Health


I’ve been accused of many things in my life. Sometimes by friends, other times in Grand Jury proceedings. I’ve been accused of being insufficiently sensitive to the plight of others, and of course, it’s mirror accusation, being hypersensitive to my own plight. I’ve been accused of being to sexy for my shirt, but not sexy enough for my baseball cap.

I’ve been accused of being “Satan’s Spawn” (I get that one a lot). I’ve been accused of being “way too cheerful” at funerals (especially when I do the Macharena), and being too tall to qualify for the “little people” discount at movies. People accuse me of being tacky for insisting on going “Dutch” at dinner parties I throw. And people accuse me of being gauche when I go door-to-door for my campaign, ask people where their bathroom is, and then actually take a bath.

But the one thing I’ve never been accused of is being gullible (although if anyone ever did accuse me of being gullible, I’d believe ’em!!). But gullible is how I feel whenever I find myself believing another news report on some new nutritional discovery. I read these reports, then rearrange my whole life based on them. Less yogurt, more figs, less broccoli, more pez, etc. Then, a week later, a new report comes out completely repudiating the miracles discovered in the last one. A recent example is Green Tea. These were the findings of two studies:

February 2002 – Harvard University Green Tea Study: We have discovered
that Green Tea contains millions of flavanoids, coaguloids, and anti- Armageddons. This potent nutritional combination means that those who drink one gallon of Green Tea or more per meal can expect to have 83% less cancer, 96% fewer heart attacks and almost no Elephantitis. Green Tea Drinkers will have the same rate of gout. But their gout will be what we call “Happy Gout,” whose only symptom is a constant state of sexual ecstasy.

Further, Green Tea drinkers will think more clearly, have better complexions, and are less likely to be hit by a train. They learn foreign languages more easily, especially Portugeuse, and 67% of them have “wicked abs.”

Upon reading this study, I immediately gave up all other beverages, as well as going to work and communicating with my family. All I did all day was drink Green Tea. And although my abs did not become “wicked,” I wasn’t hit by any trains (there were two close calls) and thus I thought maybe Harvard was right. Then, two months later, I open the paper to read:

May 2002 – Yale University Green Tea Study: After reviewing the results of our new study, we recommend that all boxes of Green Tea have a mandatory skull and crossbones on them, except maybe we should add a harpoon going through the skull, to show just how toxic this stuff is. Our study shows that Green Tea’s deadly combination of free radicals and, what we call “Angry Rotweiler” cells, creates a potion more dangerous than any daisy-cutter bomb.

Green Tea drinkers are 84% more likely to contract rickets, 90% more likely to develop beri-beri, and almost 100% more likely to get “Green Teaitis,” a particularly nasty form of Gout whose main symptom is intractable post-coital depression. Further, Green Tea drinkers invariably wind up with what we call “Grandma Abs,” which can only be described as gruesome.

So now what do I do? It seems these contradictory studies only pertain to food. You never wake up to read the following headlines:

PEOPLE WHO HAVE 2-TON SAFES FALL ON THEIR
HEAD 40% LESS LIKELY TO DIE OF SEVERE HEAD
INJURIES, SURPRISING PRINCETON STUDY REVEALS

SKYDIVERS WHO DON’T USE PARACHUTES 36%
MORE LIKELY TO LIVE

SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE REPORTS THAT BURNING
AT STAKE EXTENDED JOAN OF ARC’S LIFE!

GEORGE W. BUSH BREAKS 140 ON IQ TEST.
DOZENS OF PRIOR SCORES IN LOW 60’S CONSIDERED FLUKES

Well, I guess I’ll just go relax by injecting some cheese directly into my left ventricle. I hear there’s a new study coming out about that.

Love,
Daylin

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Often I get ideas from my constituents on things I can do to relax. “Resign” is a common one, as is “Turn yourself in!” I appreciate these suggestions, but recently I’ve found myself leaning more towards “Rolfing.” Rolfing is apparently an extremely painful form of massage, invented by a woman named Ida Rolf, whose very name screams out “DISCIPLINE.” Ida Rolf sounds like the name of a woman you would meet on a blind date, in a dungeon. (Been there, done that…yada yada yada.)

The Rolfing suggestion comes from one of my favorite constituents, who I will call Georgette (because, well, that’s her name). I’ve known and adored Georgette for about 5 years. She has a heart of gold (that is what they make pacemakers out of, isn’t it?). Although she does tend to get involved in anything she does with great enthusiasm. First it was Yoga. Georgette started with the “Down Dog” and Pigeon poses, but soon was effortlessly folding herself into the very difficult “Nasty Drunken Doorman” and “Horned-up Terrier” poses.

Soon she dove into “Reiki,” a form a massage that involves the masseuse not actually touching you. You lie on the table and your Reiki healer moves their hands “near” your body. Georgette abandoned that when she discovered that her Reiki hadn’t even shown up for the last 5 sessions.

Then it was aromatherapy. The smell of rose petals eased muscle aches, and jasmine relieved congestion. I became skeptical when Georgette’s “Nose Master” told her that the scent of “long-dead oppossum” prevented goiters, and sniffing Nick Nolte made your stocks go up. I never bought into aromatherapy generally, but it was proven to me that sniffing week-old clams cures any craving for…well…clams.

More recently, Georgette became obsessed with Chinese Astrology, Tibetan Chanting, the hideously haunting warblings of Celine Dion, and the healing power of Bar Mitzvahs. All of this has led to Rolfing, which is supposed to bring relief through unbearable pain. So early next week I’m going to see a man who will stand on my throat until I feel better. But at least it’s only costing me $250.

I simply have to steer Georgette toward fads that have more obvious benefits to me. That’s why I’ve started evangelizing the miraculous, supernatural calming powers of washing my car.

Howdy!

I’ve been sick for the past week. If the Nobel-prize people gave out an award for “Most fun person to be around while sick,” I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be going to Sweden. My guess is the guy who wins that is one of the same people who also wins for living in a pinto-bean field for 40 years fighting to free “the leper people” from the oppression of the warlords. Those people win everything. It’s really very unfair.

People say I’m a bit of a hypochondriac. I disagree. I may be more prone to Dengue Fever and Malaysian Sleeping Sickness than most people living in the suburbs of Pennsylvania, and I understand not everyone shares my lifelong struggle with Elephantitis, but that’s no reason to call names.

Admittedly, in retrospect, “not being in the mood for bowling” was probably not a sure sign of Rickets and OK ALREADY !! while I did cut myself shaving pretty badly last month, I was not in fact “Beheaded.”

To give you an idea of how difficult I can be when I’m under the weather, I’ve broken one day down last week:

9:30 – Wake-up. I yell downstairs that I’m going to be needing some hot herbal tea. “Stir it with a cinnamon swizzle,” I yell, “and don’t skimp on the liquor! I could also use a relaxing foot-rub, so bring up the cocoa-butter and the mega-loofa–and make it snappy!”

9:31 – Realize no one else is in the house.

9:32 – Grab a handful of Cheerios for breakfast. They’re not name-brand. They are some organic knockoffs Jen bought at the health food store. They are made out of yeast maw and oak bark. They are tougher and more furniture-like than regular Cheerios.

9:35 – Call my doctor for the first time today:

ME
Hello Dr. Becker!

Dr. Becker What is it this time Daylin?

ME
Doc, I fear the worst. I think I have a bad
case of craniopagus parasiticus.

Dr. Becker
I think that’s unlikely.

ME
How can you be so sure.

Dr. Becker
Well, for example, do you have a
undeveloped conjoined twin attached to
the top of your skull, facing upward?

Pause

Me
Not yet.

Dr. Becker
Good-bye Daylin.

10:00 – Noon – Trip to the drug store in an attempt to self-medicate. I feel so bad, I’m open to try anything. I buy pseudofed and Tylenol, robotussin, Aspirin, and Preference Hair Dye # 28 by Loriel (Rustic Umber). I get ace bandages, a vat of Dippity Doo, a SuperSoaker ™ and a large pump-like device that made the check-out girl giggle. Now it’s home to call Dr. Becker again.

1:00 Dr. Becker
What now?

ME
You’ll never guess!

Dr. Becker
I’m sure you’re right.

ME
I’ve got a wicked case of Pink Eye by
Proxy!

Dr. Becker
No you don’t.

ME
How do you know, you haven’t even seen me.

Dr. Becker
Because that isn’t actually a disease.

ME
Oh, really? I thought I read it was.

Dr. Becker
Good-bye.

2:30 – Lunch time. More organic stuff Jen picked up. This time it’s Protein Patties made entirely from wheat gluten dollops and dung beetles. Not bad with cheese.

3:00-4:00 – Prank phone calls to clergymen. I mean I have to find some way to kill time. And no, as it turns out, Rabbi Schlomo Glickstein does not have sir Walter Raleigh in a can, but he does have caller ID, and a proclivity to call the cops.

4:01- 5:30 – Lengthy discussion with the cops.

5:30- 6:00 – Things look bad. I make out my will. I call my lawyer to ask if I can leave everything to myself. He said that would be “silly, but not surprising.” I ask if he has any suggestions. He suggests I get a new lawyer. After a lengthy discussion (mostly one way, as law-boy has long since hung up), I decide to leave my fortune, which will consist of my secret recipe for celery and peanut butter (Oh Shoot!! I just gave it away!!) and 5 or 6 killer Jethro Tull albums, to the Jeb Bush for President campaign.

6:00-7:00 – Dinner with Jen. It’s Tofurky night!! Final call to Dr. Becker:

ME
Dr. Becker, are you sitting down?

Dr. Becker
Sort of. I’m filling out forms for a restraining order. But I’m still listening.

ME
Well, I know you are going to think I’m crazy…

Dr. Becker
You are a true prophet.

ME
…but I have all the symptoms

Dr. Becker
I know I’m going to regret this, but symptoms of what?

ME
Doc, I think I’m menstruating.

click

Me
…Hello? Dr. Becker? Helllooo??

7:00- 7:30- Sniffles not going away. Plan my funeral. A short tasteful service, followed by my body being left discreetly and unexpectedly on the living room sofa of someone I don’t like.

8:00- Midnight – Watch “Vanilla Ice” triple feature on Cinemax. This eventually becomes tedious, especially since he only made one movie.

Over the next few days I felt better. The medicine seemed to work, and while my hair definitly has a strange hue, that pump device was just terrific.

Love,
Dutch Larooo
Tomorrow: Do Rustic Umber heads really have more fun?

Howdy

I had an experience today which made me again question how people come to believe the things they do. The woman across the hall from me in my Bala office is named Angela. She is a very tolerant neighbor. She doesn’t seem to mind me blasting my “Henry Kissinger reads the Khama Sutra” tapes or my constantly yelling “Yeah, as a matter of fact I do have a friggin law decree…Now LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE…Your honor” into the phone. Today she came over to chat.

Angela is sort of a massage therapist. She started out by saying I looked tired. I told her about the baby, and of course my sex machine responsibilities to Jen, but she thought it was something different. She thought my Chakras were out of balance. I quickly pulled my hands out of my pockets and explained that I was just jangling my change, but she invited me into her studio for a quick treatment. I was reluctant to go at first, but then I got buzzed by the receptionist who told me some client wanted the papers I was supposed to have drafted. I needed a quick escape, and Angela provided one.

The first thing Angela did was something she called Reiki. This was like massage, only she didn’t actually touch me. It reminded me of my prom date. After a minute or two I wondered if there were also Reiki Hoagie makers who only pass the mayonnaise near the bun. She kept asking me if I felt anything, as if she had her heart set on it. I couldn’t bring myself to say no, so instead I said the following:

“Feel something??…I feel like every tendril is exploding like ten federal buildings, and each cerebral synapse is melting, while my now-liquid brain is cascading down a thousand mountains of ecstasy and terror married into one heavenly miasma of cosmic righteousness. I am on FIRE Angela!! I am on FUCKING FIRE!!!”

This seemed to make her happy.

The next thing Angela did was bang two tuning forks against a rock. She then put one tuning fork on my knee, and one on my forehead. She then again asked me if I felt anything. “Feel something??… I feel like every tendril…etc… (It’s hard to think of two of those in a couple of minutes). This was apparently supposed to synchronize my Chakras. However, about ten seconds into it, she looked panic-stricken and asked, “You weren’t born in the year of the Ox, were you? They can’t get this treatment!” I reassured her that I was born in the year of the Lime Tic, but that it’s never a bad idea to have one’s malpractice insurance paid up.

Finally, she “Pendulized” me. This involved holding a pendulum over me to see if my Chakras were now in balance. We had the following exchange:

Angela
If the pendulum moves, it’s because
you are in balance.

ME
If the pendulum moves, it’s because your
hand is going back and forth.

Angela
It only seems like that.

Me
It seems like that a lot.

Angela
No, its an illusion, like everything which
makes you tense or uneasy is an illusion.

Me
You mean my creditors are an illusion?

Angela
It’s all an illusion.

Me
So all I have to do is stop imagining
that a Mr. Clark at the bank keeps calling me and
asking for payment.

Angela
Absolutely.

Me
Cool. I can’t wait to tell Mr. Clark. I
wonder if it’s too late to get that check
out of the mail.

Angela has constructed an entire life around beliefs with absolutely no empirical evidence to support them, like the flat-earth society, or the Republican Party. I suppose it makes her happy, but frankly I demand a little more proof of something before I rent a studio and start buying tuning forks in bulk. I personally would like to believe that Don Knots will live forever, and that I can fix my car by eating Kung Pow Shrimp. I would love to think that bottles of rum are bottomless, and that peeping in my neighbors windows will make my stocks go up. But I just can’t bring myself to do it. I decided to let that check to Mr. Clark go out.

Tomorrow: Angela slaps me silly with her mind.

Love,
Daylin

Howdy!

Well, I’m back from vacation, my “Bronzed God” (I’m not sure who I’m quoting exactly) status reiterated. I used my vacation time well. I relaxed, I exercised, and I caught up on my reading. I’ve been meaning to finish that “Girls of California Community Colleges” article for a long time. And boy I’m glad I did. Otherwise I never would have known that Sara, from Mustache County is a “Fresh, wholesome kind of gal” who likes to wear cowboy spurs, holsters, and nothing else. Her turn-ons include “funny people and poppy seeds” and her turn-offs are “genocide and flat beer.” She likes natural, as opposed to fake breasts, but “only on other people.”

When I wasn’t reading, I happened to catch a little TV. Some people say that Cable TV is a vast wasteland, but I disagree. Sure cable is littered with dozens of professional wrestling and televangelist channels (and lots of overlap between the two). But I was very impressed by the wide selection of porcelain figurines available (I bought Yassir Arafat), not to mention three separate channels devoted to the miraculous technological breakthroughs in eye make-up application.

The most intriguing thing I watched was an episode of Larry King Live on which he had a woman psychic as a guest. This woman, whose name escapes me (I am fairly certain it was not Bob Costas), claimed that she talked to dead people. A caller would come on the line, and this woman would talk to that caller’s dead relatives, who apparently were immediately available.

It amazed me that people seemed to believe her despite the fact that she was obviously faking it. I could tell, in part, because while the psychic could clearly hear the dead person say that he loved the caller dearly, somehow the dead dude’s voice became harder to discern when relaying verifiable details. A typical exchange went like this:

Larry King …and don’t forget, tomorrow night we have Bob
Dole and Marilyn Manson together, for the full
hour. You don’t want to miss that. OK, Sue from
Duluth is on the line for the Psychic lady.

Sue from Duluth Hi Psychic Lady.

Psychic Lady
Hi Sue, is it cold up there in Duluth?

Sue from Duluth Not particularly, no.

Psychic Lady
See, I knew that!

Sue from Duluth
You are amazing Psychic Lady. Say, can you
talk to my father? He died last year.

Psychic Lady
Sure can. He says hello.

Sue from Duluth
Oh my God!

Psychic Lady
He says his name was Ray.

Sue from Duluth
Actually, it was Hector.

Psychic Lady
Right, Hector, it sounded like he said Ray, but
there was a little static. He says he was a potter.

Sue from Duluth
No.

Psychic Lady
…or a painter?

Sue from Duluth
Nope.

Psychic Lady
Something creative?

Sue from Duluth
Negatory.

Psychic Lady
But he does say he worked with his hands.

Sue from Duluth
Well, actually he crushed wine grapes with his feet.

Psychic Lady
I see.

Sue from Duluth
He lost his hands as a child in a horrible Bar-B-Que
accident.

Psychic Lady
Right. I knew that. But as I said, he worked with
his limbs. And he says he loves you very much.

Sue from Duluth
OH MY GOD!!! I’m so happy to hear that psychic
lady. You are amazing!!

Larry King
I don’t know how you do it. By the way, next
Tuesday night, a round table on terrorism with
the Backstreet Boys. Next, Meghan from
Portland, you’re on the line.

Psychic Lady
Hi Meghan. I love Portland. I can see where you
are, surrounded by the beautiful Maine foliage.

Meghan from Portland
Actually, I’m in Portland, Oregon. But I was wondering
if you could see my Grandmother. She’s been dead for
15 years and I really miss her.

Psychic Lady
I can clearly see she has blonde hair.

Meghan from Portland
No.

Psychic Lady
Well, not totally blonde. Maybe an off-brown

Meghan from Portland
No.

Psychic Lady
Brunette?

Meghan from Portland
No.

Psychic Lady
Redhead.

Meghan from Portland
No.

Psychic Lady
Alabaster.

Meghan from Portland
No.

Psychic Lady
LOOK!! I can’t tell what Goddamm hair color she has, but
I can see it was beautiful hair! Right??

Meghan from Portland
No.

Psychic Lady
NO???

Meghan from Portland
My grandmother had alopecia totalis her whole life.
She never had any hair.

Psychic Lady
Listen you little twit, she says she loves you very
much.

Meghan from Portland
REALLY??? OH, thank you so much Psychic Lady. I
was skeptical before I talked to you. But now I know
you really talked to ma-ma.

Larry King
This never stops blowing my mind. We’ll take a break
and come right back with more of your phone calls. And
remember, Friday night, a special edition: Morley Safer
talks about losing his virginity for the full hour.

Of course, all of the caller’s dead relatives “love them very much.” Psychic lady never says, “Your father says you were a cosmic schmuck. He loathes the very night he drunkenly impregnated your mother. He spoke to God yesterday, and the Lord said, ‘pack some sun screen for the afterlife.’ Finally, he’s says, ‘don’t call again, you douchebag.'” Of course, if she did that, no one would buy her book.

The bottom line is, there are no psychics. We know this for several reasons. First, their predictions are almost always wrong. Look at last year’s predictions: Michael Jackson’s head did not explode. Mars was not invited to join NATO. George Clooney did not run off to marry Barbara Bush. Satan did not inhabit the body of Celine Dion…well OK, I did say almost all of the predictions were wrong.

I’ll tell you what, I have a little test to give the next person who claims he can predict the future, or commune with the dead, or read tarot cards, or whatever, ask them where Chandra Levy is. And “near water” is not good enough. Take me to her. Or even better, ask them why they didn’t give us a heads up on the World Trade Center Bombing. That would have been nice.