Lately my brain has been semi-defective.  It works most of the time, but every now and then it shorts out, leaving me standing there wondering what the hell I’d intended to do moments ago.  Or I go to do one thing and end up doing something else entirely.

I hope it’s because I’m in the final intense writing phase of Book 7 and all my spare brain power is used up.  I really hope it’s not permanent.  And I really, really hope aliens didn’t sneak into my bedroom while I was asleep and swap out my brain for a substandard model.  ‘Cause everybody knows there’s a big market for good used brains around Halloween, so it would make sense to manufacture some cheaper semi-defective ones.

I mean, really, there are lots of things that are apparently manufactured to be intentionally inferior.

Take cotton swabs, for example – one of my pet peeves.  Any time I buy a generic brand, one end of the swab has a nice soft cotton tip and the other end is a hard plastic stick with a few shreds of cotton adhering to it, just enough to blunt the edges so it doesn’t actually slice the inside of my ear to pieces.

(Don’t bother reprimanding me for sticking cotton swabs in my ears.  I know I’m not supposed to, but I’m a rebel.  Sometimes I go out doors marked ‘In Only’.  Sometimes I drink milk that’s a day past its ‘Best Before’ date.  So sticking cotton swabs in my ears?  I laugh in the face of danger!  Ha-ha!)


If Q-Tips® can make cotton swabs with nice soft cotton tips on both ends, why are all generic cotton swabs semi-defective?  Do aliens open up every single package and remove the cotton from one end of each swab?

Or is there a special cut-rate supplier for semi-defective manufacturing equipment?

I imagine the following sales pitch from SemDef Corporation:  “Yeah, you could buy a machine that actually works, but for half the price, you can have a machine that only works half the time.  Is that a deal or what?”

Which actually explains a lot about the generic food market, too.  You know what I mean.  If you buy Cheerios®, you get yummy Cheerios®.  If you buy generic oatie-o cereal, you get something that tastes like the cardboard box it’s packed in.

It has the same ingredient list.  There’s no sawdust or wallpaper paste in there.  Not even the leftover cotton from the semi-defective swabs.  So that means either they’ve somehow managed to screw up a simple recipe past the point of recognition, OR…

…SemDef also sells substandard food products:  “Why spend extra money for top quality oats?  For half the price, you can get oats that have been left out in the rain for a few days.  All you have to do is scrape off the mouldy bits and ignore the grasshopper corpses, and you’re all set.  Really, you’re going to process them past the point of recognition anyway.  Who’ll know?”

Okay, I just grossed myself out.

And I’ve created a rambling blog post that connects cotton swabs, aliens, breakfast cereal, and grasshoppers.  Yet another sabotage by my semi-defective brain.

Damn those aliens anyway.

23 thoughts on “Semi-Defective

  1. Hehehehe!! I totally skipped the grasshoppers part and glad I did 😛 I mean, if you grossed yourself out…you know?
    Maybe it’s something to do with patents or something…like they cannot make cotton swabs as well as Q-tips because that would be a breach of something legal? I mean look at Apple and Samsung and stuff…

    Then again the alien theory is a whole lot better and more interesting 😛


  2. Oh, yeah, forgot to mention. A lot of the so-called generic items for sale are really just factory-seconds, rejects, or semi-scrap that are sold to second-party resellers or just shuffled off to another division of the same corporation for sale under a different label and in a different package. The large-quantity packages of the razor blades I used to use were an example of that. After the blades had been out for a few years, I began to notice what I thought were cheapo knock-offs of the product. They weren’t. They were seconds and rejects from the same plant that made the good stuff that was packaged with the name-brand label and sold at the (much) higher price. I noticed this after the name-brand blades were discontinued in favor of the “new and improved” version that replaced them. I used a few packs of the cheapos so I wouldn’t have get used to another razor, and so on. (Guys are picky about their razor blades.) Further, the cheapo blades were actually “graded” within their own packages. The first blade in the pack was pretty good, almost first quality. Then quality ranged downward to the last blade which was DREADFUL. So in a lot of cases, “generic” is more about cost recovery than helping the consumer. Just an FYI here. Now, please continue on with the regularly scheduled hilarity. 🙂


    • Well, dang. I can’t believe I was naive enough to think that the generics were actually trying for acceptable quality. Jeez, I haven’t been this disillusioned since I discovered the “acceptable maximum” according to the FDA is 8 maggots per can of tomatoes.

      Did I mention I grow and can my own tomatoes…?


  3. Unlike generic drugs, which I’m all for because the trade-name ones can be ridiculously expensive, I don’t like ‘generic’ food. Or Q-tips. I’m with you on that one.

    As for defective brains, I was reading the paper and saw that the choice for the next U.S. Federal Reserve head was a 67-year-old woman. As for the woman part? Excellent. But I thought about my own self at 67. Would I be capable of such a job (assuming I knew anything about economics, which I don’t) or would I just want to soothe my already fading memory by reading good books and sampling some M&Ms? Sadly, I think you know the answer…


  4. I finally got the “Spy for Spy” book. I am on page 214 now and so far it is pretty interesting. I guess the fast cleaning “PPA” was pretty unique. I had never heard it put that way before. LOL
    On the cue tips. Doesn’t everyone do that? The ear cleaning machine is a big joke. I tried it and it really is for the pits.
    The book is great so far, I have really have a dislike for that grease ball that has been bugging Arlean. Can’t wait to see what is done to him. Removal from life would be an aid to society. Thanks for the book.


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