Money well spent: Beef jerky research and development
It is comforting to know that at least a portion of my tax dollars is being used for something that directly benHfiWV PH DnG WKDW I wholeheartedly support: beef jerky research and development.
That’s right, according to some HlHFWHG RIfiFLDl who released some report on something, our country gives tax monies to the Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center – which is responsible for researching, developing, fiHlGLnJ DnG PDnDJLnJ IRRG, clothing, shelters, airdrop systems and soldier support items – to, among other things, develop a beef jerky rollup for our troops.
I am behind this 100 percent because the Natick Soldier Systems Center sounds like a cool place to work, the research is for the troops and because I am a big beef jerky guy. Always have been. If I was ever to run for public RIfiFH, Py SlDWIRUP ZRulG be to put a beef jerky stick in every voter’s hand.
In fact, I have recently as a few weeks ago, considered whether I could exist on just a diet of beef jerky and salted cashews. Turns out that might not be all that great for my system.
And oddly enough, my attraction to beef jerky seems somehow to be connected to gas. No, not that kind of gas; the kind of gas that one puts into a car or truck. It appears WKDW HYHUy WLPH , fill uS WKH tank at Wawa, I have to go inside and grab a small package of Wild Bill’s HickorySmoked Beef Jerky Tender Tips. It seems to be a rule that somebody somewhere attached to my car.
Gas? Check. Jerky? Check. Now we’re ready to go. And that Wild Bill’s jerky is absolutely yummy. There was a phase a few years back where I was in teriyaki jerky mode, but that passed and I am now fiUPly Ln :LlG BLll’V KLFNRry-smoked jerky camp.
(Here’s a fun fact: Go to www.wildbillsfood.com and check out Wild Bill’s story. Turns out the company traces its roots back to 1955 in Lancaster County, so I have WKH DGGHG EHnHfiW RI VuSporting an original Pennsylvania product, of which I am very proud.)
My jerky idiosyncrasy goes way back, though. In fact, I used to get tuned up back in another life in the Midwest when the credit card bill arrived and my business expenses were carefully scrutinized by bean counters.
Interrogator: “Did you go inside and get beef jerky afWHU yRu fillHG uS WKH WDnN?” 0H: “YHV , GLG.” Interrogator: “Why did you do that? You know that beef jerky isn’t on the list of allowable journalistic exSHnVHV.”
Me: “But I like beef jerky and it makes me a better reSRUWHU.”
If one is catching the dickens about one’s beef jerky habit, well . . . it might be WLPH WR finG D nHZ MRE. 2U start riding a bicycle and not have to stop for gas.
But according to a report released last week by 5HS. 7RP CREuUn RI 2NlDhoma, the Natick Center is involved in developing D YDULHWy RI MHUNy flDYRUV, including salami, chipotle, turkey, pork and smoked ham. There’s also talk of ZRUN Rn D fiVK-flDYRUHG jerky, but according to developers, “the recipe needs to be tweaked to make it lHVV fiVKy.”
Fish jerky? I think not. That violates the spirit of the jerky.
In this same report, Rep. Coburn cited some other Department of Defense expenditures that he considered wasteful spending of tax dollars. These include:
(1) The Air Force spent A300,000 studying a prehisWRULF flyLnJ GLnRVDuU. (7KDW’V just silly. bverybody already knows that dinosaurs don’t like beef jerky.)
(2) The Navy spent A450,000 to learn that an infant responds to interactive robots better than non-interactive robots. (That’s even sillier. bverybody already knows that robots don’t like beef jerky.)
(3) The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (I didn’t even know we had one of those departments) spent A100,000 on a planning workshop for the 100Year Starship Project that included a discussion called “Did Jesus Die For hlinJRnV, 7RR?” (BHDP PH uS, Scotty. Besides, everybody already knows hlingons don’t like beef jerky.)
2n Dll RI WKHVH HxSHnditures, I agree with Rep. Coburn. It’s a waste of my tax money. But I draw the line just before we get to the beef jerky part. In fact, I think we should take the combined monies from studies on prehistoric dinosaurs, robots and hlingons – a total of A850,000 – and put it directly into the beef jerky studies. That other stuff is just stupid. The jerky stuff, well now that’s a legit taxpayer expense.
I, for one, am happy that my tax money is being spent wisely. But if the Natick Center researchers insist on SuUVuLnJ WKLV fiVK MHUNy LGHD, I may just withdraw my support of the project.
Because when it comes to fiVK MHUNy, ,’YH JRW D EHHI. Besides, Wild Bill would never hear of it.
Mike Morsch is executive editor of Montgomery Me- dia and author of the book, “Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life.” He can be reached by calling 215-542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at msquared35@ yahoo.com. This column can also be found at www.montgomerynews.com.