Gene's true calling

Gene Weingarten on

Me: Ha-ha!

Kathleen: I am not a garbanzo fan.

Me: Let's just leave it right here.

Stonyfield Organic 100% grass-fed yogurt

Me: I love your product, but I have a suggestion for improving your packaging. You know how, in the interest of transparency, your containers have the scientific names of the "live active cultures inside"? Now, I am sure they are very nice, pretty and well-behaved bacteria, but their names do not inspire confidence in the wholesome wonderfulness of your yogurt.

Ruth: I know! The scientific names are a little off-putting!

Me: "Bifidus" sounds like a dreadful birth disorder. "Bulgaricus" combines "vulgar" and "bulge," which is disgusting. "Rhamnosus" sounds like a fight to the death between two rhinoceroses, and "thermophilus" sounds like an ancient Greek battle famous for bravery, betrayal and the annihilation of 22,000 men from eating bad yogurt.


Me: OK, I made up the last part, but you get my point. How about losing those names?

Sponsored Video Stories from LifeZette

Ruth: I believe we're required by law to list them.

Me: Fine. Then bribe the scientific community and get them to change the names of your bacteria to Bunnynose, WhoopsieDaisy, Squeaky, the Dancing Ladybug and Toonces the Bacterium.

Ruth: I'll certainly pass it along, sir.

These interviews have been edited and condensed. "Kathleen" is a pseudonym we decided to use on account of "gritty dirt."


Gene Weingarten can be reached at Follow him on Twitter, @geneweingarten. Chat with him online Tuesdays at noon Eastern at

(c) 2017, The Washington Post Writers Group


blog comments powered by Disqus

Social Connections


Take It From The Tinkersons Bizarro Pickles Garfield Meaning of Lila Peanuts