The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
Thursday December 14, 2017
The Courier is Celebrating the Christmas Holidays!
 
Columns
Go Back
2011-01-20

Unintended consequences

Carolyn B. Edwards

Sometimes very good ideas, when they become reality, have unintended consequences.

Take the carnation, for example. It's long been a favorite flower of mine and, I suspect, many of you. Over the past few decades, plant scientists have worked to develop the humble carnation into production of larger blooms of many hues, including striped and spotted.
In the process, they have managed to produce carnations lovely to the eye. Unfortunately, these mega blooms have no scent - an unintended consequence.
Now, for me, the odor of a carnation has always been one of God's nicest creations.
I'm happy to learn that the plant scientists are now working to put the perfume back into one of my favorite flowers.
Cuts in federal funding to experimental science now means that corporations with a vested interest in the product pay for scientific "studies." An unexpected consequence: drugs get put on the market without thorough unbiased testing. After a few years, the attorneys get involved and we see their ads on TV: "If you took XXX, and your legs fell off, you may be entitled to compensation."
In 1982, some cold-hearted psycho inserted poison into Tylenol tablets and killed seven people. Although Johnson & Johnson has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the capture and conviction of the jack wagon, the mystery remains unsolved. The unexpected consequence, if there is any justice in this world, is that the killer, now elderly and suffering from heart problems, dies while attempting to open a bottle of life-saving aspirin which is triple sealed with a plastic seal over a child-proof cap and a foil liner so tough a steak knife is needed to cut it.
Then there is the decision to use a spray deodorant when you also use hair spray. One morning you will have the unexpected consequence of having really fresh smelling hair all day, or your sticky armpits will prevent you from waving at your friends.
If you are ever tempted to purchase the really really big bottle of shampoo because it only costs about two cents a quart if you buy five gallons at a time, nip that temptation right in the bud, bud. There are two unintended consequences to this purchase. One, you will never, ever, be able to extract less than a pint of shampoo at a time. You can bubble up your entire house with a pint of shampoo! Two, you will, without doubt, one morning when particularly rushed, drop that sucker on your foot. Five gallons of shampoo can cause significant damage to your big toe. Each of these large bottles has a special invisible laser targeting device implanted in them that zeros in on that particularly susceptible digit.
And the unintended consequence of failing to use a Magic Marker to put a gigantic "S" on the shampoo bottle, to distinguish it from the "C" conditioner, is the worst bad hair day of your life.