Aging gracefully, thanks to drunk raisins, belch-free fish


October 14, 2007|By JANET GILBERT

I find myself reading the health section of the newspaper - even looking forward to it - which is another irrefutable sign of my advancing age. I especially enjoy the "Q&A" column, because it features some of the oddball conditions I can look forward to acquiring around that magical half-century bend.

Last week, I found myself contemplating whether I ought to start soaking raisins in gin for the arthritis that I believe I've got in my knees. I decided that no matter what, gin-soaked raisins might make for a nice after-jog pick-me-up! So I went to the store to buy some raisins, all the while thinking: This is my kind of recipe! There are only two ingredients, no measurements or quantities, no cooking, no possible chance of messing up the outcome! In fact, I'm going to suggest to my local meal-prep place that they put in a permanent "Janet's World Gin-Soaked Raisins" station as a confidence-builder for new clients.

The raisin-shopping went pretty well. It seems to me that raisins basically come in two colors and are packaged in either large or small boxes, which limits your decisions and makes for a most efficient shopping trip.

Imagine, for example, how difficult and time-consuming my shopping trip would be if arthritis were purported to be ameliorated by gin-soaked olives! Why, I would have to spend days in the grocery store, trying to figure out, for starters, what color olive would be best for the job. Then I would have to refine my decision based on the nationality of the olive - should I go with Spanish? Greek? Italian? How should I buy them - in jars, cans, or from the new "Mediterranean olive bar"? Finally, I'd have to consider the issue of "pitted" (which, curiously, means "no pits") or "with pits" (which, translated into the lingo of the olive trade, is known as "with pits"). At the end of this laborious process, I might say, "The heck with arthritis remedies," and decide to throw any olive into some gin with a splash of dry vermouth for the medicinal treatment known as a "martini."

So tracked my thoughts as I trekked next to the vitamin aisle. I had recalled reading a very persuasive article in the health supplement on the importance of omega-3 essential fatty acids in preventing coronary disease and cancer, and I thought I'd pick some up, because I would be willing to embrace what I consider a ridiculous product name to avoid the two C's! To my surprise, the shelves were loaded with various brands of essential fatty acids. Just as I was about to whip out my reading glasses and begin my consumer analysis, I noticed what we in the advertising business call a "starburst": a tacky graphic that draws attention to an advertising message. Usually starbursts have brief messages like "FREE" or "LIMITED TIME" or "50% OFF," but this one really caught my eye.


Instantly, I knew had to buy this particular brand. Because I did not want to chance it, and be overcome with any of the possibilities suggested by the starburst.

Why, after ingesting my essential fatty acid, I could be in a meeting, perhaps making an important presentation, and suddenly, without warning, burp out a flounder! How embarrassing. Or, worse, what if I took my essential fatty acid before going to my dentist, Dr. Evets Reyem, whose identity has been protected by the backwards spelling of his name? Dr. Reyem has a prized tropical fish tank. How awkward would it be if I showed up for my appointment and all the exotic fish therein were abruptly seized with out-of-control gaseous emissions?

I bought the odorless softgels, and have begun taking them at night to avoid any side effects in public. At first I felt a little walleyed, but I scaled back on my dosage, and now I feel just fin.

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