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Not Even a Way-fa Theen Mint?

Last night, I went out to dinner with Heather. We ate at the New Krung Thai restaurant in San Jose, very close to Santana Row, actually. The food there is excellent and highly recommended.

The dinner was great. I love hanging out with Heather. We talked about ultimate (of course!), work (going well), life (also going well), cars (not ours!), food (yummy!) and the like.

At the end of dinner, while we were waiting for Kris' meal as takeout, I signed the bill, grabbed an after-dinner mint, popped into my mouth, and started talking about my dream to have a company large enough to support an ultimate team, most likely a women's team.

Basically, the idea is the employees would work 5-6 hours a day, then play ultimate (as part of their job) 2-3 hours a day. How good would that team become? Could you take a group of strong athletes but inexperienced players and make them rock stars? Conversely, could you take good players and make them amazing athletes? How far would this team go? Would the external pressures on such a team become too great, or would they fail under their own internal pressures? Or would they become so good, that the rest of the players would call for their disbanding, on the grounds they're professional athletes with an unfair advantage?

And so on.

It would be a great experience and a great experiment. Just how far could you get?

Near the end of the conversation, I looked down at the wrapper from the mint. I had been playing with it for a while. When I looked down, I stopped, and nearly groaned out loud.


Heather looked startled. What?

The mint was a tic-tac. A tic-tac.

As in sugar-free.

As in aspartame-ful.


I've long avoided aspartame. I started avoiding it religiously when I realized it triggers my migraines. I haven't chewed gum in years because I get sick from the aspartame that is in even sugarful gum like Juicy Fruit or Double Mint. The first thing I look for in any new, packaged food is the warning Phenylketonurics Contains Phenylalanine, because that's the biggest, clearest indication of apartame, and guaranteed misery.

Well, we agreed, nothing to be done about it now, except for vomit up the meal I just ate, and even that wouldn't be guaranteed to solve the potential issue. I avoid aspartame, but had I really done a thorough investigation? Was this my chance to confirm my aspartame-migraine link?

3 hours later, I was blind, half numb, slobbering on myself, unable to speak clearly, in considerable pain and desperate to escape this world into blissful sleep.

Did that tic-tac's aspartame cause it? Yeah, it did. This experiment is complete. Migraines suck.