If you pay attention to the news, and I’m painfully aware not everybody does, you might have seen the stories about videos of people taking a lick off of ice cream in a store and then putting it back on the freezer shelf or taking a swig of mouthwash, spitting it back into the bottle and putting it back on the shelf.

If you’ve seen them your reaction was probably one of disgust and outrage and demanding that they be jailed and never let back out.

Understandable, as the one thing nobody likes is someone else messing with their food. We live in fear of offending a waitress or waiter and having them take out their revenge with some well placed spit.

The most popular videos are of a young woman, maybe a teenager, licking a container of Blue Bell ice cream and putting it back, a woman spitting mouthwash back into a bottle and a goofy looking young man who takes credit for starting all of this scooping ice cream out with his hands before putting the carton back in the store freezer.

And for what it’s worth, all of these incidents seem to happen in various Walmarts.

There are several things to look at here. One, why? I realize there have always been jerks, and all of these people come across as huge jerks, but this seems like a lot of work as jerks are almost always lazy.

Two, if you’re really looking to be subversive, why do it with stuff that you can easily tell has already been opened?

Ice cream is vacuum sealed at the factory and you can tell if it’s been messed with. Some ice creams even have a plastic wrapper around the lid you have to tear to get open.

And anybody who’s ever used mouthwash (I hope that’s most of you) knows the lid is wrapped in plastic that will drive you nuts as you try to get it off in your bathroom.

Three, also if you’re looking to be subversive, to stick it to the man, why make a video of yourself doing it? You’re committing a crime, so you should at least wear a mask. Maybe blur your face in the video. Make your voice sound weird.

I think maybe we can answer this one. It could be a desperate need for fame. Not fortune. There’s no money in this. At least I hope there isn’t. But ever since people started getting popular for no reason, the Kardashians are the most used example of this, everybody of a certain age wants to be known for something.

And if you don’t have any actual talent, I guess something disgusting that takes no effort could be the ticket.

Some claim these videos are staged, that these people, after the recording stops, take the items to a register and pay for them. The fact that, as far as I can find, none of these people have been arrested and charged would support this thesis.

But even if they are real, this act of “rebellion” doesn’t really accomplish anything. If somebody picks up an ice cream with that vacuum seal broken they’re just going to put it back. And no one is going to buy a bottle of mouthwash with the plastic wrap gone. All you’ve done is give the person tasked with stocking the shelves a little extra work.

Some have said it might be a political statement. The woman with the mouthwash is actually a man turning himself into a woman, and the guy who claims to have started it all says he is gay.

I’m not sure what the statement could be (we can be just as gross as straight people?), but it shouldn’t make any difference. I don’t care if you think you were born the wrong gender or if you walk around in a three-piece suit, carrying a Bible, yelling at people who don’t believe exactly the way you do. Don’t lick my food or spit in my mouthwash!

The desire to be famous for something, anything, has always existed in the human animal, but it seems to have really gotten out of hand lately. You could blame the internet, but Andy Warhol and those who sought to emulate him were doing weird things long before anybody knew what a computer was.

As said above, it’s easy to keep yourself from being a victim of this nonsense. Check and double check everything. And if your tongue is bad enough that one lick could send dozens to the hospital, you might have problems that extend beyond mental ones.

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