entity. And it's a poorly functioning one at best. Don't believe me? Then you've been living under a rock. A very efficient rock.

Have you ever made brownies? Yes. Brownies. You know, you can buy one of those boxed mixes in the store for a couple of bucks and they're really quite efficient. I think all you do is add an egg and some oil or water or something, pour it into some sort of pan and bake the sucker for about 40 minutes. It's not hard. The instructions are right there on the side of the box. I'm pretty sure that a rhesus monkey could do it if you gave him all of the ingredients beforehand. (It's not like you could really expect the monkey to go to the store and buy all of the stuff. Monkeys are pretty short. They'd never be able to hand the money up to the cashier.)

But according to the taxpayer funded folks over at
NPR, the government is not quite as bright as the rhesus monkeys. That's because the government's rules and regulations needed to bake brownies is twenty six pages long. Wait. What now?

Correct. 26 pages of how to bake brownies in the government. To which I ask, "Are you effing kidding me?" Oh, but they're not. Oh, no. That's why sections like Section 3.2.6 (the section covering the eggs) not only tells you which kinds of eggs are acceptable, but also references another section, as it reads (only in part) "Whole eggs may be liquid or frozen and shall have been processed and labeled in accordance with the Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs and Egg Products (7 CFR Part 59)." Good Lord, man.

Now if you ask a one Jeremy Whitsitt, who has something to do with something called the Department of Defense Combat Feeding Directorate (The ol' DDCFD), there's a reason for this. It's not a reason that makes any sense to me, but it's a reason. He says, "One thing we like to say is, 'What would happen if you cooked a meal, stored it in a stifling hot warehouse, dropped it out of an airplane, dragged it through the mud, left it out with bugs and vermin, and ate it three years later?'" If it were a military meal, Whitsitt says, it would still be edible and maybe even tasty." Um, OK...? Sounds....delicious. Or...something.

The article at NPR goes on to state that "Brownies made from the Pentagon’s recipe will probably last about three years if they're packaged properly." Wait. What now? If they're packaged properly? Sooooo, you're telling me that's it's about the packaging? Yet, there is a twenty six page document on how to make the freaking things? Who in the world cares how they're made? Doesn't it seem like it would be all about the packaging? Do we really need twenty six pages on how to make a brownie?

Maybe we don't. After all, "The Pentagon actually updated its official brownie specifications recently." Oh, good! I'm glad to know that's what the Pentagon is doing these days. Updating official brownie specifications. That will help find bin Laden. But apparently, "The new document has been streamlined and expanded to cover things like lemon poppy seed cake and chocolate banana nut muffin tops." Oh, thank God for the streamlining, not to mention the lemon poppy sees and the chocolate banana nuts with which to top the military muffins! (Kinda makes you forget that we're the most powerful nation on Earth there for a minute, doesn't it?) Did I just say that it was a streamlined document? Then why is it now thirty one pages?! I don't know either, but to see for yourself, the document is below. If it doesn't load, just click the handy link. Your tax dollars hard at work folks!

MIL-C-44072C

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