Well, American pop culture once again has proved that the easiest way to entertain the masses is to do something stupid and put it on the Internet.
Don’t be surprised if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and President Obama all post videos of themselves eating spoonfuls of ground cinnamon. Would Ron Paul do this? No, he’s too smart. He’s a doctor, after all.
It is the latest rage: People try their best to choke themselves to death by trying to swallow a tablespoon or more of ground cinnamon.
According to The Wall Street Journal, about 30,000 videos of this so-called cinnamon challenge have been uploaded to YouTube, where they have garnered multimillions of views and counting.
When the stars of these videos try to swallow the ground cinnamon, they usually cough explosively, and cinnamon is blown all over. Sometimes the people start choking. The Journal describes one woman as trying to eat a soup ladle full of cinnamon only to wind up being enveloped in a cloud of brown dust, wheezing and choking.
So far, nobody appears to have died from this, and that probably is a good thing. (Although some people might say that a few deaths from inhaling cinnamon might rid the gene pool of some idiots.)
The people in Madera know how to eat cinnamon. They buy it in sticks of rolled-up bark; they buy it ground in cans. Sucking on a cinnamon stick, just like sucking on a clove, can be quite refreshing. Shaking a little cinnamon in one’s coffee can brighten one’s day. Cinnamon enriches many recipes.
But Maderans aren’t so stupid as to swallow enough to choke themselves half to death. At least, I don’t think they are. The cat hasn’t tried it yet, and I doubt she would.
The governor of Illinois, however, did it, and he is being treated as quite a hero.
As I said, expect the next political debate to involve cinnamon snorting.