Psst. Hey, buddy! Wanna lick a video game?
Well, of course you don't, because you're not a lunatic. (Well, actually, maybe you are and maybe you do, but whatever gets your chicken chalupa naked, pal.)
It came out recently that the game cartridges for the Nintendo Switch game console taste bad. Apparently, the cartridges are coated with denatonium benzoate, the most bitter chemical compound known to human science.
According to ScienceOfCooking.com, denatonium benzoate is used to denature ethanol so that it's not taxed as an alcoholic beverage. It "discourages consumption of harmful alcohols like methyl alcohol and ethylene glycol" and is "often used in rubbing alcohol as an inactive ingredient." It's added to paints, solvents, varnishes, and other things that you're not supposed to drink or huff, you weirdo, including antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid. It saves your kids and your pets from drinking things that taste sweet but which are, in fact, sweet, sweet, deadly, liver-and-kidney-destroying poison.
Now, I'm not sure why the folks at Nintendo felt they had to coat the tiny cartridges for the Switch in this stuff. Is eating game cartridges a big problem? Do people normally leave their young children alone with a several-hundred-dollar gaming system and its accoutrements? Are their perverts out there who just enjoy licking game cartridges and Nintendo was like, "Dude. Not cool." ...?
Regardless, you can imagine what the result of this news was. The moment that it came out that Nintendo Switch cartridges taste really foul and you should not lick them, PEOPLE STARTED LICKING THEM. A thing you would never possibly imagine is something you should do became something people do the moment news came out that you shouldn't do it. And therein lies a very important fact of human nature.
Have you ever wanted to own a green laser pointer? We never had... until politicians like Senator Charles Schumer of New York started talking about banning them (because Senator Charles Schumer of New York never met a consumer product he didn't think should be banned).
Do you own a machete? We didn't really need any around the office here until politicians in New England started banning these dangerous Assault Horticulture Tools because members of South American gangs were bringing machete violence to the streets of Boston. And no, we never even considered licking a Nintendo Switch game, until these news accounts told us not to.
People are naturally contrarian. Tell them what to do something, and most will feel an urge to defy you. Every law that is passed should be considered carefully when it comes to its unintended outcomes. Try to ban a thing, and you may just create the urge to have it or do it simply because people hate being bossed around. Your politicians are your bosses, and if you let them, they'll control every aspect of your life. Unless you're keen to become a green-laser-pointing, machete-swinging, too-large-soda-swilling outlaw, you'd be best advised to vote for candidates who understand that all law is enforced by the barrel of a gun. Because when licking game cartridges is outlawed, only outlaws will lick game cartridges.