Update: People are the worst

“Only you can stop starting forest fires. Or peeing in the pool. Seriously. Stahp.”

As a species, we humans live in a constant state of denial. We’re programmed that way. For instance, an observable phenomenon known as Dunning-Kruger effect causes us to inflate how great we are to avoid depression, resulting in not understanding why we take bad pictures or sound weird in voicemail. (It’s because that’s how everyone else hears/sees us, please stop singing.)

This level of denial also applies to things that we definitely do, but would never cop to. Well, the science is in and, yep, we’re awful.

Lest anyone tries to deny peeing in the pool: we’re busted. Everyone knows now. We all thought it was the perfect crime — everyone’s wet, bathing suits don’t show pee, anything amiss is killed by chlorine … except artificial sweeteners. And they’re in everything, not just diet soda. You’re not fooling anyone, person who hasn’t left the pool for six hours except for new beers, and the chlorine smell is only getting stronger to kill your foul excretions.

Also, we’re the ones setting most forest fires. And not like just over half of them, and the other half is droughts, wind and Jerry Bruckheimer’s production logo. Five out of six forest fires — 84 percent — are started by us. We’re doing it so much that we stretched that normal 46 days per year of nature claiming California homes to 154 days, every year. Smokey’s too busy fighting the Trump administration, people. This one’s on us.

So, yeah. It’s time to face facts: people may overwhelmingly mean well, but we don’t act that way.

Ain’t that a kick in the aspartame?

But only if you hate her or stand to inherit a lot of money when she passes, you monster.
But only if you hate her or stand to inherit a lot of money when she passes, you monster.

If you’ve been drinking diet soda for a long time (as in, the “diet” part still hasn’t worked after all these years), it could be because you’re one of the people who can now process artificial sweeteners like regular sugar. And not only can you digest them, but they may be actually worse for you, increasing your likelihood of gaining weight or developing type 2 diabetes.

So, who’s to blame?

  • Soda companies, for deceptively marketing their drinks as dietary? No. It’s not their fault people decided that drinking brown sugarless water would bring about the same results as not drinking any brown water at all.
  • Doctors, for not figuring this out sooner? No. Did you read the part where people needed to get healthy and, rather than drink water and maybe exercise, drank something else from soft drink companies?
  • Animals? Sort of!

It turns out that artificial sweeteners would have worked if it weren’t for bacteria in our biomes. Aspartame, sucralose and saccharine should have been undigestible — merely sweetening our beverages in our mouths before moving on directly to Toilet Town. But now certain ones can use artificial sweeteners to raise blood sugar levels two- to fourfold.

And, yes, we know that — technically — bacteria aren’t animals. But we aren’t winning the War on Animals by being discerning now, are we, eggheads?