I went on line a few days ago to order some vitamins. One of the items I ordered was Green Tea Complex. When I tried to place the order, I got a message in red saying that I couldn’t order Green Tea Complex. So I deleted that item and the order went through. Today I went to the local GNC to buy the item I had bought many times before. It was on the shelf and so I picked up two. I told the salesman that I hadn’t been able to order it on line. He explained that there is one Green Tea Complex for California and one for the other 49 states. I asked why. He said it was because the ones sold in the California have the Proposition 65 warning that the item contains ingredients that may cause cancer. (If I recall correctly, this Proposition, passed in 1986, was the first one I ever got to vote against, after I had become a U.S. citizen earlier that year.)

“Do you think the ingredients are any different?” I asked him. He answered that he didn’t think so and that the only difference was probably the absence of the warning on the non-California bottle.

After he rang me up, I asked him for a bag for the two bottles I bought plus the one I had brought along (which still contained about 10 capsules). He said that he couldn’t give me one because they can no longer legally use plastic bags–the city government of Monterey banned them effective July 1–and their paper bags had not arrived yet.

“Isn’t it great to live in the land of the free?” I asked. “Yes,” he said, “the People’s Republic of Californiastan.”