Opinion

Editor's column: More cranberry juice arrives

I had no intention of writing about real cranberry juice again, but I was given no choice when Ocean Spray sent me two more jars.

The first jar of “Pure Cranberry” arrived after I wrote about how you couldn’t fine real cranberry juice in the stores. It was all adulterated, watered or juiced down like whiskey in a sleazy saloon.

Why the second pair of jars arrived I don’t know. Maybe Ocean Spray has a bunch of unsold bottles sitting around and gets a tax write-off for donating them to disadvantaged editors. Whatever the reason, I got two more jugs of “100 percent unsweetened cranberry juice.”

The staff at the News-Times was saddened by the news, because it took them weeks to dispose of the first jug of the bitter-but-healthful cranberry squeezins’. It became a test of manhood and womanhood to take a shot-glass full of Pure Cranberry before setting out on an assignment.

One reporter developed a twisted taste for the revolting brew. It braced her for what she was about to see. She takes one shot before visiting a gruesome crime scene; two shots before attending an Oak Harbor City Council meeting. After grimacing and gagging on the shot of juice, she knew things could only get better, no matter what awaited her at the murder scene or City Hall.

As the titular boss around here, I found Pure Cranberry to be a motivator. “What’ll it be,” I’d ask. “Would you rather spend all day Saturday covering the Daughters of the American Revolution vs. the Association of University Women softball game, or guzzle a shot of Pure Cran?” Without exception, all weekend events got covered.

Pure Cranberry became a factor in March Madness, where the losing wager was a shot of 100 percent unsweetened. I made two such bets. An ad rep lost the first one, ill-advisedly betting on UCLA. She gagged down her punishment like a trooper. Bent on vengeance, she bet again, wagering that the Huskies would not win the U.W. vs. Connecticut game (not realizing both teams are named Huskies!). This time, she stared glumly at the jug of Ocean Spray and reneged on the bet, opting instead to settle the gambling debt the old fashioned way with two broken legs.

Eventually I brought the jug home to my wife, who started the whole cranberry juice thing with a kidney problem. The adulterated stuff in the grocery store aisles didn’t cure it, but Pure Cranberry made that kidney better than new in three days flat. There was a down side, however. Now she’s being stalked by Chinese soldiers looking for quality kidneys to sell on the black market.

I’d like to thank Ocean Spray for the three bottles of Pure Cranberry they’ve sent me, but please, no more. I’m afraid the staff will eventually figure out that I’ve never tried the stuff myself.

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