This Thought Was Best By Today

It's a story as old as time itself. Well, ok, it's really only as old as the oldest thing in my fridge, and it goes a little something like this:

A man who may or may not be me stands in front of the fridge that may or may not be mine. The man has an item in his hand. And the man wonders...

"Is this still good?"

Since there's no one around to answer him, the man may or may not eat the item in question. Oh, who am I kidding. He's going to eat it.

There's a date stamped on the top of the package that indicates when the product was "best by," but it's not helpful at all. The date was the day before yesterday. And that's when it was... "best"?

...what does that even mean?

Does it mean he shouldn't eat it after that date? If so, how soon after? Does he need to finish eating it shortly after that date? Again, how soon after? Or, does it just become less awesome after that date? If so... how much less awesome? "Even the stuff I eat that's supposedly still good isn't always... y'know... Good ...so how do I know if this is bad?"

Sell By dates are even worse.

If you stop to think about it, a Sell By date is downright offensive. It's the store's way of saying "I don't give a rats ass if or when you eat this, but we want it out of our store by friday!" Gee, thanks for putting the customer first.

I don't care when something I bought in a grocery store should be sold. That's their problem. As for when it is best... I bought it now. I assume it's at its best now. If it isn't at its best yet, tell me when it is and I'll buy it then.

Once I've bought something, I just need to know when it will kill me. Up to that point, as far as I'm concerned, it's still good.

Here's what I really want: instead of providing me with a Best By date, give me a Bletch By date. Slap a label on there that says "If you haven't eaten this by March first… dude… the answer is NO." Usage of the word Dude would imply that they really really mean it. Really.

I don't think products should come with Best By dates.
I think people should.

Scenario #1:
"Wow, your ex was a bitch!"
"No, she was sweet. But we were together long before her Best By date."

Scenario #2:
"Wow, your ex was a bitch!"
"Yeah, but I dated her two years after her Best By date, so I've got nobody but myself to blame."

Scenario #3:
"Man, Rob, you're a jerk."
"Yeah, but before my Best By date, I used to be awesome, whereas you've always been a douche bag."

Best By dates: they should be for people, not products. You know I'm right. (Except maybe for the tub of butter from August 09. I'm pitching that!)

::::: | Tuesday, Feb 09 2010 at 9:21 PM
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