A Preamble on Timing: The Thirty-second Flavor was created prior to the Toothpaste_Disaster and was, indeed, one of its catalysts - while some have attempted to argue otherwise, their refutations assume that CRY and BBY sectors were evacuated only once, in the mass terminations following the ToothpasteRebellion. In fact, these sectors have been evacuated half a dozen times over the last decade, much to the residents' annoyance.
The evacuation relevant to the Codemonkeys was in response to a purported sighting of Wyrms, took place 8.2 monthcycles prior to the Disaster, and lasted for six monthcycles. Interrogation of CRY/BBY sector survivors indicates that returning to Codemonkey-befouled quarters after half a yearcycle of substandard, temporary lodgings was one of several reasons that the citizenry was angry enough to rebel over a dental supply shortage, as detailed in Batclone and the ToothpasteRebellion.
There has been a great deal of speculation as to the nature of the Thirty-second Flavor. Some hack in HPD&MC even went to the bother of organizing a poll on the subject, for which the top five responses were:
- The what?
- I don't think I'm cleared for that.
- Something I can't have?
- Uh...the flavor after the thirty-first, right?
While some of these answers contain an element of truth, they illustrate that the Complex at large remains woefully ignorant of the true nature of the Thirty-second Flavor - just as it should be. The information's cleared BLUE, after all; if too many citizens knew about it we'd start running out of BrainScrub supplies.
The Thirty-second Flavor is a flavor that changes every thirty seconds - thus the name. It was originally developed by the Codemonkeys, presumably out of boredom and frustration with the Thirty-one_Official_Flavors; it is unlikely in the extreme that the Codemonkeys had any notion of the larger ramifications of the Flavor. (Or, for that matter, of anything else that they created.)
It is recorded that the Thirty-second Flavor starts off with a taste somewhat like that of a ripe banana, perhaps with a touch of vinegar. This was, unfortunately, innocuous enough to seem unharmful, but not so pleasant that any of the seven Tasting Officials involved savored it for any longer than ten or fifteen seconds. As such, the true nature of the Thirty-second Flavor remained unknown at the time it was approved (as Qualified Flavor Applicant #889322761) to the list of Approximately Two Hundred and Thirty-Seven Semi-Official Flavors Under Consideration.
A few monthcycles later, the initial wave of problems was discovered - ORANGE- and YELLOW-clearance citizens exposed to the Thirty-second Flavor found the initial taste eminently satisfactory compared to much of what they ate, and did not rinse their mouths immediately afterwards. Thus, they discovered that after thirty seconds, the flavor would shift to something else - often unusual, sometimes rather dubious, but occasionally mind-blowingly good. Another thirty seconds would produce a further shift, and so forth. Nobody reported it at first, because everyone assumed it was supposed to work like that (at least, that's what they all claim - I remain highly skeptical), but eventually the information made its way to those in charge, who shut down the Thirty-second Flavor, levied a rather large number of fines, and initiated the termination orders for the Codemonkeys.
That would have been the end of it...except that the Thirty-second Flavor is also a mutagen.
Not a particularly potent one, nor fast-acting, but enough that citizens who'd tasted the Thirty-second flavor even once had a slightly higher chance of Spontaneous_Mutation_Syndrome monthcycles down the road. Increased exposure brought increased risk. This was not fully realized until the Toothpaste_Disaster was hitting us like a freight Transbot, and Spontaneous Mutation Syndrome was running rampant through chunks of the population.
In light of this subtle additional property, and the eminently inconvenient timing of its discovery, it seems reasonable to ask whether the Codemonkeys truly developed the Thirty-second Flavor on their own, or whether they were aided + abetted by any of the cabals, conspiracies, or Secret_Societies_Involved_In_the_Toothpaste_Disaster. Careful investigation reveals a possible link between YesterCycle's_Rivals,_TomorrowCycle's_Enemies and the various CRY/BBY sector evacuations referenced above.
The theory that the Thirty-second Flavor drove the LXC mad (see League_of_Extraordinary_Dadaists) seems unlikely; there was no increase in the incidence of insanity to correlate with the rise of SMS among Flavor partakers.
References: Batclone, Codemonkeys, League_of_Extraordinary_Dadaists, Spontaneous_Mutation_Syndrome, Thirty-one_Official_Flavors, ToothpasteRebellion, Wyrms, YesterCycle's_Rivals,_TomorrowCycle's_Enemies