So I spent this weekend sick with food poisoning. I always celebrate major progress in my career by getting sick. Its a gift.
Funny thing is, two of my friends in two other cities also had food poisoning this weekend. My personal travail started Friday after getting home from a great exhibit on bike history at the National Archives. I made myself a sandwich I should have reconsidered. Within three hours I felt my abdomen was a pillow. By Saturday, things were in full effect. The worst part was the headaches. They came in waves, and obliterated all thought before them.
One of the highlights of the weekend was to be a viewing of Guardians of the Galaxy. Originally scheduled Friday night, then Saturday afternoon, then Sunday morning. We finally watched it at the Sunday matinee, and I enjoyed nearly all of it. By then most of the abdominal symptoms were over, allowing me to sit in a theatre for two and a half hours. I even managed a fart before we left as a means test.
The headaches were still rampant, though. I didn’t even want to talk about the movie with my wife, Monisha. Much to her consternation, as it was chock full of nuts. I gave her nothing but peevish glances whenever she began to ask any question about the movie, and I sure didn’t volunteer any explanations. I have never had a more direct action movie experience, as it was all I could handle. I had enough in me to sit in that chair, but no more.
The last time I was sick, it occurred to me that this was probably how a lot of the world felt all the time. The reason we have traditional cooking and recipes from around the world is that people want to be safe from just this sort of food poisoning. The more we outsource and mechanize food, the more we are going to have winners and losers in health. It probably beats famine in most of the world. The reason we have the pure food that we enjoy 99.999% of the time is that we went through a period in the 19th century when the only food you could vouch for was food you picked or killed yourself. The original purpose of black pepper was to mask the taste of rancid meat. The same kind that laid me low for 60 hours. A lot of the world still has that food system. Caveat emptor.
We’ve outsourced a lot of our heavy industry in America, but we still use all those heavy industries to make all those products. Food poisoning is one thing, but metal poisoning is worse and more permanent. I don’t have the numbers on this, but their closest approximation are probably somewhere at the World Health Organization. If hundreds of millions of people feel the way I did this weekend, I understand perfectly why the world keeps lurching into war.