By William Thomas
Like most aging baby boomers I am determined to stay healthy, fit, active and … “Hey! Get that rubber glove away from me!” … medically violated on an annual basis.
I try every day to do the right thing for my body, but Lord knows it ain’t easy.
For instance, a few years ago when the study came out that red wine contained resveratrol which was quite beneficial for the heart, I went for it. When a follow-up study confirmed the resveratrol advantage but estimated a person would have to consume something like 20 bottles of red wine a day in order to experience real benefits, I went for that too. I have no recollection whatsoever of 2008.
Still, I soldier on in the name of mental and physical wellness. I follow a daily regimen that I hope will see me fit and feisty by 85. Sometimes however, it seems my regiment has been infiltrated by the Taliban.
My day begins when the radio alarm goes off and CBC-Radio One informs me that the Mideast is on fire and I’m scheduled to be there next week. Jack LaLanne, possibly the fittest man on earth, has died so what chance have I? And the worst – Stephen Harper is still prime minister. I reach for the bottle of Tylenol and by mistake I swallow a handful of Tums which cause me to begin belching like a bullfrog.
I do stretching exercises for my back, pass on the push-ups for a second day and dress like I’m going to look for the lost Franklin expedition up near the Arctic Circle.
I remove my old-fashioned, whistling kettle from the stove for my tea, list my day’s priorities and catch the local weather report, but there is none because everybody at Environment Canada has died of frostbite and hypothermia.
I scan the Toronto Star to learn that my stocks are sliding, the Raptors have lost twelve in a row and a new medical study links Alzheimer’s disease to tin pots, like my favorite, old-fashioned kettle.
Depressed, I go out to my office in order to write something funny.
Mid morning as I prepare breakfast, the smells of bacon and eggs frying, toast and fresh perked coffee still linger after all these years. I open a packet of Quaker instant oatmeal which helps lower my bad cholesterol.
I return to my office in the hunt for something humorous to write about when I come across a recent clipping of Darryl Durr, a 46-year-old serial rapist and murderer in Cleveland who is asking for a stay of execution because he claims he will likely suffer a violent allergic reaction to the lethal drugs that the state of Ohio will use to kill him.
After a few business phone calls, I go for a one hour walk out to Morgan’s Point and back wearing most of the clothes I own and a balaclava. I look like I just robbed a gas station for snack food.
I catch the news on CBC-Radio which warns people against exercising in these deep-freeze temperatures. By 12:30 I’d trade my car for a Dagwood sandwich with both mustard and mayonnaise. Instead I throw a handful of raspberries in a bowl and smear them in vanilla probiotic yogurt.
I return to my morbid humor column finding another news item in which a woman who was put to death in Texas for murder ordered Twinkies, Cheez Doodles and Diet Coke for her last supper. The closest I’ve come to crime is a speeding ticket and yet from that three-course ‘to die for’ meal, I could only have the Coke.
Mid afternoon I spot the courier guy backing up the driveway and I rush out to have a conversation with him because according to the experts, engaging in social intercourse reduces stress. I talk World Cup. He talks winter tires and four-wheel drive. He misinterprets my offer of intercourse. Awkward.
Still starving, I have a snack of wild salmon, Triscuits and carrot sticks. I’m eating so much food loaded with Omega-3 fish oils, two small openings have appeared on my upper arms. They look a lot like gills. With this food, I take my pills – a multi-vitamin with mineral supplement, an aspirin, a Chol-Less tablet and niacin. Within minutes my body is covered in hives, my face is on fire and my heart is racing. I look at my grocery list. Bad handwriting means I bought “non-generic niacin” instead of “non-flush niacin.” I scratch my arms and legs with a BBQ brush until I pass out.
I awake and face the fact that my daily plan to stay fit and mentally sharp has become a serious hazard to my health. I realize the only way I’ll ever see 85 is to move to Biritiba Mirim, Brazil and obey the law.
Taking no chances, I stay perfectly still until 5:55 p.m. when final preparations are made for the news hour and my first “resveratrol treatment.” Today I will have to increase the dosage.
For comments, ideas and copies of The True Story of Wainfleet, go to www.williamthomas.ca.