Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sam Adams' expiration date

As I teased open a new box of Wheaties, I paused at the “shelf life” message on the top near the flap,

The chance observation was two weeks ago, long before Mayor Sam Adams and his former lover Beau Breedlove resurfaced in the news.


“Better if used by …” began the label, and here the computerized packaging machine had stamped “23OCT09” followed by an 11-character alpha-numeric lot identification. Things can go horribly wrong, even with the Breakfast of Champions.

How odd, I thought. Could the mere tick of the clock at midnight on 23OCT09 make my Wheaties worse or "un-better"? Certainly in all those months in their box, the flakes had gone through a slow, even decline. These things don't happen overnight.

Each day, minute and second in the life of my Wheaties made them worse.

So if the flakes get a tad worse between 23OCT and 24OCT, so what?

It would seem that Adams faced a similar conundrum, in reverse, with regard to Breedlove’s 18th birthday back in 25JUN05.

Here we really must pause. Inquiring minds can no longer contain themselves: Is “Beau Breedlove” really, REALLY Adams' ex-lover’s name or did it come from FOX News or central casting? Have the movie rights been inked? Come to think of it “Sam Adams” rings a bit hollow too.

Okay, back to the thread….

To Adams, Breedlove, at age 17, came with his own label, “Under penalty of law, do not bed until … 25JUN05.”

After repeatedly lying about ever partaking of Breedlove’s bedly charms, Sam now tells us he waited until the expiration date on Breedlove’s status as a minor.

Right. And I’m going to throw out my Wheaties on midnight 23OCT09. As my wife reminds me, I have sunscreen that dates from the Clinton presidency.

Nature has this unfortunate habit of not fitting into our rigid, legalistic schedules and deadlines. Wheaties, Grape Nuts and Cheerios deteriorate slowly over time. Human beings mature sexually and emotionally at their own, madding pace. Give someone a name like “Breedlove” and who knows what might happen …

I don’t know about Sam, but if he were of my Wheaties frame of mind, we the People of Portland might doubt whether he paid too much heed to the warning on Beau’s label. Given that Adams lied to us more than once (and on more than one aspect of this tabloid escapade), is there any reason to believe that he would have paid much attention to mere words and warnings?

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Anonymous Bob R. said...

"Right. And I’m going to throw out my Wheaties on midnight 23OCT09."

Consuming your Weaties after the posted date does not come with any legal penalty. The legal penalties for sexual activity with an underage person are quite a bit more severe than being forced to eat a bowl of stale cereal.

(Not making a statement here about Sam... still mulling over the entire situation... but I think the analogy is insufficient here when exploring possible motivations.)

6:06 PM  
Blogger Rick Seifert said...


You are absolutely right. I hope that readers will see that a lot of this is tongue-in-cheek.

My "serious" point is that nature (sexual and emotional maturity, cereal degradation) is hard to hold to rigid, legalistic deadlines.

I might add, again on a serious note, that Sam's actions should be weighed beyond mere legalities. Assuming that even if this relationship became sexual after Beau turned 18, was it right? Did Sam take advantage of his position? etc. Was his lying justified? Did he expose himself to blackmail and undue influence? What about the harm caused to Bob Ball?

Or is none of this "the public's business"?

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The legal penalties for sexual activity with an underage person...

Of course what constitutes "underage" varies by where you live, with most states using the age of 16 as the age of consent.

When I was growing up, where I was growing up, you could drink at 18, though not get married without parental permission, nor vote. Though they could draft you to go off to war and kill other people, whether you wanted to or not.

Like so much it all seems an arbitrary crapshoot, this thing we call "the law."

4:42 AM  

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