"Is it hot in here? I'm sweating."
"It's because you drink so much alcohol. And sugar. They both will make you sweat."
Thanks, ma. Don't forget the caffeine. Cocktails and coffee make the world go 'round.
But she may be right. I've been consuming more of both since I moved in with her. It is how I cope with hours of Matt Dillon, Frazier, Andy Griffith, and Medicare ads. But I am already way overweight and need to go on a diet.
"Hey, do you remember watercress sandwiches?"
That was me asking my mother. Oh, in my childhood, my mother was always on a diet. Every kind. I was starving along with her. When I wanted something to eat or drink and I went to the fridge, all I saw were shelves full of Tab and Metracal (link). We had one of those belt vibrators to shake away fat (link). My buddies liked to play on that when my mother wasn't around. Every morning she would get up and do exercises like Fran Carlton before she got ready for work (link). My buddies never saw my mother working out, but we all used to like to watch Fran in her little tights doing her exercises on t.v.
The doctor gave her "diet pills" that made her twitchy (and mean) and tranquilizers to calm her down. Medicine cabinets all over town were the source of many of my friends first drug experiences. The black ones were called "west coast turnarounds" because you could take one, drive to California and back without needing to sleep.
Yea, yea, yea. . . those bad old days. But Old Doc Jones and his ilk were not averse to helping you feel better. In lieu of curing you, they were willing to give you things to help you cope.
"She'll be alright. I just gave her something to help her sleep."
All my doctor ever does is give me more tests and referrals.
Indeed, my mother did remember the watercress sandwich diet. She remembered them all. The grapefruit diet. The pineapple diet. And, of course, the cigarette diet. There was even a drinking man's diet, but that was not for her.
It is weird how things work. Once something is on your radar, other related things pop up. Today in the N.Y. Times, I read a series of related articles on nutritional fads. One was about chlorophyl. Apparently, in all the places I don't go on the internet, this is a popular thing. It is being touted as a cure all by "influencers." I'm sure my gal Gwyneth has something to say about it (link). As I read the article, I recalled that Ili was making me take it for awhile. I wasn't against it. Chlorophyll, as they neglected to say in the article but I know from my own training in science, is closely related to red blood cells, lacking the iron but including something else (which I don't recall but which was in my scientific training decades ago) (link). I was sure that it had to be somewhat beneficial.
The article cited some studies from the past that did show health benefits from taking chlorophyll, but those studies, they determined, were not sufficient. It recommended (of course) getting your chlorophyll from natural sources by eating a variety of vegetables. Leafy green vegetables were very good. One of the better ones you can eat--you guessed it--WATERCRESS!
I'll be looking for watercress at Whole Foods this coming week.
"Hey, ma. . . I got us something good. Here. Remember this?"
She's right, though. I am eating too much sugar and drinking too much alcohol. And I am going to quit it. . . soon. Not today, of course, for it is the 4th of July, and I wouldn't want to be unpatriotic. But perhaps it would be better to drink more healthy drinks here and there, now and again, more or less. . . you know.
Jesus, though. . . "Gunsmoke" without liquor? Really?
Actually, the show has more depth than I give it credit for. Writers were putting in some pretty hefty themes behind all that TVland kitsch. And Doc always had something to help people sleep or reduce the pain if nothing else.
"What do you think, Doc?"
"I'd give him a 50/50 chance. We'll just have to wait and see."
Old Doc never sent patients to a specialist.
Well, non-stop fireworks here for the past few days. Patriots, you know, love their explosives. And flags. Look at the Times today to read about how the flag is no longer a unifier. I've never been much for flags of any kind, not even the pirates flag. I just have a hard time going along or joining anything. I'm like C.C. and Q in that way. But I'll play along today for my mother. I bought organic, grass fed, uncured hot dogs and some white bread buns. She won't be able to drink, of course, but we'll make a little 4th party nonetheless. It is something we can do together. I guess you can call it tradition. I'm sure you all have your own.
Whatever you do today, though, remember, don't blow your hand up. And be careful. You could put your eye out.