It’s already Halloween?  Seems like it was just yesterday that I was writing about pumpkin spice to signal the start of fall, and now it’s almost November.  It’s hard to get in the Halloween spirit when I have to get up for work at 5 AM everyday and most of the seasonal shenanigans take place well after my bedtime.  

A few days ago, Starbucks announced the Phantom Frappuccino– the dark, brooding cousin of the Unicorn Frappuccino made with activated charcoal.  When I read the headline, I got excited, finally, something to get me into the Halloween spirit!  But the most horrifying part of it is that it’s only available in Europe.  

Starbucks isn’t the only one declaring war on all things spooky: Burger King’s new Ghost Whopper, which is a regular Whopper on a spectrally pale bun, is only being released at ten different stores nationwide.

Can’t a bitch just be macabre? There’s only so many plastic skulls I can buy from Target or trips to an abandoned-department-store-turned Spirit Halloween I can take before the magic wears off. 

And maybe there’s a reason for that.  Because as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that the true goth experience shouldn’t be this commercialized.  Is it not enough to sit in a room lit only by a single candle, alone with your demons? Can you put a price tag on dancing naked in the woods, communing with the creatures of the night and maybe knife fighting a possum?  


Regardless of how you choose to live deliciously, I do have one more point I need to make.  The main reason activated charcoal drinks have become so trendy, besides that sweet, sweet aesthetic, is that it’s being touted as the latest and greatest “detox” miracle cure.  It was originally used in emergency rooms to treat overdoses and poisonings, because the “activation” process makes it very porous, thus good at absorbing things such as toxins. However, like most detox products, the science behind how well it works as a dietary supplement is iffy at best.  Especially since I suspect that most people that are concerned about detox are probably living healthily enough that there aren’t that many toxins in their body to begin with, and the human body already has a detox system, called “kidneys.”  

I will admit that the most common anti-charcoal argument- that it will also absorb your medications- tends to get blown out of proportion.  Don’t get me wrong, it will do that if you drink it at the same time as you take the meds. But a lot of people seem to think that drinking charcoal at any time of day will somehow cause the charcoal in your stomach to leach medication out of your bloodstream, which is just… not how any of that works.  Just wait two hours for your meds to absorb into the bloodstream, then you’ll be good to go.  

So while I still think activated charcoal is BS in terms of detox, it gets a pass because it’s dark like my soul.   

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